When you’ve got a book that’s a borderline novella, with so little page time the pressure is on to make an impact. I felt like Origins accomplished that. This one? Not so much.
Ashlyn is settling into her role as an FBI agent, and a new case has fallen into her lap. She has to protect the State of California’s new and very first vampire governor. Though many hope this fosters better relations between humans and vampires, others are out for his blood. But they’ll get it over Ashlyn’s dead demon body…with a sprinkle of vampire thrown in. That might not be too far off as her naivety puts her in deeper water than ever.
Attempts to be edgy sort of diminished the value of the series for me. I really enjoyed the first Origins book, but Deceptions felt like a completely different series, and Ashlyn a completely different character. I guess she’s growing up. She now has to learn the ways of the vampire world. I would have preferred more of that and less focus on her honeymooning with a new certain someone. I won’t say more to spoil anything, but I feel like that character could have contributed more to the story than to make Ashlyn hot in her pants. That, and it came off as fleeting. I wasn’t convinced that it would be for the long haul, so I didn’t find myself very interested in it.
Elves are introduced in the prior novel, but they barely receive a mention in this one which was a let down. Demon development was also few and far in between. I was really looking forward to learning about Ashlyn’s heritage. We get a glimpse into her power but it just wasn’t enough. It all led to an ending that I predicted a little too early, enough so that the book started to drag for me towards the end, but it wasn’t too unbearable.
While I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first, there is still potential there, so I will give book 3 a try. The books are short, they’re free (on Amazon Prime), and there’s a chance the plot could pick up and grab me as well as the first book did.
A Bite’s Tale (A Furry Fable) is aptly named. This delightful novella provides a supernatural take on the age old Cinderella story. Cydney, the “Cinderella”, is a werewolf while the prince is a vampire.
We meet the characters while they are in their early teens. Neither one is willing to admit who they really are, but they secretly meet each other every summer until one year when Cydney’s wolf loses control, leaving the prince to fight for his life. We soon experience a time skip where we see Cydney at seventeen, continuing to battle the nature of her inner wolf and manage the guilt of hurting, or possibly killing her secret sweetheart.
Unbeknownst to Cydney, he was changed into a vampire to save his life. All is well, but of course as a prince he has a huge responsibility to his country and he must choose a wife to help him rule. The king schedules a ball for the prince to choose a fitting lady, but he can’t forget his “Cinderella”. Will fate allow these two to cross paths once again? Will they have to put their species first since vampires and werewolves are enemies?
Veronica Blade’s novella is an extremely satisfying read. I was genuinely surprised. Even better, if you’re an Amazon Prime member the book is free to borrow. That made the read just that much sweeter for me. Though I must admit I try to imagine the prince with a different hair style in my mind because the one on the cover is a total buzz kill.
I liked having an old tale to compare this to. It made me appreciate the subtle changes. While I never doubted Cinderella’s love for her prince in the cartoon, sometimes for this one I merely wondered if it was due to teenage hormones. Also, sometimes it felt more like Romeo & Juliet than Cinderella. This had a lot of coming-of-age elements. There is a little action but not a whole lot. That was fine with me because I didn’t pick the book up for that reason.
This is a fun, quick read and a nice change of pace from the norm. I would like to see a full fleshed out novel with these characters because there’s room for the story to expand.