Generally, I love Ellora’s Cave. In fact, I’ve written more than one blog post about how much of a fangirl I am. That’s because I have rarely–and I really mean, rarely–read a book of theirs I didn’t like. The quality of their work is so often far above any other digital publisher, it’s mostly not even a competition.
But every once in awhile, a dud comes along that just makes me go, “wtf?” I know it’s not the author, because I’ve read another of Claudia Rose’s books and enjoyed it. I know it’s not the idea, because when I read the book blurb, I though, this is gonna be a good book. I couldn’t wait to read it. I also know it’s not Ellora’s Cave, because as I’ve mentioned before, they generally do very good work. So I’m not sure what it was. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I had some bad shrimp, but I hated this book.
Hated. Like, if we gave grades on the Pen & Muse, I would give it an F. If we gave out stars, I would give it 1. You get the idea. I didn’t like it. And I’m actually shocked by this. It’s one of only two EC books I’ve ever read and thought, I wish I could have my money back. Okay, and I didn’t pay for it, so not like I expect a real refund. But if I had paid for the book, I would have wanted my money back at the end. Super ick.
Seriously, the language was just a snooze-fest, and if I heard the “Prey… for me” chapter ending one. more. time. I was going to throw my Kindle across the room. Plus, the whole starting off with a young, hot vampire having sex with an old, dying lady? Not hot. Not. Hot. At. All. In fact, gross. I know “they” say show-don’t-tell, but sometimes, it’s better to TELL. Like just start off with him in the basement. You can TELL me that he had sex with an old lady and then she died. You don’t need to show me.
I’ve still got the full-body-icks from that one. And then the relationship between Aunt Rose’s undead lover and Aunt Rose’s young, nubile neice just did not pick up (which, first of all, YUCK… who wants their granny’s sex-overs? That’s like, sure, grandma, I’ll take your sloppy seconds. WHAT? Yeah, yuck.). It was a frustrating and disappointing book. It won’t affect my patronage of either this author or Ellora’s Cave, but for the love of God… no more granny sex. And no more granny-dying sex. And no more I-just-shagged-your-dead-aunt-but-come-here-lover sex.
And, please… for the love of everything that is holy and everything unholy: No. More. Stupid. Puns. On. Names. “Prey… for me”? No. Just say no. This book was like a novella marriage of Pregnesia and Twilight. Okay, I just had a full body shudder again.
To the author, I’m very sorry for this review. I don’t mean it personally, and I know it’s probably hollow to hear that when I’ve just said I hated your book. But I’m sure you’re a very nice person, and I don’t mean this as an attack on you. Who knows? Maybe people will disbelieve my shocked review and buy your book anyway. Weirder things have happened. And it’s very possible that I’m on crack and everyone else who’s into vampire stuff will just eat this up like warm blood. Like I said, nothing personal. Just… I couldn’t get past thinking that this guy had been with, basically, her grandma. And the whole “will I ever mean as much to him as Aunt Rose?” shtick? I’m actually having dry heaves right now.
Okay, I’ll stop. It really wasn’t that bad. Well, that’s not true. I did think it was that bad. But like I said, it’s just my opinion. Read it for yourself. Heck, review it for yourself! Do whatever you want. I just know that I’m looking forward to Claudia Rose’s next book being VERY different from this one. And including no almost-a-corpse sex, please. That’s my request.
(Seriously. Go read the excerpt for yourself…)
TITLE: Prey for Me
AUTHOR: Claudia Rose
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
Burnt out from solving one violent crime too many, Detective Jessica Croft welcomes the chance to take a break from her job and throw her energy into renovating an old mansion inherited from her Aunt Rose. But Jess’s life takes a bizarre turn for the worse when she knocks down a false wall in the basement of her new home and discovers Prey—an enigmatic vampire with a death wish—interred within.
Prey’s unintentional liberation attracts demon vampires like bees to a honeypot. Caught in the middle, Jess becomes a reluctant pawn in their sadistic games. Hounded at every step and desperate to survive, she turns to Prey for help. Together they discover a union more intense and intimate than either could have imagined. But can they accept the terrible price they will ultimately have to pay to be together?
Publisher’s Note: Originally available in the Vampires at Heart anthology.