I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
My Rating: 2.5 stars/C
Originally Posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by author.
Eight years ago, Alexa (a 130 year old vampire princess) and Penny (werewolf shifter) shared a forbidden romance, which ended abruptly when Alexa left to marry the West Coast vampire king. After he was killed in an uprising, she found and killed those responsible and then ruled with a fair hand. Alexa has now returned home to attend her father's funeral. She knows someone close to him has murdered him, and she wants vengeance.
Now that Alexa has returned, she is determined to claim Penny as her own. But Penny wants nothing to do with Alexa, who was her first and true love until she broke her heart. Penny has moved on, dating Lissa for the past 4 years, but Alexa’s return has brought back so many memories and feelings, leaving Penny confused and a bit panicked.
Sharp Bite of Pleasure features the romance of star-crossed lovers, which is always a enjoyable trope. The relationship is part of a larger tale that addresses bigotry, species rivalry and family feuding. The world building and the “non-romance” parts of the story were exciting. Ms. Grant weaves an engrossing mystery over who killed the Vampire king, coupled with Alexa’s struggles to weed out traitors within the king’s own council. In addition, Alexa longs to create a lasting peace treaty between the vampires and wolves, which puts her in the crosshairs of many on both sides.
Alexa’s mother, Madalyn, and half-brother, Bradley, add depth to the storylines. Madalyn is a lonely widow who seems to favor her stepson over her own daughter. The tension between Madalyn and Alexa keeps an edge to the tale. Bradley is Alexa’s primary suspect in her father’s murder, and we are privy to most of his activities, some of which supports Alexa’s claims, while at times refutes her notion.
As for the love story... here I am not so impressed. I really didn’t care for Alexa; having little sympathy or empathy for her as she lamented her loss of Penny and desire to reclaim their bond. Alexa is demanding and not necessarily nice to Penny. Penny had moved on, yet Alexa was overly pushy to the point of near rape. In the beginning, she never listened to anything Penny wanted or didn’t want. She craved the conflict and enjoyed the knowledge that she would be able to force Penny to submit. Then, there are the times when Alexa, the soon-to-be-Queen, made a complete fool of herself, behaving so poorly over Penny in situations that were so inappropriate. It bothered me a lot.
However, I was so thankful that Penny finally did stand up for herself, vocalizing everything I was thinking, even if Alexa's behavior grew worse. And I will say that eventually, their relationship stabilized and the childish actions and overly obsessive behavior were reduced. In the end I did like them together, but it was a struggle for quite a while.
The climax of the story was entertaining. I liked how Alexa had to defeat her enemies, and I enjoyed the end results. The final scenes moved at a good pace and flowed well. I also felt the author did a good job wrapping up the issues between mother and daughter. In addition, I liked the look at both of Penny’s brothers, with possible insight into their future mates.
Overall Sharp Bite of Pleasure is a decent tale. The storytelling wasn't consistent, with parts not flowing as smoothly or written as well as others. The key climatic scenes towards the end were, however, well done and exciting. I had trouble liking Alexa and the couple together. Alexa started as a horrible, possessive monster who appeared ready to rape Penny. Then she slid into almost a chaotic needy girl--definitely not a Queen. I liked how Penny stood up for herself and voiced all the concerns I had. In the end, I enjoyed how the issues were wrapped up, and how the book left with a hint and promise of more to come.