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Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 314

From the Cover: Latina Ivy League grad Milagro de Los Santos can't find her place in the world or a man to go with it. Then one night, at a book party for her pretentious ex-boyfriend, she meets an oddly attractive man. After she is bitten while kissing him, she falls ill and is squirreled away to his family's estate to recover. Vampires don't exist in this day and age — or do they? As Milagro falls for a fabulously inappropriate man, she finds herself caught between a family who has accepted her as one of their own and a shady organization that refuses to let the undead live and love in peace.

Milagro De Los Santos is your average everyday young female American trying to survive in a male dominated world. She did everything right. She went to the big Fancy University, she had a sweet boyfriend, she went to all right parties... so why isn't she taken seriously. She wrote novels about political issues and substituting zombies for the nasties. Sebastian has had no trouble getting his insipid book published. She went to F.U. too, so what's the problem? Who doesn't like politics and zombies? Apparently, the agents and publishers didn't.

Milagro makes money doing odd jobs, even though her parents are well to do. Her mother, Regina, convinced her father that her next face lift was more important than a Master's Degree. Milagro is a personal reader, works in a nursery, and does other menial jobs to keep her crummy basement apartment which she thinks is rat infested.

Then, one evening at a reading of her ex-boyfriend Sebastian Beckett-Witherspoon's new book whom she hates with the fire of a hundred suns; she happens to meet a strange man. He's wearing an old fashioned suit, but wears really well, she notices. In fact, she notices, he's really kind of fabulous looking. When this strange man approaches Milagro, she's a little frightened. He seems to draw her to him, capturing her attention.

When he introduces himself as Oswald and asks her back to his hotel to talk about publishing, at first she wants to refuse, but as she gazes into his eyes, she finds herself agreeing. What's wrong with her? When Beckett-Witherspoon tries to chase her down, they rush to leave. But at the hotel, it seems that Oswald only wants to talk about Beckett-Witherspoon, so she offers Sebastian's phone number and wants to leave. As Oswald reaches out to stop her, they trip and fall on top of each other. A drop of red blood oozes from Oswald's lip as Milagro realizes she wants nothing more than to kiss that bloodied lip, and she does but, her lip is bitten as well.

That night, Milagro becomes ill, it's the flu, she thinks. She's worse the second night, and the night after. But, then she starts to feel better, her hearing is better and her vision has gotten better, she no longer needs her contacts. But the cravings she's having are really weird. She decides to talk to her friend and nightclub owner, Mercedes, but Sebastian is waiting outside for her, professing his long lost love; offering dinner and ride in his limo. She decides she can afford him a second chance, but Sebastian has other devious plans and tries to kidnap her instead, showing how much he actually loathes her. He has joined CA-CA and his organization works to eliminate vampires. Okay, so Sebastian has lost his marbles, vampires don't exist....or do they? She must save herself from Sebastian and the evil CA-CA if she is to survive.

Gabriel, Oswald's cousin saves her and takes her away to the family's country estate. There, she meets Oswald's fiance, Winnie, who is cold, but who can blame her...Milagro was swapping smooches with Oswald and now she has been infected with a rare blood disorder causing her to have weird cravings for the red fluid. Oswald's grandmother, Edna, who's as prickly as a catcus, has no love for Milagro, or so she thinks. Sam, Oswald's other cousin, is sweet to Milagro and tries see to her needs, but does he want something? What will she do? Who can she trust?

Happy Hour At Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta is a fun filled laugh riot. Milagro is always taken by the next mess that turns out to be her life. She just can't get ahead no matter what she tries. You never know what's going to happen, except that she's attracted to Oswald, but knows he's engaged to someone else. That puts him into the creep column for asking her to his hotel, she doesn't usually do things like that. She needs to be taken seriously, trying to channel great thinkers to help in the writing process. Unfortunately, beach reads are all she attracts. In the meantime, Oswald and his family is trying to foil the evil CA-CA and he needs to find out what she knows about Sebastian and his organization. Milagro is a vulnerable heroine who has never know the love of her family. She learns gardening from one of father's employees, even though her father has a huge landscaping business. The person she loved the most, her abuelita - her small grandmother, was killed in a car accident. Her grandmother was totally devoted to Milagro, she goes from having love to having nothing. Her mother, Regina, only loves Regina and what money can buy for her. Her father only loves making money and her mother, Regina. Oswald is a misunderstood hero who wants one thing from life, to be happy. He isn't happy with Winnie, but their DNA is a perfect match. Too bad they can't stay to touch each other. The one thing he wants is Milagro, his beautiful young spicy love. I loved this book, I started laughing on page one and didn't quit until the last page was turned. There were times when I felt Milagro's pain of a loveless life and a hopeless future, but she never lets it get her down for long and she wins in the end. If you want to read a book with a fresh look and feel, and all about a very rare blood disorder (vampirism), then Happy Hour At Casa Dracula is for you. I highly recommend this book for those who want a fast fun filled look at the life of a girl who does everything right, attends F.U., works hard, and writes about issues important to her, but life keeps throwing her for a loop. For more information about Marta Acosta's other great books please see her website or her blog. Both are fun and interesting.

Here's a peek at the book trailer Marta Acosta made, it shows the story so well. The music was deleted, but my son added some......he's a big Tenacious D fan.

20 comments:

Barbara said...

Beautifully written review, Dottie! I've seen this book, I remember the cover. I think maybe you mentioned when you got it? I can't recall, but it does sound interesting. I'm always up for new twists on the vampire tale!!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Barbara!

Yeah, I think I put it up when I got it. I just recently purchase Bride of Casa Dracula. Can't wait to start it, but so many books in front of it. I can feel it pushing it's way to the front of the pack, hmmmm, maybe that Milagro pushing to get her story heard.

((hugs))

Dottie :)

Anna said...

Great review Dottie. This is one of my favorite books. I still have to read book three though.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Anna!

Wasn't it just the best read? I was telling my daughter all the funny parts.

I have both of her other books, maybe they'll move to the top of my TBR list.

I just got Dayhunter and it's calling my name. So hard to choose. (not to mention that books are starting to take over the house. My hubs asked me if the books were my accessories. Hmmmm. I like them better than jewelry.)

Dottie :)

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Dottie,
This book sure sounds like a hoot. Funny, weird, romance, vamps, evil men staking vamps, yes I am in.

Great review that sold me

Mandi said...

Yes, I agree - you sold me with the review. I had not heard of this book yet:)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Blodeuedd!

This book was a hoot! I hope you get a chance to pick it up, it was so good.

It was so funny! I was really laughing out loud. You know, people really look at you strange when you do that.

(hugs)

Dottie :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Mandi!

It was a really funny story. I hope you get a chance to take a peek. I know how you love vamps...and most of these vamps are the good kind... sweet and sexy.

(hugs)

Dottie :)

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Dottie!

Wonderful review. Ms. Acosta seems to really enjoy unusual names... I don't think I've ever read a romance where the hero's name was Oswald, lol!.

This novel sounds really good. I love humor in my novels. Thanks for the recommendation!

Hope you're having a great weekend.

:) VFG

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi VFG!

Marta Acosta's character Milagro first thinks his name is Oswaldo. It really cracked me up....Where's Oswaldo!

If you get a chance to try it, is so funny. And sexy guys with rare blood disorders. Yummy!

((hugs))

Dottie :)

Lea said...

Awesome review Dottie!!

You have reviewed this author's work before haven't you??

It sounds like a great paranormal with humor which is awesome!!

Thank you for sharing. :)

Warm Regards
L

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Lea!

This is Marta Acosta first novel in the series, there are two others in my TBR stacks. I have talked about Marta's site and her Casa Dracula Series. I love her site, she always has some funny vamp poll going on or sexy vamp contest (usually won by Gerard Butler - who is hot - P.S. I Love You was one of the best movies and Gerard Butler was sweet, hot... God, he was beautiful in that movie. A real tear jerker though).

I haven't been reading a lot lately, I feel like I'm neglecting my blog....sad isn't it...I've become truly addicted to the internet.

Oh, and Lea, thanks for all the great contests that you've had lately. I don't know how you keep up with it all, and you're always so sweet to everyone, you make the effort to reply to each comment. My hat's off to you Lea!

Dottie :)

Amy said...

Oh I know! I'm so ecstatic to start this series! :-D
The chamber of secrets is off to a very mysterious start....I want to just read it nonstop.
Not to mention the fact that Daniel Radcliffe is such a cutie-I'm a sucker for nerd boys. Not saying he's a nerd, but... :)
I want to see the film in theaters so I have a lot of catching up to do.
-amy

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Amy!

So glad you stopped by!

The Chamber of Secrets is sooo good, but then all the Harry Potter Series is. I so want to talk to you about it...but I won't, it will give to much of the story away! You're going love it though. I read the first two books straight through. Three and Four took two days each. Five, Six, and Seven - four days - much longer book, but worth every minute. Hated to take a break to sleep. If you want a big treat, after you finish the series, go to your library and borrow the books on CD...Stephen Fry does such a good job telling the story.

Daniel Radcliffe is a such sweetie, a real cutie... nerdy or not, he's still a cutie pie. lol

I can't wait for the Half Blood Prince movie...HP6 is going to be so good.

((hugs))

Dottie :)

SciFiGuy said...

Wonderful review of Happy Hour Dottie. I love Milagro, she is one of the funniest and most endearing urban fantasy characters. I really hope someone, sometime, options the Casa books for film.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Doug!

Wouldn't that be so great! I would love to see Casa Dracula as a film, I'd paid to see it, willingly. This book is so funny, Marta Acosta's personality really come through. I enjoyed it immensely. I really liked how she uses Spanish-isms with American-isms. Really different, really enjoyable. I loved it.

Dottie :)

Ladytink_534 said...

I love Marta Acosta's site but I haven't gotten around to reading these books yet. They do sound really, really good though! I sure wish my library had one!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi LadyTink!

Since our library is so small (living in a rural community bite - haha), they order out from the bigger libraries in throughout the state. I got my copies at the Borders blow out sale that they have once a year (still on going, btw), I picked up a total of eight books for about $20, and Marta Acosta's older books where available. Couldn't resist, I'll probably go back before it's over to see what other tasty finds they have. I couldn't believe it.

Dottie :)

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Anonymous said...

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