Crimson is the night - by Beverley Lee and Nicole Eigener
Crimson is the night is a collaboration from two horror writers that have worlds already existing (published) in which similar characters/creatures live – both write about Vampires. In Beverley Lee’s case in her Gabriel Davenport Trilogy, that commonality pertains to not only the headlining character Gabriel, but his maker, Clove, and two of his fellow vampires, Teal and Moth. For Nicole, it’s her main protagonist Vauquelin.
Interestingly enough, I think I can say that outside of the loose terminology of “Vampire”, both of the writers have set up differing world bases for their characters. Yes, the basics are there, both “vampire” sets drink blood. Both sleep during the day. Both could make more vampires if they shared their blood with a mortal. There are Gay/Bi tendencies in both author’s works, a unification of the idea that what attracts us has nothing to do with Gender and which also ties in well with The basic Vampire tropes – being unable and then unwilling to curb yourself from your own nature – certainly an ideal that has been embraced by the LBGTQ communities, and rightly so. If any trope could be rightly classified as LBGTQ, it has to be Vampires, surely? Don't agree? Bite me.
However, there, all similarities end. Nicole’s book deals with a solitary vampire who has lived forwards and backward through time. Beverley has her trio (plus their mentor) sticking through thin and thick as a group - Gabriel and his crew's entire trilogy takes place in the UK; Nicole’s Vauquelin is a little more international, having lived in France and later America. How then, are the characters to come together, and what story will be told when they do?
Not surprisingly, the ladies decided to focus on the two elder protagonists, Clove and Vauquelin. Beverley’s trio of books, I believe, had some sway in the location of the meeting – given that her books all take place in England, and Nicole’s vampire has been known to travel before, it makes sense the action take place in a locale that plays a heavy part in Beverley’s last book of her series.
So – do the characters get on?
One thing to bear in mind in this book is that it was created, in part, as a reader magnet for both of the Author’s other works. Both Authors respect each other’s worlds and works. Online, the two are friends (or give every appearance of being such). I knew – going in – that it was going to be highly unlikely that the two groups of characters would dislike each other. There’s too much mutual respect here, so yes, of course, each character is given time to shine in the novelette. At just under 30 pages, there wasn’t much time for a full-blown vampire war, so instead, the authors effectively wrote an Omni POV novel – POV switches between the characters dependent on which author has control of the narrative. Most of the novel consists of inner monologue and surprise from the POV character at how the other vampire(s) live, yet both garner respect from the other.
Fans of both series are going to find in this collection of worlds, elements that they loved from the respective series, represented and commented on by characters from another world they may also be aware of and cherish too.
It’s a vampire love-in.
In a way, I would have loved to see them fight. Hiss, bite, rip each other into shreds. But when taken separately, both series are all about that one emotion – Beguiled by night was a love story over time, forwards and backward, it remained one man seeking his eternal love, with vampire toppings.
The Gabriel Davenport series is about group love, individual love, soul mate love, and the lengths you will go to protect and nurture love – with Vampire toppings.
I think it was clear that it couldn’t really have gone any other way.
So, what is my take on it?
I liked it. It’s always going to be pleasant seeing characters you like and know well meet other characters you like and know well. I mean – it’s the nature of crossovers. Each character is given their moment in the spotlight, and the collective feel-good feeling carries the book.
At only 30 odd pages, this is going to appeal to fans of both series and newcomers alike. The writing is clear and concise, the editing is wonderful as ever (both ladies know how much I like well-edited books), honestly, you can’t do much wrong here by snapping up a copy.
And did I mention it is free? There's a link below to get your own copy.
This was over in a flash and left me smiling. Beverley, Nicole, it was lovely dipping back – however shortly – into your respective and collected worlds.
5 out of 5 ⭐ ‘s
You can get a free copy of Beguiled by night, by clicking this link:
You can visit Beverley's Website, HERE
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You can find Beverley on TikTok, HERE.
You can visit Nicole's Website, HERE
You can find Nicole on Facebook, HERE
You can find Nicole on Twitter, HERE
You can find Nicole on Instagram, HERE
You can find Nicole on TikTok, HERE