Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hearts at Stake: Alyxandra Harvey (ARC Courtesy of Bloomsbury)


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.


Amusing, fast paced, and original. Those are some of the biggest adjectives that popped into my head throughout this book. It is a pretty unique take on vampires and the world that surrounds them and I think Harvey pulled it off quite well. Some of the 'typical' vampire traits still apply but she has very much made this world all her own.

The characters are all strong- Lucy and Solange especially. The story switches between their perspectives so I was able to get a good view of both girls. I could see why they were friends and where one lacked the other made up for it. Lucy is a hilarious character- her banter with other characters kept me alert and laughing, even in tense situations in the book.

Solange has 7 older brothers and I give Harvey points for this. She didn't just name them and call them brothers- she showed at least some interests and traits of each of the bothers. I find it very hard to keep that many characters different and still important but Harvey did a smooth job of it. Nicholas gets the most attention out of the brothers and he is a perfect blend of adorable, seductive and arrogant.

There is very little introduction for this book- it simply starts and almost immediately delves into the action and bigger points of the story. I was interested from the start with questions already forming and curiosity burning just a few pages in. What starts out to seem like it will be boring and repetitive compared to other books in this genre rapidly changes into something unique and enticing.

Harvey's writing is filled with humor and her analogies and the way she words things are original and many of them are witty. Several times I stopped reading for a few moments because the way she said something took me off guard, forcing me to pause and reflect on how there are many overly used ways to say the same thing or make the same comparison but Harvey used something very different. I admire it and for that reason, the writing stands out in many places for me with this book.

There will be more in this series, dubbed The Drake Chronicles, and I will certainly be reading. This book ends with a million burning questions sprouting immediately yet most things relative to this book's plot are answered, tied up and closed out. I feel satisfied though I do want more of the series as a whole and am curious about how things will play out from here. Harvey did not drag things out unnecessarily- she went straight to the point often.

Overall, I give this 4 stars. The analogies and many phrases stood in my mind but the writing was otherwise smooth and only some above average. The plot moves quickly and is strong with 2 well developed lead characters and I recommend this one.

This book is set to hit shelves December 22- just in time to add to holiday gift lists. For more information, check out the site devoted to the series and learn more about the Drake Chronicles.

Note: This book was provided courtesy of Bloomsbury publishing.


  1. I've been excited and looking forward to this book but the UK title and book cover is much more apatizing to the eye. I like the title "My Love Lies Bleeding" better but I'm still going to read the book.

  2. I agree- that is a great title but I still think this title is kind of amusing since it's vamps... =P

  3. Great review! This looks really good and I love the cover!

  4. Oh! I have this one. So glad you like it!