Well, well, well has 2020 been a year of change and transformation, or what?
It’s no secret on this blog that I hated the book Stalking Jack the Ripper. It is one of my lowest rated books and my review of it was probably the most rant-y I’ve ever posted. I was so disappointed in everything about that novel which I truly expected to love – I found Thomas Cresswell to be insufferable and annoying, and Audrey Rose struck me as one of the most pompous female leads of all time. When I cleared out a bunch of books from my home to donate last summer, I actually held onto my copy of Stalking Jack the Ripper because I wanted to see it on my bookshelf and be reminded of the fact that it’s possibly to hate a work of fiction with the full intensity of your soul.
And then, for some reason, about a month ago I decided to pick up the sequel in the series, Hunting Prince Dracula. I felt like I had undergone so many changes to my personality in 2019 and 2020 that maybe, just maybe, I could find it in my heart to give Thomas and Audrey Rose a second chance. While I was skeptical in the beginning of the novel and struggled to feel connected to them, by the end I was truly blown away and 100% in. Audrey Rose was quickly becoming one of my fictional besties, and I placed the third book on hold on my public library’s app right away.
When it became available on the app, I was reading Midnight Sun and feeling really bored and lacklustre about it…so I DNFed it faster than you can say “sparkly vampires” and electronically cracked Escaping from Houdini open. From the first page, I was pretty much obsessed, and I actually stayed up until 2:00am one night, while my son was sleeping, to finish the book (yes, I did very much regret this the next morning!). Before I was even done, I had borrowed the final novel in the series on the library app…I was, quite honestly, hooked.
Capturing the Devil was even better than all the other books in the series, in my opinion, and is my newest favourite.
If 2020 wasn’t weird enough, my least favourite novel of all time led me to one of my favourites. Who even knows what else this crazy year has in store?!
Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Who even am I?
Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of my least favourite books that I have ever read. I hated Audrey Rose. Thomas made me roll my eyes. The mystery was far-fletched and insulted my intelligence
Then I read Hunting Prince Dracula and found myself intrigued. I started to like Audrey Rose. Thomas made me laugh at times. The plot was suspenseful and exciting.
And now, here I am gobbling up Escaping from Houdini like some type of legitimate fan of this series. What on Earth?! Somehow, this novel made me fall in love with Audrey Rose because she was flawed and human and real. And by the end, my heart bled for Thomas and I just wanted to see them finally make their relationship official. Not to mention the gothic ambiance and atmosphere that I longed to return to whenever I wasn’t read.
What can I say, I am a changed woman. Jeeze! Onto the final book in the series, I say…
❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)
Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
Let no person ever say that I am not open-minded or willing to change my opinions.
I don’t even know who I am anymore. Okay, no, I do…I’m an Audrey Rose and Thomas Shipper.
How I went from loathing (and I do mean LOATHING) Stalking Jack the Ripper to being hopelessly intrigued by Hunting Prince Dracula and Escaping from Houdini to falling madly in love with Capturing the Devil is beyond me. Maniscalco is one talented author for making me do a complete 180 degree change in my feelings towards her characters, and somehow I find myself actually sad to be leaving Audrey Rose behind. She’s become a dear fictional friend.
Jeeze, if 2020 wasn’t a darn strange year already, it certainly is now!
Pick up this series, people, and push through it because it is sooo worth it in the end!
“‘You are my heart. No one can take it.’” – Audrey Rose 🥀
❥❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)
Girl with a Green (& Open-Minded) Heart