Thursday, May 7, 2015

Early Review: Velvet by Temple West

by Temple West
Read: April 27 - May 4, 2015
Published:  May 12, 2015 by Swoon Reads
Source: Macmillan (THANK YOU!)
Category: YA, PNR, Vampires
Series: Velvet #1
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

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?

For some reason I'm still attempting to read vampire based paranormal romance, which I think was my first problem going into this book. Whether intentional or not, if a story is set in high school and involves vampires, I'm going to compare it Twilight. In fact, the first half of Velvet read like a direct comparison or commentary on Twilight - girl moves to a rural town with a relative, falls for the loner uber rich boy/vampire with an eccentric family. Boy is constantly referred to as being model hot. However, girl is not clumsy, and she doesn't spend time lamenting how much he's out of her league! Plus lots of other little things that seemed similar or purposefully different. The second half picked up for me, and I was into the plot…until Adrian takes Caitlin to a school dance in an Aston Martin. After that, I struggled to take the book seriously anymore. 

Speaking of things that pulled me out of the story, this book takes place in rural New York, and yet the characters have lunch outside at picnic tables all winter long. Snow is talked about several times, but no one mentions being cold once! I know high schoolers don't like to wear proper coats, but they would be shivering out there! It made no sense to me at all. 

I will say that it was Caitlin that kept me reading this book. I liked her a lot, and was able to connect in well to her emotions. She is suffering from intense grief from the recent death of her mother, and I felt all of her anger and sadness along with her. She's also direct, asks questions and has ambition to be a designer. I never felt like she was slow to figure things out (well except for in that one time…), and I was on the edge of my seat with her, nervous about what was going to happen. I also love that she's not afraid to speak her mind to Adrian when he he's being an idiot - I got fired up too when she blew up at him. 

Although contrived for maximum interaction, I like the "bodyguard" set-up of the story, because we get to see these two get close to each there without professing their love in the first few pages. And they don't fall for each other immediately. Although there is immediate attraction, it takes Caitlin time to realize how much she really cares for Adrian. However, I wish we'd gotten some perspective from Adrian. The book is all in Caitlin's POV and it was  difficult to tell what he was thinking. He also plays the typical "I'm going to be an asshole for your own good" angle, which I despise, though I could understand his reasons. 

I liked several of the secondary characters, especially Adrian's brother Lucian, with whom I wish we'd spent more time. Julian also ended up being more complex than at first. I really liked Caitlin's friend Trish, though all the others ran together, and I couldn't understand why Jenny seemed so important. I kept thinking there would be more of a revelation around her.  

I struggled with a few elements of the drama at the end of this book, but some of that is my own personal issues. However, how it all played out kept me engaged through the conclusion. The book is clearly part of a series, as the end wraps up some elements, but also leaves readers with lots of questions as well as bit of a cliffhanger. I'm curious about where the author takes her story next, but I'm not sure it's enough to keep me reading. 
I just hope the next installment doesn't try to go the New Moon route…

Love Triangle Factor: NONE and there doesn't appear to be any other prospects either, thank goodness!
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium (Highlight) Caitlin and Adrian's relationship is fairly settled (for now), and the cliffhanger 
mostly involves a side character, whom I fell in love with and am worried about!


  1. I've had my doubts about this book since I first laid eyes on it. It's not that it may be a bad read for me, I'm just having a hard time reading vampire romances lately. I may give it a go later on down the road. Great review!

  2. Gorgeous review Lauren. <3 I'm glad you liked a lot of this book :D But ugh. It sounds like it is a lot like other books. And I don't like that at all. Sigh. I shall stay away from this one, lol :) Don't think it is for me. Though the romance do sound cute. <3 And you do make some parts sound pretty great :D Thank you for sharing about this book sweetie. <3

  3. I am glad there is no love triangle, but it sounds like there a many elements that would pull me out of the story, too. I'm not a fan of "I'm protecting you for your own good" (especially if there are secrets involved) AT ALL, and just the whole setting seems off. :/ Thank you for your review, darling! I'm still in my mini slump so we'll see when I get to this.

  4. Hmmm…I have this one on my TBR but after reading your review, I don't know. What do you say, is it worth it?? Great review, as always! ~Pam

  5. I wasn't a fan of this one and I'm seeing so many folks love it! I've been wondering what I missed, haha I'm glad you saw some issues with it too. I not thinking I'll read the next one- but if you do I'll be so curious to hear your thoughts.

  6. This book was... alright, I guess. I turned the pages pretty quick because something was drawing me to continue and there were aspects I liked; Lucien for one. I also did enjoy Caitlin but I didn't see the appeal with Adrian. he seemed really childish to me and it wasn't attractive. I just kept rolling my eyes at his antics even though there were moments where he was cute.

    Overall, it was a fun read for me but it isn't something I can really praise, but I do agree that there are things that are enjoyable.

  7. I guess, for the moment, I'm just completely done with YA vamps. I feel bad because this story wasn't poorly written or anything, just didn't float my boat!


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