The Hungarian by Stephanie Burkhart


The Hungarian by Stephanie Burkhart
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full (266 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

Katherine Archibald is in search of a grand adventure.

A young woman in late Victorian England, she wants to open up a bookstore in London and travel Europe hunting down rare books. Love isn’t on her map.

Enter Matthias Duma. The Hungarian count captures Katherine’s attention like no other man before him with his unusual gold-malachite eyes, his exotic features, and his command of the night sky.
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After a night of intrigue during Katherine’s birthday, she discovers the map does include love in the legend, but will the map lead her to Budapest and the dark, brooding Hungarian she’s just met?

Quiet and dark (much like its hero), The Hungarian is a treat to be savored and not sped through.

I’ve read other books by Ms. Burkhart, but this one is different. It’s slower paced, and has a much darker, gothic feel. It started rather abruptly with our protagonists meeting in the heroine’s family library, and I was surprised at how forward both were considered the times and the fact they didn’t know each other. Still, Katherine is a bit atypical for her time being learned (she loves to read and is fascinated by astronomy and astrology) and plans on opening her own business: a bookstore.

There are plenty of subplots beyond just the romance (and its “hairy” problems), with intrigues including a custody battle and a question of Count Duma’s paternity (as well as a very angry and jealous rival, who believes they are brothers). But even with these, the story meanders a bit. I love the author’s writing ability and her voice, and I’m a big fan of her books, but this one wasn’t quite as gripping as her others have been. Still, she’s managed to create interesting and unique characters, especially those which populate Count Duma’s household and I was invested enough in them to keep reading even when the pace slowed a bit.

Moving between England and Hungary, and highlighting the difference between the countries, was fascinating. The road to our lovers’ happy ever after is not easy and certainly has its bumps, but Katherine, especially is an admirable character and I enjoyed watching her learn, adjust and accept Matthias for who (and what) he was.

The last several chapters of this book are clearly setting up the next, and I look forward to seeing Ms. Burkhart redeem one of the less admirable characters from this book.

If you like paranormal romances with a deeply gothic feel, this one would be a good fit. It’s a little outside the norm of romance and paranormal books and is written by a skilled author who knows how to turn a phrase.


  1. Thank you for hosting

  2. Loved this review. Sounds like an awesome story.

  3. Thanks for your review, it sounds like a unique story

  4. Great review, thank you.

  5. Nice review.

  6. Nice review

  7. Thank you so much for the review. I’m always tickled pink to get a review from Long & Short. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. It is a bit of a different style, more gothic than my other stories.

    All the best
    Steph Burkhart
    Romance Under the Moonlight

  8. Mary Preston says

    I like the idea of a Gothic read.

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