Book 3 of the Casa Dracula series opens with a different Casa Dracula... er, Grant household... than we've seen before-- the family Milagro has come to love is no longer around. Edna, Oswald's grandmother, is off with her new boy-toy, Thomas Cook (from book 2), cousin Sam and his wife Winnie are living in their own home with their baby, cousin Gabriel is off doing whatever his security work requires, and her plastic surgeon fiance, Oswald, is working long hours with little time or patience for Milagro.
So that leaves Milagro pretty much on her own to begin planning her upcoming nuptials to not-a-vampire Oswald and meeting with the Vampire Council's Rules Committee to get their approval for the wedding.
This book was an enjoyable and often emotional continuation of and conclusion to the journey started in the previous two Casa Dracula books: Happy Hour at Casa Dracula and Midnight Brunch.
As in the previous books, Bride is multi-layered-- there's witty dialogue, eccentric characters and often oddball situations. Acosta's crazy whodunits are not to be missed because even though you might guess the WHO, the REAL fun is trying to figure out WHICH Who done WHICH What! And let me be clear that even if you think you've figured it all out--you haven't.
But underlying all is Milagro's (often subconscious) quest for belonging and finding her place in this world. In Bride, she thinks she's found it, but then starts to question what's right... and what's wrong; who she is... and who she isn't; what love is... and what it isn't; what she wants... and what she doesn't.
Several times while reading Bride, I wanted to put my arm around her and say "Girlfriend, we need to talk.", but you know what? Milagro figures out a lot of the answers to those questions all on her own. And even though she draws the right conclusions, it doesn't make it any less emotional for her AND the Reader.
Not too long ago, in an online group that I occasionally visit, a librarian needed recommendations for paranormals that she could put on the shelves for her patrons; specifically, she was having trouble finding paranormals that were not full of graphic sex. Well, the Casa Dracula series immediately came to mind (it's sexy, but not sex filled; trust me, you won't miss it), and after I posted about this witty and warm series, it turns out I was not alone. I highly recommend this series, although I think that reading The Bride of Casa Dracula as a standalone might deprive the reader of building the emotional connection created in the first two books.