I like Dixie. She’s strong, assertive, and doesn’t take flak from anyone. She heads to England to claim the home that her estranged aunts left to her when they passed. From the start, the attorney handling the turning over of the estate, a Mr. Sebastian Caughleigh, does everything he can to convince her to pack up, sell the lovely house, and go home to the US of A. When he’s not trying to drive her off, he’s trying to get in her pants. Dixie, of course, will have none of that.
Instead, she finds the dark and mysterious Christopher Marlowe to be more to her liking. Unlike the impression you get from the back cover, he doesn’t reveal his nature right away. She thinks he’s just an eccentric who has his eye on some books in her aunts’ library. In fact, the only reason Dixie finds out that he’s a vampire—and I don’t consider this spoilerish because it happens in the first third of the book and the whole “woo, he’s a vampire!” thing is spelled out on the back cover—is because someone (several someones) attempted to murder him and left him tied up to the large, phallic statues set at the four corners of the walled-in garden in Dixie’s backyard. Naked. Which would have been hot if he wasn’t frying in the sunlight when she found him. Oh well. C’est la vie.
I think this book is worth reading if only for that garden. God help me, but I can’t stop laughing every time I picture Dixie realizing what those huge ding-dongs poking out of the soil actually represent. Sadly, she doesn’t spend much time there—but I digress.
The story itself is very good. Murderous fiend and his fellow witches (did I mention the witches?) attempt to do in blood-sucking creature of the night and his girlfriend. Said murderous fiend wants to get his hands on some material left behind by Dixie’s aunts, and will do anything to get it. Meanwhile, Dixie and Christopher get their groove on.
My only complaint is that there are parts of the book that are just a little too jarring, disjointed, or confusing. Most of Ms. Laurey’s descriptions and dialogue are fantastic—there are just a few places where I scratched my head, had to stop, go back, reread, or places where I was like, “Oh, please, Dixie, you are NOT that dumb.” “Christopher, MAN THE F UP AND STAY WITH YOUR WOMAN.” “If you two would TALK you would not be having these PROBLEMS, mm’kay?!” Alas, you can yell at the book all you like, but it never quite seems to change what’s on the pages.
Fans of dry humor should appreciate this more than fans of slapstick or hot and heavy romance. It’s got a very British “flavor” to the writing style—I can’t say as I’ve read any authors to compare this book to, because I haven’t read anything quite like it before. It’s a mix of light romance and murder mystery with a bit of paranormal mixed in.
Overall? An entertaining story. I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in this series that I purchased.
3.5 / 5 stars