(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Series: Book 1, Drake Chronicles
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on May 23rd 2010
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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On Solange's sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that's not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black-agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father's killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.Luckily she has her own secret weapon-her human best friend Lucy-who is willing to defend Solange's right to a normal life, whether she's being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange's eternal life-Lucy and Solange's brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black-in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover's heart.Even fans of the genre who've seen it all will find a fresh read with kick-butt characters and family dynamics that ring true for all brothers and sisters-vampire or otherwise.Look out for the other books in this series: Blood Feud, Out for Blood, and Bleeding Hearts-out next year!
“Everyone basically thought of me as a vampire broodmare, meant to give birth to lots of little royal vampire babies.”
Solange Drake has always known that she is destined to be a vampire queen. But that doesn’t mean that she has any desire to be one. She’s a rarity—the only female vampire ever born, not made. Even with her seven brothers, protective parents, and eccentric best friend around to protect her, she can’t escape the random suitors leaving an endless supply of gifts at her doorstep. Her best friend, Lucy, and her older brother, Nicholas, make it their job to save Solange when she is kidnapped. But has an unlikely savior already rescued her? And will Lucy be able to resist her draw towards Nicholas long enough to do any saving?
“Growing up with so many brothers taught me the fine art of misdirection, self-preservation, and revenge, if nothing else.”
This is the second time I’ve read Hearts at Stake, and just like before, I couldn’t resist escaping back to Violet Hill. Rereading this book has reminded me what I love so much about rereading some of my favorites. First off, I loved the connection to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Reading such a well-known story with a vampire twist added a whole new level to my enjoyment. I’m a sucker for any fairy tale retelling, and this was no exception. Second, as banal as it may sound, the Drake brothers are their own reason for reading this series—just try not to swoon.
The book was told in dual perspectives, switching between Lucy and Solange. The two had been friends for as long as they could remember, accepting each other’s idiosyncrasies. Even though Solange may have lived in a house full of vampires, Lucy’s hippie parents made the Drakes seem almost normal. Surrounded by overprotective vampire brothers—blood always being on the menu—and with vegan parents—meat of any kind being forbidden—proved to have it’s own set of challenges, but this dynamic duo always knew they had each other. Solange and Lucy saw the world under completely different lights. Lucy was more outgoing, snarky, and Solange constantly made remarks on how Lucy would have been better at being a vampire. Solange only wished for her sixteenth birthday to be over and to be normal, which wasn’t even an option. This polar opposite pair balanced each other out perfectly, and having either one of them as a best friend would make life more interesting.
“’What’s it like being an only child?’ ‘How would I know? Your brothers harass me just as much as they harass you.’”
Even though I knew the outcome, reading as Lucy and Nicholas started their relationship was exciting. Out of all of the couples in The Drake Chronicles they were always my favorite. Even though they’ve knew each other, basically, their entire lives, they finally accepted their feelings for one another—no matter how turbulent and feisty they were together. Nicholas was sarcastic and snarky with just the right amount of sincerity to make him irresistible.
“I gave myself to the moment…I wanted it to last for the next year and a half at least. It could totally become addictive. Just imagine if we liked each other.”
While Lucy tried to decide her own feelings, Solange had to deal with becoming the only vampire of her kind and her perplexing feelings towards Kieran. Not only do her brothers hate the idea of her growing up but can barely fathom her interest in the Helios Ra agent that tried to attack her family. It made for an interesting turn of events, an exciting look at opposites attracting.
By picking up my worn and slightly used copy, I was reminded how much I love reading vampire stories and escaping with the Drakes. It supplied an intoxicating dose of the supernatural that any vampire novel promises. The characters were unique and relatable—maybe not the undead part—and I couldn’t help getting sucked in by the hilarious banter. Not only would I read it again but have already started rereading the next book in The Drake Chronicles.