The Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands

Goodreads Summary:
FATE GAVE HER FANGS…
Ever since an accident turned her into a knockout vamp, Elvi Black’s been catching her z’s in a coffin, staying out of the sun, and giving up garlic. She knows there’s more to being undead than what she saw in Dracula, but she can’t very well ask her mortal friends about proper biting etiquette. But when her neighbors placed a personal ad for her in the local paper, she never imagined she’d meet Victor Argeneau, a vampire who could have his pick of any woman – dead or alive.
HE’LL SHOW HER HOW TO USE THEM…
Rich, powerful, and drop—dead gorgeous, Victor’s the perfect man for a novice neck—biter like Elvi. He’s willing to teach her everything he knows, but he’ll have to do it fast. Someone’s out to put a stake through her new vamp life, and only Victor can keep her safe – and satisfied – for all eternity.
The Accidental Vampire (Argeneau #7)Review:
The Accidental Vampire is now my favorite of the series. It’s so hard for me to decide which is my favorite because I have so much fun each time I read the next book in the series. But this one, man, this one had me laughing so hard that I actually woke my sleeping baby. I just couldn’t stop laughing.
We follow Victor who is related to a different character from a previous book which is something I didn’t realize until over halfway through the book but warmed my little heart when I did learn it. I really liked Victor. He wanted to give Elvi the benefit of the doubt, even though that wasn’t quite his job. Then he learns he can’t read her, and things take a turn for the romantic.
Elvi is the ‘town vampire.’ She was accidentally turned while on vacation in Mexico. The town gets behind her and supports her by donating blood for her. But the funny thing is…everything Elvi knows about being a vampire she’s learned from movies and mythology. It was the perfect set up for absolute hilarity.
Her best friend, Mabel, sets things up so six men (vampires) come to stay at their bed and breakfast, just setting up for more hilarity. It ends up being four suitors and a friend. They all know each other and it was just absolutely great.
I love the twist on the vampire mythology. It’s science-based and I just adore this aspect of the series. I also really loved the dynamic between all of the characters. They were from all different backgrounds and time periods and their personalities were all so different. I just think this one was done so well. With Elvi learning that everything she thought she knew was wrong, these men teaching her the truth was just absolute gold.
I loved this book. I love this series. I love everything about it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Series Review)

GoodReads Summary:
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Review:
I loved Vampire Academy just as much as I did the first time I read it. I love everything about it. I love the vampire lore, the characters, literally everything. I know this isn’t a perfect book. But it’s nostalgic and it’s perfect.
I love Rose. She’s kickass, loyal as hell, and doesn’t take anyone’s shit. I love how much she loves Lissa. I also really enjoyed the fact that she learned she was wrong, accepted it, and tried to make amends for it. Rose is just one of my favorite fierce females.
Lissa was more complex. She’s got some serious issues, and Rose is the only reason she gets through them. I don’t know why I’d completely forgotten about the self-harming aspect of this story, but it’s there and it really showed the severity of Lissa’s issues.
Then there’s my favorite, Dimitri. My favorite book boyfriend. I love him. He’s strong and powerful, plus really hot. I love that he looked out for and mentors Rose.
Overall, this is still one of my favorite books. I’m interested to see how well the rest of the series holds up. I loved this first book, and I’m excited to continue on with the next.

But wait! There’s more! — So, I managed to finish the rest of the series on audiobook while I was on vacation and didn’t really have time to give a review for each book. So, I’m going to do a series review for the rest of the book. There are potential spoilers for all the books after the first one. So, if you’ve only read the first and don’t want to be spoiled, STOP HERE.

I love everything about this series. The second and third books, Frostbite and Shadowkiss, are my favorite and I honestly believe they could have ended Rose and Lissa’s story right there. Rose had so much incredible character development. She really grew into herself. But then book four comes around and her life goes to shit and she regresses. I understand that parts of that were Rose taking spirit’s effect from Lissa, but it just made me mad. I also absolutely HATED the fact that they made Dimitri a Strigoi. I understand the reasoning behind everything in books four, five, and six. But I just don’t know that it was needed. I think Richelle Mead could have made VA a trilogy and then had another trilogy with other characters. That’s complicated and probably over convoluted though. If that was the case, I’d probably be complaining that I hadn’t gotten enough of Rose and Lissa and the gang.
The gang was definitely my favorite part of this series. I loved Mason and he deserved better. I loved Eddie (and I’m still loving him in Bloodlines). I even adored Christian. I hated it when he and Lissa weren’t together. I adored Adrian as well. I love the bond they all form and how they become their own little family.
I really really didn’t like Rose and Adrian together. I felt like this was added just to have a love triangle. It wasn’t fair to Adrian for Rose to do him dirty the way she did. I really feel for the guy because everyone in the world (not really, like at all) knew that Rose and Dimitri were endgame. I just feel bad for him.
Overall, this is still an all-time favorite series of mine and I’m really glad it’s held up so well over the years.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
SWM – “Lucern.” Successful biographer of family, books recently categorized as “paranormal romance.” Something of a recluse. Hates crowds, aggressive women. Doesn’t like sunbathing, garlicky dinners or religious symbols. Likes old-fashioned values; spicy Mexican dishes; warm, nice-smelling neck; and plump red lips. Stronger than ten men and can vanish in the blink of an eye. Currently unaware he’s seeking a woman to share eternity.
SWF – “Kate C. Leever.” Newest editor of Romance at Roundhouse Publishing. Perky, fun. Has recently discovered a legacy author just dying to be broken out. In fact, her career could take off from it. (The tall, dark, handsome writer just needs to be taken to several romance conventions and introduced to his fans…and stopped from acting so strange in public.) Dislikes “difficult, rude, obnoxious, pig-headed writers.” Currently unaware she’s met the man of her wildest dreams.
OH, DEAR.
Single White Vampire (Argeneau #3)Review:
Single White Vampire had the potential to be a favorite. But sadly, it wasn’t. It was actually my least liked book of the series so far. I blame that entirely on Lucern.
Lucern is basically an old grumpy man stuck in his ways. He ‘doesn’t like outgoing women’ and his mind is stuck in the 1800s. He’s constantly talking about how ‘women shouldn’t act this or that way’ which I really didn’t like. He is not as bad in the latter half of the book. But I just didn’t like his old-fashioned thinking. Though I could respect him keeping his word to go to the conference even though he’d sort of been lied to about what he was agreeing to do.
Kate, however, was the best. I adored her. She’s an editor at a publishing house and she makes sure to get what she wants. She’ll do anything for her authors and I loved her passion for her job. I loved this aspect of the story, as well as the romance conference. This was when Lucern and Kate’s relationship started. I really enjoyed the things he got her to do.
Overall, not my favorite Argeneau book, but I liked Kate enough to bump up my overall enjoyment.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
Lissianna has been spending her centuries pining for Mr. Right, not just a quick snack, and this sexy guy she finds in her bed looks like he might be a candidate. But there’s another, more pressing issue: her tendency to faint at the sight of blood…an especially annoying quirk for a vampire. Of course it doesn’t hurt that this man has a delicious-looking neck. What kind of cold-blooded vampire woman could resist a bite of that?
Dr. Gregory Hewitt recovers from the shock of waking up in a stranger’s bedroom pretty quickly – once he sees a gorgeous woman about to treat him to a wild night of passion. But is it possible for the good doctor to find true love with a vampire vixen, or will he be just a good meal? That’s a question Dr. Greg might be willing to sink his teeth into…if he can just get Lissianna to bite.
A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1)Review:
A Quick Bite is the first book in an extremely long and ongoing vampire romance series. So, as I will be attempting to review each of them, and romance books tend to follow a similar outline for the direction of the story, I will be keeping these reviews on the shorter side so I’m not repeating myself in each one.
I read parts of this series when I was in high school and adored it. I love the twist on the vampire origin story. It’s one that I’ve never heard before. Vampire are a creation of science instead of magic or myth. I thought it was a nice twist on the traditional vampire.
I loved Greg. He had me cracking up with his inner dialogue. Trying to explain his actions when he’d been mind-controlled and didn’t know it was hilarious. He was in the dark about essentially everything while in Margurite’s house and it was beyond funny seeing him trying to put the pieces together.
Lissianna was sweet. I liked her and her phobia was interesting. It certainly made for a complicated story. I would have liked to see her actually working on her phobia though.
I love the Argeneau family. They’re all so different with interesting dynamics. I love that they all come together for one another. The family aspect of this series is one of my favorite parts.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I remembered. It was an average romance. I liked it but didn’t love it. I’m noticing this is changing as I get into newer books (I’ve already read the first five or so.) There is definitely some sex in these books, so the romance readers that don’t like smut should not try these ones out. I rather enjoy the sex scenes, but some of the words used make me giggle. Give this one a try if you like smutty romance and vampires!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Eight: Paranormal Edition

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Hi, lovelies! Today the topic of conversation is paranormal books! October is the perfect time of year to read some good (or not so good) paranormal stories. Ghosts, witches, and vampires, what more could a girl ask for?

Spell on Wheels by Kath Leth, Megan Levens, & Marissa Louise
This graphic novel was the perfect start to my spooky season. Kickass witches that meet all sorts of creatures. It was everything I wanted and way better than I expected.

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This one is definitely angsty YA paranormal, but I had to have a few of those on this list of course.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
This middle-grade story about a girl that sees ghosts is just the perfect Spooktober read.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Dystopian vampires. That is all.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
This one is technically horror, but I don’t read enough horror to make a whole list so I’m including it here. This has the best atmosphere for autumn and mystery galore.

Moonstruck Vol 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis & Shae Beagle
Such a fun and diverse graphic novel. I loved this first installment.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Gansey Gang and their antics are best read in the spooky season. The atmospheric setting and adventures are so fitting for this time of year.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
This one doubles as a great summer read and an equally great fall read. Witches and ghosts, drowning, oh my!

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
This addicting series is full of mythical creatures you’ve never even thought about. With 30+ books in the series, this is a great one for some binge-reading.

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Supernatural summer camp? Great for the fall, but the summer too.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
If you don’t read at least one vampire book this month, who are you?

The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts
Witches and mystery and hot dudes. Yes, please.

A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands
This one fulfills any romance lovers need for some smutty vampires. There are about a zillion books in this series too, so get cracking!

The Devil Inside by Jenna Black
I’ll admit that I haven’t actually read this book or series is quite a few years, but I really remember loving them.

What books of the paranormal variety would you have included on this list? Leave a comment and let me know! Have you read any that made my list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey

Summary: The last city on Earth is contaminated. Now blood is the only thing that can wash it clean.

Julia is trapped inside the Blue as the Nobles fight over the few humans who are still alive. When the dust settles and she finds herself shackled to a new master, she knows she must escape or die.

Meanwhile, Cam has gathered a handful of comrades and is on his way into the Red to rescue his queen. But not all of his friends can be trusted, and not all of them will make it back alive.

The Silver Queen is the second book in Josie Jaffrey’s Sovereign trilogy, set in a dystopian Europe where vampiric Nobles control the last remnants of the human race.

Review: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
This is the second book in the Sovereign series. You can read my review of the first book here.
So I just reread my review of the first book to remind myself of which points I’ve already spoken about so I don’t repeat myself too much but I’ve just confused myself more. My feelings about the second book are practically opposite of what they were from the first; at least as far as the characters are concerned.
Originally I felt more connected with Cam and Felix’s relationship than I did Julia and Lucas’s. However, after the second book that’s been reversed for me. Maybe it’s because I started liking Felix less and less the more I read but I no longer support their relationship.
My favorite part of Julia and Lucas’s relationship is that, after he abandoned her in the Blue, she still loves him but no longer trusts him the same way. She’s learned to be independent and even after they’re reunited she questions their relationship. Not just because of the way he left her but because she realizes they’re different people now.
That being said, the romances are still my least favorite part of these books. They feel a little forced to me and I would’ve liked the story more if they weren’t part of it at all.
I like Julia even more now than I did after the first book. Things have changed. She’s had to learn things about herself and the world the hard way, make tough choices, fend for herself. I really admire the strength of her character after everything she’s been through.
Cam is still one of my favorites (except where Felix is concerned). Even after all this time he still tries to believe the best in people. He’s a soldier but doesn’t really want to be and I think those two aspects of his personality were blended really well. I can’t wait to see how the events of this book affect him in the next one.
Another problem I had was the maturity of the characters. Julia, Claudia, Lucas being immature sometimes I can understand. They’re young and emotional, it makes sense. Cameron and the other immortals being immature though? Many of these characters are close to a thousand years old. I could forgive it once or twice, especially where love is involved because people do stupid things when they’re in love and I don’t believe that gets better with age. That wasn’t the case here though. The immortals made the same kinds of decisions that the teenagers did and that didn’t seem realistic to me at all. It felt like some of their actions were forced to steer the plot in a certain direction and not because it was natural for that particular character.
My absolute favorite part of the book was the world-building. It really feels like a dystopian world. Travel takes weeks or even months because the closest thing to vehicles they have are horses and there aren’t many of them. There is no communication over distances because there’s no internet or mail system and they can’t train birds to send messages because animals have contaminated blood.
Even the different cures and contaminations were well thought out and interesting. (I won’t go into too much detail about that though to avoid spoilers.) I think Jaffrey did an amazing job on the world-building aspect of it and kept really great continuity throughout.
I only wish I could have seen some of what’s happening in other parts of the world. We really only get glimpses into a handful of settlements in what seems to be Europe. I’d love to know what’s happening in America and Africa and to find out how different places might be handling this new world. I can’t really be mad about it though because it would ruin that communication continuity I was just talking about.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I had a few problems with the characters but the plot and world-building more than made up for it. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes YA, dystopian, and paranormal. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia

The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

Summary: In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well.

Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, a boy who believes in fairytales that Julia’s world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside.

But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained.

Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight.

One way or another, the walls of the Blue are coming down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do.

Review: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. I’m so glad she reached out to us about it; this book (and the prequel series Solis Invicti) hadn’t been on my radar yet and I’m so excited about them.
The Gilded King is the first book in Jaffrey’s Sovereign series. One thought I had throughout this book was that I really wished I’d read the Solis Invicti series first. The Sovereign series is meant to be standalone but I had so many questions about the history of this world and the way everything worked. Usually I like when world-building is added gradually to a story. I hate when a book starts with a giant chunk to explain the basics of that world to you. It’s frequently tedious and boring. With this book though, those details were added too slowly; I didn’t understand important details about this world until very late in the book. This just left me feeling confused for a lot of it and I kept going back and rereading sections to try to understand.
That being said, once I understood the world better I really enjoyed how unique it was. We’ve all seen enough dystopians that start with terrible plagues and vaccines that have unforeseen consequences but I thought the twist with the paranormal added a lot to it. The fact that the cure for the humans made their blood poisonous to vampires was something I wouldn’t have expected.
Another thing I thought was unique (at least from books I’ve read personally) was that humans have essentially become a slave race in certain parts of the world. There are still human settlements but in places where the Nobles (also called the Silver, depending on who’s talking) live, humans are treated like dirt. They’re called Servants but they have no rights. They’re not paid for their services and they have no choice in what they do. When Julia’s sent to serve Lucas, she’s going so he can drink her blood and she’s not allowed to say no. If they do, they’re exiled from the city which, as far as they know, is a death sentence.
I liked Julia for the most part. She was tough and intelligent. I liked that she questioned what the Nobles told the humans. One of the biggest problems for the humans living in the Blue was that the only information they’ve been given for centuries has been what the Nobles wanted them to think. Julia doesn’t always ask the right questions but at least she keeps asking them. The only thing I didn’t like about Julia was her behavior where Lucas was involved.
Lucas was a good character. He’s sweet, considerate, and tries to be true to himself even if it goes against the way Nobles are supposed to act. I was mildly annoyed that Julia happens to meet the only Noble who’s kind to humans; it’s a trope I’m a little sick of. When you have an entire race of people it’s not logical to think only one of them is morally good.
My main problem with Julia and Lucas though is their romance. First of all, it happens too quickly. Julia’s terrified of Nobles but is instantly attracted to Lucas and vice versa. Their relationship makes the mistake so common in YA, in that it progresses at an unrealistic rate. I also felt that I was being told-not-shown, if that makes sense. For most of the book, the romances (I’ll talk about Cameron and Felix later) felt very forced. I was not emotionally invested in these relationships.
Cameron was a really interesting character. He’s a member of the Solis Invicti, basically the guards of the Blue. For centuries he’s been exploring the Red (anything outside the Blue) looking for the lost queen, his friend Emmy. I found myself sympathizing with him quite a bit. No matter how long it’s been, he never gives up on Emmy or stops looking for her even when everyone else has. I’ve seen other reviews from people saying they were bored during Cameron’s parts but I didn’t have that problem at all. He was my favorite character so far.
I liked Felix for the most part. Seeing the difference between humans of the Blue and humans of the Red was really interesting. His attitude is bitter and resigned because he understands more about this world than others, like Julia. I particularly enjoyed seeing the contrast between them. He was also so mysterious that I just wanted to know more. His relationship with Cameron was also more believable, at least after the beginning. There was a sudden twist at the end about Felix (no spoilers, I swear) that I was extremely frustrated about. It just seemed so unnecessary.
Now to the part I loved: the plot. It was surprisingly intricate for the genre. There were times when I brushed something off as irrelevant or unimportant then it would suddenly tie into something later. It was also really cool watching Julia and Cameron’s opposite journeys. They never meet in this book and a lot of what happens to one sort of parallels the other but they almost always have one-half of certain information and the other has the rest. By the end I was screaming “If they could just have a conversation then everything would be okay”. It was infuriating but in a good way. I always like when I know more than the characters do. The ending also left me with so many questions half answered. It feels like this first book was just an opening for the second; it set the scene for all the craziness that’s going to happen next.
I wasn’t sure how much I liked this book and I definitely had some problems with it, but the ending made me really excited for the rest of the series. I think I’ll read the Solis Invicti series before the next book comes out and hopefully that will solve some of my confusion.
I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes YA, paranormal, or dystopian, though if you’re a reader who doesn’t like being left with tons of questions, this might not be the book for you. Thanks for reading!
-Antonia