Rumor has it there’s a beautiful beast stalking the English countryside.
For hundreds of years, the Van Helsing family has searched for the creature Dracula, a demon of the night that stalks the shadows for hapless prey. Freshly returned from service in the Great War, Van Helsing heir Jonathan Edgewood finds himself in the English countryside on a hunch that the creature has taken a new form: the Lady of Harker Heights, Bianca Ivyshade.
Each year on All Hollow’s Eve, Bianca hosts an extravagant ball, and Jonathan has landed an invitation. He brings with him two other vampire hunters and his Great War compatriots: shy scientist Marcus Ryder and charming occultist Edward Shelley.
When a storm confines the guests to the manor for the night, Jonathan, Marcus, and Edward find themselves irresistibly drawn to the beautiful Bianca. And they soon learn that there are secrets hidden at Harker Heights—and perhaps even a greater evil than the vampiress herself.
Will the men escape with their lives? Or will they fall under the vampire’s thrall?
To begin with, the blurb is a little inaccurate about the setup of the plot of the book. While not devastatingly important, it is annoying. So, I figured I’d mention it.
More importantly, this is mostly smut, with just enough plot to string it all together in some sort of context. That’s not a criticism; just making sure we’re on the same page about what sort of book this is. It’s pretty good for what it is, too. The villain (and thus the challenge that gave the book what little plot it has) is pretty cliched; nothing new, original, or interesting there. The same could be said for Bianca. She challenges none of the norms for female characters of her ilk. But I liked her well enough.
I found Jon, Marcus, and Edward interesting. Perhaps not particularly well-developed since the book isn’t deep enough to allow for it. But I enjoyed them all the same. There is sword-crossing and a genuine pre-existing relationship between two of the men, and I liked that. However, by the end of the book, the relationship configuration felt like two couples who overlap rather than one polycule, which is perhaps a little disappointing. But, again, enjoyable enough.
I have book two of this series, which I intend to read. And honestly, the fact that I’m willing to continue the series says more about the book than any of the above.