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Hunting Prince Dracula (SJTR #2)

[A quick note: This series is growing on me so much! And how cute is that teacup from LitJoy Crate? I also have a skull light thing that I got from Fae Crate in the background there but itโ€™s for a different fandom. I just liked that it went with my Halloween vibe.]

โ€œ๐–๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ง. ๐‡๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐จ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐š ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐›๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ, ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ˆ. ๐๐ž๐ซ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐Ÿ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐œ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐  ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง. ๐“๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐›๐จ๐ซ๐ง ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐จ๐ซ, ๐ง๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฌ๐จ๐œ๐ข๐ž๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ. ๐–๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ž๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž.โ€ โ€”Kerri Maniscalco

After the events in London surrounding the Jack the Ripper case, Audrey Rose is whisked away to Romania to attend a prestigious forensic science academy. But it would seem that her penchant for solving mysteries follows her when a string of new murders emerge.

With a Victorian Era setting in an old Romanian castle, dangerous underground tunnels, a dark academia feel, and a killer on the loose, what more could you want from an autumn read? Throw in a strong female MC who doesnโ€™t take kindly to others telling her what to do, and youโ€™ve got the makings of a fierce read. Oh, and donโ€™t forget the romance! Thereโ€™s plenty of that too, with some great dialogue and banter.

I had so much fun reading this, and I enjoyed it more than the first book. Especially Audrey Roseโ€™s character arc and watching her overcome her struggle after the events of SJTR. Most of my reading was done outdoors on the patio in the crisp evening beside the fire. That made for the perfect atmospheric feel. I even put some spooky music on in the background. What better way to approach Halloween?!

The strongest aspect of this book was the setting. Setting is EVERYTHING. This one has it all. Itโ€™s set in an old castleโ€”Vlad Draculaโ€™s castle to be more specificโ€”at a forensic science academy. Thereโ€™s old castle vibes, dark academia vibes, creepy haunted tunnel vibes too, and cult worship vibes. Basically, thereโ€™s everything you want for a perfect murder mystery. I especially liked the way history and popular myths were combined with the aspects of period murder, the use of arsenic poisoning, and other bits of science relative to the time.

As far as murder mysteries go, I rarely read them. Theyโ€™re not generally the type of book I seek out. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this so much, working along side Audrey Rose with all the clues for โ€œwho-done-it.โ€ I could NOT figure out who the murder was. I was taken by absolute surprise. Isnโ€™t that the BEST?

โ€œ๐…๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ง๐จ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ฌ; ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ง๐ฎ๐ฆ๐›๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž. ๐–๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ˆ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฆ. ๐€๐ง ๐š๐ฆ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ๐จ ๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ฅ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ.โ€ โ€”Kerri Maniscalco

The romance in this was really, REALLY cute. I adore Audrey Rose and Thomas. Their characters are perfect complements. The banter left me chuckling. Thomas is so cheeky and I love his swagger, even though its mostly done for Audreyโ€™s sake. What I liked the most? They both had to grow together as a couple. Thereโ€™s a time during this book that their relationship was really challenged and tested, and I enjoyed that.

Finally, I appreciated the ending. I like that even though the book closes up nicely, it gives you a definite hint into whatโ€™s coming next. I canโ€™t wait to see what the next adventure holds for our duo. ๐Œ๐˜ ๐‘๐€๐“๐ˆ๐๐†: ๐Ÿ“/๐Ÿ“โญ๏ธ


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