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Friday, September 21, 2012

Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton

Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton
Book One of the Demimonde
Publisher: Pink Narcissus Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (370 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who is saving the world - one damned person at a time. Shy and sensitive Sophie has all but given up on love until she meets Marek, a mysterious stranger who seduces her with his striking good looks and his take-charge attitude. Yet the darkness she senses within him may be more than she is prepared to handle when Marek draws her into a world of vampires, werewolves, and treachery. Forced to leave behind the comfortable routines and certainties of her past, Sophie makes unbearable sacrifices and uncovers hidden truths about herself and the world around her.

Sophie will sacrifice anything to save Marek, but what if he doesn’t want to be saved?

Poor Sophie. She truly has a weakness for people in need. The problem is she tries to help anyone and everyone she comes across and when she doesn’t succeed, she takes it very hard. I like the way Ms. Krafton presents Sophie’s character. The first half of the book follows Sophie as she interacts with the various people in her life, including her best friend Jared, who is a priest. Sophie’s relationship with her cat Euphrates, Fraidy for short, is also particularly entertaining. While this meandering pace is an interesting way to get to know Sophie, it also means that the first half of the book moves a bit slowly. Readers will need to exercise a bit of patience in order to reap the rewards of the story.

Not long after Sophie meets Marek, she falls for him pretty hard. Something tells Sophie that Marek is dangerous, but she ignores this feeling and pursues a relationship with him anyway. I didn’t get to know Marek nearly as well as Sophie. Sophie kept saying Marek was dark, mysterious, and that she had a powerful connection with him, but this connection never really came alive in my mind. Sophie and Marek spend a lot of time getting to know each other, especially after she learns about the paranormal world he inhabits. However, a lot of those moments take place behind the scenes. I liked that this approach allowed me to use my imagination, but it would have been nice to have a few more details filled in. This would have made picturing Sophie and Marek as a couple easier.

One of the things I like most about Bleeding Hearts is the concept that demivampires and vampires are a more evolved species that have lived side by side with humans for centuries. The connection to Egyptian mythology is also thought provoking. I would have liked a bit more detail on the history of the demivampires and their battle with vampires. Ms. Krafton provides enough information to keep the story moving, but when I finished reading I still felt like my understanding of the paranormal world Ms. Krafton created was incomplete.

The pacing really picked up during the second half of the book. Sophie and Marek find themselves at the mercy of a powerful and ruthless vampire who wants Marek for his own nefarious purposes. I was on the edge of my seat wondering how they were going to find their way out of this treacherous situation. I was extremely surprised and also deeply unsettled at how they ended up escaping. Marek crosses a line when battling the master vampire and I’m not entirely sure that he and Sophie will be able to survive the consequences. This relationship will surely be tested in the next book.

Overall, I think Bleeding Hearts is a good book. Sophie is certainly an entertaining character and the mythology of the paranormal world she inhabits is intriguing. Readers looking for a different kind of vampire story might want to give Bleeding Hearts a try.

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