Happy Hour At Casa Dracula
Published 2006 314 pages
Latina Ivy League graduate Milagro de Los Santos can't find her place in the world or a man to go with it. All the men she meets are like beach reads - fun, but superficial - and she worries that she is only a beach read, too.
Then one night, at a book party for her pretentious ex-boyfriend, she meets an oddly attractive man. After she is bitten while kissing him, she falls ill and is squirreled away to his family's estate to recover. Vampires don't exist in this day and age, or do they?
As Milagro falls in love with a fabulously inappropriate man, she finds herself caught between a family who has accepted her as one of their own and a shady organization that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.
Vampires, margaritas, mayhem - what's a girl to do when she's hidden away at the home of snobby vampires and her ex-boyfriend wants to drive a stake through her heart?
Happy Hour At Casa Dracula is Marta Acosta’s debut novel. Pitched at the cross-roads of the popular chick-lit and vampire romance genres, the first thing that the author has done is throw away all of the old established vampire clichés.
Milagro’s new family don’t refer to themselves as vampires, they insist that they have a genetic condition that has been misunderstood by ignorant and superstitious people throughout the ages. They claim that their craving of blood comes from a protein imbalance and apart from an ability to quickly heal small wounds and a slightly improved life expectancy that they are just like everyone else.
The vampires in Happy Hour At Casa Dracula have no supernatural abilities which may prove a disappointment to some fantasy or paranormal romance fans who prefer their characters to be more ‘para’ and less ’normal’.
However, it is the characters in Happy Hour at Casa Dracula that give the book its strength. The outlandishly named Milagro de Los Santos (Miracle of The Saints) narrates the story in first person and her wry observations are genuinely laugh out loud funny. Milagro is someone who sees herself as a square peg in a round world and although she desperately wants to find her place in that round world she will not change who she is in order to fit in. This leads to some comic situations as she bursts into the lives of the refined and somewhat repressed vampire family.
Above all Happy Hour At Casa Dracula is a comedy of manners and it reminds me somewhat of the writing style of Jane Austen in places. This is perhaps an odd comparison but it is more the construction of the prose and some of the situations that Milagro finds herself in that gave me this impression of the novel. (And yes, I know that Jane Austen never wrote about vampires or sex, so as I said - it is an odd comparison!)
Happy Hour At Casa Dracula is perfect summer reading material - if you are looking for supernatural thrills, blood and death this book probably won’t be for you but if you are looking for an entertaining and witty romance with a twist I think you’ll enjoy this, I know I did. Recommended reading for the beach… or the park… or the garden… or the sofa (in the event of rain)!
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