Midnight Brunch at Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 2)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (1st July 2008)
Unpublished fiction writer Milagro De Los Santos lives with her boyfriend and his wealthy, vampiric family, but it goes downhill when Oswald’s parents come to stay. They’re the kind of rich bitches who look down on the ‘lower lands’, and on Mil, a woman with a small bank account and massive mammaries. It’s no surprise that on a wine tour with these dreadful people, instead of catching up with them Milagro hangs out with drunken Australians. (In fact and in fiction: where there’s booze, there’s Aussies. And to add to the Antipodal flavour, her conversations with her pal Nancy strongly recall the banter of Prue and Trude from Oz comedy Kath & Kim.)
Mil is sparky, with a sense of adventure, humour and – most importantly – an affable personality. But she can only take so much, and snaps up the opportunity to rewrite a screenplay at a swanky resort. But having previously been infected with and overcome a disorder some would call vampirism, Mil’s not healing so well this time around. Instead, whenever she touches someone (minus former spunky actor Thomas Cook), she has bloody, gory visions…which turn her on, no matter how much she wishes they didn’t. And though she’s separated from those who could help her the most, she’s now targeted to assist in creating a new vampiric order.
More chick lit than urban fantasy, the Casa Dracula series is more than just another vampire tale. Firstly, these vampires aren’t emo whingers yearning for lost loves. And while the pacing is slow, Milagro has plenty of social commentary, with a smart but not toffy intelligence.
Unless they’re journalists, I usually frown upon reading writers as heroines, but in this case Mil’s stories actually sound more interesting than the ones in which she features: brave young women who encounter diabolical creatures: genetic crop engineers, fascists and a poltergeist. I’d totally read those!
Keep an eye out for the most original, unique incubus you’re likely to come across in fiction, and settle in for this nice, escapist ride.