The Vampire Dimitri (Regency Draculia Series #2)

( 18 )

Overview

Dimitri, also known as the Earl of Corvindale, should be delighted that the headstrong Maia Woodmore is getting married. His mortal ward and houseguest has annoyed—and bewitched—the Dracule nobleman too long, and denying his animal cravings grows more excruciating by the day.

Miss Woodmore's family has a rather…complicated history with the immortals and she herself possesses a keen sensibility far beyond mere women's intuition. Marriage will give her safety, respectability and ...

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Overview

Dimitri, also known as the Earl of Corvindale, should be delighted that the headstrong Maia Woodmore is getting married. His mortal ward and houseguest has annoyed—and bewitched—the Dracule nobleman too long, and denying his animal cravings grows more excruciating by the day.

Miss Woodmore's family has a rather…complicated history with the immortals and she herself possesses a keen sensibility far beyond mere women's intuition. Marriage will give her safety, respectability and everything else a proper young lady could wish for. Everything, that is, except passion.

In the looming battle between Dracule factions, all pretenses will shatter as Maia and Dimitri come together in an unholy union of danger, desperation and fiercest desire.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778329824
  • Publisher: Mira
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Series: A Book of the Regency Draculia Series , #2
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Colleen Gleason

Colleen Gleason has a degree in English and an MBA from the University of Michigan. After working more than fifteen years in sales and marketing, she owned her own business and worked for two startup companies. She's traveled to Paris, London and Tahiti, and currently resides with her family near Ann Arbor, where she writes full-time. Colleen loves to hear from her readers and encourages them to visit her website for updates and sneak peeks of future books. www.colleengleason.com

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Read an Excerpt

London

Who in Lucifer's bloody hell did Miss Maia Woodmore think she was, giving orders to an earl?

Dimitri, the Earl of Corvindale, glared down at the elegant script covering a piece of thick stationery. Feminine, perfectly formed, with only the occasional embellishment and not one ink splotch, the words marched across the page in ruler-straight lines. Even the descenders and ascenders were neat and properly aligned so that none of them overlapped. The stationery smelled like feminine spice and lily of the valley and some other intriguing note that he refused to expend the effort to define.

Naturally her demand was couched in the most proper of syntax, but Dimitri was obviously no innocent when it came to female machinations. Though he strictly avoided women—all of them, especially the mortal ones—he was well-schooled in the way they worked and in reading between the lines, so to speak.

And from what he read between the lines here, Miss Maia Woodmore was annoyed and filled with indignant self-righteousness, just as she had been during that incident in Haymarket three years ago. And she expected him to jump to her whim.

Lord Corvindale, it read, forgive me for contacting you in this untoward manner, but it is only upon the specific direction of my brother, Mr. Charles Woodmore, that I am doing so. (Here he could fairly feel her outrage at being ordered thus by her sibling.)

Mr. Woodmore (who I understand is a business associate of your lordship's) left word that, should I not receive correspondence or communication from him within a fortnight after leaving on his most recent trip to the Continent (which would be by yesterday's date, I8 July, I804) that I must contact you in regards to the wardship of myself and my two sisters, Angelica and Sonia (the latter of whom is safely ensconced at St. Bridie's Convent School in Scotland).

Dimitri paused in this, his third perusal of the letter, to blink and frown at the precise, if not overlong, sentence. And then he went on to roundly curse Chas Woodmore for somehow convincing him to agree to this madness. It had been more than six years ago that Woodmore had culled such a vow from Dimitri, who'd hardly given it another thought since.

Naturally he never expected Woodmore to do anything as imbecilic as he'd done, running off with Narcise Moldavi instead of killing her brother, which was what he'd gone to Paris to do. Narcise's brother, Cezar, one must assume, would be livid.

But at least Woodmore had made arrangements for the safety of his own sisters, in the event Cezar Moldavi realized who was behind his sister's abduction—or perhaps it was an elopement, not an abduction. He would have no compunction about taking out his ire on three innocent young women.

Cezar certainly hadn't changed since Vienna. If anything, he'd become even more obsessed with power and control.

Dimitri returned to the letter, trying not to acknowledge the exotic perfume that permeated the paper. One of the many curses of being Dracule was his extraordinary sense of smell. Not terribly pleasant, when out and about on the streets of London, and even less so when trying to avoid scenting something he wished to ignore. Reluctantly he read on.

My brother impressed upon me the seriousness of this manner, and it is only because of his specific and unrelenting urgency that I dare send this letter.

I wish to assure you, Lord Corvindale, that the only reason I am contacting you is because of my brother's express wishes. There is truly no need for you to concern yourself with the guardianship of myself and my sisters, for Chas has often been away on business trips and we have fared just as well during his previous absences with the chaperonage of our cousin and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Fernfeather.

He recalled that, based upon his single previous interaction with her, Miss Maia Woodmore was also this long-winded in person.

In addition, my upcoming wedding to Mr. Alexander Bradington will shortly put me in the position to act as chaperone for my younger sisters.

Dimitri realized he was crinkling the paper and he reminded himself that the written word, regardless of from whom it came, what language it was in, and what message it bore, was precious. Yes, he'd seen the engagement announcement in the Times some months ago. The news had been welcome to those who followed that sort of on dit—which certainly didn't include the reclusive Earl of Corvindale.

At that time (Miss Woodmore's perfect hand continued in its no-nonsense manner) your services as guardian to my sisters and myself will no longer be necessary.

In fact, (here her penmanship became the slightest bit thicker and perhaps even more precise) I see no reason for you to bestir yourself in regards to my sisters and myself at all, Lord Cor-vindale. Despite my brother's concern, which I can't help but believe is overly cautious and more than a bit exaggerated, Angelica and I shall fare perfectly well in London on our own until Chas returns.

I look forward to receiving a response at your earliest convenience.

Which meant, Dimitri knew, immediately upon receipt of the letter. Miss Woodmore was thus doomed to disappointment, for the message had arrived early this morning, when he was still asleep at his desk. Not that he would have jumped to respond to her anyway.

She signed her name simply, Maia Woodmore.

And there, for the first time, was a bit of feminine embellishment, just on the lower curve of the M and on the upper swoop of the W.

Unfortunately for Miss Maia Woodmore, Dimitri had already been…what was the word? Bestirred.

Indeed, he'd been more than merely bestirred relative to their guardianship. And, he snarled to himself, it was only going to get worse. He was going to have to bring the chits into this very household if he meant to keep them safe from Moldavi and his private army of vampire goons. Damn Chas Woodmore's mortal arse.

Dimitri happened to know that Moldavi was in Paris with his nose permanently inserted in the crack of Napoleon Bonaparte's arse—or perhaps this fortnight he was licking the new emperor's bollocks—and it would take him some time to send his men after Woodmore and his sisters. But not very much time, despite the war between their two countries.

Which meant that Dimitri must move quickly.

He looked around his study, swathed in heavy curtains to keep out the sun. Books and papers were piled everywhere and shelves lined the walls, crammed full with even more tomes and manuscripts. An utter mess, Mrs. Hun-burgh claimed, but she wasn't allowed into the chamber at all except for a weekly dust and sweep. No one else was allowed in but for the occasional visit by Dimitri's butler or valet.

And blast it, he'd intended to visit the antiquarian bookstore next to Lenning's Tannery again today. He meant to ask the blonde woman, who dressed as if she were a thirteenth century chatelaine instead of a shopkeeper, about references—scrolls, papyruses, whatever—from Egypt in particular. He cursed under his breath. Now he wouldn't have the chance.

Napoleon Bonaparte had brought chests and crates of antiquities back from his travels through and conquest of Egypt, and the objects were being sold and distributed throughout Europe. Surely there was something in the ancient world of pharaohs and sun gods that would help Dimitri banish the demon of darkness who'd lured him into an unholy contract decades ago. Even though Vlad Tepes, the Count Dracula, had made his agreement with Lucifer in the fifteenth century, Dimitri suspected that his ancestor hadn't been the first mortal to sell his soul—and that of his progeny—to the devil. The legend ofJohann Faust had become popular after Vlad's agreement, but there had to have been others since the beginning of time. He'd studied manuscripts and writings of the Greeks and Romans, even some from Aramea and other parts of the Holy Land.

Perhaps there would be something he could glean from the Egyptian antiquities and hieroglyphs that would give him direction. Not that anyone had been able to break the code of the Egyptian alphabet yet, but Dimitri was determined to try his hand at it.

After all, he had forever to do it.

And now the stele that had been found in Rosetta several years ago by the French, and was currently in the possession of the Antiquarian Society here in London, looked promising for translating the hieroglyphs. Thus, Dimitri was hopeful. He would love to get his hands on the stone himself, but that would mean having to be around people and playing politics and listening to gossip and jests and having to avoid the sun in public company…and all sorts of things he'd much rather avoid.

He'd considered stealing—rather, borrowing the so-called Rosetta Stone for a time in order to work on it himself, but in the end decided against it. Perhaps he might break into the British Museum, where it was kept, and make a rubbing of it one night—if he didn't have to spend his bloody time accompanying debutantes to masques and balls. His jaw hurt where his teeth ground together.

There was no way around it.

The two elder Woodmore sisters would soon be overrunning his solitude, upsetting his household and interrupting his studies. And, blast it all, so would Dimitri's own so-called sibling, Mirabella—for naturally, he'd have to bring her into Town, as well. He'd adopted the foundling as his sister some years ago—and he supposed he'd put off her debut as long as he could. The very thought of three debutantes in his house made him grind his teeth sourly.

All of them would be disrupting his schedule and nattering on about parties and fetes and balls and whatever else they did. Squealing, laughing, atomizing perfume and spilling powder—and Luce's dark soul, Dimitri would have to ensure no one had any rubies with them.

Bloody black hell.

But Dimitri knew that the worst of it was going to be the very proper, very demanding presence of Miss Maia Woodmore.

Here. In this house. Under his very nose.

If Chas Woodmore was still alive when they found him, Dimitri was going to kill the bastard.

Maia Woodmore was fuming—which was something she rarely lowered herself to do.

In fact, unlike her younger sister Angelica, Maia had forced herself to become a paragon of poise and containment and propriety. Except, it seemed, in the case of contrary, arrogant, annoying earls named Corvindale.

It was as if all of the men in her life—whether she wanted them there or not—had decided to go off all shilly-shally and leave her to pick up the pieces and manage their leftovers. A task she was, thankfully, more than capable of doing, regardless of whether she wanted to or not. After all, it seemed as if she'd always been in charge, forever trying to make things right, trying to keep her younger sisters safe, well loved and well cared for.

At least, since their parents died.

Included in Maia's mental tirade, along with Corvindale, was her elder brother Chas, who was always haring off somewhere and leaving her to manage things—not an easy task when one was an untitled, unmarried, somewhat-rich young woman of the ton. It was his great fortune that she was not only up to the task, but efficient and capable of doing so.

And also included in her annoyance was her fiancé, Alexander Bradington, who'd proposed on her eighteenth birthday, and then went off on a trip to the Continent three months later. He'd been gone for eighteen months.

But the Earl of Corvindale was the absolute worst of the bunch.

Alexander had been engaged in Rome and Vienna for the past several months, delayed because of the war with France—which was hardly his fault, she allowed. But she missed him, and if he were here, they could just get married and chaperone Angelica and Sonia themselves.

Chas had once again gone off on some mysterious business trip, but this time, things were different. He'd left behind a note that made it sound as if the world was to end like it had in Pompeii, or France was to invade if he didn't return within a fortnight. To Maia's increasing concern, he hadn't. She'd be blazingly furious with Chas for foisting her and Angelica on the dratted Earl of Corvindale if she weren't so worried that something horrible had happened to their brother.

But Corvindale was here in London, and he had not only ignored her very polite missive—which had only been sent out of courtesy—but now, as she looked up at his dark, hawkish, arrogant face, he raised an eyebrow and eyed her as if she were some sort of crawly insect.

"Of course I received your letter," Corvindale said. His voice was flat with boredom. "I am the only Corvindale, am I not?"

"But you didn't deign to respond," Maia replied, attempting, rather admirably she thought, to keep her voice level.

Although, due to the fact that they were in the midst of a rather large crush at the Lundhames' annual summer ball, she did have to raise its volume to be heard over the conversation and music buffeting against them.

She and Angelica hadn't chosen to attend this event merely because they expected Corvindale to be here; in fact, she rather assumed he wouldn't bother to show at the Lundhames' any more than he had lowered himself to respond to her letter. Everyone knew the earl was a recluse who cared only for ancient manuscripts and scraps of parchment.

But here he was. Lifting that dark brow and looking down at her from his excessive height as if he couldn't spare the time to converse with her. Well, she fumed, the feeling was quite mutual.

"I consider the fact that we are conversing a fair response," Corvindale replied. "Particularly since, as I recall, we've never been properly introduced." His dark eyes gleamed.

Maia's face, blast her fair skin, went warm, and likely pinker than the roses on the shoulders of her cornflower-blue gown. No, indeed, they hadn't ever been formally introduced. But she certainly knew who he was—the tall, imposing man whose very presence at any social event was cause for the gossips to strain in their corsets to get a glimpse of him…let alone happen to speak with the rude, prideful earl.

And he certainly knew who she was…and not just because he and Chas had been business associates for years, and occasionally they'd attended the same events. She'd hoped that Corvindale hadn't realized it was she during that horrid night at Haymarket she'd come to think of as the Incident.

Maia held her breath so that the flush would dissipate and tried not to meet his eyes.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Thoroughly Enjoyed this Novel

    I had a wonderful time with this story. It doesn't happen all that often that I am anticipating what is going to happen next in a story. This was one of those times, I wanted to stay up all night reading it and finally had to put it down at 2:00am (and then finished it first thing in the morning). I even caught butterflies in my stomach at one point!

    Pros:

    - I loved the Beauty and the Beast spin to the story, I'm not sure how I didn't catch it before the fairy tale was mentioned. But it was a marvelous inclusion.
    - Maia was such an incredible character. I loved her tenacity and stubbornness. She always had an opinion about everything and was never cowed by a more dominant personality.
    - No matter how stubborn, or dimwitted Dimitri seemed to be, he had such a heartbreaking story that the book really had you on his side for the entire story. Anticipating his realization, AT LONG LAST, that he was actually in love with the heroine.
    - The world building was phenomenal, the book really brought you along for the ride and left you dreaming about their characters and world all night.
    - The love scenes were tasteful. It completely ruins a book for me if there is vulgar, unnecessary erotica added to it, Gleason did a great job of having a love scene without allowing it to become too flamboyant and crass.
    -I also liked the way that Gleason portrayed the Dracule. While they all actually did make a deal with the devil, it still remained that some were evil while some were good, maintaining the ideal that the same is true for any species.

    Cons:

    - There were a few mistakes when it came to historical accuracy; i.e. Dimitri has dark skin from a Romanian mother (which unfortunately was looked down on at the time), as well as the fact that Maia has kissed multiple men...now I didn't grow up in that era but from what I understand, kissing was a major taboo and I find it difficult to believe that a young woman would kiss 5 different men so frequently in that time period.


    I really grew to care about all of the secondary characters as well as the primary. This book was a joy to read and I look forward to reading the first and third books in the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Historical Paranormal at it's Best

    At first I was a bit disappointed, because the first third of the book was essentially a retelling of The Vampire Voss, I thought. I then realized it was told from Maia's point of view and she went from the bossy little know it all to someone who was desperately trying to hold her family together. I loved seeing Maia fight her feelings for Dimitri all the while realizing that he was indeed a vampire. There were several times that Gleason had me laughing out loud at Maia trying to come to terms with it. Gleason has done it again, built a world in Regency London that is totally captivating. I love historical paranormals and though this series isn't quite as fascinating as Gleason's "Gardella" books (which if you have not read is well worth your time), I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good if you need some vampire to spice up your Regency

    The Earl of Corvindale has painstakingly kept his life as a vampire very secret - and his heart even more heavily guarded. When Chas Woodmore leaves the Earl with the distasteful task of watching over his sisters, Dimitri has to juggle expectations of escorting these ladies about town with his desperate search to rid himself of this bloodthirsty curse. It seems the feelings are mutual since Maia Woodmore feels that she is fully capable of handling society without a male guardianship. Will the headstrong, already betrothed Miss Woodmore be the death of Dimitri - or will she be the answer to breaking his curse?

    I have been on a romance kick lately, and I thought I'd try some historical paranormal out of curiosity. The Vampire Dimitri was a pretty decent read with ballgowns and tortured souls, but nothing that made me go over-the-moon. Good romantic tension, good action, good characters, interesting vampire politics - it just needed a little bit more special oomph to thoroughly ravish me over to the dark side. That said, I am still curious enough to check out the rest of the series to learn more about the other vampires.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    Good read from a sensational author

    3.5 stars

    The Vampire Dimitri was a good read from a sensational author. Though I feel that this series can't stand up to Gleason's Gardella's it is still an enjoyable read.
    However, the first half of this novel I could of skipped with the exception of maybe two scenes. I would of thought that The Vampire Dimitri, being the second novel in the Regency Draculia series, would of started off after the events in The Vampire Voss but the first 150+ pages was a recounting of that first book from the two main characters, Maia and Dimitri, point of view. In The Vampire Voss, there were numerous scenes from their POV, so it was a bit redundant to go into it again here.
    Once you get past that and into the second half of the novel though, it starts getting good.
    I loved the main characters here, Dimitri and Maia. Dimitri has been searching for a way to break his convent with Lucifer from almost the very beginning and he utilizes all his time and resources for this purpose, leaving very little to socialize or leave his study - period. And because of the circumstances surrounding his pact with the devil he is wary to trust others, especially women. His loyalty, strength and sense of right & wrong though really made me admire him.
    Maia is a strong, spunky, take-charge woman who sometimes got to be a bit long winded but entertaining. I really liked these two's dialogues with each other, their back & forth, and the determinedness to do the right thing for those they care for despite the loss to themselves. Their relationship and romance was a bit slow going but it's always nice to take a break from the hot & heaviness found in a lot of the romance genres.
    The writing and world building was fantastic, just what I expect from Colleen Gleason. If it weren't for my issues with the first half of the novel The Vampire Dimitri would have had a higher rating. Overall though it was a good read and I look forward to the next in the series. This one hinted at a possible love triangle in The Vampire Narcise, which I am a sucker for.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The second Regency Dracula romantic fantasy is an exciting tale

    Charles Woodmore vanishes leaving his sisters to seek help from their guardian, Dimitri the Earl of Corvindale. However, Dimitri is irate with the demanding tone of the note Charles' sister Maia sends to him. He wishes they would be like all the females of the London aristocracy and just attend balls as simpering females. Instead the sisters interfere with Dimitri's plan to rescue Chas as their ringleader Maia is foolishly brave; she finds her guardian arrogant and aloof.

    However, Dimitri knows he wants his mortal houseguest, but is elated she is to marry someone else. Maia is appalled that she is attracted to Dimitri when she is betrothed to someone else. As their desire grows, Dimitri realizes Maia is in peril, but he cannot get her to back off so he must keep her safe.

    The second Regency Dracula romantic fantasy (see The Vampire Voss) is an exciting tale due to the changing relationship between the lead pair. The story line is at its best when the plot remains in tense 1804 London; when the tale looks back too frequently, some of the "current day" tautness is lost although in fairness those flashbacks enhance the Gleason vampire mythos. Readers will enjoy this entertaining thriller as the market price for love is a soul.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2013

    I love stories where the prim and proper, and slightly annoying

    I love stories where the prim and proper, and slightly annoying Miss, gets under the skin of the cool, aloof lord with a deep, dark secret! Maia is the sister of vampire hunter Chas Woodmore. While he's off trying not to get killed by nasty vampires, he has entrusted his sisters to the Earl of Corvindale for safe-keeping. Even though Corvindale is a vampire, he's been trying to break his ties to Lucifer for over a hundred years. He has denied his cravings for so long, but he has an instant attraction to Miss Woodmore that may lead to his undoing...or his redemption.

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  • Posted February 11, 2012

    Historical and Kicking!

    This is the first book I've ever read that actually started out like the first book but in someone else's point of view. Its safe to say that anyone can read any part of the series without reading the first few books.

    I loved this better than Vampire Voss. I think it was the concept of the Beauty and the Beast that made it all the more intriguing. I really love all the love and hate relationship. Its so fun to read! Plus, Dimitri is waaaaay hotter than Voss. And Maia is waaaay better than Angelica. Haha, that didn't make much sense.

    Okay, so I kind of skipped some parts in this one because there was repeated conversations and events that was in the first book. That bit kind of put me off a bit. But when I continued reading on, I just couldn't stop reading.

    Another 5 stars to Colleen. I'm hesitant on reading Narcise. Mainly because I didn't like her much in the first two books. She just seems so "evil in disguise". BUT I'm looking forward to reading Colleens other work.

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Tension that keeps coming with each turn of the page...

    urned once by giving his all to a woman, Dimitri never wants to be so vulnerable again. Until Maia. Dimitri's own loyalty thrusts Maia right under his nose, as he suddenly has to fulfill his word to become her guardian when her brother becomes missing in action. By his own hand Dimitri has Maia's presence in his home, her warring words in his face, and her scent enveloping him. It's almost more than he can bare, and when Mais' bravery gets the best of her, she's down right irresistible. Gleason continues on with this new twist of the vampire world, but exceeds her first book with characters that keep the tension coming with each turn of the page. For readers who enjoy backtracking through the past (to catch every missed moment between a main character and their love interest in past books) this will be a winner all the way around. Gleason does this throughout the entire first half of the book, by taking the reader back through a lot of events that occurred throughout book one. Personally, I prefer that stuff in the form of flashbacks or "extras" on the authors website. *I received this eGalley free in exchange for an honest review.

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    Posted April 28, 2011

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