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review 2018-10-10 19:57
Kiss of the Rose (Tudor Vampire Chronicles #1) by Kate Pearce
Kiss of the Rose - Kate Pearce

Kiss of the Rose - Kate Pearce 

This book reminded me how much I love and miss reading about vampires and legends of old. 
Christopher is a man that disguises his family shame with an over the top charming personality and being the best at what he does. Rosalind is a clever woman but is getting tired of having to prove herself as a vampire hunter. These two star-crossed lovers will have to unite forces in order to bring down a common enemy at the same time that a prophecy seems to be taking place and their feelings for each other seem to be more than just unbridled passion. 
I loved the world building. I remember reading this story when it first came out and while I remember liking it then I have to say I liked it even more now. The Druids as a historical backdrop was something I hadn’t read before and I liked how it was weaved within the Tudors era. Vampires as Machiavellian beings and not necessarily heroes provided that extra darkness that I like in my PNR. 
The thing I didn’t like much was the love triangle that took place in much of the story. I always think it unfair when one of the characters is left as an afterthought just because the object of their affections couldn’t make up their mind and kept dragging the poor guy along. I know it happens IRL but I prefer it wouldn’t happen in my romances. I also thought the prophesy aspect needed more fleshed out. It took me a while to understand it and assimilate how the whole thing tied up in the end. But I think that was a personal problem that I tend to have where prophecies are concerned. 
All in all it definitely was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone that loves paranormal mixed with their historical reads. 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

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review 2016-12-12 17:36
#CBR8 Book 116: The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason
The Rest Falls Away - Colleen Gleason

It's been two months since I read this (why, yes, I am terribly behind on my reviews), so I'm resorting to Goodreads for the summary:

Beneath the glitter of nineteenth century London society lurks a bloodthirsty evil...

Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would long ago have taken control of the world. 

In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake. But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous moonlit streets, Victoria's heart is torn between London's most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her dark, dangerous duty.

And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make a choice between duty and love. 

Earlier this year, I read The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, which was being pitched a bit as Buffy in the Regency era (A teenage girl is the Chosen One and has to battle creatures of evil).The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, of which The Rest Falls Away is the first in a series of five books, was published back in 2007 (I read them in 2008-2009) and it also takes a young woman and pits her in the battle against vampires. Miss Victoria Gardella Grantworth has had her debut delayed due to a prolonged period of mourning and at the very same time as her mother and her two best friends, all highly placed in society, get ready to launch Victoria and find her a rich and influential husband, Victoria is told by her great-aunt Eustacia about the family legacy and has to make a choice about whether she wants to take up a clandestine career as a monster hunter. Because the Gardellas in the two generations separating Victoria and Eustacia chose not to accept their family duty (and was thus glamoured to forget there was ever such a choice), the powers have been building and Victoria will be unusually powerful for a Gardella.

She chooses to accept the family legacy, and is surprised to realise that her ladies' maid not only knows about vampires, but has all sorts of innovative ideas for how to conceal stakes and holy water receptacles about her person. She starts training martial arts with her great-aunt's manservant and tries in vain to convince fellow vampire slayer, the Italian Maximillian Pesaro that she really is very committed to slaying vampires, but she can manage it and enjoying herself at balls in the evenings, nonetheless. Their mutual animosity is not helped by the fact that Victoria mistakes him for a vampire and nearly stakes him the first time they meet. He's convinced she's a frivolous airhead who's taking their sacred duty lightly and grimly goes about trying to outdo her at every turn to prove his theories, to Eustacia's annoyance. She needs them working together, not sniping at each other.

While vampires have always existed in the world, the vampires of London are getting a lot more aggressive, due to the fact that the vampire queen, the ancient Lilith, is about to arrive, seeking an ancient book that can grant her unbelievable powers. Eustacia is too old to go out hunting anymore and needs Max and Victoria to do what they can to prevent Lilith's minions from getting the book. Meanwhile, Victoria is still going to society events, and has caught the eye of the Marquess of Rockley. Victoria's mother and her other two sponsors are beyond delighted, and do what they can to throw them together at every possible ball or gathering. Rockley is puzzled why Victoria keeps disappearing with flimsy pretexts, but seems determined to make her his bride. Can Victoria really combine married life and vampire slaying, though? How would Rockley react if she told him the truth about her family legacy?

As I remembered, the first book does a decent job of setting up the world-building and introducing most of the major players in the series, but it's not as exciting or engaging as the later books in the series, when the overarching plot really gets going. While I found Goodman's book a bit too long and meticulously researched to the point of slowing down the story for all the historical detail that was thrown in, this book is maybe a bit too short on detail and very action-orientated. Some of the characters seem almost like caricatures (they get more fleshed out as the series goes on), but I still enjoyed my re-read of the book.

Judging a book by its cover: Not a huge fan of the cover, mainly because I'm pretty sure no one would choose to wear a corset like that without some sort of undergarment, like a chemise, between the skin and the coarser fabric of the stays. I'm also pretty sure that's not an accurate corset for the time, when they wore mostly empire-waisted dresses and really didn't need the tiny, tiny waists. The red colour choice is quite dramatic, though (each book in the series has a different cover colour) and I guess it catches your eye. The book was given a cover design when the books were launched as e-books. On that, the cover model is holding a stake in one hand and a great big sword in the other, plus her clothing choices are even more anachronistic. So I guess if I have to choose one over the other, I'll pick this one.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/12/cbr8-book-116-rest-falls-away-by.html
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review 2015-08-25 19:59
Why I gave up...
Prince Lestat - Anne Rice

"So where is this all going?" I asked. I tried not to sound exasperated. 

Answer: nowhere fast. 

Every time I thought things were going to pick up and actually GO somewhere, we ended up right back in the same place. I feel like every chapter repeated the same thing, from the view of a different vampire:
 
1. Where are the elders? Why is everybody hiding from each other? 
2. (Lestat) What is that Voice that's in my head?
3. Are we going to suddenly catch on fire?!
4. Boy, you know what was great? Those other Vampire Chronicles. They were so poetic and philosophical. They changed everything! (Yes, all the vampires talk about how awesome and beautiful the books are... which is true but also weird. It's basically like she's reminding you "HEY, remember what a great writer I was? Ignore that you're bored to death by this and remember The Vampire Lestat.") 
5. Lestat is the best, Lestat is amazing, where is he? 
6. I have an iPhone!
7. What is this science you speak of, for some reason I just can't understand it! 

Those last two annoyed me a lot. Half the time I felt like I was in an ad for the new Apple products. The science thing was the biggest bullshit though. I mentioned this in my first post when I first started reading- for some reason, a lot of the older vampires just can not wrap their brains around modern science, and Lestat says that he would constantly "forget how to use the computer". The explanation is given early on that vampires can't retain knowledge that wasn't available for comprehension when they were made. Which is RIDICULOUS. In chapter 9, the vampire Gregory talks about being taught by another vampire, Flavius, after he was made. He teaches him about "whole histories of peoples of the Earth he'd never known or seen"... I would argue that a totally unfamiliar culture, for example Japan, would count as "knowledge that wasn't available for comprehension" for someone from Ancient Egypt. No one else in Ancient Egypt knew about the peoples of other lands, so technically he, as a vampire, shouldn't be able to retain that information. And say that counts, because it's not "new" knowledge, it's just unfamiliar. Fine. What about all the scientific advancements that have occurred since the times of Ancient Egypt? Gregory can't comprehend what gravity is, or how electric light is made? Come on. 

What I will say is that there were some points in Gregory's story that gave me a little bit of hope for the rest of the novel. I liked the way he talked about anything past Ancient Egypt being so ridiculously advanced- it was a good way to remind us not to take for granted the miracles of modern life, and to Gregory "modern life" started in Ancient Rome. But I didn't want to wade through another chapter of some unfamiliar vampire's story (probably ending with 'where are the elders, I love Lestat' like all the other ones) to get to more of "What's that Voice!?" (yeah I flipped ahead a little bit).
I could get more detailed about the tiny bits here and there I liked, but they'll be countered immediately by the bits that ruined it, so screw it.

As an Anne Rice fan I'm going to say don't bother with this one. Maybe it's just bad timing and if I had more patience I would like it a little better... but I think maybe in her old age, Anne Rice has fallen victim to mediocrity. Be happy with the Vampire Chronicles you have and go pick up The Witching Hour if you haven't already. 

-Sorry about spilling that truth tea,
xoLuna

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text 2015-08-25 02:49
I've read 160 out of 464 pages... and I'm giving up.
Prince Lestat - Anne Rice

Alright Anne Rice, I've given you almost 200 pages to hook me and I can't believe I'm saying this, but you've failed. Maybe this book will become enjoyable at some point but I don't have time to wait around and find out.
My thoughts on Prince Lestat are summed up quite well at 1:53 in this episode of Home Movies (it should link right to 1:53).

 

I don't know if anyone else watches Home Movies but it's one of my very favorite shows, it used to come on adult swim. I swear, this quote is the very first thing that popped into my head when thinking about this book. I'll probably do a more detailed post tomorrow, but maybe not. I already feel like I've wasted so much reading time on this thing. 

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text 2015-06-24 06:41
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 346 pages.
The Fertile Vampire (The Montgomery Chronicles Book 1) - Karen Ranney

Well...it's not Grey so at least you won't see more posts from that book from me.

 

But is likely going to be on the silly side.  Don't judge; just a little late night sampling of odd things friends recommended to me and a "look inside" that hooked me despite some grammar issues like had/have confusions.  

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