Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Vampires in fiction can be from any time period, newly made; older than time itself, but Arthur Tudor is one of the older kind who has hidden his vampire existence from the public for many long years. While on an airship, he meets a vampire slayer to be just too good to pass up, Avalon, and together they make the steampunk equivalent of Holmes and Watson in order to find out the murderer who stalks the streets of Victorian England.
Arthur delights in telling his victims his true Tudor lineage before he takes their lives as he is a real descendant of Henry Tudor, and sees nothing wrong it them knowing who he really is, though it’s not exactly great that he has to keep it secret from the living. To them he is known as only Lord York.
Avalon Revisited is full of the usual courtesy and drama associated with period romance novels, but this lifts the dress and the petticoats of this Victorian erotic story with Arthur acting as rake, and saviour for all women. Unlike most vampire stories, Arthur can be seen in a mirror, though in this particular story, his reflection fades with each century that passes, and he also reveals another secret to the reader, that he was once Spring-Heeled Jack, the terror of Victorian England. His reason for not continuing his scourge on the women there was simple, once a kill on sight order was put out; he felt it necessary to stop his killings.
Arthur is captivated by Avalon and like him, she has a mystery surrounding her name she attributes to having a father obsessed by Arthurian legend. As she has “spunk” as he puts it, he is very much interested in her, and takes it upon him to be around her for most of the journey. It takes a while, but Arthur gets to be alone with her, and that is when the fun starts. Along the course of the novel, we meet Nicholas, a friend of his with similar tastes in women, though he prefers them younger and less restrained in a marriage. Arthur dodges and weaves around the women who would hamper him from talking to Avalon, who he finds most interesting in conversation. She finds him the same, and wants to be with him, and this makes the story more of a tease rather than a standard erotic romp as readers are made to wait before being satisfied – and it’s not bad to have your desires fulfilled after a long while.
Avalon Revisited is filled with rakes, rakehells and a dashing number of loose women – it’s perfect for those evenings when you want to be huddled in bed, but are still awake and need an excuse.