Hearts at Stake: The Drake Chronicles
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publication Date: January 2010
Pages: 320 (approx)
Series: 1st in The Drake Chronicles
Book Acquisition: received ARC from the publisher
Watch out, Buffy! A reluctant vampire princess takes on all comers in an action-packed, romantic, and snarky addition to this red-hot genre.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.
(from publisher's website)
I hadn't heard anything about this book before I got it and I honestly didn't think I was going to like it. I'm very glad I was wrong.
Hearts at Stake is a fast paced thrill ride of a book that I sucked up in a few hours. There were a few different reasons I liked this book. The most important, I think was the fact that there are two first person narratives. We get Solange - loving, caring, overlly protected vampire to be. And we also get Lucky, aka Lucy, Solange's best friend - witty, no nonsense, and loyal as hell.
Another reason I liked this book was the pace. A lot of the story takes place within the span of a few days.. While this wasn't nearly enough time for me, I think it worked well for the story. Hearts at Stake is the first in The Drake Chronicles and it sets a very good stage for more to come. I have no idea how many books there will be but I can see Alyxandra taking this series far.
I have heard others descibe this book as a guilty pleaseure and I can tottally see why. The romance between Solage and Kieran the teenage vampire hunter and also between Lucy and Nicholas, one of Solange's brothers is sometimes silly, sometimes sappy but totally addicting.
I think because the book is so fast paced and because I read it so fast, a lot of the supporting characters didn't make that big of an impression on me. Also - there are a lot of supporting characters. If you visit The Drake Chornicles website (link below) there is a pretty cool Field Guide 'written' by Lucy that helps explain all the living and dead we encounter in Hearts at Stake.
I'm interested to see where this series goes. It's a book I can see myself reading again.
The Drake Chronicles
I Want to Read That
The Book Butterfly
Fantastic Book Review
*Release date was January 2010 but the book was avilable in December 2009
*Both the Hardcover and Paperback are available now for purchase
*The UK Title of the book is My Heart Lies Bleeding