Hi, readers! Please welcome Sophia Zaccaria, our guest book reviewer, to ILRB! She’ll be hanging out with us today, taking the time to give us her take on a cool romance novel! 😊
Let’s give her a hand…
Sophia, take it away and show us what you have for today.
Blood & Hunger by Stephanie Marks is a paranormal urban fantasy romance as seductively lush and delightfully dark as its title implies! The novel begins with the protagonist, Vanessa, our flirtatious succubus, navigating the socially awkward waters of the morning after a one-night stand. This introductory twist already endeared me to Vanessa, as her confidence in both herself and her supernatural status was a refreshing change from the typical naïve maiden of the paranormal romance genre’s usual cast of leading ladies.
When tragedy strikes Vanessa amid an intoxicating and bold night out at a club, the mystery unravels as her two love interests, William and Detective Hache, are introduced. While this sharply drawn, emotionally complex novel lacks a true love triangle, it certainly hints at possible future romances between Vanessa and the handsome detective before she eventually dates William.
Lovers aside, there are also some killer twists to be devoured along the way that I won’t spoil for future readers. I will reveal that Vanessa’s obsessive stalker and his morbid gifts triumphantly match the wicked allure of power in this twisted tale. With a wonderfully intense finale boasting plenty of bite underneath the glitter of genuine affection, the ending brilliantly sets the stage for a war of vampires brewing to erupt in chaos.
Overall, this is a promising first in a duology with fierce characters in an inventive yet hauntingly realistic fantasy tale. I give this a rating of four hearts for a stunning and thought-provoking read.
A serial killer on the loose, a stalker on her doorstep, and vampires at every turn. Well, sometimes a girl just has to stake first and ask questions later…
Something sinister is hunting the streets of Silverlake City and no one is safe, especially when the police don’t have a single lead. But Vanessa doesn’t have time to worry about serial killers on the news, being a Succubus means she has her own problems to deal with… and secrets to hide. At least she did, until it started to look like she might be the killer’s next target.
Now, forced to embrace her true nature and join with the Silverlake Vampire Coven, Vanessa must decide just how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to save herself and those she has come to love.
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/3Lwwpw
Here’s a teaser from the book…
“What can I do for you? It’s not like I can take you to a hospital. Why aren’t you healing? Shouldn’t you be healed by now?”
“He was stronger than he looked. Don’t worry about me, I just need to feed.”
“Oh, you just need to feed; no big deal then. I’ll just call 1-800-Dial-a-Snack and ask them to bring someone right over then.” I rubbed my forehead and paced back and forth. “Shit, shit, shit.” I knelt down by the couch and gathered all of my hair up, sweeping it to one side over my shoulder before bending forward over him. “Do it.”
“Vanessa, don’t,” William turned his head to the side to avoid looking at my neck.
“Look, just shut up, and do it. You need blood and I can’t just drag someone up here off the street! That leaves us with only one option, all right? So just do it before I freak out and change my mind.”
“This is a very bad idea.”
“Of course, it is. When is offering a vampire your exposed neck not a bad idea? Now just do it already.”
“I need you to come a little closer.”
“Crap, crap crap!” I shuffled closer and leaned in until I could feel the softness of his lips pressing against my neck. A moment later, I felt his tongue sliding slowly up and down my skin, and the rhythmic movement excited me even as I squeezed my eyes shut in anticipation of the pain I knew was soon to follow. “Jesus Christ, William! Weren’t you ever taught not to play with your food? Stop messing about and get on with it already, or I swear to God, I’ll punch you in the face.”
I cried out as the sharp pain penetrated my neck, and his extended fangs pierced my skin. Oh, God, what was I thinking? This had to be the stupidest idea I ever came up with in my whole life.I tried to focus on breathing through the pain, instead of the horrible, creepy suction I felt at my throat; but it was hard to do. I heard every time he swallowed my blood.
“So, um… any time you’re finished there,” I said as I moved to pull away. He wrapped his arm around me and held me closer to him, preventing my escape. “Uh, William?” I was starting to get lightheaded as he continued to drink from me. “William, I think that’s enough for now.” I tried to move again, but he simply held me tighter and increased the pressure on my neck. I tried not to panic when my vision began to go blurry. “Stop, William, stop!” I hit him on the leg, but from my awkward angle, I couldn’t put much force behind it. “William, you have to stop,” I pleaded before everything went black.
AUTHOR: Stephanie Marks
TITLE: Blood & Hunger (book one of the Vanessa Kensley Series)
GENRE: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy with Mystery Elements
RELEASE DATE: September 8, 2015
PUBLISHER: Red Dagger Publishing
OUR RATING: ♥♥♥♥
REVIEWED BY: Sophia Zaccaria
Guest Blogger Bio: Sophia Zaccaria is the author of her debut novel, Fairest, a retelling of Snow White, and is a massive fan of the classic Grimm fairy tales. As a young Canadian writer, Sophia is always looking to weave mystical and magical things into her stories. She enjoys kickboxing, jogging, and visiting eighteenth-century Gothic scenes to appease her muse’s darker side when she is not writing. You can discover her linguistic adventures by following her on Instagram @thesophiazaccaria and Inkitt.
Thanks for reading our latest book review on ILRB! 😉 Have a great weekend, everyone!