Publisher: Walker & Company (Bloomsbury Publishing Inc.)
Age: Young Adult
Species: Hel-Blar (Hell's Blood?), Cwn Mamau (Hounds of the Mothers), Vampires, Humans
Interest: Alyxandra Harvey/ Vampire Princess/ Snow White/ 7 Brothers/ 200 in 2011
Being a Vampire Princess Really Bites
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.
Loosely based on the fairytale of Snow White, Hearts at Stake follows vampire princess Solange Drake, the only female vampire born to an ancient family in exactly 900 years. She has 7 intimidating brothers, one of whom is falling for her best friend and partner in crime, Lucy Hamilton. The book is told from Lucy and Solange's alternating points of view which makes for an interesting interpretation of events.
Can I just say that I love the Drake family? Helena is one ass-kicking vampire mom with a nice, soothing husband to temper her anger. The Drake brothers were a little one dimensional in this novel. This is probably because this is the first book and their separate personalities have yet to really emerge. Nicholas as Lucy's love interest did have the chance to show case himself better than the others, but he was really "the boy next door" so his impact wasn't major in the novel. Solange.... is hard to describe. I couldn't quite decide if she was a pampered princess or a misfit or an ass-kicker like her mom. She has the potential to be Helena's equal I think, but she has a lot more covert planning and growing up to do before then. Lucy, I simply loved. Even though she's not an official Drake family member she certainly fits in with them. I was waiting for someone to turn her into a vampire like the entire novel.
The action in this book was nearly non-stop. Pacing wise the book was nearly perfect, something was always going on with a group of characters, so there wasn't time to get bored. The mythology was pretty decent too. I have no idea how far back Hel-Blar and Cwn Mamau go in whatever lore they may be present in, or if the author made them up, but they were cool. I think the 2nd book is about a Cwn Mamau named Isabeau St. Croix and Logan Drake.
Overall this was a fun, fast-paced, danger filled novel. I didn't even get to the assassins yet! I read this book very quickly, the pages flew by. I'm telling everyone to buy it now because it's AWESOME. I can't wait to read the second and third books. So go. Get it. Now!
Teaser Lines: "What's the plan?"
"We fight like hell."
1. Hearts at Stake (My Love Lies Bleeding)
2. Blood Feud
3. Out for Blood
4. Bleeding Hearts (U.S. Release Date: Nov. 2011)