by S.T. Gibson
Published by Nyx Publishing
Release Date: January 31st 2021
Genres: Adult, Gothic, Horror, LGBTQ+, Paranormal
Format Read: eBook
A lyrical and dreamy reimagining of Dracula’s brides, A DOWRY OF BLOOD is a story of desire, obsession, and emancipation.
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.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Dowry of Blood is a novella in length, dark gothic vampiric romance story by S.T. Gibson. Before opening the book you are presented with an unforgettable macabre cover of a shrouded women surround by skeletons by the talent artist Marlowe Lune and that just the beginning of the feelings as they start their way in.
Be ready to be enthralled by the dark and beautiful story over centuries of time told as an open letter to Dracula from his bride Constanta. After Constanta was saved from the brink of death by Dracula, her love and understanding for him knew no bounds until he begins to grow their family. That’s when she then starts to understand the true monster that her beloved could be and must find an escape. But bonds forged by blood can only be broken by death. Gibson’s eloquent words are so unexpected that you are completely unaware of the dark tendrils of feeling encasing around your heart, leaving you in awe after every page. From beginning to end you think that you know the story but each page is a new refreshing point of view and plot twist to this classic.
You can feel the conflicted feelings Constanta has through the whole story between that line of love and devotion. From the time of her rebirth, still grasping that thread of humanity to be inherently a good person and only use her new form to hunt people who were murders and abusers. The way her feelings change again to doubt her unwavered loyalty when Dracula changes Magdalena and brings her into the fold of their family and into their bed, without confiding in her. Constanta stayed forever the obedient wife burying her deep feelings of jealous and hurt. Everything she did or said was a lesson learned in not angering Dracula. The bond that formed from love and need for companionship between Constanta and Magdalena was one of my favorite parts, as Constanta found a true friend out of the jealousy. After centuries of Dracula’s control tightening, Magdalena started to lose her mind which lead him to turning Alexi, something new to occupy her time. While that satisfied the needs of their bed and sanity for some time, it was the beginning of the end. The more Dracula used them against each other, the deeper their bond grew. Once completely imprisoned by Dracula they had no choice but to use his darkest secrets against him in one last collaborated stance to fight for their freedom.
This quote sent chills and I am stilling talking about this book days after finishing it:
“Love makes Monsters of us, Constanta, and not everyone is cut out for monstrosity.”
The ending was satisfying although bitter sweet, and I truly hope that S.T. Gibson writes another glimpse into the lives of Constanta, Magdalena, and Alexi. This book features characters that are bisexual and features a m/f/f/m poycule relationship. I highly recommend this book for people who like a dark gothic forbidden romance.
As a motocross and corporate event photographer Stephanie started a photography project to find her creative eye again. As an avid reader she stumbled across the wonderful community of bookstagram and The.Bookish.Photog was born from a passion of taking pictures and a love of reading in 2016. You can find her photographing book events like Beaulitfulcon, BookCon, Origins Event, Apollycon and North Texas Teen Book Festival.
Working in the fast pace corporate world doesn’t leave much time to sit and relax with a book so she is always on the go with an audiobook and her camera. Steph enjoys getting out of the real world and losing herself in anything fantasy, she is also a lover of historical fiction and a good hate-to-love trope. Collector of Book Beaus and lover of Outlander and anything by Jay Kristoff or Leigh Bardugo.