Title: Bleeding Hearts
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Walker Books
May Contain Spoilers
As vampires from all over the world descend on the Drake farm for the Blood Moon gathering, security is ramped up. Lucy has been temporarily banned, for her own safety—and to allow Solange some time to adjust to her new existence. But their enemies realize how much Lucy means to the family, and plan to abduct her to use her for leverage against the new royal family. Instead, Lucy’s cousin Christabel is kidnapped by mistake—and Connor Drake immediately heads off in pursuit, but isn’t in time to prevent Christabel’s infection by the Hel Blar. He can’t save her human life, but he can still try to save her new vampire life, and is willing to put his own life on the line for the girl he has grown to care so much about. Can he save Christabel, the Blood Moon, and his mother’s newly forged Vampire Alliance?
For me, the greatest enjoyment with the Drake Chronicles comes from revisiting the characters with every new book. The focus may have turned from one character to more fully flesh out another, but all of the Drakes and their significant others pop up time and again, offering advice (whether solicited or not), someone to ride shotgun in the deadly world of vampires, or providing someone to bicker with. I love the family, and feel that I get to know them better with each installment. This is one series that collects very little dust once it hits my bookshelves. Even when I am pushing the limits of my free-time, I always find an extra minute or two to devour these books. This is one of my guilty pleasures, and I count down the days until each new adventure is released.
This book takes a slightly different approach from the others. Instead of just following the new couple around, there are multiple points of view. Lucy has a starring role, and as she is my favorite character, I didn’t mind. It was interesting to see how she’s changed from the events in Hearts at Stake, and it was sad as well. There is a new distance between Solange and Lucy, and it’s breaking Lucy’s heart. Suddenly, for her own good, she has been cut off from her second family, the Drakes. She doesn’t feel welcome in their home anymore, and most of the family is avoiding her. That makes it hard for her and Nicholas, and it causes a bit of tension in their relationship. Lucy hates being cut off from the people she loves, and she is determined to figure out what the heck is going on with Solange.
I found this storyline very compelling, and I felt so bad for Lucy. Life is just not the same without all of the Drakes to surround her, and it’s even more distressing that she and her best friend forever are barely on speaking terms. Everyone wants to protect Lucy, but she doesn’t want that for herself. That is what I like the best about her. She isn’t going to be a damsel in distress, and she is hell bent on being responsible for her own wellbeing. All of the women in this series are tough and stubborn, and they don’t need anybody to pamper them. I appreciate that; it gives them all a sense of empowerment, and it keeps me coming back for more. The women in this series kick just as much Hel Blar ass as the guys.
Lucy’s cousin Christabel has moved in while her mother struggles with rehab. When Christabel is mistaken for Lucy and is kidnapped by a tribe of vampires before the Blood Moon, Connor runs off to her rescue. He needs more practice conducting rescue missions, and he fails to prevent her from being gravely wounded. This was an action packed, danger-filled sequence that didn’t let up for a second. I love the complications that are constantly being added to the series; in addition to the action, adventure, and romance, there is a steadily unfolding world of vampire politics that I find both interesting and intriguing. It’s just Christabel’s bad luck to get caught up in the power struggle between the vampire factions. At least she found herself a bad boy to get her nose out of a book and herself into lots of trouble. Dating in the land of the Drakes occasionally comes with terror and lots of running for your life. Oh, and maddened, blood-crazed monsters out for your blood.
My only complaint with this foray into the world of the Drakes is that it felt unfinished. Heck, it didn’t have an ending. It had one of those huge, tear-stained, blood-covered cliffhangers on the last page. Thanks for reading, see you in six months! Yeah, I didn’t like that overly much, because every other volume was complete and could stand on its own merits. Not this one, sadly, and as that is one of my biggest pet peeves, I had to reduce the grade just a bit. Still, now you can bet that I will be counting down the days until Blood Moon is released in June.
Review copy provided by publisher