A husband, a family, a comfortable life: Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it all. With a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her entire wardrobe, Theodora leaves Edinburgh—and a disappointed suitor—far behind. She is bound for Rumania, where tales of vampires are still whispered, to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true independence.

She arrives at a magnificent, decaying castle in the Carpathians, replete with eccentric inhabitants: the ailing dowager; the troubled steward; her own fearful friend, Cosmina. But all are outstripped in dark glamour by the castle’s master, Count Andrei Dragulescu.

Bewildering and bewitching in equal measure, the brooding nobleman ignites Theodora’s imagination and awakens passions in her that she can neither deny nor conceal. His allure is superlative, his dominion over the superstitious town, absolute—Theodora may simply be one more person under his sway.

Before her sojourn is ended—or her novel completed—Theodora will have encountered things as strange and terrible as they are seductive. For obsession can prove fatal…and she is in danger of falling prey to more than desire.

My Rating:*****

My Review:

I enjoyed this book. To me it was like Bram Stoker meets Victoria Holt and Jane Austin. It’s a well written book with good smooth character dialogue, great gothic atmosphere and an eerie castle.

Theodora LeStrange is a would be novelist. When her grandfather dies, she takes control of the reigns of her life. Excepting her school friend Cosmina’s invitation to come stay with her before her marriage at Castle Dragulescu in far away Transylvania. Believing this will be the perfect inspiration to write a novel, she arrives to find a distressed friend, an attractive brooding count and a proud aristocratic family. I enjoyed this book with it’s mysterious murders, superstitious villagers and a smooth Victorian gothic romance.