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Contagious Reads

I blog all things contemp, horror, romance, NA, and erotica

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The Charmed (The Charmed Trilogy, #1) - Christine Wenrick Review copy provided by author.
Let’s start off on the right foot here. I am a zombie fanatic. So when I see vampire in the blurb, it’s not my first choice. I am so glad that I didn’t pass on this one because of the that one little word. “Say it.” “Vampire”. You remember that part in TWILIGHT, I know you do. It’s unlike any other vampire book I have ever read. Yes, there aren’t too many ways you can riff on a vampire tale. Ms. Wenrick managed to toe the line of traditional and new age vampires and came up with something great!
So what did I love about this book? Besides every single minute I spent reading it?! The characters. Alpha male fans heads up. There are a lot of them in this book. I just don’t know which one to pick as my book boyfriend. Yet. There is Caleb. The main love interest. I really like Caleb. He’s smart, he’s sensitive, he is buff. He’s protective but still allows Olivia to have freedom. Yet, I liked him but I didn’t fall in love with him. He’s great and I think he is great for Olivia.
For me it was her guardian, Alec, that stole my heart. He had swagger, and a sense of humor. Sarcasm is a way of life and I live it. It gets Alec (and me) some dirty looks from time to time. He is a leader. He is the least willing to let Olivia have her own way. But in the end he does. Because Olivia is no wallflower.
Jax is like an older brother but has all of those Alpha male qualities. Buff, big heart, protectiveness, leadership. He is well balanced as well.
Olivia, I liked her too. Someone in another review compared her to Ana from Fifty. I didn’t see it. Maybe because she is incredibly naive? She is that, but it wasn’t overwhelming. It was cute and endearing. Not annoying and overdone. She is a little innocent for a woman in her mid twenties but not so much so that she comes across as a high schooler. Like I said before she is no doormat. She doesn’t let these Alphas talk her into things, or make her decisions. She just keeps blundering into disaster after disaster on her own free will.
The book is set in the northwest. Around the city of Seattle. It was beautiful. If it wasn’t so cold I might actually move there. The house Caleb built is amazing. A giant tree house. Who doesn’t want to live there. Like most dramatic, there- is- someone- trying- to- kill- me books, the characters tend to bounce place to place. Because of this we don’t get a real view of the outside world. Cellphones are hardly mentioned along with other things that place a time period on a piece. This story could be timeless. She could have easily set the plot back 50, 75. 100 years and it still would have worked. The amount of time Olivia spends cooped up in their tree house should have made me feel caged in. It didn’t though because of Ms. Wenricks sweeping descriptions of the forest and the house itself.
The writing was amazing. By 7% I was sold on this book. I knew I was going to lose myself in this story. And I did. It was solid and kept my interest throughout the day. I could not wait to pick it back up. Every second I had to spare was spent reading. I’d even sneak off to another room just to get some sentences in.
There are twists in this book that I did not see coming. Olivia has her fair share of secrets and Ms. Wenrick manages to leave us enough hints without giving everything away. There is genuine surprise when the big reveal comes. It wasn’t blow me away surprise, but it was a giddy sort of “oh I was hoping that was what was going to happen” surprise.
What I didn’t like about the book is very small and kinda nit picky. I was tempted not to mention it… The little “shades of gray” comments were not to my liking. They really don’t add or take away from the story, but I personally prefer not to be reminded of “that book”. Personal preference and really quiet silly. I know. I was almost afraid to post it because it is so silly and I didn’t want to be accused of being shallow but I figured it might be something others might notice. Do not take this for more than it’s worth. I think Olivia says it maybe four times and really the supreme awesomeness of the other book overshadows them. *Ms. Wenrick expands on this in her interview, which I did after I wrote the review.
Oh I almost forgot…these vampires. They do get covered in blood. I am and always will be a horror fan. When I read vampires I prefer them to be sexy and bloody with just the right amount of scare factor. Ms. Wenrick wrote those vampires. Caleb and Jax are very human like but as capable of creating horror. I love that!