1st Time Love by Sapphire Knight
I was sent an ARC copy of this book and voluntarily read and reviewed it. 1st Time Love was a good story. A typical nerdy girl and hot, popular boy premise. Kadence was clever, witty and fun and Tyler was hot, athletic and surprisingly sweet most of the time. Knight has a good, solid story with 1st Time Love. The characters are fun and relatable and watching their story unfold is enjoyable. The plot line wasn't over the top and everything was fairly believable. There were a couple of things that I was unimpressed with or left wanting more of, but nothing that took away from the overall story and feeling of the book. Knight was descriptive enough to allow the reader to imagine themselves in the story but not so much that it bogs the reading process down. Everyone loves a story with a happy ending and this one was no different. I look forward to reading more in about the Owen's brothers in the future.
Spoilers will begin.... now.
At first glance, I'll be honest, there's nothing particularly special about this cover. It's got a hot, shirtless guy on it, but let's be serious, most romance novels these days come standard with a half naked man blessed with a rock hard set of abs on the cover. I think it could have done a little more to match the theme of the story itself, because for those that do judge a book solely on it's cover, there's not much to go on.
The author started almost every chapter with a quote, mostly about football, but there are some other sports quotes and such in there. I think this was a nice touch and while it didn't really do anything for the story line, it was fun to read them. Also, dependent upon which of the two main characters started each chapter (as in their POV), we got a different chapter graphic which was a nice touch. It isn't until late in the story we find out the meaning behind Kadence's graphic.
I like that we started the book with a couple parts in each character's point of view, getting to know a little bit more about them and their separate lives before they're brought together. Kadence Winters is bit of a book nerd, which let's be serious, most of us can relate to. She'd rather sit at home and be introduced to her next book boyfriend then to go out and party it up like her best friend, Brianne. The fact that these two friends are so opposite in their personalities is also a fun notion. You really don't see either one of them try to push the other to be someone or something they're not. They accept and love each other as they are.
Tyler Owens, is a star football player, typical jock and certainly seems like your normal every day college douchebag at his first introduction. Luckily, we find out that Tyler is not a douchy as his introduction depicts and he's actually a really sweet, yet horny college football player. The dynamic between Tyler and his brothers is fun and I really enjoyed the moments we got to see between them. There's something going on with their family farm and we'll get to that later, but there also something that was left open with one of his brothers and I'm hoping the author answers that question in a subsequent book.
In a classic boy meets girl moment, the two run into one another, literally. She's annoyed (even though it was pretty much her fault) and he's apologetic. When they part, she's gushing to herself about how attractive he is and he's wondering why he's never noticed her before. Then some more boyish thoughts that I'm pretty sure are controlled by his nether regions. Tyler's thoughts pretty much launch him into the typical 'all boys think about is sex' dynamic and at first, Kadence just seems like another conquest to him.
Once Kadence ends her little freeze-out routine she's got going, however short it actually is, her and Tyler end up hanging out more and more and they actually make a pretty cute couple. They tease each other and we get to see a whole other side to Kadence. What I didn't like though is that every time she goes out with him, she seems to change her style just to fit him. It just bothered me. She goes from her jeans and tees to tiny little clothes.
And then we're privy to the information that Kadence's father is a football star. It's hinted at throughout the story and she mentions it a few times in her inner monologues. But she never broaches the subject and never reveals who her father is. I felt like all the skirting around her father's identity was kind of anticlimactic in the way it ended up being revealed.
In the end, we get that coveted happy ending that we always hope for. Tyler ends up being not the typical hormone driven jock we think he is. He is sweet and caring towards Kadence. I think it was a suitable ending for the pair, but I wish we saw more of Kadence's interests and life. We're very privy to everything happening in Tyler's and for Tyler, but we don't get that same coverage for Kadence and that is kind of a bummer. All in all, I really do recommend that you pick up 1st Time Love. It's a cute story with a happy ending.
The Fallen Vampire by Beata Blitz was an interesting read. Vampires, dragons, shifters, Witches, secret programs, a different world where dragons and vampires live. All of that makes for an interesting series in my eyes! While I enjoyed reading the prequel, I was finding that I was just hoping more would be elaborated! I think the concept behind the story is very complex and something that I have not yet encountered, I found the descriptions and backstory lacking. I was very intrigued throughout the story and didn't want to put the book down, and can honestly say I am looking forward to the next book! I am excited to see where Chloe’s story is going to go and am patiently awaiting the next installment!
Spoilers will begin.... now.
Let me just start by saying while yes I enjoyed this story, I was confused at points in time! This story started in what I believe is California, but is now something considered the New Faith and the human world is now being ruled by what is called the Cloud Lords.
The first chapter starts with the main Character Chloe sneaking out to go to a party that is forbidden, all because her crush Wayne is at the party and she can’t stand the thought of him with someone else! On the way to the party through Chloe’s eyes we get a glimpse of what the world is now like. All houses are burned down, falling down, or pillaged through, and the people that are left are in a tiny community together.
The party is being held at an old abandoned Library building, and it is your typical teenage party. During the party the DJ stops the music and says he has a game that he wants to teach them a “game from the past age.” Come to find out this game is spin the bottle! Well it is Wayne's turn to spin and Chloe desperately wants the bottle to land on her. This is where we find out that Chloe secretly has magic powers, because when the bottle lands on Lillian (her rival for Wayne) Chloe moves the bottle telepathically to make it land on her. Little do we know as readers witches are burned when they are discovered, and something as small as what Chloe did classifies her as a witch! Now everyone at the party believes she needs to die….
We then come to the party being broken up by what I believe are cops, all of the kids are put on a chain so they can face punishment, while Chloe and Wayne escape through a back route and run away. Chloe is ultimately caught and brought to a jail where she is sentenced to be burned without a trial!
Now let me just add the above has all happened within the first 50 pages of this prequel, and it is literally just one thing to the next, and there is very little elaboration on the author's part. I was very confused for the first half of this story.
We then continue to Wayne breaking Chloe out of the jail, and them running away! Chloe is so smitten with Wayne that she is planning her future with him, and is hoping that his actions are because he wants to be with her. Chloe and Wayne make it to an abandoned farmhouse where they think they will be safe. While at the farm house Chloe and Wayne are talking when Chloe learns Wayne is already promised to Lillian and he plans on running back to her and getting married after he gets Chloe to another colony safely. Chloe decides that she is not going to risk Wayne's life and sneaks out while he is sleeping. While she is trying to make it to the next colony she sees a war going on in the sky between Night Flyers and Cloud Lords. The Night Flyer is knocked from the sky and Chloe sees him fall so she goes to investigate.
(This is when I feel the book started to make more sense.) Chloe goes to examine what falls from the sky when she sees a naked man. Ultimately we learn that Night Flyers are like Vampires and they shift to a bat form and Cloud Lords are dragons that shift into humans as well. Chloe feels as though she has a special connection to the Night Flyer, and refused to leave him to die where he is. While she is examining his body Wayne finds her and after much argument she gets Wayne to help her get the Night Flyer back to a farmhouse up ahead.
While at the farm house Patrolman from their colony find them and try to take Chloe and Wayne back to the colony so they can burn Chloe for being a witch. While they are trying to take the two gun fire takes place, and the army shoes up (they were looking for the Night Flyer that just happens to be in the farm house!) The army ends up saving Chloe and taking her and the night Flyer with them, saving Chloe from death!
During the ride in the jeep back to wherever the army is taking Chloe and the Night Flyer the Captain proposes that Chloe join them at the program ( although it isn’t really an option). The Captain does not elaborate on what the program entails, he just tells Chloe he is interested in what her future will hold!
To me this book has many promising factors. Vampires, dragons, shifters, Witches, secret programs, a different world where dragons and vampires live? All of that to me should make for an amazing series! I hope that in the next installment we get to learn more about what’s going on in this new world and hopefully more things make sense! I can say that I am patiently awaiting Beata Blitz’ next release!!!