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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

ARC Review: Between a Vamp and a Hard Place by Jessica Sims

We begin with two struggling women: Lindsey and Gemma. They are both lovers of antiques and are invested in the business of estate sales. Lindsey is the heroine, and Gemma is her best friend, and partner. However, when Gemma attempts to take the reins and invests in an estate in Venice, Italy (very far from their hometown in Nebraska), she finds herself in a bind. Not only were the two of them scraping by, trying to find the right estate at the right time to find hidden treasure, but now their savings is gone too. However, what Lindsey doesn’t count on, is that Gemma actually found a hidden gem, in more ways than she expected. Enter: Rand Fitzwulf, the 600 year old vampire.

Now, honestly, the characters were the best part of this book, the plot was interesting, and different, but the characters were the best part. Rand was hilarious. The author did a fantastic job at making him seem larger than life, yet clueless to his surroundings. Understandable of course, I mean, who wouldn’t be thrown off kilter if they came back to life 600 years in the future? I’d be afraid personally, but Rand takes every change in stride. Lindsey is funny, mousy, and unusual. She starts out weak, but becomes fierce, and I loved Gemma for the firecracker she is. There were no other characters that we developed a rapport with other than these three, even the villain. Though this may have caused the novel as a whole to fall a little flat at times, the finale was still worth the wait.

Though I thought the plot twist involving who the ultimate bad guy was good (I liked his decoy idea, and Rand’s old friend being the pawn with the enemy), I have seen so many versions of Vlad in books that there have only been a few that I really enjoyed. This wasn’t one of them. The ending was not surprising to me at all, I saw it coming, but I was happy that my suspicions were correct: there is a happy ending for our hero and heroine. For me, the romance of the novel was great and the diction between each character was flawless. Though there were a few unique qualities to the romance that kind of threw me off, I still enjoyed the sexy moments, and I rooted for the couple.
The villain, as mentioned previously, is Vlad, or as we initially come to know him: the Dragon. He is seeking Rand’s life for not being a good little soldier and doing what was expected of him in the past, and now present. He’s cruel and he’ll stop at nothing to achieve Rand’s death. What he isn’t expecting is that Rand has much more courage and steel in his blood than he thought possible, and with Lindsey by his side, he hasn’t a chance. There is adventure, unexpected twists, and wit to be had in this story. Ultimately, I would read another of Jessica Sims’ books if given the chance.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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