It Happened One Bite (Gentleman Vampyre's -Book 1) by Lydia Dare
Publication Date: March 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Historical
Pages: Paperback, 416pp
(Received for review from Sourcebooks)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
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Excerpt from It Happened One Bite
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Synopsis (Book Blurb):
HE'S LOST, TRAPPED, DOOMED FOR ALL ETERNITY...
Rich, titled, and undead, gentleman vampyre James Maitland, Lord Kettering, fears himself doomed to a cold and lonely existence - trapped for decades in an abandoned castle. Then, beautiful Scottish witch, Blaire Lindsay arrives, and things begin to heat up considerably...
UNLESS HE CAN PERSUADE HER TO SET HIM FREE...
Feisty Blair Lindsay laughs off the local gossip surrounding her mother's ancestral home - stories of haunting cannot scare off this battle-born witch. But when she discovers the handsome prisoner in the bowels of the castle, Blaire has no idea that she has unleashed anything more than a man who sets her heart on fire...
First in a new series featuring gentleman vampyres, It Happened One Bite is the latest release from writing duo Lydia Dare. Readers who loved the Westfield Wolves series will not be disappointed as Lydia Dare once again blends the historical and the paranormal to create a heart-stopping romance. With everything from an ancient castle with it's own prisoner to a love that could breathe new life into the heart of a lonely man, this book has it all!
Blaire Lindsay has no idea what she will find when she accompanies her brothers to the ancestral castle belonging to their mother. Briarcraig Castle is covered in dust and long forgotten along with the undead prisoner it holds. Twenty years ago Blaire's mother and her coven sisters imprisoned James Maitland, Lord Kettering in the castle to prevent a vision from coming true that could destroy Blaire and her family. Now, Blaire releases the gentleman vampyre unaware of what he is, only that he touches her in a way no one ever has. Their attraction for each other is strong and fiery, though perhaps futile. When a vampyre bent on revenge targets Blaire , it will take everything Blaire and James have in them to fight for her family and their love.
It's no secret that Lydia Dare is one of my favorite authors. After being introduced to the first book in the Westfield Wolves series, A Certain Wolfish Charm, I have sung their praises at every opportunity. This was one of the first paranormal historical's I had ever read and I was completely enthralled by it and I have felt the same about every book they have released since.
Lydia Dare's latest offering, It Happened One Bite is the first in a new series called the Gentleman Vampyres. I was somewhat sad to see the end of the first series, but happy to see what Lydia Dare would come up with next. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it is more of a continuation of the story than a complete departure from the their first efforts. The characters we have learned to love from the Westfield Wolves books are still a vital part of this new series and that was an exciting prospect for me (Benjamin Westfield will always be a favorite of mine!)
Lydia Dare's approach to vampyre mythology was somewhat related to what readers have come to expect from this supernatural creature. The undead in It Happened in One Bite, have an aversion to the sun, they have fangs, they drink blood and have the ability to compel others to do their bidding, but Dare also adds a few refreshing aspects to their version of the vampyre.
James Maitland and a few of the other vampyre's in the story have mystical rings given to them by a ancestral version of the coven that allows them to lead a more normal existence, going outside during the day etc. This ring also keeps them in constant contact with each other, almost like a tracking device or a homing beacon. Dare's vampyre's also seem to retain a semblance of their former selves. Matthew was a knight in his former life and he retains that air of command and loyalty. James was a rich and titled gentleman and he still has the consistent mannerisms and idea's of a gentleman even though vampyre's are considered uncivilized. I liked the way the authors were able to show vampyre's in a different light. Though there were a couple of villains, Dare's vampyre's still gave off the impression of a very elegant and cultured race.
The character development in this one was off the scale. When we were first introduced to Blaire Lindsay and her coven sisters in the Westfield Wolves series, Blaire's character took a backseat to other more prominent members of the coven. But this book is truly her story, where she comes into her own as a strong and very entertaining character. Her fiery spirit and determination radiate off the page as well as her passion. Blaire comes across to the reader as young woman who believed her only purpose in life was as a battle-born witch. She has neglected that part of herself that is all woman. But, James seems to draw that out of her and shows the reader a very different aspect of Blaire. The authors did a wonderful job of developing the relationship between Blaire and James and allowing the reader to see Blaire blossom within the love they share.
James is a great character as well. He's handsome, rich, and very debonair. He gives of the air of a man who knows what he wants and isn't used to not getting it. In this case he wants Blaire, even though he knows that as a vamypre he doesn't have a heart and cannot give her the love she deserves. Yet he is still drawn to her like a moth to the flame. He is a gentleman to the core, never feeding from anyone who does not want to be with him. I found the idea that he marked Blaire interesting as that went right along with the idea that a werewolf marks his mate as well. In reality I think each person bears a mark from the person they love whether it is visible to the outside world on just on their hearts. So I really liked this idea.
I recommend this one to all of my readers. If you are a fan of historical romances, this one fits the bill. If you are a fan of the paranormal, this one is right up your alley. If you like mysteries, this one has a little bit of that too. Horror fan? Vampyre's generally fit into that category as well. So there is a something for just about every type of reader to fall in love with in this book. I can't say enough good things about this writing team. I really love their books and can't wait to see what they come up with next.
It Happened One Bite is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Lydia Dare is the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson. Both ladies are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and sit on the organization's board of directors. They live with their families near Raleigh, North Carolina.