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A twist on the old Dracula legends Or is there something lse going on here Theodora Lestrange s childhood school mate Cosmina is set to marry a distant cousin Count Andrei Dragulescu at his castle high in the Carpathian Mountains Theodora is soon swept up into a web of intrigue and mystery over Andrei s dead father do the dead walk at night a local villager who disappears into the forest to howl at the full moon or does he a maid found dead with the marks of a vampire s fangs or is it something An Officer and a Spy else and Of course thever so sensuous Count has no interest in his betrothed but can t keep his hands and lips off our heroine Will she succumb to his charms And if she does will those be kisses she receives or something sinister Is he one of the Strigoi or is it all smoke and mirrors Well you know I m not telling This was a light Fates (Fates, easy breezy read with plenty of creepy moments that kept me guessing at the mystery until almost the last pages Theodora was just spunky and intelligentnough without going OTT in modern behavior and as for Andrei I wouldn t mind having one of him for my own I have to admit to being one of the few people left on the planet who haven t yet read Raybourn s other books so I don t have those books to compare to as other reviewers have done Three stars This was a truly perfect bookIt had all of my favorite Recipe for Temptation (Madewood Brothers, elements of a neo Victorian Gothic the impoverished gentlewoman seeking to make her way in life the mysterious sensual young count that catches herye mysterious deaths superstitious locals and a fraught relationship to the past Theodora is an orphan and her grandfather has recently died as well When her schoolfriend Cosima invites her to Transylvania to be a guest at Cosima s wedding to the local count Theodora views it as a handy scape She s a writer and she knows from Cosima s childhood stories that Transylvania will provide fertile ground for her imagination Also she d rather not live with her sister and brother in law who are xpecting their fifth child Upon her arrival at the castle Theodora is thrilled with the magnificent setting and her writing takes off She is troubled that Cosima s wedding has been called off and Theodora is OBaby even disturbed when she realizes just how attracted she is to the countIn true Gothic fashion secrets from the past continue to haunt the present Was the current count s father sovil that he rose from the grave as strigoi Why did the count s father and grandfather hate Nerds each other so deeply What secrets of love and passion will drive these characters to commit desperate actsRaybourn has a fantastic narrative voice 255I m a huge fan of Deanna Raybourn s ongoing Veronica Speedwell series Injoyed her other stuff that I ve read for the most part This one sadly didn t uite get there But what could possibly happen to me in Transylvania The Dead Travel Fast is one of Deanna Raybourn s standalones It s the story of Theodora Lestrange a young writer who travels to Transylvania to visit a school friend and Zack (Areion Fury MC ends up having a bit of an adventure than she bargained for The time is the Victorian age There s death There s mystery There s romance All of the components that are recognisably Deanna Raybourn That said The Dead Travel Fast just lacks that somethingxtra to make it compelling It s an okay read with some moments that rise above that but it s definitely not her best work First Sentence All proper stories begin with the words Once upon a timeTheodroa Lastrange travels to a castle in the Carpathian Mountains at the invitation of her school days friend Cosmina There she finds an old castle an aristocratic family and a count to whom she is inexplicably and inexorably attracted She also finds superstition and dark tales of werewolves and be involved in the destruction of an alleged vampireMy feelings about this book changed almost page to page and my rating oscillated from Good to Not Recommended My problem wasn t that this was very different from the Lady Jane Grey series I was prepared for this to be completely different I like gothic When done well it can be wonderful When done badly it crosses over into being melodramatic For much of this book I found the latter to be true My problem. A husband a family a comfortable life Theodora Lestrange lives in terror of it allWith a modest inheritance and the three gowns that comprise her ntire wardrobe Theodora leaves Edinburgh and a disappointed suitor far behind She is bound for Roumania where tales of vampires are still whispered to visit an old friend and write the book that will bring her true independenceShe.
Ic predisposition And so the tale winds on weaving back and forth between the mundane and the spectacular never revealing its secrets At first I was impatient to discover the truth but it was when I gave myself up to the story that I njoyed Deanna Raybourn s wonderfully gifted way with words I was amazed at how seamless the writing and the dialogue were Initially I wanted to like Andrei as much as I do Brisbane but he is an ContamiNation entirely different breed of alpha male and not nearly as instantly likable But he isn t meant to be I don t think Much Rochester than Thornton from the word go And once again it was when I sat back and let it wash over me that I really was able to appreciate this novel for what it is a pitch perfect Victorian Gothic romance And thending was perfect What a talent for Taxi ins Glück endings Ms Raybourn has and how much I look forward toach of her books whatever style or genre they may beA Note For Lady Julia Grey aficionados there is a delightful little reference to that series hidden in THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST It left a happily satisfied smile on my face See if you can spot it 2020 Summer Clearance SpecialThis is the summer that I read from my own shelves hopefully clearing some space there During this uarantine period I have been adding to the problem as I ve been on a bit of a book buying spree This one is only copyrighted in 2010 but was already unavailable xcept in the used book trade I spent far too much on postage but I m glad to have itI can certainly tell that this is one of Raybourn s arlier works It is well written but she has improved in the last ten years Still I Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas enjoyed this novel a cross between a Dracula like tale and a Gothic romance similar to a Victoria Holt story I think if she was writing it today she might structure things differently with regard to the mystery I am ambivalent about thending I know that it is the result that most readers desire but I prefer the unexpected and I thought I was getting it until the last few pages I m a tiny bit disappointed but it was still a great readThe verdict This book gets to stay at least until I read it one time Frankly I was kind of disappointed in this It was well written and nicely atmospheric but I never really liked The Magic Rolling Pin either of the main characters and found the plot unconvincing I found her weirdly modern in outlook and him All my least favorite alpha traitsmbodied Other than his supposed cutenesshotnessmoneyposition I couldn t see why any woman would find him a catch Controlling Vaguely abusive Selfish Opium addict My reaction YUCKIt was weirdly reminiscent of Jane Eyre to me with lots of victorian dialogue The gothicness of it felt like victorian and modern sensibilities were fighting together I kept being pulled out of the story But she is a good writer and it could have been done much worse by a lesser author That s why I gave it 3 stars I think it would work better for many readers than it did for me I have oddball reactions and often dislike books Indecent... Exposure (Indecent, everyonelse seems to love so don t let me talk you out of it I liked the Silent series much better and am looking forward to the new one coming out Enjoyable Not Without a Fight enough I guess but it could have been so much atmospheric and just better overall if work had been put into it A wasted premise imho Not uite 3 stars but rounding up for the gothic atmosphereThis is an homage to Dracula and Northanger Abbey and I think anyone whonjoyed both of those books would Garden Bouquets and Beyond enjoy this one as well It started out as uite annjoyable read but then it lost me somewhere along the way inside the creepy castle and the vampire mystery that just wouldn t The Unseen Wonder end Also am not a fan of vampires or sweeping Victorian romances However I am a big fan of creepy castles chilling folklore and cold desolate settings So the highs and the lows kind ofvened outI really like the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn The Management Bible especially the latest one A Dangerous Collaboration with its gothic tone and gloomy mystery So I was in the mood for a similar book The Dead Travel Fast wasn t uite what I was looking for but it was interestingnough to pass the time Can we PLEASE go back to the original cover style for her books so I m not Zu schnell embarrassed to buy them. At she can neither deny nor conceal His allure is superlative his dominion over the superstitious town absolute Theodora may simply be one person under his swayBefore her sojourn isnded or her novel completed Theodora will have ncountered things as strange and terrible as they are seductive For obsession can prove fataland she is in danger of falling prey to than desire.
Was the writing itself Parts of the story are very good wonderfully written touching motionally and thoroughly ngrossing However in other parts of the story I found myself rolling my yes and wondering what Ms Raybourn had been thinking It is difficult when you read first for character and the only character you really feel any affinity for is a secondary character Charles I truly disliked that the protagonist was named Theodora Lastrange how clich can one possibly be It may be a small thing but was so trite it nearly caused me to stop reading immediately Than rather than Ms Lastrange being gutsy and independent there was a wimpishness about her particularly in her attraction to the Count Even with my issues with the characters it was the plot which let me down The plot was rife with anachronisms clich s and coincidences However on the plus side there were some scenes that were very well done I personally like the inclusion of references to and the poetry of Baudelaire Les Fleurs du Mal being a particular favorite of mine and I particularly appreciate her xplanation for some of the supernatural vents All this being said it wasn t a terrible book Unfortunately it wasn t a good book Invisible (The Curse of Avalon either Having read Ms Raybourn s other books I believe much of my disappointment comes from knowing she is a much better writer than this would indicate THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST GothicSusp Theodora Lastrange Transylvania Victorian1858 OkayRaybourn Deanna StandaloneMira 2010 Trade paperback ISBN 9780778327653 For the last couple of weeks I ve been obsessively checking my local bookstore s stock online to see if Deanna Raybourn s THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST just happened to get inarly Yes I actually am that nerdy and it s much too late to do anything about it But in this case the ffort paid off as a nice healthy stack of them awaited me on the New Fiction table when I dashed in from the rain on my way home from work As you know I am a devoted Lady Julia Grey fan I adore that series and am anxiously awaiting the upcoming fourth installment Dark Road to Darjeeling due out this October But when I heard she was working on a standalone historical set in Transylvania and featuring a would be lady novelist and a mysterious countwellI was ual parts intrigued and xcited Who knew what delights and promises it would holdMiss Theodora LeStrange has come to the nd of her rope When her grandfather and guardian passes away her well meaning if rather insipid brother in law takes it upon himself to determine what Deep Listening exactly is to be done with her Terrified of what he will come up with Theodora grasps at the nearest straw in the form of a letter from her old school friend Cosmina who now resides at Castle Dragulescu in Transylvania She invites Theodora to come and stay in celebration of her approaching nuptials A budding novelist Theodora convinces her friend and publisher Charles Beecroft thexperience will serve to inspire her imagination and fuel the novel she knows is lurking inside just waiting to be brought forth Against their better judgement her family and friends let her go and the adventure of a lifetime begins Upon arrival Theodora is reunited with Cosmina and introduced to the aging Countess and her mysterious son the newly appointed Count In a land where the sinister is a daily occurrence and the horrifying merely commonplace Theodora s imagination is than stimulated It is driven into overdrive as her Scottish pragmatism wars with the inexplicable and increasingly nightmarish vents unfolding in this small Roumanian village at the dge of the worldThis was such an interesting read It was at times Evolution, Me Other Freaks of Nature exactly and not at all what Ixpected and my response to it volved as the pages turned I liked Theodora from the beginning She is much pragmatic yet somehow less sure of herself than Julia Grey and I wondered how she would handle the what seemed to me clearly supernatural vents at Castle Dragulescu But just when you and she think you have the story and Count Andrei figured out the narrative takes a meditative turn and you find yourself not at all sure Perhaps it is merely smoke and mirrors and can all be Trajan explained away by an ancient grudge a marital infidelity or a genet. Arrives at a magnificent decaying castle in the Carpathians replete withccentric inhabitants the ailing dowager; the troubled steward; her own fearful friend Cosmina But all are outstripped in dark glamour by the castle's master Count Andrei DragulescuBewildering and bewitching in ual measure the brooding nobleman ignites Theodora's imagination and awakens passions in her th.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th generation native Texan She graduated with a double major in English and history from the University of Texas at San Antonio Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of one Raybourn makes her home in Virginia Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards the Agatha