England’s “vampire craze” causes much vexation for the Lord Vampire of London, Ian Ashton. To save his reputation, Ian enlists aspiring authoress Angelica Winthrop without realizing she has hidden plans of her own.
Angelica Winthrop’s life goal is to ruin her reputation, avoid marriage, and become a gothic authoress like her idol, Mary Shelley. To find inspiration for her new story, she breaks into the home of Ian Ashton, Duke of Burnrath, not knowing she will be coming up against the Lord Vampire of London. Romance sparks and reputations are at stake. But who knows the real difference between fact and fiction?
Anglica Winthrop is a good person. She cares about others, cares about women’s rights and loves her family. Unfortunately for her, her mother is a marriage minded mama and she doesn’t like the fact that Angelica wants to read and learn and write gothic novels, she wants Angelica to make a titled match. Now I’m sure that Angelica’s mother loves her but she has her own reasons for wanting her daughter making an advantageous marriage: she is the daughter of an Earl who will finally reconcile with her and give her money if Angelica makes a good marriage. That kind of got me thinking that the mom had complete mixed feelings about whether Angelica was happy or not and I’m sure influenced Angelica as well.
Angelica just wants to write and she’s thinking she needs to run away and live on her story profits but that doesn’t exactly work out the way she wants. She is fascinated by the Duke’s home that is huge, nearby and reputed to be haunted. She dresses like a boy and heads over to his home to get inspiration for a ghost story. She finds no ghosts but she does wake a very hungry Duke and gets bitten because he’s a vampire. You’d think that Angelica would be more freaked out but the tales going around about the Duke seem to be true and she kind of likes the idea. Because of her foray into the Duke’s home and things that happen after that Angelica is compromised.
The Duke is a very old vampire who has no plans on marrying. It’s said that the Dukes of Burnrath marry foreigners and live out of England until their “heir” comes to claim their inheritance. The heir is actually the same vampire but no one seems to catch on. The Duke, Ian, actually likes Angelica and when he proposes it’s to help her reputation but also to help the rumors of him being a vampire die down. Angelica doesn’t take to the engagement though and goes about trying everything she can to try and get it broken, which doesn’t work.
After they’re married the pair become closer but outside forces as well as the fact that Ian doesn’t age will play big roles in their future.
I liked this story and the premise but I felt that there was too much going on and that caused some of the story lines to not be completely fleshed out as well as they could have been. For instance the fact that Angelica is going to run away to escape marriage. Yes, it’s stated and the girl does go about trying to get Ian to break the engagement but really there’s not a whole lot of page time devoted to this issue and it’s a big one for Angelica. When she decides that she is going to marry him it didn’t seem like that big of an announcement to us or to the Duke.
Ian is searching for a man named John Palidori who wrote a story that eventually made people look at Ian and say, “Vampire!” Ian wants his London vamps to get this man but one of his vamps is in love with John and ends up harboring him with the thought that Ian will kill John if he finds him. The time spent on John and Rosetta’s (the vamp) story took away from the romance issue, imho. I know that Palidori needed to be included in some way because he wrote the story that started the vamp rumors but other than a mention I didn’t think that portion of the story was needed. There was also a vampire hunter that was given quite a bit of page time with his history and him becoming a hunter, etc. but in the end it was all anti-climactic for me. Again, and this is just my opinion, I thought that more time should have been spent on Ian and Angelica rather than take focus away and put it on these other secondary characters.
Now it might sound like I didn’t care for the book but I did. The story that we were given was a good one and quite entertaining. Ian and Angelica made a great couple, if not very communicative, and I loved seeing them work their way to their HEA. There were some characters in the story that are obviously going to be heroes of other books in this story and while I didn’t care for the sequel baiting I am interested to see what happens with those men.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place