Tag Archives: vampire

Review of Blood Shackles (Rebel Vampires #2), by Rosemary A. Johns

I won a signed copy of Blood Shackles, by Rosemary A. Johns through Goodreads.

What happens when SPARTACUS meets VAMPIRES? Except the vampires are the slaves… In a divided paranormal London, Light is the rebel vampire of the Blood Lifer world, with a talent for remembering things. And a Triton motorbike. Since Victorian times he’s hidden in the shadows. But not now. Not since someone hunted and enslaved him. When he’s bought by his alluring Mistress, Light fights to escape. Even if he can’t escape their love. But if he doesn’t, he’ll never solve the conspiracy behind the Blood Club…


Who are these ruthless humans? Who’s their brutal leader? And who betrayed the secret of the Blood Lifer world?


London, Primrose Hill. Grayse is the commanding slaver’s daughter. The enemy. She buys Light, like he’s a pair of designer shoes. So why does Light feel so drawn to her? Ashamed, he battles with his desire, even as he burns for her. Can a slave truly love his Mistress? Especially when his family is still in chains. Will he risk everything – even his new love – to save them?


Does a chilling conspiracy lie behind it all? A stunning revelation leads Light to an inconceivable truth. To the dark heart of the Blood Club. If he can face his worst terrors, he can save his family and his whole species from slavery.

Maybe he can even save himself.

Honestly better than I expected. I always approach anything involving slavery, especially romance, very warily. So many ways to go wrong. But this managed not to glorify it or the abuse the slaves endure, physically, mentally and sexually. It was a little glossed over, still uncomfortable though, but not made out to be anything but horrible. This is not something I enjoy and I struggled getting through the book since a decent amount of it is dedicated to man talking about what it’s like to be broken.

I even eventually got used to the journaling format it is written it. But I could not stand the cant the characters spoke. Nut for head, neb for nose, lobehole for ear, mush for mouth, etc, etc, etc, etc. OMG it was endless and annoying. Plus, despite being set in modern London and one of the characters growing up in Boston, they all spoke it. Even the rich people you’d have expected to be well educated.

I also found it a little odd how many opportunities vampires had to kill their captors, even when they weren’t mentally broken, but instead just fought them. They pushed them or broke a bone or talked when they were perfectly capable of killing them and moving on. Especially when Light is made out to be an exceptional fighter.

The writing is very good and the editing fine, maybe not perfect but fine. I don’t know that I’d be interested in more of this series, but I’d be perfectly willing to read more of Johns’ writing. I found a lot of it thought provoking, even if disconcerting.


Review of Amaranth (The Resistance Trilogy #1), by Rachael Wade

I apparently downloaded Rachel Wade’s Amaranth in 2013. It was a freebie and, as it’s still free, I can only assume it’s a perma-freebie.

Description from Goodreds:
Hoodoo-influenced Southern Louisiana seems like the perfect place for Camille to escape her abusive past and dysfunctional family. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with the handsome Gavin Devereaux and plummet into the world of Amaranth, a place of exile for reformed vampires.

Wrestling to escape a deadly ex-boyfriend while giving Gavin a chance, Camille is confronted with decisions that threaten not only her life, but the lives of her inhuman friends she has come to love. Entangled in her friends’ quest for freedom, she dives into their realm and faces the threats of Amaranth’s ruler—the mother of all vampires—and her own inner demons.

Now Camille must decide whether she will derail her life and make the ultimate sacrifice for the monsters that interrupted her bumpy path back to sanity—what she still wants so desperately—or escape with Gavin before it’s too late for both of them.

This might have had a good idea in it somewhere but it’s not written well enough for me to tell. Several times I was simply lost and didn’t know what was happening. For example, the book starts in Paris, with Camille talking about leaving her abusive boyfriend in Seattle. Next chapter, she’s in Louisiana talking about leaving her abusive boyfriend, but not the same abusive boyfriend. No idea what happened to the first one or how she ended up with this second one or when she moved to Louisiana. But more to the point, it took quite a while to figure out what was going on. It was jarring.

I marked several passages in which I literally couldn’t figure out what was actually supposed to be happening. Sometimes the writing was just unclear. The pacing is odd and I was often uncertain about time frames. There are several inconsistencies and also a lot of presumed knowledge. I felt like, as a reader, I’d been left out of some essential planning meeting and everyone around me was just going on as if I knew something I didn’t. The characters were one-dimensional and the writing flat.

Gavin and Camille’s relationship is practically insta-love and we’re told how amazing it is, but never shown anything. I never felt any chemistry between them. Then there is Gabe and Audrey. They fall in love off-page and apparently she’s turned into a vampire and let in on all the vampire knowledge that Camille isn’t. Camille introduced her to the vampires and somehow she’s allowed in on all the secrets but the main character isn’t? Yeah, that’s how this book rolled and you sure to feel it.

Worst of all Camille was spineless for most of the book, despite readers being told she’s strong and then she runs off and does something amazingly too stupid to live. Seriously, unbelievably stupid!

Honestly, I just think this needed a lot more work.

Review of Bittersweet Magic (The Order #2), by Nina Croft

I won a copy of Nina Croft‘s Bittersweet Magic through Fresh Fiction.

Description from Goodreads:
Five hundred years ago, to avoid being burned at the stake, Rosamund Fairfax made a deal with a demon. Thirteen tasks in exchange for her life. Now, the debt is nearly paid. Only one final task and she’s free. The mission: find a key hidden inside a convent. Roz is going undercover!

For Piers Lamont, vampire and head of the Order of the Shadow Accords, bad news comes in the form of a sexy nun, a missing key and an old mistress who wants him back. That his ex-mistress also happens to be a demon intent on taking over the world and subjugating mankind, just makes things that bit more interesting.

For five centuries, Roz has had one aim in life—her own survival. That’s about to change. She has always known there are things were living for, now she’s going to discover that there are also things worth dying for; friendship, humanity and maybe even… love.

Ok look, this review will be a bit spoilery and it is going to be ranty because I am raging inside. This book made me so angry I almost couldn’t finish it. I’ll say upfront, the plotting is a bit rushed, but the writing is fine. I have no problem with the quality of the writing or editing. What I have a problem with is the asshole, raping ‘hero’ and love based on nothing at all.

Some will argue that there was no penis/vagina penetration, so there was no rape. But the man TWICE brought her to orgasim without her consent, in a situation when she couldn’t refuse, and then thought he wiped her memory of it so she wouldn’t even know. That’s fucking sexual assault and how dare anyone, Nina Croft I’m talking to you, pass that off as the basis for fucking love!

Now, let’s talk about that love, yeah? He’s a smug, sexually harassing asshat to her from the moment they meet. Then she’s panting and all but begging him to take her while thinking about how she couldn’t control her body. Sorry, show women at least enough respect to presume we can control ourselves like adults. And what was she attracted to? What? He was not appealing. And somehow, despite his frankly revolting attitude they fall in love. I felt no chemistry, even outside of how horrid he was. The love was ridiculous and completely unbelievable. It was also morally objectionable, need I remind you of the lack of consent, but we’ll set that aside.

I was seriously angry about the H/h relations in this book. But I also have to complain about the twist at the end of the book that was beyond the pale. As if the baddy would give up all her hard earned plans for that. Again, give women a little respect and show them to have at least one ambition beyond a freakin’ godly dicking! And the too stupid to live, i’m gonna run off to the rescue with no plan and then have a miraculous deus ex machina save at the last second? Please, get outta here with that crap.

I won this book and I always appreciate a free read. But I wish I hadn’t. i wish it had gone to someone who would have liked it more…or at least been less enraged by it.