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Review: Bleeding Hearts *no spoilers*

Bleeding Hearts
by Alyxandra Harvey

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Release Date: TODAY
Publisher: Bloomsbury/Walker
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Requested from Publicist
Rating: Special Shelf
Previous in the Series: Hearts at Stake (#1) 
Blood Feud (#2) Out for Blood (#3)
About the Book:
Violet Hill is under attack by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, who are determined to take their rightful place alongside the other vampire clans at the Blood Moon gathering. The royal Drakes might be powerful, but their love for a mere human - Lucy - leaves them vulnerable. The Hel-Blar's plan to exploit the weakness goes horribly wrong when they try to kidnap Lucy but take her cousin Christabel by mistake. Connor Drake immediately heads off in pursuit, 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?
Bleeding Hearts starts up right where Out for Blood left off, and I was instantly immersed in the next Drake brother's story. It could be Harvey's stellar writing - the descriptions are so lyrical yet not overly expressive -  or her ability to craft such lovable, charming characters full of believable thoughts and feelings, but I LOVE THE DRAKE CHRONICLES. Harvey's Drake series is what I like to call crack books; they're so addictive and compelling that although they may not be flawless they still somehow manage to be your favorite. Book one for me was simply okay, but my interest quickly perked up in book two followed by book three. Up until this point, Blood Feud had been my favorite. Not so anymore after reading this dark, staggering installment in the series!

I wanted to bask in the narrative, to drag this read out so that I could stay in the world Harvey masterfully pulled me back into far longer than I could afford. My main reasoning for even liking Hearts at Stake was because of Lucy Hamilton, a best friend and treasured friend of the family. Heck, she is family as they are to her. So when I realized as I began reading that the book was split into three perspectives, following Lucy, Connor, and Lucy's cousin, Christabel, I wanted to break out in song and dance (mind you, I have a terrible voice and two left feet)! Lucy is an adorkable character - you know, cute, funny, quirky - with spunk and snark written into her personality as well. She brings the mindless laughter, the human side of things, and as a bonus, her boyfriend, Nicholas Drake, tags along wherever she goes. A little known fact: every single one of the Drake brothers will turn up the temperature and incite hungry staring wherever they happen to crop up.

Connor and Christabel, I seriously love you! Throughout the series, I've gotten a cross between sexy and steamy and sweet and soft as far as romance. But Connor and Christabel's romance is a slow, steady fire that gradually grows bigger and bigger until heated kiss after heated kiss is shared, very nearly giving me an asthma attack (another little fact: I've never had asthma in my life!). And what makes Bleeding Hearts that much more amazing is that all of the couples are tied in to this one. So, Lucy, Nicholas, Logan, Isabeau, Hunter, and Quinn all have their sugar-sweet and spicy moments that put stars in my eyes and made my heart all gooey. My love for this series has been steadily building since Blood Feud, but it exploded in giant, bloated red hearts in Bleeding Hearts.

Though these books have a contemporary setting, the detail and world-building are rich and fun to read. I think what makes these books work so well is Harvey's insight into the teenage majority. I know, because I am a teenager! Our species speak and act and interact in a certain way, always evolving as the the decades shift. Harvey really captivates the essence of this generation's batch of teens, making the dialogue and physical comedy that much more appealing. Harvey brews a combination of amazing narrative voices, adrenaline-spiking action and tension, heart-thumping, sweet and sexy romance, sprinkled with all the little things I love about this series but can't quite name in this latest bewitching, thrilling sequel! The (cruel) cliffhanger made the final moments of this book all the more exciting!

The Drake Chronicles is a delicious concoction of characters, romance, and VAMPIRES, which leaves me breathless time and again, and all I want is more. In fact, more now would be excellent.

Note for fans: There's also a riveting super special exclusive bonus Drake story inside at the back of Bleeding Hearts, so don't miss out!

Lucy: Shrink-wrapped condoms fell onto the rag rug. "Unbelievable." I marched down the hall. "Mom!" I heard them in the kitchen, boiling water for chamomile tea...
"Stop hiding condoms in my stuff. It's like some twisted Easter egg hunt in there."

Christabel: Lucy shot me a conspiratorial grin. "If you tell her [my mom] I eat white sugar, I'll tell her you're antisocial and depressed at school. She'll make you hug.
"She wouldn't," I said, even though I know she would.
Nathan snorted. "When I came out, she made me hug her," he confirmed. "And she baked me a cake."
"She baked you a cake?" I echoed. "For being gay?"
"A stevia-sweetened, organic, whole-wheat cake for being brave enough to come out," Lucy said proudly.


Deea said...

AAH! I am so jealous you already read Bleeding Hearts!<3 I'm with you on that one, The Drake Chronicles series IS addictive. There's something about Harvey's writing that won't let you put the book down until you've finished it. (those cute moments put stars in my eyes too LOL). And I'm so glad the other couples make an appearance in this book as well, I can't ever have enough of them.

Can't wait to read Connor and Christabel's story, they must be so adorable!<3

GREAT review! (and I love the quotes, Lucy is awesomesauce!:D)

Brodie said...

Lucy sounds like a character I would absolutely love!! And damn.... I knew it was hot tonight for some reason. Those Drake brother sound SMOKIN'.

Wow. This sounds like such a brilliant installment to an addictive series. One that I SERIOUSLY need to get cracking on ASA-freaking-P! I have a copy of this, so I just need to get the other ones. Which I'm now desperate for, thanks to you ;) Amazing review!

Liz. R said...

I seriously need to start this series! I've got the first three on my tbr but just haven't had the time to start them yet. This one sounds awesome though - the extracts you picked are hilarious! Glad you enjoyed it, I'll definitely try to bump this series up my tbr pile. Thanks for the fab review! :)

Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads said...

My dear! I haven read these books! me sucks!!! Im so getting them!! I love the new covers! they totally beautiful =9

Since you really love these books so much! IM GETTING THEM ASAP!! yay!! =D thnx for the review, event hough I skipped a lot cuz I dont want to spoil myself with the previous books but just knowing that you really loves these books totally sold me! wooohoo!!

Happy Holidays!
Dazzling Reads

Brittany Johnson said...

I LUV BLEEDING HEARTS!!! After I read it the first time i read it again! My fave is Lucy and Nicholas...I luv how they have like 3 make out scenes and how they are truly committed to themselves. I think they're the best couple in the Drake Chronicles !!!