by Georgia Evans
Do you remember when vampires were evil? When they weren't misunderstood, leather-clad, stunningly beautiful creatures of pure carnal delight? Remember when the hero was the one trying to kill the vampire, rather than the vampire himself? No? Me, neither. Sure, there are a few evil, nasty vampires still roaming about in the world of fiction, but they often seem to be mainly used as foils for the hero vampire who is trying desperately to cling to the shreds of his soul and the last vestiges of his humanity, and who will probably end up killing the evil vampire to save the life of the heroine.
Thankfully, Georgia Evans is around with her Brytewood novels to give me an evil vampire fix. And, for bonus points, her vampires are also the first wave of the Nazi invasion of England. Vampire + Nazi = super villain! I just wish they were evil in a Saruman kind of way, rather than a Wormtongue kind of way.
But, this is a romance novel, so let me tell you about the romance.
Alice is the local doctor in the village of Brytewood. Peter, a conscientious objector to the war, is assigned to assist her at the clinic. Alice, like many of the residents of Brytewood, is not what she seems. Shifters, pixies, witches, and the like abound in this small English village. Strange things happen, and Alice and Peter team up with assorted villagers to root out the cause. In the course of their work and the investigation, they're often thrown into each other's company and, in a country where young men are scarce, attraction ensues. Soon, Alice and Peter are getting naked together. Sadly, these are the only places where the book didn't quite work for me. The novel has a lovely tone in keeping with its World War II-era English setting, but the sex scenes seem to have dropped in out of a steamy contemporary romance. In the end, of course, evil is (partially) vanquished and true love wins the day.
The best part of this book, though (besides Nazi vampires)? The old people. The old people in this book are great. They aren't the kind of old people who do yoga and go rock climbing. No, these are the kind of people upon whom age just kind of snuck up, and who want to help as much as possible, but are hindered by tricky knees and the like. And, though they have the wisdom of their years, they aren't all-knowing and all-wise.
There are two other books in this series, Bloody Awful and Bloody Right, which will tie up loose vampires plot threads and pair up loose characters. And will feature more Nazi vampires and old people.