My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In a world where humans and paranormal creatures share an uneasy coexistence, Valerie Tate has a secret. Not only is she one of the last surviving vampires, she is also the Dracula of legend, having lived her life in disguise and eventually reverting to her natural, female form after going into exile during World War II.
On the eve of a historic paranormal summit in Portland, Valerie has come to the city with one sole goal: to kill her brother, vampire Radu Tepes. Radu is about to announce his candidacy for the office of President, but he has secret, sinister motives for his desire to become the first vampire president of the United States.
At the same time former Army chaplain Lance Soliel has opened the doors of his struggling homeless shelter to both humans and paranormals, a controversial move that attracts the scrutiny of the media and the ire of Radu. Targeted for death, Lance is rescued by Valerie. Despite their smoldering attraction Valerie does not want to be distracted from her goal, but when she realizes Lance can lead her to Radu she becomes his bodyguard. But not all is as it seems, for Lance is no ordinary human. He is actually a Fallen Angel with paranormal abilities of his own, abilities that he will have to rediscover in time to save both his life and Valerie's.
So when I read the synopsis of this book, I was like, “this sounds cool”. I mean, it is an interesting premise: Dracula actually being a woman in drag. Who wouldn’t think that this would be an interesting twist on the Dracula/vampire myth? And it was to a point.
Primarily, I found this to be a story of redemption and how opposites attract (though, they weren’t too much in the form of opposites). Bot Valerie (aka Vlad) and Lance were seeking redemption and freedom from their pasts. Both were believable characters, and I liked the fact that you wanted to cheer both on as they reached (sometimes in a pointless way) to succeed in redeeming themselves.
I enjoyed the flashbacks for both characters (going all the way back to Vlad/Valerie’s young adult days). I really enjoyed Valerie’s flashbacks, as you got to understand how she became the woman she was in modern times compared to the man she was in her past. It was also nice to see a different twist on history, like WWII, and such.
The only thing was that I had a few problems with the book.
1. The flipping of the character POVs. Sometimes it took a few pages in a chapter to figure out what POV you were reading. Maybe if they had been labeled, it would have made it easier?
2. Glossary. I wish there had been one, as it would have made it easier to keep track of all the supernaturals that were introduced to in the book. Some were described differently than I would have expected, so it would have been nice to have a reference point.
3. Biggest issue: How did NO ONE NOT know that Dracula was really a woman? I mean, boobs plus a lack of a penis = woman, right? Then again, there were a few mentions of Dracula and having sex with his wife…. Maybe a strap-on? IDK… Does make you wonder.
Overall, it was an okay read. Not too bad, though it can get a bit dark, so I can recommend it for a beach day read.