October 27, 2011

Blood and Guitars by Heather Jensen

Series: Blood and Guitars 1
Format: ARC from the author
Release Date: June 17, 2011
Purchase Link: Amazon

When Aurora meets Trey, a famous singer and musician, she’s only hoping to get her fill of human blood for the week. The last thing Aurora expects is for Trey to make her feel alive for the first time since she was, well, alive. It begins with a casual painting lesson at her art studio, The Waking Moon, and quickly turns into a forbidden romance. Aurora is forced to hide her true identity from Trey, while keeping her relationship with the human a secret from other vampires in her Brood. Trey’s band is recording a new album and with Aurora as his muse, Trey is writing songs like never before. After being hired by their record label to paint the cover of the new album, Aurora has a legitimate reason for spending so much time with Trey and his band mates. Aurora can’t deny the unexpected connection she has with Trey, which is fueled by glimpses into his emotions every time they share a kiss. Caught between two worlds, Aurora must attend celebrity award shows and vampire rituals, find time to feed, and protect Trey from the dangers of the night, all while preserving her secrets.

A couple of weeks ago Heather Jensen stumbled upon our blog and requested that we give her book a try. We are truly flattered that she thought of us and it was a good deal because we didn't get the short end of the stick. Honestly I was a bit hesitant to read it because I want to steer clear from the Bellas and Luces that keeps on popping up in these YA novels. Seriously people, there's nothing cute about UNempowered girls and women. So I was very happy that Blood and Guitars wasn't like that, in fact Heather Jensen's novel was a super easy read and the heroine, Aurora was normal. I finished it on one afternoon.

The book opens with a meeting about trouble in the vampire world and although the initial mood is dark and foreboding, as the story moves forward it becomes light and airy. It focuses on Aurora's break from vampire politics, as she calls it, and Trey initially provided the much needed distraction and he reminds her of how exuberant life is when you live it outside the shadows.

The fact that Aurora is a vampire seems trivial because the story didn't revolve around her nocturnal practices rather it was all about Aurora and Trey and how they fell inlove. I find Aurora and Trey's courtship very cute and old fashioned, he would woo her with his song writing and she'd impress him with her skill in painting. They shared each other's world and there is an easy camaraderie between the two of them. It's a good break from the hot and heavy and although their relationship is unconventional and forbidden, the mood of their relationship is breezy and right.

The first half of the book was mostly told in Trey's POV, here Jensen paints Trey's world to us and gives us a clear picture of his character. I understand that this part is important to stress the contrast between the lead characters but after establishing a certain feel on Trey's world I felt that it became static and I was sort of hoping for something extraordinary.  

Or maybe on this part the band's relationship with Wes, the band manager, could've been further highlighted. I don't want to give away too much but Wes has a hand on how the story ends. Unfortunately he was more like a passing character and his significance in the scheme of things was underplayed. So when tragedy struck, I found it difficult to sympathize with the characters because I didn't really feel Wes in the story too much.

Another thing that bothered me a little were the shifts in POV especially towards the end because the story is written on the first point of view, alternating between Aurora and Trey. A title in every chapter would've helped because there were several instances where I have to backtrack a bit and figure out who's thoughts and version of the story I was reading. But this nuance wouldn't distract you from the story, it's just my OCD kicking in.

In summary, I like the love story, it's like spring/summer and Trey is such a wonderful hero. He's not a jerk, he knows how to treat women right, down to earth and even his band, Catalyst is like that. You'd want them around as your friends and they are far from the usual sex-drugs-and-rock 'n roll kind of thing. Aurora's character too has some interesting layers, being a predator it is expected that she'll be an Alpha and would protect what's hers but at the same time she's soft and feminine with Trey. She has a lot of restraint especially on using her super telepathic powers on him.

So I urge you to pick up a copy or join our book giveaway later. It's nice to steer clear from the Bellas, Edwards and Luces once in a while. Try something light, sweet and happy for a change, I promise it can do wonders for you.

Stay tuned for Heather Jensen's guest blog and our book giveaway.
In the meantime, enjoy Blood and Guitar's book trailer.


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