Tag Archives: vampires

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Book Review: In Her Thrall, by Chloe Parker

I picked up a copy of Chloe Parker‘s In her Thrall as an Amazon freebie, over the summer.
in her thrall cover

Rumor has it there’s a beautiful beast stalking the English countryside.

For hundreds of years, the Van Helsing family has searched for the creature Dracula, a demon of the night that stalks the shadows for hapless prey. Freshly returned from service in the Great War, Van Helsing heir Jonathan Edgewood finds himself in the English countryside on a hunch that the creature has taken a new form: the Lady of Harker Heights, Bianca Ivyshade.

Each year on All Hollow’s Eve, Bianca hosts an extravagant ball, and Jonathan has landed an invitation. He brings with him two other vampire hunters and his Great War compatriots: shy scientist Marcus Ryder and charming occultist Edward Shelley.

When a storm confines the guests to the manor for the night, Jonathan, Marcus, and Edward find themselves irresistibly drawn to the beautiful Bianca. And they soon learn that there are secrets hidden at Harker Heights—and perhaps even a greater evil than the vampiress herself.

Will the men escape with their lives? Or will they fall under the vampire’s thrall?

my review

To begin with, the blurb is a little inaccurate about the setup of the plot of the book. While not devastatingly important, it is annoying. So, I figured I’d mention it.

More importantly, this is mostly smut, with just enough plot to string it all together in some sort of context. That’s not a criticism; just making sure we’re on the same page about what sort of book this is. It’s pretty good for what it is, too. The villain (and thus the challenge that gave the book what little plot it has) is pretty cliched; nothing new, original, or interesting there. The same could be said for Bianca. She challenges none of the norms for female characters of her ilk. But I liked her well enough.

I found Jon, Marcus, and Edward interesting. Perhaps not particularly well-developed since the book isn’t deep enough to allow for it. But I enjoyed them all the same. There is sword-crossing and a genuine pre-existing relationship between two of the men, and I liked that. However, by the end of the book, the relationship configuration felt like two couples who overlap rather than one polycule, which is perhaps a little disappointing. But, again, enjoyable enough.

I have book two of this series, which I intend to read. And honestly, the fact that I’m willing to continue the series says more about the book than any of the above.

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Other Reviews:

Sexy Sexy Vampire Sexy Sex

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Book Review: Reject Me, by Kel Carpenter & Aurelia Jane

In my other incarnation as Sadie of Sadie’s Spotlight, I received a free copy of Kel Carpenter and Aurelia Jane‘s Reject Me.

reject me cover

“Markus Del Reyes, I reject you.”
He left me no choice.

I refuse to spend the rest of my life with my childhood bully for a mate. I may be a cursed shifter, incapable of shifting—but I wasn’t desperate.

Not till the Alpha Supreme cast me out of the House of Fire and Fluorite for rejecting his son.

Now I’m packless.
No longer under the protection of my House.

Until the dark vampire king of Blood and Beryl turns his sights on me.

In return for protection from my former House, I have to join his.
But nothing ever comes for free.

He wants something from me, and it’s not my allegiance.

It’s the only way I can survive, but at what cost?

I’ve lost everything for doing what I know is right, but the greatest danger I ever faced was never losing my life … it was opening my cursed heart.

my review

I don’t usually use star ratings on the blog. But sometimes they are helpful in making a point. If I were going to rate it, I would say that this barely made three stars for me. Let me emphasize the for me part because although I have objective complaints, they mostly didn’t work for me for subjective reasons. What I mean is that the complaints I have may not be deal breakers for other people because they aren’t uncommon.

Objectively, the book is way, way, way too long. The plot here did not need anywhere near 532 pages to tell!

Objectively, this book doesn’t know if it wants to be YA or NA. New adult books can be hard to predict going in. Get one on the older end, and it can feel mostly adult; get one on the younger end, and it basically feels like young adult fiction. The MFC here is 24 (the MMC is 300+), but the writing and plotting feel very YA. This would be fine, except the book also has explicit sex in it. And the combination of a YA plot and prose paired with explicit sex is jarring and feels inconsistent.

Objectively, the plot is really predictable and formulaic. This book feels like nothing more than recycled material. We have all seen every single aspect of this story before—the character reject me phototypes, the plot, the third-act miscommunication drama, the betrayer, and the villain all recycled. Here’s the thing about recycled material though (which brings me back to my first point), we read such books because a lot of us like them. This one just didn’t manage to do it for me.

The writing is perfectly readable. The cover is gorgeous, and the world this sets up for the rest of the series looks interesting.

Other Reviews:

Book Review | Reject Me – Rejected mates anyone?

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Book Review: Semi-Charmed, by Isabel Jordan

I picked up a freebie copy of Isabel Jordan‘s Semi-Charmed about this time last year.
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She’s infamous.
He’s legendary.
Together, they’ll be epic…or a complete train wreck. It could go either way, really…

Psychic and paranormal PI Harper Hall isn’t that surprised when her business partner skips town. She never really trusted the jerk anyway.

But if Harper wants to consult for the police on a high-profile case, she’ll need a new partner– preferably one with some supernatural talents of his own.

Noah Riddick, a slayer left jobless when vampires went public and earned human rights, is perfect for the gig. Too bad he’s grumpy, anti-social, and completely resistant to the idea of working with her.

Riddick’s dark secrets and shady past forced him into exile from human society–an exile he was comfortable with until gorgeous and exasperating Harper waltzed into his life. Now, all too aware of how unlifelike his life has been, he realizes partnering with her might be the best thing that could ever happen to him…even though it might be the worst for her.

Fighting vampires, making immortal enemies, staging daring rescues…it’s all in a day’s work. But falling in love? Well…that’s a little trickier. Even for the Semi-Charmed Harper Hall.

I enjoyed the heck out of this. The world is interesting, being 5 years after vampires have come out to the public and involving characters who had previously been part of the (now disbanded) secret organization to hunt them. Those characters are likable, each in their own way. Harper is snarky and feels genuine, and Riddick is dark and broody but not in an alpha a-hole way. The plot ticks along nicely, so I was entertained. I didn’t even mind the pop-culture references, which oftentimes make me gnash my teeth. (Pop culture references aren’t endearing if you’re not up to date on pop culture, just saying.)

I did think Riddick’s insta-love needed an explanation, Mischa and Hunter’s subplot (with a POV) felt out of place, and some of the characters were a little cliched. But all in all, I’d be happy to read another book in the series (and by the author more generally).

Funny side note: For the longest time, I looked at this cover wondering what a pick axe had to do with the plot. I finally figured out that it is a cross-bow and things made a lot more sense. LOL

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Other Reviews:

Review: Semi-Charmed by Isabel Jordan