Centuries have passed since Gideon Ravel dwelled among humans. Now he must infiltrate the cream of London society to earn the trust of one woman. Simone, Lady Gilbert, possesses an amulet of unimaginable power, and no concept of the threat that surrounds her. The ton's gossip prepared him for her beauty and wit. But he is blindsided by her barely disguised sensuality and his growing need to possess her. . .
None of the idle aristocrats who vie for Simone's attentions know about her past. To them, she is the sophisticated, worldly widow known as the "Wicked Temptress." The truth would ruin her, and she has never been tempted to reveal it until now. Yet beneath Gideon's bold, black-eyed stare is a hunger that demands satisfaction and complete surrender. . .and a secret far more dangerous than her own. . .
Comment: This book as a birthday gift and because it wasn't too big, I decided to get to it right away instead of my usual MO of letting books languish in the pile. I've read the author before so I knew what writing style to expect but the reviews on goodreads didn't seem very hopeful...
This is the first book of an historical trilogy (Immortal Rogues) where three vampires come from The Veil (a sort of different dimension, that ms Ivy's readers recognize from her other series) where older vampires live in peace, without the effect of mundane things like hunger or anger. But mad vampires have run from The Veil and three others have the task to get them back and protect three human ladies who own a medallion that would switch powers to the evil vampires. Of course, each good vampire will protect one lady and in this first book, Gideon has to find a way to make Simone, lady Gilbert, to trust him and not fall prey to Tristan, the evil vampire after her.
But Simone has secrets and she is reluctant to be seduced by Gideon, but how long can she pretend she's not interested?
Overall, this story had all the ingredients to be another great paranormal, even more so with the historical setting. I confess I appreciated some scenes and ideas, namely the way Gideon and Simone seemed to be at odds in the beginning but were falling in love and that there was no rush into sex as it happens with many vampire books. But apart from little details, I can't say this was a show of amazingness.
In my opinion, the book felt like a bunch of clichés and ideas put together. Sure, the story worked out and delivered a good enough romance, but there's nothing about it that can make me think this is amazing or new. In fact, all the ideas have been used countless times in several books. I don't know how the author thought about this trilogy, but I recognize the usual ideas and perhaps her goal was to find formulaic concepts in romance and use them for this trilogy, I don't know. But three good vampires, a warrior, a rake, a scholar paired up with three ladies seems like the basics of any romance trilogy out there. I'm actually interested in the second pairing so I might keep going with this trilogy one day.
Gideon and Simone seem to be a good couple, they felt the other was simply a task to go through, to endure but it was fun to watch them bicker, although Gideon's expectation he could go to her house whenever he wanted started to annoy the contemporary girl in me.
Their romance was more subtle than what I imagined it would, we se them fall in love but because the story read almost automatically, I never felt I was truly invested in them, so although I liked they found happiness, I didn't bit my lip in a nervous expectation to see it happen.
The plot isn't very difficult to solve, which is another clue of how easy, in a way, this whole concept is. I assume the other stories will develop very similarly. I didn't like the bad vampire's POVs, but then again, I never do.
In the end, I think the two words that best define this book are "easy" and "predictable". It does deliver but it's nothing truly special. I think something unique and different could have turned this into something wonderful, but it wasn't so. It's not easy to find great historical paranormals. It didn't leave much of an impression in my head even if the next story seems to be more intriguing for me, personally.
In the end, the romance and the plot development weren't strong enough to make me feel this was above average, but the author is talented and can hold on for a series and its steadiness, so in a way I wanted more from this story. It's not bad, but it's not special either and I predict I won't remember much of it in the following months.
Nevertheless, I think t's a good introduction to vampire stories and even those set in historical times.