Yesterday, Erin shared the cover. Today, I’m reviewing the book! That’s what teamwork is all about!
This 1971 novel is all about an 18 year-old named Teena Halliday. Needless to say, anyone with a name like Teena Halliday is going to be young, beautiful, and innocent. Teena was perfectly happy living in a Mediterranean villa with her mom but then her mom had to go off and get remarried. With her mom heading off to South America on a whirlwind honeymoon, Teena is being sent to Massachusetts, where she’ll stay with the Rentlows, some distant relatives that she has yet to actually meet. Teena is hoping that, once she’s in Boston, she’ll get the chance to spend some time with her father. However, when Teena arrives, her father is nowhere to be seen.
Instead, Teena is met by the mysterious but handsome Rory, who takes her to Rentlow Retreat. Teena meets the Rentlows and discovers that they’re a bit more eccentric than she was expecting. Neither Uncle Charlie nor Aunt June seem to be happy to see her and Teena’s cousin Estrella obviously views Teena as being competition for Rory’s attention. In fact, the only person who seems to be the least bit welcoming is Jeremy Rentlow.
Jeremy is a world-renowned sculptor, despite the fact that everyone and everything that poses for him seems to end up dead. The family seems to always be nervous around Jeremy. Could it have something to do with those rumors that Jeremy might be a vampire? Teena isn’t quite sure what to make of Jeremy, especially when he starts to tell her that she’s the most beautiful woman that he’s ever seen and that she simply must pose for him. Teena is hesitant but what else is she going to do? I mean, she has to do something to pass the time, especially considering that her dog Scuffy dies of a mysterious “wasting” disease shortly after Teena arrives at Rentlow Retreat.
Of course, soon, Teena is not only starting to feel a bit anemic herself but Jeremy suddenly announces that they’re going to be married and Teena is not to leave the estate! Is Jeremy a vampire or is he a human with serious and dangerous control issues? Is Teena being drained of blood or is she feeling weak because of the stress of the situation in which she’s found herself? You can probably guess the answer to both of those questions.
Just like Air Force One Is Haunted, The Vampire Curse is one of the books that I found while searching through my aunt’s old paperback collection. It was a fun and (at 196 pages) quick read. It’s very much a gothic romance first and a vampire story second but there’s an undeniable charm to the efficiency with which author Daoma Winston told the story. Everything you could want from a gothic romance is here: breathless, first person storytelling, an old house, an eccentric family, a dark secret, passionate kisses and, of course, a hedge maze. There’s always a hedge maze.
The Vampire Curse was an enjoyable read. I’m a bit stunned that Lifetime has never adapted the book into a film. If they can turn everything credited to V.C. Andrews into a “film event,” surely they can find some time for The Vampire Curse.