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A Dowry of Blood

by S.T. Gibson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0183020,498 (3.94)3
"A Dowry of Blood is a saga of obsession, desire and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love. Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things. Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband's dark secrets. With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, Constanta will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death."--… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
4.5 stars. Probably the best vampire fiction I've read since Anne Rice, or Stoker himself, hands down. ( )
  escapinginpaper | May 18, 2024 |
"I was tired of being your Mary Magdalene. I was tired of waiting expectantly at your tomb every night for you to rise and bring light into my world once again. I was tired of groveling on my knees and washing blood off your heels with my hair and tears."

i'm only taking a half star away bc the epilogue felt out of place, like an ao3 addition to an otherwise perfect story. ( )
  bisexuality | May 9, 2024 |
Rounding up a 2.5 to be a bit kinder.

Okay so… This book is a mess. Technically speaking, it’s a joke. The prose is loquacious and eye-roll inducing, the characters are dumb as rocks, and the historicity terrible.

But… it did end up being very enjoyable. It’s pulpy, sexy, and just straight up fun. Its terribleness became part of it all—you just couldn’t look away. I enjoyed the plot too, which made the second half so much better than the first, which was just jaw-droppingly bad. Once we started to flesh out the harem, so to speak, it reminded me of the best parts of the Anne Rice novels. Smart, sexy creator keeps everyone hostage by his abuse. We must escape!

So… what went wrong? First, the author has close to no sense of what life was like in the past and the mental framework of it. Centuries change and yet close to nothing does for our characters. We hit the 20th century and our characters still ride in carriages, wear their hair long, and somehow exist in a world where the second world war never occurred. There’s not one instance of language barriers either, and we’re just expected to believe they can all carry on for 500 years moving constantly just speaking English or whatever, despite the fact all the characters are from all over the continent. All of this creates massive plot holes, but I guess the audience for this doesn’t care?

Basically, for a novel wanting to explore sexuality, abuse, and romantic partnerships with a group of immortal vampires the story needed another 300 pages, minimum. It’s a great premise squandered on hackneyed set-dressing and (I’m guessing) the promise of TikTok engagement. Just a tragedy all around.

Despite all of this, I’d honestly still recommend it to others wanting read a stupid, sexy bisexual vampire story. Like, It was hot: we even get an Anais Nin and Henry Miller cameo, which *chef kiss*. It verged on the comic always but there are seeds for thought, and I do believe we will get a better brooding, sexy vampire story that can deliver on the fronts this novel attempted to. ( )
  Eavans | Mar 4, 2024 |
To be given so much power and have none to save yourself. The grim and raw truth of abuse, manipulation and toxic love. So desperately our intuitions want to scream the truth, but the manipulator is good at what they do.
One victim pushes themselves past the lies and manipulation and makes the decision to break the cycle, not for herself but for the ones she loves. Harrowing decisions may lead to consequences they may or may not be able to live with and vampires live forever….don’t they?

It’s so hard for me to like a modern day vampire novel and this one truly has the elements, I feel, are needed to make such a story. The lust, the hunger, the sinister secrets and the ties that bind. ( )
  cmpeters | Feb 2, 2024 |
I really liked the way this was written. It's not something I've ever read before, or I could say I have, and I found it refreshing. I really liked the characters and how 'you' was never named, just given a vague image for the reader to fill in the blanks with. ( )
  NovaQueen27 | Jan 11, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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I never dreamed it would end like this, my lord: your blood splashing hot flecks onto my nightgown and pouring in rivulets onto our bedchamber floor.
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"A Dowry of Blood is a saga of obsession, desire and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love. Saved from the brink of death by a mysterious stranger, Constanta is transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for an undying king. But when Dracula draws a cunning aristocrat and a starving artist into his web of passion and deceit, Constanta realizes that her beloved is capable of terrible things. Finding comfort in the arms of her rival consorts, she begins to unravel their husband's dark secrets. With the lives of everyone she loves on the line, Constanta will have to choose between her own freedom and her love for her husband. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death."--

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