Velvet by Temple West

 

Title: Velvet

Series: Untitled, Book One

Author: Temple West ♠ @byTempleWest

Expected Publication:
May 12, 2015

Publisher: Swoon Reads/MacMillan

Pages: 416

Genre: Young Adult  Paranormal  Romance

Source: borrowed ARC

Summary from Goodreads: 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?

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 04/17/2015): 4.22

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**Special Note:** My KP, Stacee, from the wonderfully fabulous Adventures of a Book Junkie, let me borrow her ARC of this title. All quotes and opinions will be of this version and not from the published edition (which you should totally go and buy as soon as it’s available).

 Quick Thoughts and Rating: Actual rating of 4.5 stars! With a story that’s centered around unique vampire lore and infused with dynamic characters, what I had assumed would be a ridiculous trope-filled novel actually turned into a book that I simply couldn’t put down. There was also a super cute romance with banter and effortless dialogue, fun friendships, and creepy elements that hit perfectly on my spook meter (because I tend to be a bit of a crybaby coward). I liked the way this one ended, but it definitely left the impression that a sequel was on the way and I want it as soon as possible.

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♥ The Lowdown: So, pretty much, the Goodreads summary tells you the basis of the story, but don’t let yourself think it’s just like every other teenage vampire-human love story you’ve read before. You’d be like me, and you’d be wrong. Yes, Caitlin lost her parents and instead of moving in with her grandmother like she thought, she was shipped off across the continent to live with her estranged aunt and uncle. Her emotions are running on hyperdrive- anger, frustration, rage, and sadness- wrap around her like a cloak, and for demons that feed off of those emotions, she becomes a prized target while out and about in the woods. However, she’s saved by a demon-vampire hybrid, and to keep her protected from a demon with an agenda, he has to become her shadow, her bodyguard. The only way to do that without raising suspicion from family and classmates is to be her fake boyfriend. But somewhere along the way, they find that their feelings aren’t as fake as they’re pretending them to be.

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My Thoughts: Okay, I’m going to put it out there. I love a vampire story, but I looked at that summary and instantly thought Hello, 2008, your plotlines are calling. The summary read like it’d be one trope after the next and that it’d be like every YA paranormal vampire story I’d read before, and so other than that, it didn’t ever really hit my gotta-have-it radar. (Don’t look at me like that. I love a trope just as much as the next person, but 30574 in one book? Yeah, no thank you. But again, I was wrong. Look at me being all adult and admitting my faults.) Why, yes, that does make me a little bit of an asshole, but just keep reading. So then Stacee read this book and, after much gushing about it, she basically shoved it into my hands via the mailbox– I love that she’s such a book-pusher that way. However, even after her raving about the banter and swoons, I kept it on standby on my shelves and let it fall down the ranks as I got to other review requests first, but eventually my time ran out and she needed it back, so I thought I’d finally give it a go. So, one, do you know how sometimes you read a book and it seems like it’s the perfect book at the exact right time, and had you read it any other time, you might not have felt as strongly about the book? Or, maybe strongly is the wrong word, maybe just… differently. Well, that was the case with this book. It was fantastic and I seriously devoured it in a few short hours like I haven’t devoured a book in months. It was hitting all the best book buttons for me and I just wanted to inhale it completely. Two, now I feel like a total ass for judging a book solely by it’s summary and writing it off before giving it or the author a chance. I would’ve seriously missed out. And three, thank goodness for good friends with good book recommendations. Stacee, you’re the bee’s knees.

So, more into the book and why I loved it. First and foremost, I loved Temple’s take on vampires/demons, and how and why they exist, and how she’s incorporated them into this world. There’s a lot of scientific reasoning behind her vampires that yes, need blood, but not because they’re like the usual vampire suspects you read about all the time. I’d try to explain it in my review, but I’d probably butcher the crap out of it and leave you confused. The author did a rather splendid job of creating her own lore and explaining it throughout the book. So, yay, points for originality!!!

Secondly, the characters were pretty spectacular people all around. I loved that they had ambitions and flaws and facets and believability and chemistry between all the different relationship dynamics whether it be friends, family, or romance. Our heroine was snarky and strong, yet vulnerable. She was quick to stand her ground and speak her mind (woohoo, love it!), even though at times that proved to be a weakness too. I loved that our hero, Adrian, was broody and hot, capable of delivering the swoons, but also a total closet nerd that could be made to blush on occasion (totally adorkable!). There was also a lot of friends and families involved in this book, even if they were (WRONGLY! Girl, I could shake you.) used by Caitlin at times. Yet, like I said, they were there and they were pretty freaking fabulous themselves, particularly Trish and Lucian (Frankie boy, don’t stop being creepy cute!). I need more of these two and I have a suspicion about something involving Lucian in future books, but I won’t say it here.

Next, I loved the progression of their relationship. From snarky banter to easy friendship to more, it was a nice transition into each phase. They had a natural chemistry that was sparked further by easy, hilarious dialogue that I just wanted to roll around in. There was more than a few times that I literally laughed out loud. I love when characters can make me do that. Though, admittedly, the rough patch in the middle when Adrian had his head up his ass was a little frustrating, but he more than made up for it with his little spiel at the end that laid out everything he’d been thinking and feeling during that time. It made me understand his headspace a little more. Regardless of that, I just loved when they were around each other, before, during, and after their relationship officially or unofficially started. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them in future installments. I’m excited to get back to them being “together-together”.

But, basically, I’ve taken a Benadryl and likely divulged far too much and rambled far too endlessly at this point, so I’ll likely regret some of this review tomorrow (HAH! Never. I regret nothing!). Just know that I was a jerk to this book by not giving it a fair chance based on it’s summary– which is actually a good one having read the book now, only it has the great misfortune of making the book sound a tad predictable when it isn’t really at all– and you shouldn’t do the same.

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Rec It? Well, heck yeah I am! Read it for the original scientific cool reason these vampire-demons exist or for the awesome banter or to see Adrian geek out over words or an Elder wand! Or, you know, just read it because it’s a pretty freaking awesome book. And, I don’t know when the next book is coming out or if it has a name, but the author has assured me (post mini Goodreads rant/freakout) that she is absolutely writing/working on more books for this possible series! I. Can’t. Wait. Gimme.

“You’re cute when you do that,” he called to me.
“When I do what?”
“Turn in a circle like that. It’s kind of penguin-y.”
“Great,” I called back. “Just what every girl dreams of being told by their inhumanly attractive, immortal vampire protector: they look kind of ‘penguin-y.”
~quote taken from Velvet ARC

  A very special thanks to Stacee for letting me borrow her copy. Make sure you go check out her blog because she’s my most favorite person ever to see what awesome authorly adventure she’s been on recently.

christina2227
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christina2227

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥
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Posted April 17, 2015 by christina2227 in ARC, Awesome Heriones, Brooding bad boy, Gorgeous Covers, Guys that ride motorcylces, Holy Angst Batman, Literal LOL Moments, Paranormal, Reviews, Romance, Series, Top Shelf Books, UST (unresolved sexual tension), Vampires, Young Adult / 4 Comments

4 responses to “Velvet by Temple West

    • Christina

      I can’t wait to pounce on the rest of the series as soon as it’s available. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the arrival of more of your words. Thanks for liking this “review,” haha. Oh, and thanks for stopping by as well. You’re lovely! ♥

  1. I had my doubts at first too, but I saw some quotes the author tweeted and I knew that even if it was full of tropes I needed to read the book for the humour, and after reading your review, I’m even happier to have Velvet preordered!

    Penguin-y? I’m so gonna laugh my arse off while reading this book!!

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