Title: Prince of Midnight
Series: Dracula’s Bloodline #1
Author: Ana Calin
Release Date: December 18th, 2018
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*I received an ARC copy via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my review in any way.*
Let me tell you a secret – Dracula had a brother. This is true. They called him Radu the Handsome, but his beauty was deceiving, and it hid a deadly secret…
With high ambitions as a journalist, Juliet Jochs travels to the Carpathians to investigate a mysterious and unnaturally beautiful prince. She suspects that he’s a dangerous man, and that this mission may cost her life. But, as the prince’s masks begin to peel off, she fears she may lose her sanity.
Prince Radek’s dark powers suck Juliet into a whirl of hypnotic desire–no woman has ever resisted his lures. But something is different about her, special, and he’s growing dangerously addicted to her. She must keep her head above the water if she is to save herself, run away and not look back before he consumes her completely. But can she resist opening the last door to his most terrible secret?
We all know the story of Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula. The various adaptions from book to screen aside from the historical facts versus the legend – some of us readers and viewers cannot get enough of this character nor his offspring. Although, books do not mention any facts about his brother, Radu cel Frumos or Radu the Handsome.
The legend of Radu or rumor, if you will, is quite interesting to say the least. While Vlad received the craving of blood and curse of immortality, Radu is cursed with physical beauty until the cover of night where he must wear a mask to disclose his true facial form. If any mortal looks upon his true face, they are cursed with the black plague and die a slow, painful death.
Author Ana Calin builds upon the rarely spoken of brother of the Prince of Darkness and creates a character with his own immortal dark tale of romance and horror. Radu, or Radek Basarab is known as one of the most eligible millionaire bachelors in all of the world. With his background and business practices shrouded in mystery, journalist Juliet Jochs is aimed at solving it and practically sold to him by her company in order to discover then exploit her findings. However, Juliet quickly discovers she gets more than what she bargained for the moment she is transferred to Transylvania and takes up residence within the walls of Dracula’s castle.
The more time she spends at the castle, she notices disappearing hallways, strange noises, and the Prince acting very strange. Now, Juliet started off at being built up to be an independent woman with a mind of her own and sharp wit, but the more time she spends around the Prince, she notices time seems to slip away as well as her energy. Her relationship with him began flirtatious then transforms into something more addicting, and obsessively sexual pretty quickly. Very soon, they become overly attached to one another and the Prince’s dark secret is reveals, but something else is revealed.
He is like an Incubus, in a way, but he isn’t. He sucks out the life-force of the women he’s been with in order to sustain his immortality and beauty. Much like his brother only without the blood and he has to wear a mask at night. His attraction to Juliet is something he is not used too. Not because she is the only woman who has made him feel anything remote to “love”, but Juliet somehow has the ability to make him whole and reduces the impact of his dark power.
The story moves rather quickly with these two, a little too quickly for my personal taste. The legend of Radu is intriguing and I wanted to learn more about it before the romance kicked in. It was as if the legend was put on the back burner most of the time and the romance over-powered it. These two did not have enough conversations or even spent much time together before getting physical and falling for one another. Some readers may like that in their paranormal romance novels, but I like the gradual build up approach. And when it came to the turning point of the novel where the antagonists began to came out of the woodwork, it was close to the end of the novel.
Do I want to see what will happen between Juliet and Radek? Yes, but I’d like for the sequel to cut back on the rush of romance and give me more exposition between the characters and more action.
If you are a fan of Dracula, try his brother for a night!