Top critical review
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A fluffy, quick read
on 15 April 2010
My Love Lies Bleeding is also known as "Hearts At Stake". I have no idea why they have different US and UK titles.
This book reminds me of Lynsay Sands' Argeneau Vampires Series, which is totally hilarious, by the way. First in the Drake Chronicles, this book revolves mostly around the plight and love lives of best friends Solange and Lucy. In one word, I'd say this book felt condensed.
Let me elaborate. At 256 pages, it attempted to introduce its readers to a vampire mythology, complete with its geneaology, politics and history. It also features an unlikely romance that made me giggle and thrilling chase. It was a quick, very fluffy read, but there was not much I could have gathered from it. I felt it was rather short, and hence not much detail was incorporated into the book. The details that managed to stay were passable, and I wanted so much more. This also applies to characterisations - they were quite a few secondary characters that could have been developed more, although they are not directly pivotal to the plot. I loved the Drakes and would have appreciate hearing more of each.
My Love Lies Bleeding is told in Lucy's and Solange's perspectives. At the beginning I found it difficult to differentiate between their voices - they seemed to be too similiar, almost blending in to be merely an extension of one another. This affected the characterisation and it was not until later that I was able to personify Lucy and Solange as two different characters. I also failed to grasp the necessity of having the plot told from two differing point of views. However, this proved useful as the plot progresses especially when they part ways. Afterwhich of course, I begin to enjoy Lucy's fierceness and Solange's kindheartedness.
I enjoyed the romance hugely. From the very beginning I knew it will not disappoint, and it sure did not, at least for Lucy and Nicholas. I found Nicholas to be a swoony, manly man vampire, with the perfect history and attraction to fierce little Lucy. His reactions and approaches to her is really really cute! However though I found Lucy and Nicholas' romance well supported and is one of my favourite kind (honestly, I giggled a lot), Kieran and Solange's I found slightly rushed and less enjoyable than the former. However, overall I really did enjoy the witty banter that moulds the romance of this book.
The tension is present in the plot, but I did not quite find it exciting. It was enough to keep me reading but not intensified enough to make me flip through the pages as quick as I could. The vampire mythology and history, including its very realistic politics are a good setting stone, but I felt it was slightly lacking.
I wanted so much more from this novel, but as it stands, it still is a wonderful, romantic read with a hint of adventure and thrill. A good weekend read.
I am quite excited for Blood Feud - the next in the chronicles.