Well, Dracula’s Secret is going to mess with your mind a bit in the beginning! Throw away what you ever thought about Dracula and rewrite him as a female. Yep, thats right, Vladimir Dracula is a girl! He/she still becomes a vampire however, so we are not totally shunning tradition 😀
Way back, when Dracula was born, her dad (gawd that feels so wrong) was looking for an heir to help carry on the family name. After numerous pregnancies and one lonely boy, Vlad Dracul and Cneajna are hoping above all else that after this delivery, they will finally have the second baby boy that they have been waiting for. Alas, after all the hard work of labour, it is not to be, and they have been given yet another girl. Cneajna knows what must come next, and asks Vlad if she can hold the baby before he does what he must. They have no need of girls. Luckily the babe does something to charm her father, and he decides he cannot dispose of this one, and so comes to an agreement with his wife that the baby is to be raised as a boy, and that none other than they shall know he is anything but. And so Vladimir Dracula is born.
We come into Dracula’s life a lot later on, where she has decided that she has had enough of being the evil man she had become, and she is now on the path of redemption, trying to right some of the wrongs she caused throughout her long life. Having now become Valerie Tate she has one final act to perform, before she can forget her past life, and move forward with her new one. She has to kill her brother. There is only one thing getting in her way.
Lance Soliel, former Army chaplain now runs a homeless shelter. In a world where humans, vampires, weres and all other manner of creatures live, opening his doors to ALL was bound to create some friction, but Lance couldn’t have known how much. He attracts the attention of vampire Radu Tepes, a high profile leader of a civil rights group, who is currently making a move on the White House, and who also happens to be Valerie’s brother and therefore target. Valerie and Lance are drawn to each other and rather than fight it Valerie encourages the closeness, becoming his Bodyguard and thus positioning herself perfectly for her chance at taking down Radu. Little does she know that Lance is going to do what he can to stop her fulfilling her goal.
There are also a couple of other prominent characters who make the story even more fascinating. Lance’s school friend John Jante, who turns out to be more than he appears, and Glenath Tempesta, Bishop, fighting for the rights of the other species of the world.
The backstory is a bit strange but easy enough to go along with. Having worked with Hitler in world war II Dracula becomes rather un-enamoured with her lot and so decides it’s time for a change. She decides to wipe out the vampires that helped Hitler and herself during the war, gaining her salvation, so that she can go on and live a happy life as a women. She manages to do, all bar the last one on her list. I have to admit I find this all a bit odd. Ok, I can accept the whole Dracula is a girl thing, but why after years of being evil and killing multitudes of people, would you suddenly have a change of heart and want to commit genocide, just because Hitler ignored your advice and went his own way. One thing that I did roll my eyes at (ok two…he has a moustache?? how??) was the fact that she could have an orgasm (after spending the majority of her life as a man, with a wife whom s/he very much loved) just by looking at Lance from a rooftop (lucky girl I guess!). So the story goes she wants to kill her brother, Lance doesn’t want her to, and so it goes on. Radu trying to wipe out Lance, Valerie trying to take out Radu, and Lance stuck in the middle trying not to get killed, and trying to keep Valerie from killing Radu.
I found myself rooting for Valerie throughout Dracula’s Secret despite her prior transgressions as Dracula, and also for Lance. He seems like an alright kind of guy, that I would most definitely want on my team. I love their chemistry even if sometimes it can be a little over the top for my taste.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dracula’s Secret, even if some of the sexy bits were a little odd. Valerie and Lance are looking at each other at a distance: “The heat stroked and clung to her, ratcheting her arousal higher. Only fierce willpower kept her from an orgasm.” I am looking forward to picking up the next book in the series which is due out in September, to find out what happens next with Lance and Valerie, and to see if John’s story thickens out.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Dracula’s Secret
- Dracula’s Desires (Sept 2012)
- Dracula Unleashed (March 2013)
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