Review: Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta (2013)

Casa Dracula, Book #1

Heat Factor: There’s some kinky blood drinking stuff going on between the heroine and…not the hero.

Character Chemistry: I had such high hopes!

Plot: I don’t even know what to tell you

Overall: Not smut. But fun!

If the title, “Happy Hour at Casa Dracula” wasn’t enough to reel you in, I don’t even know what we’re doing here. 

I found this book in a list of romance novels, and before we get any farther: Full disclosure. This is not a romance novel. There is romance (ish). It is a novel. Ne’er the twain shall meet. I base this on the sweeping Romance Writers of America definition of a romance novel, which is to say: 

  1. The love story is central.
  2. There is an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

In view of the failure of this book to meet criterion 1, its ability to meet criterion 2 is up for debate, but we’ll get to that. 

This book is hi-lar-i-ous. The heroine’s name is Milagro de los Santos (“Judging from his expression, I had just won the ridiculous-name contest.”), she is a hot mess, and she is fabulous. 

I could have huffed, “What kind of girl do you think I am?” But the truth is that I’m the kind of girl who can be picked up by some fake doctor bozo in a weird suit at a posh party, go to his hotel suite, become insulted, and then realize that she’s never been so attracted to anyone before.

We journey with Milagro on a series of adventures ranging from pretty frigging weird to full blown bananapants. She’s sorta working part time shifts because she just can’t with regular office jobs because she’s a writer. When being a writer doesn’t interfere with everything she’s got going on. 

She’s been acting as a “reading consultant” for wealthy people, and it is in this capacity that she ends up at the party that results in the outrageous paragraph above. The party is celebrating the publication of a snobby work of literature by Milagro’s not-really-ex-but-kinda-ex, Sebastian. It is at the party that she meets the “fake doctor bozo” who is so irresistible that they end up exchanging bodily fluids, and as a result Milagro turns into a vampire. This is unfortunate because Sebastian is part of a secret society that hates vampires. He tries to kidnap Milagro, but because she is fabulous, she has a fabulous escape. 

I instinctively liked the waiter, but I pointed the gun at him. ‘Let’s pause for a moment. Why are you always showing up wherever I go? How do I know you’re not in league with CACA? How do I know you have my safety and best interests at heart?’

He threw up his hands and shouted, ‘Pulleeeze, girlfriend!’

It was a very convincing argument, strengthened by the fact that Sebastian’s blood-smeared head popped up out of the car door like a hideous jack-in-the-box. ‘Milagro!’ he shrieked. ‘Milagro, you bitch!’

Spirited away to the vampire ranch, Milagro learns that “fake doctor bozo” is Oswald, and he is actually engaged to another vampire. (They don’t like to be called vampires, BTW. It’s just a genetic condition, and red foods can quench the thirst for blood.) Milagro therefore twiddles her thumbs with the rest of Oswald’s slightly odd, slightly snobby family while learning all about the secret world of non-vampires and vampire-hunting organizations. 

Milagro is at once outrageously frivolous and unstoppably badass. She is in danger from ridiculous Sebastian, yet she is emotionally compelled to attend her Ivy League BFF’s wedding shower (theme “puce”). She is the only one actually wearing puce, because everyone else is apparently too Valley girl to understand that puce is not pink. Frivolous. Then, when everything goes down with Sebastian, she’s all “you thought I was nothing but fluff, but I’m actually a superhero in disguise!” It’s delightful. It’s hilarious. It’s not very romantic. 

The romance is meant to be between Milagro and Oswald, and she has the hots for him while feeling terrible because his fiance is super nice, but…. Aside from brief encounters that flesh out Oswald a little bit, they spend pretty much no time together. Then, too, Milagro has a slightly disturbing affair with one of Oswald’s fiance’s weird vampire relatives. The best relationships Milagro has in this book are with Oswald’s cousin and grandmother because they let her be who she is without letting all her angst get anybody down. As a romance, this one falls flat. As a quick read that’ll plaster a smile on your face, this one’s great!

Buy Now: Amazon

And if you liked, this one, there are several more in the series, all about Milagro’s adventures, sometimes with Oswald, but not always!

Looking for something similar? Here are some other books we’ve reviewed:

Smut we thought was HILARIOUS

Smut featuring Sexy Vampire Men

OMG I’ve been Kidnapped!

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