Friday, October 1, 2010
Review: Haunted Honeymoon by Marta Acosta
As the only human to survive vampire infection, Milagro de Los Santos has become quite a celebrity among the blood-drinking elite. Too bad the perks of her condition—increased strength, super-fast healing—don’t pay her condo fees. There are other complications too. She’s feeling guilty about her fling with enigmatic Vampire Council member Ian Ducharme, and pining for her ex-fiancé, Dr. Oswald Grant . . . the fabulous man whose kiss changed her life. It’s when Milagro — irked by Ian’s attentions to his neighbor — travels to London and enjoys a sexy flirtation of her own, that the blood really hits the fan.
Suddenly, those around her are dying gruesome deaths and Milagro’s being interrogated. Who would kill to set her up as a murder suspect? Milagro just wants to turn back the clock and have another chance to make things right, but no sooner has she escaped to Oswald’s ranch than an accident obliterates her memory. Will the murderer come after her now? And will amnesia spark a romantic do-over with Oswald—or will she make all the same mistakes before she ever gets to say "I do"?
What has always appealed to me about the Casa Dracula books is that Marta Acosta writes with such a unique voice, full of details and well-written characters. She is authentic and I imagine that reading her books is much like having a conversation with her, funny with a smattering of snark.
I am a character based reader and I like to invest myself emotionally in the story. Milagro and all her zany antics make that easy to do. She has insecurities and doubts. She loves to have a good time and party. She is also loyal, kind and sincere. Above all, she stays true to herself and isn't phony. With Milagro, what you see is what you get. Who wouldn't want to be friends with her? When you add in a love triangle...well, you get an irresistible and hilarious adventure!
Haunted Honeymoon has all that and more! Returning characters meet up with newbies, zombies rise up to make an appearance and Marta's use of amnesia is simply brilliant, giving the latter half of the book a true TV novella feel.
For me, the highlight of this story was the dialogue and scenes involving Ian and Milagro. My favorite scene takes place towards the end when the still amnesiac Milagro and Ian are sitting on a rock near Daisy's grave. Milagro shows a surprising amount of maturity when discussing rosemary and remembrance, and then the discussion shifts to relationships. That scene ends when Oswald shows up but before they part ways forever Milagro asks:
"Do you have a heart, Ian?" To which he replies, "Yes, damaged and anguished, but beating still."
I'll admit that I was a little teary at the end and I stayed awake until 1 AM to finish the book. Haunted Honeymoon could not have ended the series in any better way, Milagro definitely got the ending she deserved and I will miss all that call Casa Dracula home.
For more information about other books in the Casa Dracula series please visit Marta at her website or at Vampire Wire.
*This book was provided by the author and the wonderful folks at Gallery Books.
*Reviewed by Anna Dougherty for VampChix
Stop back in on Monday for a guest post from Marta!