Published 2007 336 pages
Hip, funny Milagro do los Santos thinks she's finally found love and a home at the California ranch of fabulous Oswald Grant and his urbane relatives, who have a rare genetic disorder that some call vampirism.
But Milagro is bewildered when she's excluded from an ancient and mysterious midnight ceremony whose participants include Oswald's unfriendly parents, a creepy family elder, and Milagro's ex-lover, the powerful and decadent Ian Ducharme. What skeletons are the vampires hiding in their designer closets?
When Milagro's life is threatened by a rogue family member, she flees to the desert to hide. Instead of solitude, she encounters an egomaniacal actor, a partying heiress, a sly tabloid reporter, and a lavish spa full of dark secrets - all of which might help her find a way home.
With chupacabras, tabloid scandals and militant neovampires - what is a girl to do when she discovers she's the main course on the menu?
Midnight Brunch is the sequel to Happy Hour At Casa Dracula and events in this book take place a year after Milagro first met Oswald. Midnight Brunch starts with Milagro living very happily with Oswald but feeling excluded from his vampire family. When they argue before Oswald goes on a business trip it leaves Milagro with plenty of chances to get into new trouble without him.
The writing style of Midnight Brunch is slightly different to Happy Hour At Casa Dracula. Milagro’s antics and observations are still laugh-out-loud funny but the emphasis in the book has shifted from romantic comedy of manners to vampire comedy mystery with romance elements. This means that Milagro no longer speaks like a Latina Jane Austen character (and yes, I know that Jane Austen didn’t write about Latina vampires!) The result of the style change is a story with both dialogue that flows beautifully and a plot that keeps the reader hooked.
The story is told in first person by Milagro. Throughout the novel the reader sees her character develop from being someone who is like a “beach-read” to being someone much more “serious and sincere.” Which is a relief - because there is only so many times that I can laugh at a character making the same mistakes over and over again in a book series without getting irritated. It will be interesting to see how Milagro’s character develops further if the author writes another book in this series. (Fingers crossed that she will!)
The vampires in Midnight Brunch are still more natural than supernatural, passing quiet lives living as humans and generally satisfying their cravings by drinking only animal blood. Paranormal romance readers looking for sex, blood and death may be disappointed by the almost mundane lives that these vampires lead but the well written characters - who manage to be realistic, comic and appealing - have a lot more going for them than just supernatural thrills, which should make Midnight Brunch appeal to a wider audience.
Summing up - Midnight Brunch is a highly entertaining, fast-paced read and definitely a book to add to your summer reading list.
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