Book Review and Giveaway: Snow White and the Vampire by Marina Myles

On December 20, 2013, Posted by , In Book Review,Giveaway, With No Comments

snow white and the vampireReview

I went into this thinking it would a fun little bit of paranormal romance, and it was.  With a title like Snow White and the Vampire, I was kind of expecting that it would be the type of story that sort of laughs at itself.  Wasn’t quite that, though.

I enjoyed the characters.  They were very likable.  Good depth, but it was pretty easy to forget the time period you were dealing with.  It felt to me like the author had taken a bunch of modern people and dumped them into 1888.  Repeatedly in my notes, I had comments about how forward thinking someone was, even going so far as commenting by how many years.  Sometimes only about thirty, other times at least sixty years ahead of its time.

For the most part, I was bothered by the author’s bastardization of historical events.  Now, I have no problem with alternate histories.  In fact, I rather enjoy them, but I didn’t get the feeling like she was trying to write an alternate history here but rather just historical fiction.  Problem is the main character is set to be the first female barrister some thirty years before a law in England was passed allowing women the right to pursue careers as barristers in 1919.  You have a Romani gypsy from Eastern Europe knowing Latin, which I can’t understand at all since that region would have most likely been Greek Orthodox, and wouldn’t know Latin at all.  Or a gypsy doing something that he knows will cause him to be shunned by his family when their entire culture revolves around isolationism and they cherish family above all else.

On a similar note, I love when authors take some sort of historical mystery and solve it in their story.  And she did that with Jack the Ripper.  She gave it her own take, and I just loved it.  Lot of suspense, mystery.  Holding your breath as the main character is being chased through the streets by a psycho.  Brilliant!

The last thing that bothered me in the story was how much stuff the author seemed to throw at her.  And, for most of the book, none of it seemed related.  I still say the book could have done without the cursed Egyptian necklace.  Or maybe changed its origin.  The Egyptian origin is so far out of left field, it just kept bugging me.  And honestly, a vampire, evil stepmother, Egyptian curse, and Jack the Ripper?  Really?

This book is a good book, despite some of my nitpicks.  I enjoyed it, even if there were definitely parts that bugged me.  I think that someone who’s just looking for a fun read will love it.  The average reader is going to love it.  If you’re picky about historical accuracy, you might not love it as much.

Blurb

Fog and Fascination

Alba Spencer thought her past in Romania and the dark magic that haunted it was behind her forever. She is one of the first female barristers now, safe in London. But London has its dark side, too. A man called the Ripper stalks the midnight streets. There are rumors that her hated stepmother has found her again, suggestions that the nightmares of her childhood are returning. And with them appears the cursed Gypsy boy she once loved, grown into a man more seductive and more terrifying than she ever could have dreamed…

Dimitri Grigorescu has become a surgeon, a gentleman—and a vampire. The lusts that drive his body are scarcely under control, and even he does not truly know what he is capable of. To fight evil and confusion, Alba must rely only on her wits—and a desire that overwhelms her doubts…

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Excerpt

“I’m very grateful for Teddy’s friendship—and for the opportunity to be introduced to the people he’s acquainted with.” The surgeon lowered his tone. “People like you, Miss Spencer.”

His words encouraged the spattering of nervous blotches across Alba’s chest. “You’re too kind,” she murmured. “So you find this city a pleasant enough place to live?”

“Pleasant but for the brutal murderer who lurks in the Whitechapel District.”

“Are you referring to the killer the newspapers are calling ‘Leather Apron’?” she asked.

He evaluated her with interest yet said nothing.

“I understand this monster killed two unfortunates by ripping their abdomens wide open,” she went on, making no attempt to sugarcoat her words since she was speaking with a surgeon.

“Where did you hear that, Miss Spencer?”

“It said so in the penny dreadfuls. Oh, not that I read them frequently…”

Drake raised an eyebrow.

What am I saying? She didn’t normally babble on so, but this man had lit a fire beneath her, though she couldn’t say why.

To her great relief, the doctor didn’t seem to notice her jittering nerves. “Nasty business, preying on those unknowing women,” said. “I can’t imagine a man treating any female that way. After all, women are beautiful creatures to be coddled. Admired. Cherished.”

“That’s a lovely thought.” Alba repressed a girlish sigh. “It’s a shame the killer does not share your school of thought.”

Drake wrapped his hands around his back. “I daresay the police believe this murderer will strike again.”

“I fear that is why fewer people came to your party this evening than Teddy anticipated. The city is gripped with fear.” She paused to take a sip of champagne. “Perhaps we should talk about something more uplifting than murder.”

“Yes.” The surgeon took her glass and deposited it on a servant’s tray. With his hand pressed to the small of her back, he guided her to a quiet corner of the drawing room. As she turned to face him, she could smell hot liquor fumes and the scent of expensive aftershave. Surprisingly, she found that she liked the mixture of aromas.

“Teddy tells me you hail from Romania as well, Miss Spencer. What are the

chances of that?”

“Slim, I daresay.”

“You’ve lost a great deal of your accent, but if I had to guess, you are from Bucharest.”

“I am.” How did he know?

His features darkened. “It appears we were destined to meet. And since we have, I’d be fascinated to know more about you.”

Although Alba was taken aback by his boldness, nerves propelled her to continue their conversation in a blabbering rush. “I came to London when I was fourteen—to live with a family friend who runs the dormitory apartments of the Royal Opera’s corps de ballet. Just this year, I graduated from law school. That’s where Teddy and I met—at King’s College. Recently, I’ve been assisting Teddy’s father, Harold Rollingsworth, in the hopes that—”

“—you will become London’s first female barrister.” Drake completed her thought. Tilting his head to the side, he gazed at her with admiration. “Lovely, intelligent, and a pioneer. You are a rare gem, Miss Spencer.”

The Romanian’s hungry stare closed the small distance between them. Alba’s cheeks burned. We hardly know one another!

Desperate to steer the conversation away from herself, she cleared her

throat. “I have yet to wish you a happy birthday, Dr. Griffin.”

“Thank you.” The guest of honor did a cordial bow. “But ‘Griffin’ is merely my professional name.”

Alba frowned. “What is your real name?”

“Dimitri Grigorescu.”

Alba’s limbs froze and the room started to take on a slow whirl. “That’s curious,” she murmured. “I knew someone by that name in Romania.”

“And I once knew a girl named Alba Zǎpǎda,” Dimitri said as a curtain of desire passed over his face. “You.

His lips thinned into a familiar smile and Alba’s hand flew to her gaping mouth. Curse my poor eyesight! Now that she was this close to him she knew precisely who he was: Dimitri, the handsome Gypsy boy she’d fallen in love with at the tender age of fourteen.

Words escaped her while she gasped for air.

“Life is too short to be without the ones you love,” Dimitri purred. “Don’t you think?”

All at once, memories of the summer Alba spent in the Balkan countryside flashed through her mind:

The first kiss she and Dimitri shared amid a field of white poppies.

Simona, Dimitri’s raven-haired friend.

And the terrifying night the three of them spent in a haunted graveyard.

Her blood raced and the room spun in faster circles.

“I’ve been waiting an eternity to return this to you,” Dimiti whispered as he slipped a dried white poppy into her hand.

“But I thought you were dead,” she said before everything went black.

 

About the Authormarina myles

Although Marina Myles lives under the sunny skies of Arizona, she would reside in a historic manor house in foggy England if she had her way. Her love of books began as soon as she read her first fairy tale and eventually led to degrees in English Literature and Communications. Now, with her loyal Maltese close by, she relishes the hours she gets to escape into worlds filled with fiery—but not easily attained—love affairs.

She’s busy being a wife and a mother, but she is never too busy to hear from her amazing readers.

 

Visit her at www.marinamyles.com

http://www.marinamyles.blogspot.com/

www.facebook.com/marinamylesauthor

www.twitter.com/#!/marinaauthor

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7104310.Marina_Myles

 

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