“A Dark Inheritance” is a modern vampire story, so you kind of already know what to expect. A woman with a rare blood type catches the attention of several vampires and is kidnapped once she reaches 40, ripped away from her life and her family, and told she can never return to them. Unlike most vampire stories, Tina did not want the attentions of Kalmar, or The Count. She didn’t even know vampires existed and now… well, now she can’t leave his castle and her daughter thinks she’s dead. No matter what Tina does, she can’t seem to escape Kalmar and even the few times she kind of manages it, she finds out that life is exceedingly more dangerous outside his castle walls than within. There were parts of this story that I absolutely loved, and parts that still leave me feeling uncertain, but all in all, I thought “A Dark Inheritance” was a nice twist on a creature type that has been done to death—ha.
This is a really cute romance story first and foremost, and I do mean “romance” in that the main point, or interest of this story is when and how the main characters hook up and fall for one another. There is an element of fantasy in this book, as Anthony is quite the talented wizard able to create portals and make his clothes appear from thin air, and his house pretty much takes care of itself via magical means. But the focus is really never about that, or the period piece that this story takes place in. This is a story of how Elira, a poor orphan, finds herself impossibly drawn to her employer after he saves her from freezing to death in the snow, and he—despite societies strict rules on the matter—develops feelings for the girl he insists works for him as a maid after he rescues her. Honestly, it’s a very cute story and Sparrow does a lovely job of crafting characters I felt drawn to, which is why I enjoyed this sweet, fantastic romance tale.
“I’m Not A Stalker” found quick fame on Wattpad and I can see why: a quick story told through a series of emails and texts about what happens when a girl accidentally hits “reply all” and finds herself in the center of a torrent of gossip and (not so) secret admirers? Telling the whole story of Anissa, the main character, trying to figure out who the secret admirer is while dodging nosy classmates and a kind of douche ex-boyfriend through emails and texts works great in a blog / serial format, where the story is more of a guilty-pleasure popcorn munching tale. But when you put all of that in a traditional book format, the charm of it being such a unique format ran out rather quickly, at least for me. Plus, with the title, part of me was hoping for a little of a psycho-thriller aspect to it. I’ve hit “reply all” on important emails before, and the fear and anxiety that comes with that is nothing to laugh at! But none of that is in this story so… don’t worry?
“Like Broken China” is the story of a young woman divorcing her alcoholic husband. Right there should be the only trigger warning you need if people dealing with addiction or divorce isn’t something you enjoy. Personally, I thought this book was not only a quick little page turner, with a sort of cozy feel thanks to the sarcastic way the main character tells the story, but I also found the subject matter important. Too often this kind of story focuses on the rebound that these women go through when they leave their bad husbands, or the story focuses on meeting a new guy, not so with Thompson’s book. Instead we get to see why Courtney fell in love with an alcoholic to begin with, and how his disease destroyed their marriage, as well as what it’s like for a young mother of two to get out of that toxic situation before she can even attempt to start her life over.
I don’t normally read bodice-ripper romance novels. Heck, I normally don’t read any romance novels for the most part. If my YA book or fantasy includes love interests, I love it, but I don’t read them specifically for the sex or romance. I was given this book as a way to “broaden my horizons”, and I guess you can consider them broadened, though I’ll be honest when I say I haven’t read enough in this genre to know what makes a “good” romance novel or not.
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