Title: Guildhall Guardian: Thamesian #1 (Thamesians)
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Romance
Release date: March 6th, 2014
Length: 179 pages
SHE HAS JUST FOUND THE ADVENTURE SHE CRAVED FOR
Italian Art Graduate Gioia Di Terzi has left Rome for England, upsetting all her plans of a future as a Museum administrator. Now working as a civil servant, she settles into a British working-class routine which comes nowhere close to her dreams of English Gothic tales.
That’s before she discovers the Medieval Quarter of the city and steps into its Guildhall, a building which instantaneously fascinates her.
Little does she know she just crossed the supernatural underworld’s threshold…
AFTER CENTURIES AS A GUARDIAN HE MUST COME OUT AND FIGHT
In 1430, Roydon Thamesian made a pact with Vampires who saved his life and became the powerful Guildhall’s guardian.
Ruling the Medieval Quarter, he doesn’t know humanity anymore.
Until Gioia Di Terzi stumbles into his life and he becomes the target of unmistakable attacks from a Hunter…
“It had started in a blur and it went on with a black out.”
I enjoyed reading the Guildhall Guardian, with it’s dark, gothic and eerie atmosphere. It did take reading a few pages before I could really become absorbed into the story, but Gioia and Roydon’s characters really drew me in. And I like how the story goes in and out of Gioia’s mind. As the reader understands what she is witnessing and thinking you can feel the story as if you were her.
Gioia finds herself looking for a short-cut home during her lunch break. This short trip takes her through the Medieval Quarter of the City to Guildhall. As an art graduate, and wanting to be a museum administrator, it’s appeal is huge as Gioia wants to explore.
From that day Gioia uses the path to travel to and from work. She begins to notice some smaller details, such as the four graves, and her eyes deceive her into thinking one of them is ajar. She can feel the atmosphere, the dark, the gothic aspects and can sense that something is different about this area of the city. But what it is, she doesn’t know. The tension builds up with the atmosphere:-
“…. I could not avert my eyes from this building. It was well-seated among the other medieval buildings, an open church, several houses remained intact and a graveyard just in front of the old charming pub. Rather gothic, to say the least.
This was the UK I wanted to live in. It doesn’t get any better than the old slippery pavement, the head-turning monuments and bizarre gargoyles, old-fashioned statues with their twisted faces, tokens of medieval value.
The tombstones…. were well-kept and there was only four of them. I even thought my eyes tricked me when I observed that one of the graves looked ajar.”
As the guardian of Guildhall, it is inevitable that Gioia will meet with Roydon. After meeting in the old pub, Roydon knows that it is Gioia who has been looking around Guildhall and been seen on the CCTV. The attraction between them is instant, she knows there is something unusual about him, like he was from another era, mysterious and spell-binding. They both feel the electricity and tension as they spend more time together, after his invitation to see him one evening turns into longer as they track a hunter.
Unbeknownst to Gioia initially, it is Roydon’s responsibility to keep the four vampires and their graves guarded. But, after an eventful evening, with Gioia in his presence, Roydon is attacked. It appears that a hunter is on their radar, hunting for the exact vampires that Roydon is guarding! Poor Gioia is left a little confused, especially since Roydon has ‘made’ her forget. For Gioia, being with a man of mystery and then waking up puzzled:-
“It had started in a blur and it went on with a black out.”
But, the mystery won’t let up for Gioia as her character naturally is nosey and she has to find out exactly what is going on. She begins to focus and go over events until some memories return. Her curiosity and sense of adventure usually ends with a scrape or two, and Roydon looking after her – which can’t be that all that bad seeing as he is so alluring and chivalrous! The mix of emotions that Gioia is feeling: the excitement, danger, attraction, is all because of the events that take place.
“Within the last days I had: been drunk, been chased by swords-arrows, been psyched out, wept and hid in the bathroom, wanted to book a one-way flight home, remained shut at home talking to myself and compulsively eating then puked, obsessed over vampires on the internet, then turned up at the Guildhall ready to expose the one I was insanely attracted to.”
I love how the author builds up the suspense, both in fear and romance. In regard to the romance aspect, the author teases the reader with the characters as we long for them to get together. However, Roydon cannot allow a human girl to distract him and make him vulnerable. No matter how close, how strong the attraction, he mustn’t get drawn in.
“He was bloody playing through and through. Playing with is own limitations. Playing up the attraction. Downplaying the risks.
Gioia outed him from his usual comfort zone. To be closer to her he acted out of character and out of his personal sense of propriety.
She was addictive.”
As the story moves on to discover who the hunter is, the reader is in suspense and not knowing what will happen next. Roydon’s brother, Brand, and vampire, Hendry Lancaster, add a great deal of value in terms of fear and atmosphere as, at first you are unsure of their character. There is a little action, excitement and plenty of mystery, but it is the romantic element that steals the show for me!
There are areas I feel that could benefit from a proof-read/edit, however this was not enough to put me off the read. And, as the atmosphere and characters are so well described, along with a good, mysterious plotline, it was more than enough to keep me enthused. I hope that there will be a sequel and that I will have the chance to read more on the adventures of Gioia and Roydon, and their intense romance!
A copy of Guildhall Guardian was provided by the author in return for an honest and fair review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker