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Monday, January 9, 2012

Drake Vampires Are Outstanding!~The Chronicles Continue in "Bleeding Hearts" by Alyxandra Harvey

Published by: Walker Books/Bloomsbury
Pages: 367
Genre: YA Fiction

Cover Rating
First impressions are the lush red lips of the beautiful woman on the cover and the handsome man in the dark background gripping her by the throat. Even without the title, we know this is a vampire novel.I love the size of the couple and the hands that show tenderness, not violence.
The cover colors are soft and engaging. The baroque tatooish detail on the sides is interesting and makes for a beautiful, lacey addition. This also gives the cover a softness that counteracts the title, "Bleeding Hearts," telling us that the bleeding isn't a harsh thing but might be something more based in love; i.e., "my heart bleeds for you."
The font of the book title and author's name hints that this isn't a novel set in baroque times, but is a modern setting.
Rated: A


As vampires from all over the world descend on the Drake farm for the Blood Moon gathering, security is ramped up. Lucy has been temporarily banned, for her own safety—and to allow Solange some time to adjust to her new existence. But their enemies realize how much Lucy means to the family, and plan to abduct her to use her for leverage against the new royal family. Instead, Lucy’s cousin Christabel is kidnapped by mistake—and Connor Drake immediately heads off in pursuit, but isn’t in time to prevent Christabel’s infection by the Hel Blar. He can’t save her human life, but he can still try to save her new vampire life, and is willing to put his own life on the line for the girl he has grown to care so much about. Can he save Christabel, the Blood Moon, and his mother’s newly forged Vampire Alliance?

The Dame's Review:
This is another fabulous sequel following the Chronicles of the Drake Dynasty of Vampires. I couldn't be happier to have found this series, and I'm such an avid fan now, I don't know what I'll do until Alyxandra Harvey continues on to the next one! I understand it's called "Blood Moon" and will be released sometime in June 2012...not soon enough for me and her other fans, I'm sure.

These books are nothing short of addictive.  I know you've heard about vampire books adnauseam, but you haven't heard it from me, because I'm so selective. These books are such fun, such good stories, and such great characters that you'll eat them up like M&M's and you'll find yourself craving just one more like I'm doing now. I'm throwing all my chips in for the Drake Family and Friends, I have to say, new favs. Harvey is a better writer than Meyer. She casts her spell with a gorgeous group of vampires, feisty friends, intriguing foes, and lots of unusual background information to keep it lively. Gothic details are lush.

In "Bleeding Hearts" what I found most enjoyable, aside from all I mention above, was Alyxandra Harvey's extensive reference to poetry in conjunction with the action around her new character, Christabel. So dark and gothic to hear Keats, Shelley, Coleridge and others quoted by the bookish cousin who is swept up by a vampire war without her understanding at all of the dark forces in Violet Hill. It was simply to die for! And I so enjoyed Ms Harvey's exotic introduction of new forms of vampire spawn; as well as viral reactions to different vampire saliva. Gruesome! Utterly inventive work and well-written.

When I first took on the review of "Bleeding Hearts," I wasn't aware it was part of an extensive body of work. Once I discovered that, I bought the soft bound copy of Ms Harvey's previous Drake novels in this beautifully covered volume, which I highly recommend as well:
This covers the first stories of the family
and gives a Drake Family Tree that's ever so helpful in keeping
 the gorgeous 7 sons, and daughter, Solange, clear in one's mind.
Each of these books is fantastic reading.

"Ruling Passion" is a prequel volume but you really don't have to have read these books to understand "Bleeding Hearts." Each of the books can stand alone. By the way, at the end of "Bleeding Hearts" is a once only published story about the first meeting of the ruling family heads, Liam and Helena Drake called "Lost Girls." Which proves the books can be taken out of sequence and still work.

Alyxandra Harvey is the consummate storyteller.  She pays homage to vampires of lore, but most importantly, she's able to introduce new fantasy-lines and characters that make her stories meaty and absorbing. It's a rare treat to be involved in a book that is new and can hold my rapt attention in this genre after 40 years of reading about vampires! Particularly rare in these days of  "vampiritis."  I relished Harvey's style, her manner of telling a story that moved along at a rapid, never boring clip, and that was atmospheric and romantic in the right places.

I highly recommend "Bleeding Hearts" to all my readers who enjoy a well devised vampire story with some gutsy new twists and beautiful characters.  And, I recommend they purchase all the books in the series for their library because I guarantee it will be a blast to read them all over a long weekend!  Great characters, great fun, great imagination and great series!

Watch this fun trailer:

Wasn't this fun?

5 swirling, dark stars



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