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?
Rating: 5 Stars
Book Title: Velvet
Author: Temple West
Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Publisher: Swoon Reads
My faith in vampire romances has been renewed. As far as I’m concerned, Velvet by Temple West is a home run for the paranormal romance genre and was by far the best book I’ve read in a few years in this category of books! Velvet incorporates all the best things we’ve come to love and expect in a good vampire love story, but also adds a new twist. Twilight haters don’t bow out just yet! Velvet isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill paranormal romance. Yes, there’s a bit of a love affair going on, but there’s so much more. There are demons, high school dances, and really good fashion. Did I mention these demons like to impregnate teenage girls to have their children? I kid you not.
One of my favorite aspects of this story is that it’s not cheesy or redundant. What I mean to say is that it doesn’t feel like a Twilight retelling, the ideas are creative and original, and there’s still some vampire lore included (i.e. compulsion). No, these vampires don’t sparkle in the sun or read minds. BUT what they can do explains some of the popular myths we are familiar with surrounding vampires. Velvet explains all of these in a subtle way, when Caitlin first finds out about Adrian and begins to learn more about his secrets. In fact, Adrian does SUCH a good job of explaining the science behind his vampire nature that he has to simplify it for Caitlin’s benefit. I found Adrian’s nerdy tendencies to be extremely endearing and I laughed on more than one occasion when he tried to explain to Caitlin red blood cells and the “real” reason vampires need human blood (duh-they can’t produce their own blood and NO animal blood does not get the job done). And for all of you Vampire Diaries fans wondering what the deal with the sun is, it’s because when vampires don’t drink blood, they have reduced circulation, which leads to pale skin. The paler the skin, the more likely their skin will be sensitive to the sun. There you have it!
All joking aside, what really stood out to me about Velvet is that I went into it thinking I had picked up a romance novel. Admittedly it is, but there’s so much more to the book than that. For starters, Caitlin has just moved in with her aunt, uncle, and cousin after loosing her mother to cancer. The book deals with her grieving process and the resentment she feels towards the new family she has to learn to live with. As someone who has lost a parent, I know how hard this can be and I thought West managed to capture the grief one goes through after loosing someone close to them. I think everyone deals with it differently, and watching Caitlin go through it gave me a better appreciation for how others grieve. While Caitlin chose to lash out at the ones around her (such as her Aunt Rachel, her mother’s sister) and her grief tended to lead to anger and frustration, I’ve always been the opposite and find myself shutting down during similar experiences. Reading from another persons POV always reminds me just how different human beings are and how much we can learn from one another.
Other than the aforementioned reasons, I loved Velvet for its characters as well. Caitlin’s new friends grew on me (I especially loved Trisha) as did Julian, Adrian’s not-so-nice older brother. Let’s not forget Adrian as well! He’s currently at the top of my book boyfriend list (don’t tell the others) and I have a feeling that he will remain there for quite some time.
I also fell in love with Lucian, Adrian’s little brother, whom they’ve recently rescued from hell, where their demon father was holding him captive. He’s so innocent and naïve about the human world, having spent so much time in hell all his youth, that his interactions are awkward and Adrian’s family has to help him adjust to his new surroundings. I could always count on Lucian for a good laugh. As a vampire though, none of them are allowed to form close bonds with humans. All the time Caitlin spends at their household changes that though, and Lucian learns the concept of love over time from Caitlin.
If you were in a paranormal romance rut, Velvet is the book to dig you out! I read this book in one day and as soon as I finished it I needed the next book in the series right away. Much to my dismay though, when I logged onto Amazon to buy the next one I found out it doesn’t come out for some time yet! On the bright side, it looks like it’s going to have a 2016 release date, so I’m just going to have to remain patient until then! Happy reading friends!