Vlad All Over by Beth Orsoff
What a fabulous concept. I loved this new book by one of my favorite authors. Luckily, for me and other readers Ms. Orsoff maintains her creativity and her writing ability and in some ways has even had that ability mature and strengthen. This novel contains Beth’s’ usual assortment of very believable and mostly likable characters. Her writing is crisp, the dialogue believable. The history and legends of the country are discussed in terms that everyone will understand and want to know more about.
This was a very unusual plot, and that includes the romantic aspect of it. Although you will find that romance really takes a back seat in “Vlad All Over”. This novel is driven not only by the relationship of the protagonists, but more so by the ‘non-relationship’ they will eventually end up with.
Gwen is oh so many things; she is a schoolteacher, an adopted child and now the nanny for the summer of one of her students. As the nanny, she will be spending the summer in Romania. An unusual country in which to stage a woman’s lit novel. After all Romania is the land of Dracula – Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler. I should have know that Ms Orsoff would not be content to set her novel in such a mundane area such as the USA…Ms Orsoff has been known to take her books into interesting realms and she sure has with this one!
I find it difficult to discuss the plot in my review since I’m so hopped up about this book that I’m afraid that I’ll give away too many spoilers. Suffice it to say that this book contains all the usual elements of a woman’s lit novel – a damsel who sort of in distress who is also stubborn, sometimes even bit@hy. It also has an over bearing, rich, know-it-all alpha male protagonist- widower Alex Romanescu and an adorable child Isabella (Alex’s daughter), and many interesting secondary characters. There so many secondary and tertiary characters that are so interesting, that I hope they will eventually have a book to themselves or at least have more of their stories told in the next book.
If I had one issue it is that Gwen does become a little tedious in her protestations of what Alex does to her. I understand that it is a plot device meant to keep us wondering, but sometimes I just felt that the lady did protest (and fight) too much! I understood it was necessary but I didn’t have to love it. Although it did keep things ‘real’ and interesting.
Yes, there is going to be a sequel to “Vlad All Over”. We, unfortunately, do not get a conclusion to the story line in this book. Therefore, we are kept hanging, and if you are like me and do not read the previews at the end of books - I suggest you do with this novel, it will shock you. At least it did for me.