blo Teens Read and Write: Hearts at Stake (Giveaway Points Post)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hearts at Stake (Giveaway Points Post)

**Giveaway ALERT! A comment on this post (within 7 days of post date) gets you 5 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to enter! Good luck!

Hearts at Stake
by Alyxandra Harvey
pub: Dec 2009
248 pages

e Drake's sixteen birthday is finally here, but in her family, this day triggers the transformation from human to vampire. Her seven older brothers each made it throught the potentially deadly passage, but since she's the first female-born vampire in almost 800 yeaars, and since her birth was foretold in a prophecy that predicts she will united all the vampire clans as their queen, this birthday isn't looking quite so sweet. Solange could be killed by the transformation itself, or by one of the existing queen's followers who are after the bounty on her head.

Luckily her protective older brothers and her very kick-butt best friend, Lucy, have her well being at heart. And it will take all of them- plus the help of their nemesis, Kiernan Black- to make sure Solange survives. By the stroke of midnight, her fate will be sealed, one way or another.

This is a fun read. The protagonists are a blast. Yes, protagonists, plural.

I started out reading Hearts at Stake and became confused. If you read back cover, it's about Solange, would-be vampire princess. But the prologue is titled "Lucy" and is in first person from her point of view.


I like Lucy, she's feisty and fun. But then the first chapter, six pages later, is titled "Solange" and is first person from her point of view.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What is going on? So then I start flipping through the book, chapter by chapter and realize that each chapter alternates from Lucy first person to Solange in first person. This is different, so I regroup.

Okay, I dealt with this with Shiver and while awkward at first, it eventually worked out. So I kept reading. It did eventually work out to where I was totally comfortable with it.

I think it took me longer because both points of view are girls and the same age. And since Lucy is the more vibrant personality, I found it hard to connect when I changed to reading Solange's chapters.

Because there are two girls in the lead on this one, there are also two male love interests. Nicholas, Solange's hot brother, was Lucy's beau, and Kieran, the vampire hunter, for Solange. Both guys are hot, sweet and attractive. Both romances are cute, with Lucy and Nicholas being focused on more than the Solange and Kieran.

Now, did I like the book?

Yes. It was fun, fast paced and full of humor. The vampire lore is something with a new twist. Solange's family is great. Her seven older brothers are all gorgeous and kick-butt because they have been trained by her ninja-even-before-she-was-a-vampire mom who leads all the physical attacks.

I think the mom, Helena, was my favorite character. At one point their house gets attacked by this group of vampire hunters and she leads her sons outside and into the fray. The dad's just standing at the doorway and finally says, "Leave me one alive," and Helena yells, "Spoilsport." Terrific fun!

Lucy and Nicholas get the most face time and their romance is a blast. Lots of banter and the sexual tension rises but stays innocent. Nicholas is a dreamy but has a hard edge. Lucy is playful and has lots of fire, whether she's trying to protect her best friend or mouth off to the bad guys...or Nicholas.

Solange is sympathetic as the young girl trying to deal with the drama and changes going on around and within her. She is self-sacrificing for her family and her growing affection for the guy who was initially trying to destroy her is sweet. Kieran is endearing as he tries to figure out where his loyalties lie.

Another thing I liked was the fact that the parents were happily married and the kid's got along with them - both Lucy's (they were gone on a trip during most of the book) and also Solange's. It was refreshing to have happy family lives for our protagonists.

Additionally, I was thrilled that Lucy and Solange were good friends. They cared for each other and had each others' backs. This friendship was solid and a good representation of how good friends act toward each other. Yes, Lucy developed feelings
for Nicholas but she never lets that take precedent over her friendship with Solange. Yay, for awesome best friends in a YA!

The romance is innocent. There is some mild use of language but it wasn't overdone.

While it is a series, the ending had satisfying closure. None of the major cliffhanger type of stuff. Thank you Ms. Harvey, for finishing the story!

Hearts at Stake (or My Love Lies Bleeding in the UK) is a fast and fun romp for us vampire lovers so pick it up and sign on for the ride!

The Cover: I'm torn between the two covers. I like the US cover. I think it captures the lighthearted flavor of the book. What I don't like is that the girl is supposed to be Solange but it isn't how I picture her, and I also think it has a more juvenile feel. Overall, I prefer the UK cover. I like the colors and not seeing the girl's face. As to which title? Not sure. Guess it would be Hearts at Stake. It just seems more fun and this book is all about the fun!

First Lines: Normally, I wouldn't have been caught dead at a field party. If you'll pardon the pun.
It's okay. This is Lucy speaking and it captures her personality well.

Feel free to add the link to your own review of Hearts at Stake at the bottom of this post.

And for your added pleasure, here's the synopsis for the sequel,
Blood Feud.

It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.

The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.

This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan’s and Isabeau’s perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.


Trollololol said...

I've read plenty of books where each chapter alternates between two different characters, but usually that seems to be used to show both sides of a relationship.

Great review, sounds like a really fun book. :)

sRy_ said...

Solange is Lucy?

Stormi said...

great review, this book sounds like a fun read.

ninefly said...

I love that this book gives a bigger role to the family rather than just the love interests, and the friends are supportive and fully developed
really looking forward to reading this soon =D

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fun read. I've gotten a little tired of vampire novels, but maybe I'll give this a try!

Sandra Stiles said...

I have a student who reads all things vampire. It looks really good. Maybe I can entice her to complete the other genres she owes me by purchasing this one for her if she completes it.

BreiaB said...

Looks like a good read. Need to add this to my tbr pile. great review.

InfinitePlaylist said...

I like the US cover and title much better!
Is the cover for Blood Feud the UK cover? Because it doesn't match the US cover at all! But it's pretty, nevertheless... doesn't look like chick-lit though.

Shy said...

With a lot of humour, family fun, some romance and great friendship - this book surely seems like a must have. The reviews that I've read have all been positive, making me more eager to put my hand on this one as well.

Sherry said...

Everytime I see this I think to myself, "I really need to get this!" But I always forget, maybe I should just order it today so I don't have to worry about forgetting anymore!

Ellz said...

Great review. this one is on my shelf. One of Melissa De La Cruz's books did that too, it does take a while to adjust to changing protags. Thanks for sharing.

IceJewel said...

Sounds cool to me !
yeah, if the view points are always changed , then it does take time to get used to the writing style.
Great review :)

Brooke Reviews said...

This sounds good. I actually tend to enjoy alternating points of view. IF it's two people only. Glad you enjoyed it, the sequel sounds good too! :)

Anonymous said...

This book sounds really fun, and I actually don't mind the alternate PoV's in chapters. Usually it's done for a relationship, it's nice to see two best friends as protagonists. Great review!!

Lucía said...

It's sounds funny, I love the combination: humor-vampires, so I think I'd like to read it. Great review :D

Julie@My5monkeys said...

I've been wanting to read this series..and like you I like the covers too.

Chloe said...

This book sounds really interesting. Especially with the chapters alternating viewpoints... I haven't read a ton of books like that, but I think it worked nicely with Shiver, at least. And I LOVE both covers!!

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Great review! I definitely agree with you on a lot of points, especially with the semi-concluded ending. Yes, no cliffhanger! And it was hard for me to emphasize with Solange when Lucy's personality was so much spunkier. Loved Lucy, Solange? Not so much. P:

Jemi Fraser said...

I like when the pov flip flops between 2 characters - gives a great perspective into both characters.

Sounds like great reads!

babygirlG said...

Thanks for the review. I've had my eye on this book for a while.

Hot Off the Shelves said...

It takes some getting used to when the author switches between two first person POV's, but if done well can make great stories.

Nicole said...

Thanks to your review, I'm actually going to read this.I'm not huge on the vampire stuff all seems to be some newer version of twilight. But this sounds great!!

D Swizzle said...

I can't wait to read this!

Jackie said...

Extra points for a comment you say, okay here goes. I am waiting for the books sequel to come out and have both on my 2 buy list and this review cemented that decision for me. The fact that it is not a stand alone had me interested and the more read reviews the harder it is for me to hold out and not buy Hearts At Stake yet!!!

jackie b central texas

Wicked Walker said...

I have heard a lot of good things about this book, so I can't wait to read it. I just read Shiver and it does take a little getting used to flipping back and forth.

Anonymous said...

Methinks Blood Feud is trying to bank on being similar to the Twilight covers...

throuthehaze said...

Great review, and pretty covers :)


Bookish in a Box said...

This sounds fun! I like books that switch between POVs. It's a refreshing change if done well.

Tina said...

I love "My love lies bleeding" cover (L)

Michelle Santiago said...

the UK cover is much more attractive for hearts at stake. i haven't read any YA vamp books since i painfully got through twilight. maybe it's time to give YA vamps another try? this book sounds ok. thanks for the review!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Super cute and funny review!

I love the pink hair!

MannaB said...

Sounds like a good book! can't wait to read it!

Adriana said...

Great review! This really does sound like a fun book to read. I actually like the U.K. covers better, but they are a little too Twilight-ish for me though.

Glory said...

Mmm...I dont like it, so at first sight.Remember me House of night of PC and kristin Cast and others books.

Anyway, great summary!Only for this I would read it.

Jo said...

Great review! I really loved this book, Lucy was just awesome! I just wished there was a little more develoment in Lucy and Nicholas' relationship, not enough feelings expressed for me! Thanks for the review!

Kathy Martin said...

I was a little confused at the beginning too until I got into the rhytmn of checking the chapter heading to find out who was talking. I liked how the relationship of Lucy and Nicholas went from friend's annoying older brother to her boyfriend. Great review.

Tynga said...

At least point of view were alternating with chapters, one book I read recently was changing point of view randomly at pretty much anytime.
at least they were male and female so it wasn't to bad.

I got my eyes on the book, I'll most likely get my hand son it soon enough =)

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds like a nice read :D
Hm, yes indeed

Karen said...

Thanks for the great reviews. All of these books look like great reads!

titania86 said...

Great review! The book cover looked kind of cheesy to me, so I was kind of leary on reading it. Now I'll at it to my book list. Thanks!

bookaholic said...

Your reviews are always so helpful..
I love the book covers-dark and sexy!! :)

donnas said...

Great review. I have been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it. I like both covers and am really not sure which is my favorite. The one thing that has continued to confuse me is the title change. I keep thinking theres a new book at first when I see the UK title.

Eleni said...

Great review, the book sounds awesome, I hope I get to it soon!

Sharli said...

I've been meaning to read this since before it was released! And your review just confirms it :)

iffath said...

The next in the series has a really cool cover (UK) and I can't wait to read it ;)

Unknown said...

Just bought hearts at stake can't wait to read it !! Thanks

Allison said...

Finally a book with a strong friendship! I don't think I ever read one quite like what Solange and Lucy have. I'm going to start it right now thanks to your awesome review ^^

Stacey Brucale said...

I've seen this book everywhere! It looks like it's an amazing read and I love the cover of both it and the sequel.

The Scarf Princess said...

Great, well thought out review. I'm glad you let us know about the change in POVs since that does make for a confusing read. And I agree, the US cover is the better of the two imho.

aprilnichole said...

Great review! I was already thinking of checking out this book and now I really want to. I didn't know that it was told in POV so that is good to know. I'm glad that there are good family relationships, you don't get that very often.

Misty said...

I definitely like the cover for My Love Lies Bleeding better. Great review! I've been kinda avoiding this because I was afraid it was going to be cheesy and melodramatic (in a bad way), but it sounds fun. Might have to pick it up.

Sandy said...

I haven't really paid much attention to this book since the cover doesn't capture my attention... but after reading your review, I might give it a try :)

Amanda Leigh said...

Great review! I can't wait to read this book!

pepsivanilla said...

I definitely like the cover with her face better. Not a huge fan of the ribbon cover for the 2nd one though.

Katrina said...

I am doing a giveaway of this book on my blog soon. I will have to link to your review to give my reads something to help them decide if they will like it.

Sara said...

Great review! I've linked mine :)
Can't wait to read Blood Feud!

Orchid said...

Sounds like a book that I would definitely enjoy reading. Nice review. :)

Jessica B said...

I really enjoyed this one too. (I added my review.) Great review, thanks for your take on it!

Rebecca said...

Hearts at Stake looks amazing. I've seen My Love Lies Bleeding in the bookstores.

Sarah said...

Great review - I'm really looking forward to reading this one :o)

Anonymous said...

Ooh sounds really good! Great review! I have the same feelings about the covers!

Justine said...

Ooh, I may just check this out. I went to the bookstore one day and looked at this one actually and this lady (with her husband behind her) came up to me, saw me looking at it, then said, "I know the author. She's great." I was surprised to know that she was talking to me, haha. So I just said, "Oh really? That's so cool!" Brilliant response, yeah? Not. Haha, anyway.....
awesome review! :)

elaing8 said...

I've been seeing so much of this book lately.Sounds like a great read.Great review.

Kirthi said...

I like how this sounds, sadly I haven't read it yet (I know) :( Great review! I like the sound of more than one villain! :)

Wings said...

awesome review...

im glad you liked it more than i did, i found this quite annoying.

i loved the fact that the vampire girl was the down to earth one and the human was the princess i thought it was a nice flip.

i got so confused when i searched for the release date of this book and kept getting hearts at stake lol, i prefer hearts at stake as a title, more light hearted.

anyways i added my review to your pile :)

Mandy said...

I too got my copy from SciFiGuy (:
I was confused by the alternate views at first too, an I also had a harder time switching into Solange. I prefered the Lucy/Nicholas romance. I think that hearts At Stake fits the book better too. Thanks for the review.

Old Little Miss Youngblood said...

It seems like a cool book, and I can't wait to read for myself and see. Great review!

Zombie Girrrl said...

Does anyone else think the girl on the cover of Hearts at Stake looks like a goth Reba McEntire? o_O
Great review! I love the two guys were both hot and attractive! That's very promising! :)

Zombie Girrrl said...

P.S. As for the 2 protagonists, I really like that style. East by Edith Pattou had 5 or more narrators, and I really liked that book. It threw off the flow of the story a couple times, but otherwise it worked really well. It does take a little getting used to, but I like seeing a story from different points of view. Ooh! A book with multiple POV all coming from one character would be soo cool! Completely off topic, but I've noticed quite a few books lately that feature mental illnessess. Multiple personalities would a great addition to that subgenre.

Zombie Girrrl said...

P.P.S I probably should say what books I'm talking about.
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves: schizophrenia (I think)
Going Bovine by Libba Bray: hallucinations (symptom of a disease, but it counts)
Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong: an grab-bag of mental illnessess (most misdiagnosed to conceal a supernatural ability)

aqtbenz said...

Sounds pretty awesome! I'm not big on vampire books, except for Twilight, but this might have to be another exception. Thanks for the great review!!

Teddyree said...

I really like the sound of this one. I loved the format of Shiver so the alternating viewpoints wouldn't bother me and I have to agree the solid friendship would be quite refreshing. Great review!

Ryan said...

I'm a big fan of epic fantasy which is always told from viewpoints that can change quickly or stay with a particular character for chapters. Sounds like a fun book.

Rheanna said...

My sister just recieved Hearts at Stake from the publidher. And I am dying (pun intended) to read it. I'm happy to see that it's a good read b/c I Love the cover and was really excited that it's a series. Can't wait to dig into this one. N as always love your reviews.

Jenna said...

This one looks like a fun read. Plus, I'm a fan of the first line. My AP English class has been talking about puns recently, and the first line reminded me of that.

Bryce L. said...

I always love a good, quick read.

mariska said...

I've been eye-ing to read this book for couple days. Sounds great :)

The Sweet Bonjour said...

Great review!! x

Erin said...

I love both of the covers for this book. That's rare for me. Thanks for adding it to the contest though. Another one on my wishlist. :]

Aleksandra said...

Sounds great :)
Another one for my wishlist ;)

Anonymous said...

Ohh, this book looks great! Fantastic Review!!

CeeCee said...

I enjoyed this one looking forward to the next but not one of the most anticipated.
I enjoyed you review.


Bani said...

This book has now risen up considerably on my "To Read" pile. At first the idea of it didn't leave a big impression on me but now I want to read it a lot more- sounds like fun.

Monster of Books said...

This book was good but sometimes Lucy and Solange sound the same. I'm excited for Blood Feud, but think I'll miss Lucy & Solange POV.

Emily said...

This was a really good read for me and I'm looking forward to the next one. Thanks for the review!

Bunny B said...

I wouldn't have been interested to read this if you didn't review it like this :P

jen said...

It sounds pretty interesting. (:

mariska said...

uhm , i just notice that this book has two covers ? and both look great !

Jenny N. said...

Sounds to be a good read.

Cats on the Shelf said...

Can't see the picture, but I like how it sounds! The covers not the most important anyways!

+5 for giveaway sweet!

EVA SB said...

This sounds good.
I really like the alternating POV
(Zindel's The Pigman is a fav YA and yes I know that dates me :0)

I also prefer the UK cover - it seems more mysterious

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

The only vampire books I've ever read are the Twilight Saga and stuff by Christopher Moore (who is hilarious), but I may have to pick this up.

I agree with you about the covers too. I like the UK cover better. I never really like seeing a face on a cover, so that's probably why.

Thanks for the review!

Jessy said...

I really enjoyed Hearts at Stake but Blood Feud is confusing me. I don't know who this Isabeau is.

twipippi said...

Sounds like ar book to add to the growing list of books I want to read. Great review!

Amy said...

Hmm I've read this book already and it's a good for lighthearted read! I like the U.K. cover better and thought that the scenes between Lucy & Nicholas were pretty cute :)

Unknown said...

I like both covers, but Hearts at Stake is definitely the better title. I can't wait to get my hands on copies of my own :D

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

Can't choose both are great

Mister Bookgazer said...

Great Review =)
Sounds like a good book

Mariana S said...

Looks like a very good book. Nice Review!

Aik said...

I've never heard of these books, but I certainly want to read them!

Brodie said...

Ohh I like the sound of this! Great review. I've seen the US cover around quite a bit but this is the first review I read. I'm glad I did read it because this is going on my wishlist now!

Hesperus (Haya) said...

Nice review! There are so many book of this genre... Never noticed how popular they were since I don't read the genre much.

A Life Bound By Books said...

Thanks again for another great review. I have this in my wishlist... sounds like a fun story and your review makes me want to read it sooner rather then later.

I really enjoy books that alternate between 2 different characters between the chapters. That always changes things up for me in a story, makes it different from what you normally read.

Thanks again!

Raíla said...

This book sounds so good! Can't wait to read it! :)

Mike Lightwood said...

Well... the review sounds good, but I personally feel that there are way too many vampire books lately... I don't think I'll read it.

But I liked the title lol

Sheere said...

I want this book! I like the new cover more, the girls face is so pretty! And I haven't read a vamp book since a long timee

Anonymous said...

OMG! I love the title page^^ I really want this book so bad... aqnd the author is no nice =D


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I loved this book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good vampire read and is tired of those typical high school helpless girl meets boy vampire/angel/werewolf etc. This is nothing like that.

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