Bleeding Hearts (Drake Chronicles #4) by Alyxandra Harvey
Published: 3rd October 2011
Lucy's cousin Christabel has come to live in Violet Hill, and adjusting to the difference between life in a small mountain town and her home in the city is difficult enough. The strict curfew that Lucy's parents enforce is the worst part. Something really dangerous couldn't possibly happen in this tiny town. But Christabel has noticed some mysterious happenings, and it seems like Lucy, her boyfriend Nicholas and his brother Connor are all in on a secret that Christabel doesn't understand - one that seems deadly serious. Although she won't admit it, Christabel would love to be in on any secret with Connor Drake. But after Christabel is kidnapped by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, Lucy and Connor finally fill her in on all the undead drama. Together, they must find a way to stamp out the Hel-Blar for good.
I absolutely adore this series, it is totally my guilty pleasure read. I love the world created, it's so detailed and unique. The plot was really amped up in this book, with more action and intrigue than the previous books. I loved the focus on the Hel-Blar and I just could not put this book down. At first, I found Christabel slightly unrealistic, and her constant hints about her mother annoyed me, as in situations like that I prefer characters to just come out with it rather than continually referencing it. However, despite that I did grow to like her, just not quite as much as I like the other female characters. I also think Connor is my least favourite of the Drake brothers, but that didn't stop me loving their romance! I loved their interactions, especially in the huge action scenes. Christabel acted how most people would act; even though we probably all wish we'd act differently in that situation-be a little stronger, better fighter etc but in reality we wouldn't. My heart was in my mouth in all the crucial moments, and for once I actually began to doubt they'd all make it out alive. The ending was the biggest clifffhanger ever, I am desperate for the next book!
Again, I was astonished at Harvey's ability to maintain such a huge cast of characters, all of which have distinct personalities and storyarcs and none of which feel abandoned. I can't wait to see how Lucy's training goes, what happens with Christabel...it reminds me somewhat of Grey's Anatomy; a huge cast of characters, but all with storylines and appearances. The little cameos in each book are always really enjoyable.
The prose was as enjoyable as the previous books, snappy and engrossing. Like I said, I love this series and I pretty much say the same thing in every review. I'm glad I finally started reading it, having passed it over for years. If you haven't yet picked this series up I can't urge you to enough. It's one of the best of its type I've read and the books are all quick reads.