Title: Hunting Prince Dracula
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Mystery/ Horror/ YA
Source: Sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper
Favourite Quote: “What in the name of the queen were you thinking? Climbing a stone roof… during a blizzard. I…” I gripped my hands in fists to keep them from trembling in the cold. “You almost fell off the roof, Thomas.”
“I told you I was getting ready to scale the castle.” A damp lock of hair fell across his brow as he craned his neck up. “Maybe a bit of coddling or congratulations is in order. It was rather heroic of me, setting out against all odds to break into your rooms.”
After the horrifying painful case of Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell journey together to Romania to study forensic medicine in one of the most prestigious schools in the world in Bran castle, home to the famous Vlad the Impaler, prince Dracula. Wadsworth finally has permission from her father to pursue her ambitions, and she is thankful to get away from London and it’s harsh dark memories with the arrogantly charming Cresswell as her companion. She’s ready to stop hiding and prove herself to the world, only instead she finds herself in more danger than before when a murder occurs on the train outside her cabin. Only it doesn’t stop there. People are disappearing in the village and bodies are being discovered drained of blood with rumours that the famous blood thirsty prince has returned.
Wadsworth and Cresswell find themselves right in the middle of the mystery of the eerie dark castle with it’s hidden doorways and secret dungeon passages. While still being haunted by memories of Jack the Ripper, Wadsworth knows that she needs to treat everyone as a suspect. No one can be trusted.
Well, we all know that one of the reasons we all picked up this book; Cresswell. Let’s not deny it. He’s deliciously charming and flirtatious who actually makes you swoon whilst reading. Kerri has created the perfect romance in a world of horror, cadavers and murder which will keep you gripped to your seat wanting more. For a historical fiction setting, it is improper to be alone with a gentleman who is not your betrothed, but that doesn’t stop Wadsworth and Cresswell sneaking around Dracula’s castle dungeons together looking for a murderer.
Kerri did an amazing job with the dark setting in Romania from the large creepy castle to the enchanting forest surrounding it with a bit of history and folklore. The castle was a disturbingly mysterious location which had all the secrets you could want with it’s main entrance in the morgue. You felt like you were there in the scenes, which were perfectly graphic and gruesome when needed.
Cresswell was a bit more protective of Wadsworth in this book which causes tension between them as she struggles to cope with the disturbing and painful memories of Jack the Ripper’s identity. He’s happy to be more of a side-kick in this story but still keeps up his boastful smug attitude at times with a mix of playful flirting which we adore!
‘”I’m simply being gentlemanly, Wadsworth. No need to spear me with that glare of yours.”
“I thought you wanted to be on your best behaviour for my father’s sake.”
He held a hand to his heart. “You wound me. Wouldn’t your father be angry if I let you freeze to death? Body heat is scientifically the best way to stay warm. In fact, there are studies that suggest removing your clothes entirely and pressing skin to skin in the surest means of avoiding hypothermia. Should you fall prey to that, I’ll use every weapon necessary to save you. It’s what any decent young gentleman would do. Seems terribly valiant, if you ask me.”
My treacherous mind strayed to the image of Thomas without his clothing and drew a wide grin from my companion, as if he were privy to my scandalous thoughts.’
Wadsworth finds herself struggling with the haunting memories in London that she starts to see Jack the Ripper where he doesn’t exist. But this doesn’t stop her from showing her classmates that she’s just as accomplished and skilful as the only woman in the school. That is, until Cresswell tries to help and ends up making her look incapable infront of everyone which removes him from the picture for a while. Of course we’re screaming for him to come back, but we get to spend more time getting to know the independent and courageous Wadsworth as she makes new friends and discovers her own clues to the mystery of the castle. It’s extremely satisfying to see more of her thoughts and feelings towards Cresswell as the book goes on. Previously I felt like she was either ignorant of his feelings or just chose to change the subject on purpose. This book she beings to open up to him more which is perfect!
‘The proper society girl in me was loath to admit it, but his flirtations kept me afloat in a sea of conflicting feelings. Passion and annoyance were fire, and fire was alive and crackling with power. Fire breathed. Grief was a vat of quicksand; the more one struggled against it, the deeper it pulled one under. I’d much rather be set ablaze than buried alive. Though the mere thought of being in a compromising position with Thomas was enough to make my face warm.’
I was so absorbed in the story and the chemistry between Cresswell and Wadsworth that I finished the book in one sitting. I couldn’t get enough. It was disturbing, enticing, mysterious and damn right perfect in every way. Kerri Maniscalco is definitely one of my favourite authors, her writing is flawless. I seriously can’t wait for her next book Escaping from Houdini!!
In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.
But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.