Dying for an Invitation by Theresa Braun
"Dacie returns to Romania where she's ready to coax her invisible childhood playmate to reveal himself to her. Tension and passion fire up between them. Dacie's mother spouts cautionary advice regarding the supernatural; however, Dacie shirks the warning as nonsense born from local legends. A lost letter lands in Dacie's hands, suggesting the powers of the undead might have a grip on the family lineage. When her mother dies, so do the answers. And, Dacie needs the comfort of her unseen companion more than ever..."
I've read a few tales by Theresa Braun now, the author of Fountain Dead, Dead over Heels and have realised that one of the many things she is really good with her writing is characterisation. These always feel like real people to me. Within a few paragraphs she'll have you really emotionally invested in them caring deeply about what happens to them.
Like with her other works I've read I find once I start reading it is hard to stop. It's less than 50 pages so you can easily digest this in one sitting. Of course there's vampires in this, but this isn't your run of the mill vampire tale. It's not about the blood frenzy but what the vampire needs to sustain their dark soul.
I loved the setting of Transylvania, superstitions, old castles and an ancient family full of secrets and heartbreak spanning centuries. There was a great atmosphere to this creepy tale and it moves at a quick pace.
Dacie has a big choice to make, to follow the protective superstitions of her culture and escape back to the modern world, or follow her heart and stay in her homeland.