Review: A Vampire’s Hunger

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Vampire’s HungerA Vampire's Hunger (Vampire's Promise, #4) by Carla Susan Smith
Series: Vampire's Promise #4
Published by Lyrical Press on October 25th 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 400

FINAL DECISION:  This is an enjoyable adventure.  There is not much romance development but that doesn’t bother me because there is a lot of plot development in this book.  I hope there is more to come because I have more questions.

THE STORY:  Rowen and Gabriel’s story continues. Rowen goes deeper into the vampire world in this book.  At the end of Book 3, Rowen and Gabriel’s friend Aleksei comes to her apartment injured and desperate for blood to save his life.  Rowen violates all the rules when she gives her blood to Aleksei despite being bonded with Gabriel.  Rowen also must deal with impulsive decision to force Gabriel to protect her friend’s baby which might result in the severing of Rowan and Gabriel’s relationship and her own demon who intends to claim her for himself.  This book also focuses on the Original Vampire Ryiel who joins Rowen and Gabriel as old enemies emerge.

OPINION:  I have enjoyed each of these book more than the last.  In this book, the characters continue to develop in their relationships.  As more characters become prominent in the stories, they enrich the book and it overarching storyline.

Gabriel and Rowen have some bumps in this book, but their connection feels more grounded and deep as their disagreements are worked out.  This book manages to resolve most of the lingering challenges to Gabriel and Rowen’s relationship — but there is still much to learn about their friends so I hope there are more books to come.

Rowen still has her impetuous streak, but she is learning some caution and has some calculated chances rather than just jumping in.  This book requires much trust between Gabriel and Rowen and it is nice to see them handle some difficult circumstances.  There are challenges — especially for the possessive Gabriel, but they are working through their problems.

I was most intrigued in this book with the story of Ryiel.  I really want to know his full story even if we have to flash forward in time.

In conclusion, I thought this was a great addition to the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book does not resolve all the questions raised.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A VAMPIRE’S HUNGER is the fourth book in the Vampire’s Promise series.  This series is better when the books are read in order because there are continuing storylines.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.


Review: A Vampire’s Honor

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Vampire’s HonorA Vampire's Honor (Vampire's Promise, #3) by Carla Susan Smith
Series: Vampire's Promise #3
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on September 27th 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 250

“Mistress of impulsive decisions, questionable behavior, and foolish choices…Yeah, I was all that and more.  Guilty of obeying my heart more than my head.  And this was going to be no exception.”

FINAL DECISION:  This series is improving with every book.  I enjoyed this one because we got to know more about Aleksei (which is deeply woven with Gabriel’s story).  I liked how the various threads of the various storylines weave together.  There are still a lot of questions, and some seriously messed up situations, but I am never bored with the plot of this series.

THE STORY:  Rowan is building a new life with her Vampire lover Gabriel but there is much about the past that she doesn’t know.  In this book, she discovers more about Gabriel’s friend Aleksei.  Aleksei’s past comes to threaten Rowan and Gabriel.  Rowan is also dealing with the after effects of having a portion of her soul stolen by a demon.  Rowan and Gabriel are threatened by all around them in this book.

OPINION: I enjoyed this book best of the three I have read so far.  The action and plot in this series is really ramping up.  There is not a tremendous amount of progress in Rowan and Gabriel’s relationship, but this book seems like the beginning of the long time test of their relationship.

The relationship between Rowan and Gabriel seems to be normalizing.  The two are living together and Rowan has truly given up her normal life.  Clearly Rowan has sacrificed almost everything to be with Gabriel.  But the two haven’t been able to get to a stable compromise.

The two must learn to navigate a relationship and truthfully neither has done that before.  Both continue to act more like individuals than a couple.  They make independent decisions that have bad consequences.  I like that their relationship is challenged in this manner.

I also appreciated that Rowan is beginning to recognize the possible folly of her actions and yet she allows her heart to guide her.  The question is whether or not those actions will ultimately be right or wrong.

This book has a lot of background about the couple’s friend Aleksei.  His story is told and is not over by the time this book ends.  We are also introduced to a couple of new enemies who threaten the happiness of Rowan and Gabriel and their friends.

The serial format of these books means that there are more and more problems which arise in each book.  That doesn’t bother me, but I know that some readers are driven crazy by the lack of resolution.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is part of a serial involving the same couple.  This book ends on a cliffhanger for those who might not like those types of books.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A VAMPIRE’S HONOR is the third book in the Vampire’s Promise series.  This is a serial that follows one couple. Each book is connected to the others and the books have cliffhangers and unresolved issues.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.


Review: A Vampire’s Soul

Review: A Vampire’s SoulA Vampire's Soul (Vampire's Promise, #2) by Carla Susan Smith
Series: Vampire's Promise #2
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on July 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 256

“Are you so sure this you love feel for the vampire can endure? That it will withstand temptation, greed, and lust, and all the other petty vices your kind are so easily swayed by?”

FINAL DECISION:  Much better than the first book in the series, the story picks up now that Rowan has discovered Gabriel is a vampire.  This book sets the stage for the drama of the series as Rowan is in danger.  I enjoyed the action and drama in this book.

THE STORY:  Rowan has discovered that her sexy boyfriend is actually a vampire.  Now that the truth is revealed, Rowan begins to learn the truth about her connection with Gabriel.  The two also struggle against enemies both old and new.  As Rowan discovers a world that she didn’t know existed, she has to make a choice whether or not to accept Gabriel as who is actually is.

OPINION:  I enjoyed this book as an adventurous paranormal romp.  After the slow first installment in the series, this one really picks up the pace.  Now that Rowan knows that Gabriel is a vampire, her life is going to change. The knowledge begins the process of Rowan having to confront the past, along with its enemies and friends.

As Rowan doesn’t fully remember the past, there are a lot of ambiguous figures who begin to appear in her life.  She struggles with trying to determine friend and foe.  Also, she begins to realize that she must choose between her life as she knows it and Gabriel.  The events in this book demonstrate that she will be forced to choose between them.

We do discover more about Gabriel’s past and how Rowan is connected to Gabriel.  There was a lot of action in this book.  I wish there was more romance and connection between Rowan and Gabriel, but this book is more about the external conflicts and Rowan’s own acceptance of Gabriel’s vampirism than it is about their relationship.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This series is a serial meaning that the story of this couple is not resolved here but continues in subsequent books.  If books ending on cliffhangers or with unresolved issues bother you, I suggest you pass on this series.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A VAMPIRE’S SOUL is the second book in the Vampire’s Promise series.  It is a serial and continues the story of Gabriel and Rowan.  I don’t think it’s necessary to read the first book because this one gives all the information you need.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.


Review: A Vampire’s Promise

Review: A Vampire’s PromiseA Vampire's Promise (Vampire's Promise, #1) by Carla Susan Smith
Series: Vampire's Promise #1
Published by Ekensington Originals on January 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 272

“The world as I knew it came to a screeching halt and tumbled off its axis.  And I knew, no matter whatever else happened to me in the rest of my life, something had just changed.  It was one of those pivotal moments that happen once in a lifetime.  One that said nothing was ever going to be the same.”

FINAL DECISION:  A first book that takes too long to get to the big reveal — that unfortunately is not a secret because of the title of the book — but has promise for the series.  I want to know what is happening now that Gabriel’s secret has been revealed to Rowan.

THE STORY:  Rowan Harper is a spunky woman who works in a bookstore, reads romances and has never been able to get her sex life right.  One night at a bar, she meets a sexy, mysterious man.  Gabriel is amazing in every way, but there is so much she doesn’t know about him.  What Rowan does know is that she feels like she has met Gabriel before even though that is impossible.  He seems to know so much about her while she can’t find out anything about him.

OPINION:  I picked up this book because I got the third book from Netgalley in order to provide a review.  Once I saw that this book was merely a series, but truthfully a serial, I knew I needed to start at the beginning.

This book begins with a introduction of Rowan who doesn’t seem to have a lot of strong connections in her life. Her mother abandoned her; her father is dead; the only friend we meet in involved with another man; she has been unsuccessful in her sex life.  When she meets Gabriel in a bar, she is wary because she seems too handsome, too sexy and doesn’t seem the type of man who would be interested in her.

Rowan seems so normal and plain that it was difficult for me to get attached to her in this book.  Clearly there are secrets that we haven’t learned, but I needed to feel more connection with Rowan earlier.

Gabriel is sexy and mysterious and oh, he’s a vampire.  That would be a spoiler, but the “secret” is too obvious because of the title of the book.

What I really liked in this book is the Gothic and strange feel.  Rowan is stumbling through revelations.  I liked that there are a lot of secrets in this book that will be developed in the series.

The biggest weakness of this book is that too much is kept back here and that made the book a bit slow at times.  As a reader, I knew almost immediately that Gabriel was a vampire and I got tired of waiting for Rowan to find out. Despite the title, this book is almost a pure contemporary until the end when Rowan discovers Gabriel’s secret.

I do think the setup for the rest of the series has promise and hopefully as we delve into the vampire world the action will increase.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book begins a series that follows the same characters.  The story is not completed in this one book.  Reader beware.

CONNECTED BOOKS: A VAMPIRE’S PROMISE is the first book in the Vampire’s Promise series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book just a smidgen under three stars — but lets round up to 3.