Review: Hearts at Stake (aka My Love Lies Bleeding) by Alyxandra HarveyHearts at Stake (aka My Love Lies Bleeding) by Alyxandra Harvey
Series: The Drake Chronicles #1
Published by Bloomsbury, Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
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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.

Thoughts: Hearts at Stake is a fun debut novel but don’t set the bar too high when you pick it up. The action was entertaining, but not all that memorable. Plot turns and twist were all over the place, and kinda hard to follow. The world building consisted of tell-and-no-show. And as for the romance, well, both pairings fell flat.

But it was still an entertaining read! Harvey has a tongue-in-cheek style that I enjoyed – and we have to give her serious credit for creating the most violent vegetarian (Lucy) I have ever read! I also loved the relationship between the two narrators: best friends, Lucy and Solange. They are fiercely protective of each other, but extremely different. They work very well together, as whatever one of them lacks the other makes up for. It was a lovely dynamic!

It was released in the US with the cover/title you see before you… but in the UK they decided to rename it to My Love Lies Bleeding and gave it a Twilightesque cover. Usually I like the changes made by UK publishers, but not this time.

Hearts at Stake is a light-hearted, funny read. So although there is a lot of life-threatening violence… it is light-hearted violence! (If that makes any sense.) So, if you can, try to get a US copy (I got mine from Fobidden Planet in London) so that the content matches the cover!

Bottom line? This was a fun, light-hearted read – but I was not particularly in love. Pick it up if you are looking for a fast-and-fun read! The next book in the series, Blood Feud, is out in July.

Kay

Your ghost host at Dead Book Darling
Kay's been blogging about urban fantasy, young adult and werewolves since 2009. She's a firm believer in the many uses of the towel, the science of deduction and other fandom in-jokes. To support her book-buying habit, Kay keeps up a day-job as a science journalist (so feel free to ask her about Physics).

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