Today I have a double review of Let It Bleed and Lust for Life, books 3.5 and 4 in the WVMP Radio Series by Jeri Smith-Ready. The reviews will be spoiler-free for the two books I'm reviewing, but there are spoilers for books 1-3, Wicked Game, Bad to the Bone, Bring on the Night.
Series: WVMP Radio #3.5
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publication Date: 6/26/12
Source: Free download, via Jeri Smith-Ready.com
BLOOD IS THICKER THAN SLAUGHTERUgh. There is honestly not much I can say about Let It Bleed without spoiling the story. I'll just say...things happen. BIG, BIG THINGS. There's death (!), blood (duh), sexy times (YES!), and most of all, Shane and Ciara. These two -- they're my favorite. The risks they take for one another, the team they have formed into, the pure love they share. I just can't... I love them. Oh, and just when I think I can't possibly love Shane more, he goes and plays an acoustic version of "Everlong". Only fans of the series understand what a big deal this is.
Con artist-turned-radio-station-manager Ciara Griffin hopes to settle into a normal un-life as a fledgling vampire, with the help of her immortally hot fiancé, grunge DJ Shane McAllister. But she has bigger problems than finding a sane blood donor and a new home for those boxes of mac ‘n’ cheese. Ciara’s best friend mourns her like she’s dead instead of undead, and her own maker clearly wishes she’d never been born (again). Worst of all, the WVMP crew calls a Code Black: hippie vampire DJ Jim has murdered a pair of humans—humans who share Ciara’s true last name.
That’s when trouble rolls out the red carpet, straight into Ciara’s life. At Shane’s first live concert, Ciara finds herself face to face with her Irish Traveller cousins, a not-so-welcome family reunion that might hold the key to Ciara’s anti-holy blood. Jim’s spiral into madness makes Ciara an unwilling prize in his deadly feud with Shane. As Ciara clings to what’s left of her humanity, she’ll need her new vampire strength—and old con artist cunning—now more than ever.
The story on how Let It Bleed came to be is very cool, and goes to show that Jeri Smith-Ready is honestly one of the best authors to her readers. You can find it on her website, linked above. What makes Let It Bleed so cool is that, even though it is novella, it is actually a part of the series story line. You can not skip this one, or you will be lost when you start Lust For Life.
Let It Bleed made me laugh, cringe, swoon, and cry. I loved every moment.
"If I were a poet, I would say you outshine the sun, moon, and stars put together." He steps forward, pressing the length of his body against mine. "But I'm not a poet, so I'll say that no matter what you wear, I always picture you naked."
"Pornographic poetry--my favorite kind." I lift my chin for a kiss. (5%)
No one wears jeans like Shane, like each pair was his secret soulmate, pining away on a department store shelf, waiting for him to fill them, fade them, fray them to perfection.
He unbuckles, unbuttons, unzips.
No one unwears jeans like him, either. (30%)
The master of control loses it. He muffles his own scream and moves faster. All at once, his blood changes, surging electric, completing the arc that shoots up and down my entire body. If he weren't holding me so tight, I'd be in a million fiery pieces spread across the universe. But I'd rather be here, in one piece, in his arms. (32%)
"Everlong" was never this full of ache on the radio, in electric or acoustic version. The words take me back to the happy moments we shared when I was alive, when it seemed like we could steal a life of bliss with the force of our shared breath alone. (44%)
Series: WVMP Radio #4
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: 11/27/12
Source: Received from publisher for review.
EVERYONE’S OUT FOR BLOOD—HERS Ciara’s con-artist parents taught her three keys to survival: keep low, keep quiet, and most of all, keep moving. But managing WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll—not to mention becoming a vampire herself—has kept her in one place long enough to fall madly in love, adopt an undead dog . . .
. . . and make more enemies than she can shake a stake at.
A psychotic DJ, a wanna-be necromancer, and a posse of vengeful hippies would all love to see Ciara get her day in the sun—literally. To protect Ciara, her fiancé, Shane, has traded his flannel shirt and guitar for a flak jacket and crossbow. If she survives to walk down the aisle, will she recognize the man waiting at the altar?
In this final chapter of the award-winning WVMP RADIO series, Ciara must decide who to trust, whom to love—and whom to kill.
Oh. My. God. Lust for Life. I'm at a complete loss for words. There is almost nothing I can say about this book that won't deal in spoilers. What I can say is: Prepare to be shocked. I can most assuredly say that I never, in a million daydreams (yes, I daydream about these books), ever considered the WVMP series going out in such an unexpected manner. I mean...wow. I just do not know what to say. But, I loved it.
Since I can't really say much about Lust for Life, other than it's shocking and brilliant, I want to just emphasize how much I have loved the WVMP Radio series. This vampire-centric Urban Fantasy is truly one of a kind. I know that seems impossible anymore, but it's absolutely true. Smith-Ready created her own brand of the beloved creatures, particularly that each is stuck in the era he/she was turned in. Spencer, Monroe, Jim, Noah and Regina each lent the series character. Shane and Ciara was the heart and soul. I've said to anyone who will listen to me, and I will say it again -- Shane and Ciara are probably my favorite book couple ever. The amount of respect, love, and sacrifice they share is inspiring. Shane and Ciara are two individuals who were equally awesome in their own right. Together, they are magic.
I honestly thought this would be a super quick and easy review to write, but I'm stuck. I have so much I want to say about how much I loved Lust for Life, how happy I am with the way the series ended and how lucky I feel to have experienced the ride. This series has given me some of my favorite characters, favorite couple and reminded me how much I love good music. Thank you Jeri Smith-Ready. You never let your readers down.
"I'm not fighting vampires."
"No, you're fighting something much bigger. You're fighting time, and for that you need all the strength in the world." Shane leans over and kisses my cheek, right in front of my ear. "Let me give you that strength." (pg. 118)
"For a moment, this is enough. For a moment, this is everything." (pg. 177)
I shiver at the thought of him lurking outside our home, and am ecstatically happy that we brought Dexter with us to the station. "You must've also missed our sign that says Absolutely No Solicitors or Assassins." (pg.214)
I'd rather spend an eternity in darkness with him than in the light with the rest of the universe. I won't let him be alone. (pg. 236)
You can purchase Lust for Life at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
The WVMP Radio Series