Bloodlust & Bonnets by Emily McGovern
After unhappy and bored debutante Lucy slaughters her suitor (and an extra several others, for good measure) who happened to be a vampire (along with the others), she’s approached by Lady Travesty to be a member of her special Immortal Vampire Cult. That is, before Lord Byron (yes, that Byron, from books) temporarily explodes Travesty with his sword and convinces Lucy to be in his vampire slaying group of one (plus his psychic eagle Napoleon and his magical-but-not-very-competent castle, Castle). The two began a journey to defeat Travesty, find a third partner in the mysterious Sham, and bumble their way about England and Scotland.
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, but it was pretty funny. At times it was a bit too much of a running on gag, and I think it would have been better in smaller doses/chapters, but overall it was entertaining and off-the-wall ridiculous.
From exploding vampires to apathetic debutantes to incompetent castles to a poetic rivalry to post-Regency England to conversations on how to shoot a gun, this has almost everything.
While Lucy was entertaining, my two favorite characters were Lord Byron and BB.
Lord Byron because of his arrogant self—and how his toxic masculinity is skewered in every turn (and also how the brash masculinity of heroes is skewered as well).
And BB, because she’s 1) fabulous 2) incredibly wealthy and 3) has a habit of losing her husbands to really unfortunate and unforeseeable accidents with ornamental weaponry.
Also, she has a flair for the dramatic and calls everyone (chiefly, those underneath her station) urchins:
Another thing I loved about this book was the queer representation! We have Sham (she/her pronouns but responds to “either/or” questions with either “yes” or “no”), all around badass vampire slayer who nevertheless has a not-so-great sense of direction, and there’s also Lucy, a canon bisexual. And Lord Byron, who is…Lord Byron.
Altogether, it’s a sarcastic and funny parody of Regency and Post-Regency romances and adventures—and filled with vampire (and debutante) satire.
The illustrations are also entertaining, reminding me a little bit of Cyanide and Happiness and another comic that I can’t recall.
Lots of blood splatter, lots of vampires and lots of swearing, which is just up my alley for Regency-era anything.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Bloodlust & Bonnets releases 17 September 2019 from Andrews McMeel Publishing