Genre: Historical/Paranormal Romance/Fairy tales retold
Date of Publication: December 19, 2013
Number of pages: 244
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…
Snow White meets Dracula meets Jack the Ripper
This book was pretty different. I think it was fabulous actually. I finished it faster than I thought I would, so I don’t know if that is because it wasn’t that long, or I just got that caught up in the story that I didn’t notice. I started it in the morning and I was finished before dinner. I didn’t get anything done around my house, but that’s ok, I like to read more than I like to clean!
This book follows Alba Spencer, her relationships with her fiancée, Teddy, and a former love, Dimitri, who has unexpectedly appeared in London within the same social circles as Alba. It also follows the story of Jack the Ripper, who is terrorizing London at the same time. This story is set in the late 1800’s. I love History, especially British History, so I enjoyed that aspect of the world building. Miles did a good job of making her scenes easy to see and understand. She made it possible to feel the scenes as well as see them as though you were watching a movie or really experiencing the scenes instead of reading a book.
There are obviously aspects of this book that go along with the Snow White fairy tale, as the title suggests. Instead of the 7 dwarves, Alba lives in a house full of redhead girls that were friends of her family. Her mother died when she was a baby, and her stepmother, is the stereotypical “evil stepmother” and Hell-bent on being the most beautiful woman around. She had the whole magic mirror thing going on as well. She is determined to kill Alba (whose name means Snow White in Romanian, her parents thought they were being clever) just as she killed Alba’s father. So you can imaging Alba’s concern when she discovers her Stepmother has arrived in London and is searching for her.
There are some parallels with the story of Dracula as well, but with some twists. Instead of the lead female being interested in medicine, she wants to be a lawyer. Her fiancée is also a lawyer instead of a journalist, as he is in Dracula. There is a very rich man that shows up in town (Dimitri) and sweeps the female lead, Alba, off her feet. Even as she resists, she has a hard time convincing herself that she should stay with Teddy, her fiancé. Dimitri is a doctor. There is also the whole vampire turning into bats and mist thing that doesn’t happen as often in modern vampire stories.
While all of this is going on, Jack the Ripper is terrorizing London. There isn’t a lot of detail and spotlight put on this, as it is just a side story that runs along with the story to give it a little bit more depth and the Jack the Ripper events play an important role later on in the book.
There are some pretty steamy romantic scenes as well. That girl must be ready to get it on! I did have to laugh a few times because some of the phrases that Miles used to describe the girly bits were pretty corny and funny in my opinion. “damp petals” and “the bead hidden in her petals” is not a phrase I think I have ever heard. I really can’t fault the author for this though. There really are only so many ways you can describe sexual organs and activities before it gets repetitive or corny. So she did what she had to do but it still made me crack up. She used the term “petal” to describe vagina 4 times, and used it once to describe Alba’s “petal soft cheek”, which once again cracked me up because at that point I automatically saw “vagina soft cheek” instead. If you are going to refer to a sex organ or sex act in a new way, please make sure you don’t use the same term to refer to someone’s face in the same chapter!
While Snow White and the Vampire obviously share many similarities with Snow White and Dracula, it does have its own plot twists and turns, and its own ideas. Despite its intentional similarities, it also has plenty of fresh and new ideas to balance it out. It’s not the same stories and the characters have different personalities in this book than in the originals. The climax is very good but that’s all I’m going to say about it because I don’t want to ruin it.
The cover is a little bit cheesy to me, but it doesn’t affect what is on the inside of the book, so I can happily let that go. After I laugh at it for a minute because it’s just that funny to me. But he’s wearing a cape! With pants! And NO shirt! He just looks soooo serious, but it’s hard to take him seriously when he didn’t take the time to put on a shirt, but he made sure to put on his cape! Sorry. I’m ok now. I just had to get that out of my system. It’s definitely not the worst cover I’ve ever seen. Or even the worst I’ve seen this week. 🙂
My only other real complaint was that I didn’t feel like the Egyptian curse they were trying to prevent from happening really didn’t seem to add much of anything to the story, I don’t think it would have been a negative thing to have left it out of the book entirely.
I would gladly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal romance with historical elements. There is plenty of conflict and angst to go along with the romance so it doesn’t sit there as just a romance book that happens to have a vampire in it. You should read it and see for yourself. When you are done, be sure to stop by and say hi and tell me what you thought of it! And remember, anytime you leave a review for an author on Goodreads or Amazon, an angel gets its wings! Oh wait, wrong movie. Um, ok, maybe no angel wings, but you can make an author’s day letting them know you enjoyed their book.
SNOW WHITE AND THE VAMPIRE
“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?”
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,” Dimitri whispered as he slipped a dried white poppy into her hand.
“But I thought you were dead,” she said before everything went black.
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About the Author:
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.
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