When Rafael Villar, Lord Vampire of London, stumbles upon a woman in the cemetery, he believes he’s found a vampire hunter—not the beautiful, intelligent stranger she proves to be.
Cassandra Burton is enthralled by the scarred, disfigured vampire who took her prisoner. The aspiring physician was robbing graves to pursue her studies—and he might turn out to be her greatest subject yet. So they form a bargain: one kiss for every experiment. As their passion grows and Rafe begins to heal, only one question remains: can Cassandra see the man beyond the monster?
Publisher and Release Date: Sourcebooks Casablanca, April 2015
Time and Setting: 1823, London
Genre: Paranormal historical romance
Heat Level: 2.5
Reviewer Rating: 5 stars
Review by Maria Almaguer
Regency vampire romance! Who knew? Beginning with her fun debut, Bite Me, Your Grace, Brooklyn Ann has created a sexy and original series; it’s thrilling, romantic, and very under appreciated.
But what makes this series (and particularly this story, the third book in the Scandals with Bite series) stand out is the eloquent writing and excellent pacing. Ms Ann writes with a strong and engaging style that pulls you in from page one and doesn’t let go.
The hero and heroine, Cassandra and Rafael, are strong and passionate characters with complex personalities and insecurities. But their exciting love story grows gradually, sensually, and beautifully.
Throughout the story, there is a vampire revolution afoot to thwart Rafael’s power as well as some fascinating medical history including the appearance of a real life historical figure, Thomas Wakley, founder of the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet.
Lady Cassandra Burton is a widow and a countess whose one and only marriage was a great disappointment best forgotten. Science and medicine and facts are her life’s passion but, as a woman, she cannot pursue her knowledge and experience publicly in Regency England. But she determinedly studies the human body and educates herself.
When Rafael Villar, Lord Vampire of London, comes upon Cassandra in a cemetery digging up a body for use in her studies, he reluctantly takes her prisoner. They have met in social circles previously and there is a mutual and simmering attraction. Rafael must either change Cassandra or kill her and neither is an attractive option to him. So he appeals to the lordly and powerful vampire Elders and, while awaiting their decision, he takes Cassandra into his home, thus thoroughly ruining her reputation.
But Cassandra is used to being the odd one out ever since her lonely childhood and doesn’t mind the social snub of being thought of as Rafael’s mistress. Instead, she throws herself into her work, which is her life. Until Rafael entices her with something just as meaningful.
Don Rafael Villar is a feisty and prickly personality and he has been a cranky secondary character in the last two books, so I was excited to read about his happy ending and how the author would make him into a likable hero.
The love scenes are highly erotic but also breathlessly romantic and loving. Rafael and Cassandra come to love each other by giving; he encourages her to study with Thomas Wakley privately in his home and she heals his long-deformed and limp arm. Their love is born out of gratefulness as much as attraction and it turns into a fierce devotion that is lovely to read.
Every single one of the love stories in this unique and colorful series is strong and passionately romantic; they don’t have to be read in order. Even if you don’t like vampires or vampire stories you will enjoy this book if you appreciate a good love story.