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Tuesday, August 12, 2008:
"The Bleeding Dusk" by Colleen Gleason

Paperback: 368 pages

Publisher: Signet (February 5, 2008)

ISBN-10: 0451223268

ISBN-13: 978-0451223265

The undead of Rome are racing to unravel an ancient mystery – and only one woman can stop them...
As Rome prepares for its Carnivale, the new leader of the city's vampire hunters – Lady Victoria Gardella Grantworth de Lacy – must prove herself as never before. For, to gain access to the secrets of a legendary alchemist, Rome's vampires have allied themselves with creatures as evil and bloodthirsty as they are.
Reluctantly, Victoria must turn to the enigmatic Sebastian Vioget for help, just as Maximilian Pesaro arrives to assist his fellow slayers – no matter what the sacrifice. Desire puts her at the mercy of Sebastian, while loyalty binds her to Max, but can she trust either man? Especially when a seductive vampire begins luring her into the shadows...

Normally I wouldn't read the next book in a series so soon after finishing the previous installment, but Colleen Gleason has me hooked on her vampire world and I just can seem to help myself. I had both the 2nd and 3rd books with me when I went to San Fran, not really sure if I'd get a chance to read them, but finding myself making the time (it helps when your roommate is just as much of a reader as you are - thanx LadyB!)
May contain spoilers****
In this third episode of the Gardella series, Max has gone to visit Lilith, queen of the vampires, eager to find a way to rid himself of the permanent bites she's left on him. Of course it can be done, at a price, one he's not sure he's willing to pay...
Meanwhile in Rome, Victoria gets some unexpected, and not necessarily welcome, guests when her mother and mum's two best friends show up, concerned about Victoria and bemoaning her lack of a husband. Victoria is not sure how she's going to evade her mother and continue to hunt at the same time, but this is the least of her worries. As the Illa Gardella, she's got a new problem to be concerned about: in the form of several be-headed bodies. To top it off, it's Carnivale. What better time for the vampires to come out to play?
Victoria also realizes that there is something of her Aunt Eustasia's that is missing, something vital, and the last person to be near her was Sebastian Vioget, a secretive and seductive Frenchman who confuses Victoria as much as he attracts her. Unable to locate him, she turns on his dangerous grandfather Beauregard to relay her message, barely surviving the encounter unscathed. But instead of Sebastian, she unexpectedly runs into fellow Venator Max Pesaro, a man who confuses her even more, yet is also responsible for her most recent heartbreak.
But new trouble, mixed with old, is brewing, and all their attentions are taken up with this latest threat. Just when Victoria thinks she can trust the men in her life, secrets are revealed, destinies, lost, and someone is bitten by a vampire, someone who will willingly drink the blood offered in return....
My thoughts:
  • Sebastian or Max? Max or Sebastian? The gap between the two is much closer than it was after reading book 2, yet with Sebastian still in the lead. Despite his untrustworthy ways, Seb has strong feelings for Victoria, possibly stronger than he imagined they could be, and this may turn out to be his salvation. Whereas Max keeps his thoughts and feelings close to his sleeve, not revealing what's really in his heart. I love the still waters that run deep, but come on, I need a little something more to go on here, Max baby. I want to see the unrequited song and dance, pretty please.
  • I find myself wavering between irritation and amusement over all the men that fall at Victoria's feet. It's enough to give a girl a mighty ego, and I might have to hate her but then something happens to bring Victoria crashing down to reality, and she becomes real again. I love that she's confident, but when she gets too big for those britches, something happens to put her in her place.
  • I get such a kick out of Victoria's mum and her BFFs, who are delightfully air-headed and obsessed with parties and dresses and gossip, so much so that the thought of vampires is truly more a gothic novel than a distinct possibility. Poor Victoria.
  • Once again Ms. Gleason is not going to make things simple in order to give us our Happy Ending. I love the history of the Venators, the mythology of it all. I love that Gleason has created a world where there are consequences and conditions, and sticks with the basic foundation of that world, creating rules and prophesies that are not easily shattered in a convenient fashion.
  • No. Oh no. Oh, okay. The ending of this book wasn't nearly as heart-wrenching as what happens in "Rises The Night", but it was still painful to watch. Bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. It's a messy existence, that of a Venator, and even they can't be victorious all the time.

I am as hooked as ever on this series, wishing it never had to end. I already have the 4th installment, and I figure, why wait? No reason, as far as I can tell. And since Colleen is going to be in town for a booksigning this Friday, it's perfect timing to get completely caught up. So off I go, to get lost in the Gardella series once again....

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****

Colleen Gleason is at RomanceNovel.TV today!

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  1. I found Bleeding Dusk a bit slow moving for myself but wait till you read When Twilight Burns!! That is the best book in the series!!
    I am on TEAM SEBASTIAN all the way. Max annoys the hell out of me. I want to smack him, much liks Victoria does. :P

  2. Normally I don't like series that go on and on without at happily ever after at the end of each book but I might have to give these a try. I love Vamps. Whats the first one called?

  3. Katie, this one was a bit slow at first, but since I read it right after book #2, that actually was okay with me. So far I'm still rooting for Sebastian. I've preferred him from the beginning, and not much has been done to dissuade me. I already have book #4 and plan to read it before meeting Colleen on Friday.

    Kelley, I'm all about the HEA, but I knew going in that it would be a prolonged HEA, so I was okay with that. If I would have read the first one (The Rest Falls Away) and not known, I think I woulda been pissed about being left hanging. This seems to be a new trend in series these days.

  4. Stacy- What time are you going to show up at Borders? This will actually be my first ever author signing. Yes, my name is Shannon and I am an author signing virgin. So, um...yeah. Anyhow, I just wondered when you were going to show and if you wanted to meet up beforehand. Ok, that's all. You can reply here or at my blog or you can just email me. semuelle77 [at] gmail

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