A Dowry of Blood
This sensational novel tells the darkly seductive tale of Dracula's first bride, Constanta.
This is my last love letter to you, though some would call it a confession. . .
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.
"A dizzying nightmare of a romance that will leave you aching, angry and ultimately hopeful." --Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf
Anyone going into Gibson's purported retelling of Dracula expecting it to do what it says on the tin is in for a surprise; the few glancing allusions to the original are so brief as to be barely a footnote. The dark, seductive tale that Gibson (Robber Girl) delivers instead has far more in common with "Bluebeard." It takes the form of a love letter/murder confession from the heroine, Constanta, to the captivating but tyrannical unnamed vampire who turned her and made her his bride before becoming her abuser, chronicling their relationship from plague-ridden medieval Romania through a violent, whirlwind tour of Europe, to 1920s France. Along the way, Constanta's husband masterfully manipulates her into twice agreeing to expand their family, turning first Magdalena, a ruthless Spaniard, then Alexi, a boisterous Russian actor, into vampires and bringing them into their marriage bed. Passion and genuine love arise between "my lord's" three consorts, and it's Constanta's concern for Magdalena and Alexi that finally allows her to break her husband's thrall and see his strict rules and jealous rages for what they are. The result is a messy, in-depth portrait of emotional abuse that nails Constanta's complex intermingling of love, pain, fear, and anger in mesmerizing prose. Thorny, fast-paced, and unabashedly queer, this is sure to draw readers in.