Romancing the Weekends: Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann
PJV Quickie: Bite Me, Your Grace was a sweet vampire romance with elements of actual history written in. There were some humorous elements that I enjoyed, but I wish there had been more world-building. All in all, a cute start to this new historical vampire series.
Author: Brooklyn Ann
Type: Paranormal Romance
Published: April 2, 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Angelica Winthrop’s dream is to be a writer like Mary Shelley; she wants to write horror stories and have them published. Her mother wants her to marry well and have all the privileges afforded to members of the haut ton. Angelica does NOT want to be married – she’s sure she’ll be married off to a man who’s going to spend her dowry on mistresses while she is miserable at home. What she’d really like, instead of going to parties, is to get a peek into the suitably creepy Burnrath House, home of the somewhat mysterious Duke of Burnrath, to get ideas for her stories.
Ian Ashton, Duke of Burnrath, has a rather peculiar reputation – he’s never seen during the daytime due to a ‘skin condition’. Ever since Dr. John Polidori published “The Vampyre”, all of London is obsessed with vampires and they suspect Ian. Of course, they cannot offend a Duke, but they can try to trip him up a bit 🙂 . What they don’t know is that Ian is actually the Lord Vampire of London – a secret that must be kept at all costs.
Is it possible to describe a story as “cute” and “dark” at the same time? Because that’s my initial response to Bite Me, Your Grace. This was an interesting mix of fact and fiction. Polidori was a real person and according to Wikipedia, he actually did write one of the first vampire books in English and was Lord Byron’s physician. He also apparently did meet and socialize with Mary Shelley. I like when a book causes me to look things up, and the history of the gothic vampire novel is quite interesting.
I really liked Angelica: her attempts to ruin herself at parties was funny – she really, really didn’t want to be married. I also liked her determination to write and the steps she took to make her dream a reality.
I hate to say it, but Ian was just an okay hero for me: Maybe it was because he had obligations as the Lord Vampire, but I was frustrated with the way he treated Angelica. Besides leaving her to run off to chase Polidori, his lack of action after her misunderstanding about his plans were disappointing. I wanted him to fight for her, and when he did it was too little, too late for this reader.
Angelica and Ian’s romance was unexpected (by them) and sweet. The misunderstanding between them was frustrating and I found some of Angelica’s actions contrary to her feelings expressed in the beginning of the story: The writers? Yes. The parties? No.
I do wish Ms. Ann had written more about the vampire world – things like how they get their powers, restrictions (it appears only sunlight?), the hierarchy of the vampire world, etc. The information we got was fed to us in bits and pieces, so it was nice not to have an “info dump” but I did wonder more about the vampire society.
Ultimately, Angelica’s humorous actions and the historical tidbits were enough to keep me interested in this story. There were some secondary characters that I found interesting, and some I did not (*cough* Rosetta *cough*) and I liked the dark feel to the story. I’m hoping the next book will feature Rafe, a vampire who is Ian’s second.
Fans of paranormal historicals, especially if you like your heroine to be a “bluestocking” .
Other books you might like, similar to ‘Bite Me, Your Grace’:
The Rest Falls Away (The Gardella series) by Colleen Gleason