Have you ever heard of a Bludman? They’re rather like you and me—only more fabulous, immortal, and mostly indestructible. (They’re also very good kissers.)
Delilah S. Dawson’s darkly tempting debut drops her unsuspecting heroine into a strange faraway land for a romantic adventure that’s part paranormal, part steampunk . . . and completely irresistible.
When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?
If you didn't think it possible to fall in love with a gypsy king who has magic tricks up his sleeve and drinking blood on his mind, then allow me to introduce you to my newest fictional obsession, Criminy Stain.
He's a cunning predator one moment and a perfect gentleman the next. He's lively, charming, charismatic, and romantic. He's also ruthless, possessive, bloodthirsty, and dangerous. He's a well-rounded, well-developed character and I feel like he was made just for me.
Unfortunately, he's got his eyes, and his heart, set on Tish. She's pulled to him by magic and once they meet, he's determined to have her.
I watched him playing with the long blades of grass, weaving them into patterns as he hummed an unfamiliar song, a waltz."What are you doing?" I asked him."I'm letting you get used to the idea of me," he said idly."I'm pretending to be harmless. Is it working?"
She's understandably reluctant. Sure, Criminy is delicious, but he's also a bludman, or what Tish relates to as a vampire. And she's tossed into a world very different from her own.
Sang is a fascinating place filled with true magic, clockwork monkeys, dangerous Coppers, where even the cutest and furriest of woodland creatures are bloodthirsty predators with a craving for flesh.
Needless to say, she's disconcerted and for a period of time she's too fixated on returning home to truly appreciate the bludman in the magical top hat who will eventually win her heart.
"I would burn down the world for you," he whispered fiercely. "Your world or my own. I would rip down this entire city with my bare hands without a second thought. I don't need to taste anything else, I don't need a comparison. I always thought that when you came to me, you'd feel that way, too."
I enjoyed every moment of Criminy's playful dialogue, the imaginative world building and fantastic character development. This is an exciting, entertaining debut in a series that I look forward to continuing.
And now I'm thoroughly convinced that Delilah Dawson must have a magical top hat of her own. And from it, she's produced a magical world with magical characters accompanied by a magical romance. I'm hooked.
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