Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Review of Dating the Undead (Bite Nights #1), by Juliet Lyons

I picked up an e-copy of Juliet LyonsDating the Undead when it was a freebie, way back in 2017.

Description from Goodreads:

Silver Harris is done with clingy men—maybe men altogether. But when she shares a toe-curling kiss with a sexy Irish vampire on New Year’s Eve, she decides maybe it’s human men she’s done with. Silver turns to the popular vampire dating site, V-Date. When the undead gentlemen come calling, soon she’s in over her head. And her mysterious hottie is nowhere to be found…

Logan Byrne can’t get that sassy redhead out of his head—or that kiss! When his boss assigns him to spy on V-Date members, he meets Silver again. Turns out, the police are recruiting humans to snitch on vampires through the dating site. As the snark and sparks fly, feelings between Silver and Logan grow deep. Logan isn’t sure he can go through with his mission to make Silver forget everything she knows about vampires…and betray her.

But in the tight-knit London community of centuries-old vampires, history and grudges run deep and dating the undead can be risky business.

Review:

Meh, not bad but also not anything to write home about either. I truly did enjoy that Silver and Logan’s relationship seemed to be based on joy and, though the sex scenes weren’t graphic, it was apparent that the two of them were genuinely enjoying themselves. Sex doesn’t always have to be some big, brooding, important thing. It can be laughing and teasing and light too. I appreciated that. I also appreciated that Logan wasn’t some big, uber-important alpha vampire. He was as close to a normal guy as a vampire can be. I didn’t dislike Silver. But it’s hard to get too excited about a girl who says about herself that her only hobbies are going to parties and shopping. I was a little limp about her. Plus, she didn’t have a single female friend other than a stepsister she could tolerate and an elderly neighbor. Every other female in the book is either catty or a villain. (Why do authors do this?) All in all, I’m not sorry to have read it and I would read another in the series. But I’m not rushing out to buy them all either.

Review of Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1), by Melissa F. Olson

In 2017, I purchased a copy of Melissa F. Olson‘s Midnight Curse from Amazon. It is yet one more book I unearthed when I went through all my ebooks recently.

Description from Goodreads:

Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

But on the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. Meanwhile, the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—and the penalty is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Review:

I really quite enjoyed this. I admit that I didn’t know that this is actually the first book in a spin-off of sorts to a previous trilogy. (Well, it’s all the same characters, but apparently three years later). So, it would more honestly be labeled book four, in my opinion. But it’s readable on its own. I could follow the plot no problem, but I did feel I was missing quite a bit of history between the characters.

I liked Scarlette’s character a lot, enjoyed Jesse, and appreciated the side characters. The world is effortlessly diverse and the plot kept me interested until the end. Admittedly, the plot hinges on the abuse of women and I am just soooo tired of this always being the plotline. I have asked repeatedly, is this really the only plot available to authors? But that’s my biggest complaint. I’ll absolutely be looking for more by Olson.

Review of The Vampire’s Curse (Things in the Night #1), by Mandy Rosko

I think I picked my copy of Mandy Rosko‘s The Vampire’s Curse from Smashwords. Though if I’m honest, I’m not 100% sure.

Description from Goodreads:

With this kiss… In a city that cannot be found on any map that is inhabited entirely by witches, warlocks, vampires, and werewolves, Kyle McKane is seeking a cure for a curse that turns him into a blood hungry vampire during the night, and leaves him an exhausted, sleep deprived human during the day. …she will cure him… Jackie Moore is probably the worst witch in the city apart from her ability to heal wounds and illnesses with a touch of her lips. She rarely sees outsiders and is stunned to come face to teeth with Kyle when he finally succumbs to his hunger and attempts to bite her. …whether she wants to or not… Instead she grabs him by the ears and kisses away his curse before he can sink his fangs into her. The problem is that the cure is only temporary until Kyle turns again the next night, and then goes out in search of Jackie so that she can cure him again, whether she wants to or not.

Review:

This simply wasn’t all that great. But more important in terms of my personal review, it didn’t push any pleasure buttons for me. So many times I stopped and asked myself, why do authors do that. Why do they never truly punish the villains? Why do they use the protagonist’s capacity to forgive to prove how good they are, even when the person doesn’t deserve (hasn’t done work toward) forgiveness? Why do they think sappy backstories make them forgivable? Why do they give the male half of a mystical pairing special powers, but not the female? Why do they make female characters so wishy-washy and internally uncertain? Why do they set the bar so low for male characters that they get credit for being wonderful for doing almost nothing? Why do they make twist so damned obvious? Why do some authors make the ultimate villain literally the only other named character in the book (not too hard to figure out when there is only one person on the board)? So many times I found myself asking why did this author have to ruin this book this way. Plus, it took me 3 whole days to finish it. So, it felt like it went on forever.