The Dark Heroine: Dinner With a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs
Author: Abigail Gibbs Website|Twitter
Published: 11 October 2012 (Harper Voyager)
Format: Paperback (proof)
Buy the paperback: Amazon|Waterstones
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo
Source: Received free proof copy from publisher via the Waterstones Cardholder Read and Review scheme
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
The sexiest romance you’ll read this year…
One moment can change your life forever...
For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape...no matter how hard Violet tries.
Yet all the riches in the world can’t mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn.
Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds – but it’s a passion that comes at a price...
So I read this book last year as part of the Waterstones Cardholder Read and Review program, and reviewed it on Waterstones and Goodreads. I was unsure whether to review it on the blog because I didn't know whether the book was really marketed as YA and it was before I started branching out and including a wider range of ages on the blog. I've since seen a lot of other YA blogs had reviewed it and seeing the author at Leakycon this year reminded me of the book, so here's my review!
When I first applied to win a read and review copy of this book, I'd just seen an interview with the author on TV. Needless to say I was intrigued by both the book and the nature of how it came about! So I was very happy when it popped through my letterbox and looked forward to finding it out whether it lived up to the hype.
The opening scenes feature Violet Lee witnessing a violent vampire attack in Trafalgar Square, and then being kidnapped by vampires. She's taken to a mansion where she is surrounded by vampire royalty, including the mysterious Kaspar. I was drawn in completely by the action. I think the opening few chapters were where the book was at its strongest.
I really liked the world this book was set in. I liked that it was a vampire novel based in Britain as most of the vampire novels I read are set in America. It gave it a really fresh feeling and it was nice to have that sense of British-ness throughout! I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of vampire novels.
Dinner With a Vampire is mainly told from Violet's point of view, but occasionally we get chapters from Kaspar's perspective. I couldn't help feeling these were a bit pointless as they were usually very short and didn't add a great deal to the story. We're introduced to a lot of the vampires associated with Kaspar and I did find myself getting a bit confused as to who was who in places where there were a lot of names to take in. I liked the backstory of Violet's family, though.
The book is billed as "the sexiest romance you'll read this year" but the romance was where I ended up disappointed, to be honest. I really didn't see the attraction of Kaspar and most of the time he just came across as horrible and a bit creepy (especially when it came to his constant use of the nickname "girly" for Violet). I found myself getting annoyed with Violet's feelings for him because I just couldn't understand what it was she saw in him. I started to lose faith in her as the book went on,
I enjoyed most of the plot, and there were some great twists and reveals that kept my attention. I could maybe have done with the book being a bit shorter but overall I liked what I read. It was just the romance element that left me disappointed and didn't live up to expectations. I'd be interested to read the following book and maybe check out any other books this author comes out with in the future.
What to read next: Autumn Rose by Abigail Gibbs, the second book in the Dark Herione series
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