Release Date: January 31st 2016
Rate: 3.5 stars (Enjoyed it)
My name is Bianka, and I live in a world a lot like yours. Or at least, I used to.
Then I got harvested.
Taken into eerie darkness underneath the surface of my world, I’ve learned that cities like mine – Hidden Oaks – are just places that the vampires keep humans until it’s time to drink their blood. Now it’s my turn. They’re harvesting me.
But I’m fighting hard, and the vampires have noticed. A sponsor is buying me. A handsome, mysterious vampire with piercing eyes, who wants me to fight other humans in The Vampire Games. If I lose, I’ll be harvested. If I win, I’ll join my sponsor, Phillip, as one of them.
I’ll be turned into a vampire.
All I must do to spend an eternity with Phillip is sell my soul.
The scary part? I’d do a lot worse for him than that.
I have had The Vampire Games in my TBR for a while now. Everything that resembles the hunger games even if you add the paranormal aspect to the story makes me a bit skeptical because this could end up as a major fangirling moment for me or end up hating the story. Hence why it took me so long to finally start this book.
To sum up the story a bit, the main character, Bianka, has no clue what’s happening in her city. Humans are harvested for the vampires who apparently rule the world without the humans even knowing. Even though she ended up in a “nice cage” she tried to run. But instead of getting away from that awful place she goes and tries to help her friend, Mark. This leads her to enter the vampire games after she has been bought by her first vampire savior, Phillip. The prize of winning the vampire games? Becoming a vampire. But Bianka has another thing in mind if she wins the games. And so their story begins.
From the beginning Bianka was presented as a strong female character that knows how to adapt to every single situation and most important how to survive. She’s also kind and good since she ends up going back to save her friend instead of running when she had the chance. Phillip on the other hand, was shown as an antagonistic savior. He tried to do the right thing among her kingdom and when saving Bianka. However, he assumed that everyone wanted to be a vampire and that’s where he was wrong.
The romance between these two very different characters is a progressive one as well as awkward. The characters are drawn to each other but the situation of Bianka fighting for her life and Phillip being a vampire come between them more than once. I liked that Bianka wasn’t too eager to jump into a relationship or something like that just because they were supposed to be together.
The world was well-built and the writing helps the reader to create a clear vision of what Stephanie Archer’s world would look like. However, was nothing that we haven’t read before due to the big games, trying to win to save their lives, etc.
For my liking, when I ended the book, it gave me the impression that the book was too short and that mostly everything in the story was hanging in the other. Nothing was solved. Only Phillip and Bianka’s relationship and that the world was not what Bianka thought it was which was solved in the first chapters. I would say that the impression the story gives to the reader is a bit weak.
Despite this not so original dystopian topic, the whole story is a good one that I truly enjoyed and easily devoured in less than an hour and a half. So I highly recommend it to all those YA paranormal romantics out there. Give it a try. I will definitely be waiting for the next book and see what’s going to happen between the two main characters.
by Temple West
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires
First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don’t fall in love.
After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.
Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?
“Sorry I dragged
you away from dinner,” I said, realizing the time. “You want to eat with us?”
He seemed to
consider it, then shook his head. “I’d better get back. Gotta take my
I arched a brow
questioningly. “I thought your immune system kicked ass?”
“Sorry, ‘medication’ is what we call it when we need to drink blood. It’s kind
of an inside joke.”
“Oh.” I said,
blushing for some reason. I should have kept my mouth shut, but curiosity got
the better of me. “Does it…taste good?”
He stared at me
for a long moment, before his gaze drifted down to my neck.
My pulse jumped,
half in fear and half in…something else. His voice had gone low and liquid, his
eyes were burning silver.
“Hey Cait?” he
murmured, and though he hadn’t moved an inch, it felt as though he were leaning
looking at me in the eye anymore, just staring somewhere above my chest and
below my jaw. The sound of my own heart seemed loud in my ears, and if I could
hear it, so could Adrian.
His eyes flicked
to my face. “You should really get out now.”
I scrambled to undo my seatbelt and
almost fell out of the truck. I could hear the click of the automatic locks
snapping into place the moment the door was closed. Adrian peeled out of the
driveway, back into darkness.
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. It’s insane. I’ve read it like five times.
Oooh, of all time? Probably Battlestar; Galactica (the remake, not the original). Or maybe 3rd Rock From the Sun. Right now though, it’s a toss-up between Game of Thrones andThe Good Wife. Two very, very different shows but both are incredible.
Beauty and the Beast. Hands down. And then, in no particular order, The Goonies, Hook, Bridesmaids, and Star Wars (the original trilogy).
I’m pretty partial to Alone, by Braverhalf. That song prompted me to move 2500 miles across America.
Pizza. Or home-made gyoza. Or bacon.
Rivendell, the TARDIS (that totally counts as a place), and Hogwarts. Actually, that list says pretty much everything about me you need to know.
I can’t even begin to choose. This is basically an impossible question.
“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Doctor Who, GoT, Vampire Diaries, Laini Taylor (and her books), Leigh Bardugo (and her books), anything with any of the Avengers cast, and, of course, my fellow Swoon authors’ books.
Oh wow, that’s hard. I mean, not to be cliche, but I think it would be fascinating to sit down with Tolkien. He was multi-lingual, did advanced studies in ancient mythologies, and created one of the most detailed, globally known worlds in literary history. I think he’d probably have some pretty good thought nuggets to pass along.
Hello, sexy people.
Hello Temple! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.
Sure! Basically, I’m hoping to bring something to the YA vampire landscape that hasn’t quite been done before, so if you read Velvet, stick around for books 2 and 3!
I’m not sure if this is cliche or anti-cliche, but what makes them the perfect couple is that they’re not perfect. They fight, they withdraw, they don’t know how to communicate all the time, and they struggle with their relationship. And throughout books 2 and 3, they are going to continue to struggle, not just with these outside forces, but with each other. They aren’t star-crossed lovers, they’re emotional teenagers who are trying to figure out what it means to love someone.
Are you looking for a hot, mysterious bad-boy moonlighting as a nerd? Then try out Adrian de la Mara, on sale now! At least, the book is!
I read a lot of vampire novels, was dissatisfied with some of the finer points of the mythology (and biology) and decided, “What the heck, I might as well give this a shot.” And then I wrote a book, and the book was Velvet.
Absolutely. Everything from Interview with a Vampire to Twilight to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Plus years of binge-reading YA fantasy novels.
It would probably have to be the Caitlin / Adrian exchange in chapter 13:
“Caitlin,” he murmured. “If you tell anyone I was the little spoon, there will be consequences.”
Well, yes, but I can’t be too specific. Let’s just say I giggled a lot while writing it.
This is such a fun question, but so hard! I keep wavering back and forth between actors, but I would definitely love to see these guys!
Caitlin Holte // Kat Graham (I know she plays a college-age student on Vampire Diaries now but she’s got this fierceness that completely reminds me of Caitlin)
Adrian de la Mara // Logan Lerman (He’s got the right mix of being really attractive and really sincere and emotionally intelligent)
Trish Fields // Mae Whitman (loved her in The DUFF)
Lucian de la Mara // Pierce Gagnon (the adorable and incredibly talented kid from Looper)
Julian de la Mara // Colton Haynes (swarthy rogue!)
Rachel Master // Rachel McAdams
Mmm, I would always recommend chocolate while reading, or pretty much anything covered in chocolate. Velvet has kind of a moody feel, so reading at night or by candlelight / cool low light would be fun!
Book two! (and three)
Follow the Velvet by Temple West Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Temple West, debut author of the YA paranormal romance Velvet, is as nerdy in real life as she is on the Twitter. Armed with a very shiny English degree, she spent four months in Oxford holed up at the Radcliffe Camera amongst the hush of ancient books and the rich musk of academia. Returning to Los Angeles, she acquired a concurrent degree in film, mostly as an excuse to write essays about The Princess Bride and Hook. She can sew (poorly), drive stick (please fasten your seatbelt), and mostly lift her feet off the ground while stuttering into first gear on a very small motorcycle. She currently lives in Seattle and is the proud mother to a one-year-old laptop and a vintage Remington typewriter.