Challenge: 2012 Canadian Reading Challenge
On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.
Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart.
Even fans of the genre who’ve seen it all will find a fresh read with kick-butt characters and family dynamics that ring true for all brothers and sisters—vampire or otherwise.
Before I go any further into this review (because I’ve gone oh so far already), I just have to say this: I have found a new favourite author in Alyxandra Harvey! Admittedly, I had heard of her books before and I had heart people say that they were really good, but I had so many other authors on my list that I just didn’t manage to check any of her books out. Then I bought an eReader. When I bought my eReader (a Kobo), I had also signed up for a book-of-the-month club that was complimentary with my purchase (as a side note, this “club” that was supposed to be complimentary for 12 months lasted about 3. I have yet to see another email about it. But I digress.). One of the books that was available for download was an Alyxandra Harvey book, Hearts at Stake.
Now, this was in March, so I’m just a little behind with my reading of this book. But when the Canadian Reading Challenge came up at the beginning of this month, I knew that would be my chance to start reading her books! And so it was settled.
I was not prepared for what was in the pages of this book, so when I learned it was about vampires, I was thrilled. I do love a good vampire story. I had read my share of vampire stories that really sucked, and was just getting into some really good and unique ones. Hearts at Stake is definitely a unique story. The thing that I really loved when I started reading this book is that there wasn’t really an air of mystery about the vampires — they were just there. It was great to see that Solange (awesome name!) and Lucy (named Lucky by her parents. I totally get her dropping the ‘k.’) grew up together.
But where do the vampires come from? (See how I anticipate your questions?) This was another great aspect of the book — while vampires are made, they are more likely born into being a vampire. In Solange’s case, on her 16th birthday, she would enter “the change” and would be transformed into a vampire. For her 15 years prior to the change, she was just a normal kid — eating junk food and playing with her friends (not to mention, getting tormented by her older brothers).
The dynamic between these two characters and the love they shared for one another was wonderful to read. Alyxandra Harvey also wrote the book from the point of view of both characters, alternating chapters (for the most part) between both girls. I have to admit that while I adored Solange in the book, it was Lucy’s story that I most looked forward to reading! It had me on the edge of my seat, especially the romance part. You can read in the synopsis that there is a DUAL romance in the book. If you know how much I love romance in my books, then you’ll know this is an AWESOME thing.
I don’t want to give anything away, but this is a book you should be reading. It’s a lighter read, but never came across as silly or juvenile (as some younger vampire books may be received). There was action, friendship, romance, humour, and it was just an all-around good read. It had me turning the pages and staying up all night. I’m really looking forward to reading more books in this series!
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