The first in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles...
Beneath the glitter of dazzling 19th-century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil... .
Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long taken over the world.
In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake.
But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria's heart is torn between London's most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget.
And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love.
Excerpted from The Rest Falls Away
"Has Rockley seen your vis bulla?" Sebastian had not moved away; and his hand had shifted between them, below her breasts, to press flat over her shirtwaist, against the trembling muscle of her stomach. "Does he know what it means?"
She shoved against his shoulders and pushed him away. He moved, but barely stumbled backward. He was stronger than she realized.
"Does he know that it means his love walks the streets at night? That she must mingle with those from the dark side to learn their secrets?" Unruffled, nonplussed by her violent reaction, he spoke, his voice low and hypnotic. "That she kills every time she raises her weapon? That she has a strength he cannot hope to possess?"
"He knows nothing." Victoria spoke from between clenched teeth. Sebastian had moved in toward her again, crowding her back against the wall, but he did not touch her.
"Has he seen it, Victoria?" The gentle roll of her name's last syllables caused an odd wave in her middle. "Has he?"
A promising, enthusiastic beginning to a new paranormal historical series, Gleason's major label debut follows the adventures of a conflicted young vampire hunter in Regency England.
"Victoria Gardella is a young upper-class lady on the verge of her debut; however, just before her society introduction, she learns that she is the last in a long line of vampire hunters – Venators – and must soon choose whether to embrace her destiny. Her decision is complicated by a reunion with her preadolescent love, Phillip, now marquess of Rockley; her desire for romance doesn't mesh well with her new training schedule, much less with her moonlight patrol duties.
"Matters are made more difficult by the arrival of the queen of the vampires, Lilith, who seeks a mystical tome that will put a demonic army at her disposal. Though it might seem familiar to fans of Teresa Medeiros's Regency vamp series, Gleason quickly establishes an alluring world all her own. Her Buffyesque lead (Gleason has acknowledged the inspiration) is similarly afflicted, but the change of setting makes an intriguing, witty and addictive twist."
– Publishers Weekly
– Romantic Times
"...Buffy goes Regency with this terrific vampire slayer historical romantic fantasy that will have readers craving more Gardella adventures. Victoria is a wonderful nineteen-year-old heroine, as she lacks confidence yet at the same time believes she can do anything required of her. The story line is filled with action that uses the activities of the Ton to set the time and place and the trials and tribulations of the newest Venator struggling to keep her two lives apart, with one being top secret (mindful of Silver Age Superman). This fun opening gamut in the Gardella saga has cross-genre appeal that fans will enjoy."
– Harriet Klausner
"...I can definitely see this series becoming severely addicting and pretty soon (if not already), I think Ms. Gleason will have crazy fangirls on her message boards arguing about the "shipping" of characters as well as where the series is going. I, for one, can't wait for the sequel. What are you waiting for, @#%? Go pre-order it on Amazon now!"
– Dionne Galace/It's Not Chick-Porn
"THE REST FALLS AWAY is an entertaining ride of suspense, British wit, and romance. Victoria very much reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but set in Victorian England . Without many of her friends and family knowing of her secret life, Victoria must continually fight the menace plaguing the Ton. She is a down-to-earth young lady who very quickly comes to terms with her new position and abilities, although she doesn't realize the consequences or downside to her choices until much later on.
"If you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you'll like THE REST FALLS AWAY. I can't wait for the next book in the series to see where the author takes Victoria next."
– Kathy Samuels, Romance Reviews Today
"There's little room for surprise in the clockwork art that is genre fiction. What is expected of the formula is, after all, the expected. But fiction, good fiction, needs the element of surprise, some bit of plot or character or device that isn't as expected. It is in the unanticipated, the unforeseen, the unpredicted that talent shines brightest and readers are given something memorable. Debut author Colleen Gleason has neatly sidestepped the issue of triteness with The Rest Falls Away, by stretching and straddling genre boundaries. The result is a story that isn't strictly a romance or strictly a paranormal or strictly a Regency. It's a romance without a central love story, a paranormal that never loses sight of the fact that vampires are monsters, and a Regency whose heroine has something besides the ton on her mind. All that makes for a read that surprises ... . Hopefully the genre bending framework and surprises that Gleason lays as groundwork here in The Rest Falls Away will continue on throughout the series. The series next installment can't hit shelves soon enough."
"When I write that this is a Regency-set vampire novel, there are probably readers out there who will assume that the book is nothing more than a gimmick to draw in the hordes of Regency and vampire fans out there. Somehow I don't think so since The Rest Falls Away is not a light, Regency-vamp romp by any stretch. For starters, even though it is published by a romance publisher and has some strongly romantic elements, this book reads more like straight fiction than a true romance. In addition, this novel has enough dark, angsty touches to it that I was utterly wrung out by the end. It is also so good that I couldn't wait to get online to see when the next in the series will come out (June 2007 for the curious) ... ."
– All About Romance
"...Above all, the writing is what recommends this book most. Gleason's writing is sharp and taut, which makes for excellent action sequences, and a plot that travels quickly from the start. The writing strength alone gives me ample reassurance that this potentially plot-heavy series is in the right hands. I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment."
– Smart Bitches Love Trashy Books
"...Victoria is the perfect heroine. Smart, sexy, and tough while remaining vulnerable, she is the reason I love this book. Secretly I'm dying to be her, including wearing the fancy dresses and kicking undead butt. Even though Victoria is a very modern heroine for the time period, she works well with the rest of the storyline. Max is another great character, with brooding good looks and full of mystery; there is a lot in his past that I will enjoy reading about in future novels. Then there is Sebastian, but trust me you will want to read about him for yourself...."
– Blogcritics Magazine
"...The paranormal world should rejoice for a new Queen has emerged! Colleen Gleason has written an explosive debut novel that is assured to please paranormal fans for a long time to come. This is the first in a series that is destined to be one that will go down in history. Very highly recommended."