Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta (Pocket, 2006).
While reading this book I continually had a smile on my face except when I was laughing out loud. Acosta is a witty, clever writer who keeps your attention with lovable characters (even the bad guys) and an entertaining plot. Narrator Milagro de la Cruz has a rye sense of humor especially while describing the crazy situations she finds herself in like being kidnapped by an old boyfriend from college, a fellow with a hyphenated anglo-wasp name, Sebastian Beckett-Witherspoon, and also when she is rescued by someone she suspects of being a vampire.
But lets backup a moment. Both MIlagro and Sebastian together attended a Fancy University which Milagro refers to throughout as F. U. Sebastian has become a well known writer, and a client of Mil's - Katherine - throws a party to celebrate his new book. Also attending is the handsome, very alluring Oswald who invites Milagro to have a drink with him at his hotel's bar. She accepts. Too bad the bar has been taken over by a large group, but the manager offers to serve anything required in Oswald's suite. Quickly the conversation turns to Sebastian. Oswald is quite curious about this guy so Mil figures out that he isn't really interested in her writing. She's miffed. But Oswald has such gorgeous eyes and such a sweet seductive smile.
They begin passionately kissing. Mil cannot resist this guy. They are so lustfully intertwined that they fall, shattering a glass table. Each one suffers a small cut on the lips. This does not hamper the hungry for sex Milagro who reaches for Oswald and plants a big kiss tasting a bit of his blood. She barely noticed when he tried to pull away before they kissed. He had a good reason. His kind must be careful. Just then Sebastian breaks in and begins yelling for this to stop. While the two men argue Mil grabs her bag and runs from the room.
For the next several days she is terribly sick, like the worst flue in the world. She can't eat except when satisfying a cravings for red meat juice. Soon after her recovery she is abducted by Sebastian, who turns out to be a member of Corporate America for the Conservation of America. CACA for short. Their mission is to rid the world of vermin like Oswald AND Milagro - Vampires! Now Mil knows he's crazy. But maybe not! Only after being rescued, and housed at Casa Dracula, does the truth reveal itself.
Marta has a grand sense of humor. The next book in the series is Midnight Brunch (Pocket, 2007) followed by The Bride of Casa Dracula (Pocket, 2008).
Patricia Altner is a freelance writer, researcher, and bibliographer. She has a special interest in vampire and paranormal fiction. This review was originally written for Patricia's Vampire Notes