The House on Blackstone Moor - Carole Gill This story was about as good as that badly photo shopped cover. Some parts cool, other parts not so well done.

This technically had everything I was looking for: gothic, vamps, dark topics, romance, angst, an absence of big shiny bows (well, actually...) It was a good idea but it just wasn't put together effectively, which was a shame for a book with tons of potential.

The author worked really hard to shock and pull at the angststrings. Too hard. The sheer volume of OTT wtfery ended up desensitizing me ("Yeah, yeah. The person we're supposed to have come to love gets unjustly eviscerated. Ok, hurry up already. I'm ready for this to be over.") By the end, I felt everyone would be well served to stay the hell away from the heroine, considering how not even the immortal beings were safe in her company.

Plus, as brave as this story tries to be, too much effort was made to make the good bad guys acceptable. For example, a demon vampire damned to hell shouldn't require being drugged in order to participate in such mild debauchery as orgies or feel guilty later. Come on! He's the damned! Let your fangs down and par-tay!

There are more books in this series with really good reviews. I don't know if they get better or if people are just looking for certain elements and are willing to wade through the mosh pit of overkill in order to get that occasional rush (I've been known to frequently share that attitude). Since the next one is about the bad bad guy, maybe he'll actually true to character and not such a moralistic emo.