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Let’s talk about ArcheAge

So. I love me some video games. Not quite as much as I love books, but there’s a lot to be said for strapping on some armor that barely covers your lady bits and not really anything important and running out to kick some goblin/orc/whatever ass.

Fantasy games are my cup of tea. Although I can usually be persuaded to try out other genres of games, I rarely stay with them for long, preferring to get my elf back on. There’s one notable exception to this rule, but we’ll discuss that later.

I’ve worked in the game industry, so I feel for what game designers, publishers, etc go through to put a game on the market and that not everything goes as smoothly as originally planned. The best laid plans of mice and men, as you well know.

And now to the point!

The most recent offering on the market in fantasy gaming is ArcheAge. It is originally an Asian game being produced and distributed in the US by Trion. Trion made news when they first opened by going with the ballsy move of having three games in simultaneous production with no games out earning money. It didn’t totally pay off for them, but it did give us Rift, which doesn’t suck and is a fun way to spend some time. It had a few really great game innovations that I hope to see become standard features in future games.

Now, distributing and producing someone else’s game comes with a few caveats, one of which is usually that you don’t have a ton of control over content etc.

Unfortunately, I think that this is going to end up being a black eye for Trion.

Why?

Cause the game is fucking frustrating as all get out. This is a fairly significant statement from me, because as with movies, my usual rating criteria for anything is “Does it entertain me?” and if the answer is yes, we’re golden. The problem that I have, is that while yes the game does entertain me, it also presents enough roadblocks to my game play and enjoyment that I basically want to claw someone’s eyes out.

The Good:

We’ll start with the positives. I like the graphics. They’re pretty and not everything is brown, which is a pretty big deal.

The character creation is okay. It isn’t terrifically involved to the point where it takes me a good half hour plus to make my character, but it’s detailed enough to make me happy.

I like the way they’ve done the classes. You get the four main fantasy categories and from there you can customize your class as you wish as you level up and gain points to spend. It makes for a bit of variety and you get to feel like you have a little more control over what your character is throwing around.

The mounts. Love them! They’re adorbs and your first one is for frees as part of a quest (if you don’t skip the quest like some folks *coughmecough* did).

Chris Evans’ biceps in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. No, this has nothing to do with the game, but they really should be mentioned at every possible opportunity, because Chris Evans. Seriously.

I don’t hate the questing system. It’s pretty standard. Go kill these things that are causing problems, etc etc etc. We’re on rails as opposed to being sandboxy, which is just fine for me. It isn’t one of the things that I get irked about.

Crafting! I love crafting and harvesting and all things related to. It’s fun to create. The system is involved enough to not be totally dull, but it isn’t like, say, Aion or Final Fantasy XIV pre-relaunch. Or even really post relaunch for that matter.

Free to play. There once was a time when I was all about paying a monthly sub for a game. No problem at all. Provided that said game held my attention and provided what I considered fair value for my money. As more and more games come out, I can’t afford subs for all of the ones that I am interested in playing, nor are they really producing a game that I feel deserves a $15 a month commitment from me. So free to play is a big selling point. And if I like something about the game enough to spend some money on it, woohoo.

The Bad:

The free to play model being used. I know, I just said that free to play was a good thing. And it is. Provided that the model isn’t too restrictive and doesn’t give me the impression that I am being forced to give them money that I am not prepared to shell out. Unfortunately, that is exactly the feeling that I have about this game. For several reasons.

1) Labor points – Actions cost labor points. Harvesting costs labor points. Crafting costs labor points. Opening and identifying loot costs labor points (or it did in beta, I haven’t been able to get in long enough to see if this still applies without patron status). Without purchasing patron status, one earns a total of five labor points every 10 minutes of game play. That is, you must be logged in to the game in order to get labor points. Harvesting an iron node, costs 10 labor points. If the rare spawn special node appears after your initial iron gather, that’s another 20 labor points. 30 points total. 60 minutes of game time in order to get some iron. Don’t even get me started on the costs for crafting things. Even as part of a quest, crafting costs a significant number of labor points.

2) Harvesting/Crafting – As previously mentioned, these things cost labor points. One the one hand, that isn’t a terrible thing, if you spend a few hours questing and whatever, you have enough labor points to do at least some harvesting. Sort of. Crafting on the other hand. I did a quest wherein I had to craft a pair of gloves. It required 100 labor points. I couldn’t complete the quest until I was ready to move to the next quest hub. Frustrating.

3) Houses/Farms – I like houses. I am crap at decorating them, because I have like zero artistic ability when it comes to any sort of visual. Even my stick figures are sad. I’m okay with this. My house ends up looking a little like an antique shop with crap crammed in every available corner and no real rhyme or reason. But I still like to have the house and I still like to make stuff to cram into my corners. I also like (as mentioned before) harvesting. Having my own little farm and getting to plant things/have livestock, gives me a happy little tingle in my crafting place. So, it would seem that this really ought to go in the good category, right?

Well it would. Except for one little, tiny, annoying ass detail. You can’t own any sort of property unless you purchase patron status, which starts out at $15 a month. So, no house. No farm. Which then follows, no crafting in the cookery area with anything that can’t be grown on the public farms, which are severely limited. Which also means, no quest completion for any quest requiring you craft with ingredients not zoned in the public farm areas. Yes, I ran into this special little hell in beta and lemme tell ya, I was pissed. Like, I had to turn the game off and go read to get my happy back.

4) Queues – I get it. You don’t want to stand up a hundred servers at launch, only to have to consolidate in a month or so when people get bored and wander back to whatever other games they cycle through. That’s fine. But when you have people who can’t play your game without sitting in a queue for six hours (no shit on this, sometimes it takes this long), your game is really not going to do well.

Not only do you have to sit in the queue to play, you have to sit in the queue to create a character. Which means if you create a character on a server, after having been in queue for three hours, and it turns out that it is not the server that your significant other is playing on, you must then go to the correct server and sit in the queue for another three or four or eight hours just to CREATE A GODDAMN CHARACTER. And since you only have two (without paying for more, of course) you’re kind of fucked if he decides to move. Because in order to delete the character on the wrong server to free up that space? You guessed it. You sit in the fucking queue.

Which leads us to my ultimate rage.

5) Patron status – Basically you pay a sub to play the game. Which is fine. Believe me, I understand. It’s a business and ultimately they need to make money so that people stay employed and they can keep making games. I support this all over the place. My current favorite game, which also happens to be free to play, has hit on a model that has gained well more than $1000 out of us in the past year. Which, doing the math, is quite a bit more than they’d have gotten if we’d been paying a $15 a month sub. Even for both of us.

Patron status gets you: the ability to own property. You can have that house and that farm. If you can find land that wasn’t bought up during the head start and is being held for ransom by those folks who are charging stupid amounts of in game money for it. (Please note, that my SO caved and bought patron status, because he wanted the full game experience. He has discovered, on his server, that there is still property available, but you have to go out into the boonies to find it.) But then, there are assholes in every game. But, lemme just say, if I’m paying you money in your free to play game for something and I can’t get it? You need to give me back my gorram money. In an actual fucking hurry.

Patron status gets you: more labor points. You earn at twice the rate while online AND you can even earn labor points when you’re offline at a rate of five points every 10 minutes. That’s not a bad deal. Cause you’re gonna need that extra labor to build that house. But is this really worth $15 a month? Fuck. No. Especially when the biggest reason (property ownership) for having patron status is not happening cause of a bunch of douche canoe fuck shovels. Oh and there’s nothing in the works to solve this problem. So basically, it’s “Yeah, we know you’ve paid us x number of dollars, but too fucking bad”. That doesn’t really bode well for my relationship with this game. Just saying.

And on to my number one beef with Patron status.

Patron status gets you: the ability to bypass the queue and log directly into game.

So with the current status of the queues (and let’s not forget that I can’t create, delete, or play a character on any server without waiting for three, four, or six hours in a queue) I cannot play the game. Because after six hours of waiting in a fucking queue, you can bet your sassy little hinie that I have found myself something else to occupy my time. Like another game. That doesn’t force me to buy a $15 sub to play a free to fucking play game.

This feature especially makes me feel like I am being forced to pay money to play a game that advertises as free to play. A game that advertises as one of its biggest selling points, the crafting and housing systems. That you cannot experience or experience fully, without giving them money.

No matter how much I like aspects of this, I cannot and will not give them a fucking penny of my money, simply because I feel like they are trying to force me to spend. Rather than give me a game to play and then give me some really attractive things that I WANT to throw my money at them for, they are essentially charging a monthly fee to play a game that they’ve advertised as not having a monthly fee.

Nope.

Just no.

TL:DR

There are some cool things about the game, and I pretty much enjoy it. However, I will not be spending my time or my money on it, because they’ve put in place some douchey fucking policies that make it a waste of my time and a rip off in the bargain.

I’ll save my money on this and find somewhere better to spend it. Like at Starbucks.

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Ready to Wed – Cindi Madsen

Happy Tuesday darlings!

After my unseemly wallowing in unemployment, I am getting back into the swing of things with a new book review! The lovely folks at Entangled Publishing offered me a chance to review Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen. And as always, I lept at the chance. Not only is Cindi a lovely person, I enjoy her writing, so it’s always a pleasure.

In a nutshell:

Dakota Hallifax is 100% type A. (Having those tendencies myself, I appreciate this.) So being a wedding planner is readytowedpretty much the perfect occupation for her. But how do you plan the biggest wedding of your career when your wedding just crashed and burned with a no-show groom?

Just when Dakota is sure that her life is a total mess, her childhood best friend Brendan West moves back to town. He helps her pick up the pieces.

The Good:

There’s a lot that I loved about this book. I’m a total sucker for happily ever afters, and this book has an awesome one. No, I won’t tell you what it is.

Beyond that, I like Dakota. I can relate to being something of a control freak and can sympathize with her mother issues. I also like the fact that in spite of the utter blow of having her fiance stand her up at their wedding (mental note: do not get married on a cruise, because awkward if it doesn’t work), she doesn’t completely fall apart.

True, I wanted to slap her when she actually considered giving the jerk another chance, but really, who can blame her? Been there, done that.

Then there’s Brendan. Who doesn’t love a genuinely nice guy? Especially one who swoops in with a nice broad set of shoulders just when you need them? It doesn’t hurt that he’s a hottie and wears suits to work 😉

Jillian, Dakota’s catering bestie, is awesome. She’s all snarky and no nonsense. She’s the kind of friend that everyone needs at least one of. Completely supportive in every way, but doesn’t pull punches or sugarcoat things.

I also love her color coding system for bride moods. It’s kind of awesome and I may just steal it for my personal mood ring.

The Bad:

There’s that whole getting stood up at the altar thing, that’s bound to give any girl (or guy!) nightmares about getting married. Just breathe through it and keep reading! It works out.

Overall:

This is a great read. It hits you in all the feels and I admit to getting a tad weepy there at the end. I hope to see Jillian’s story at some point in the future.

Where you can buy:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Playing a new game!

Wildstar just released. Think Firefly with cute bunny eared critters and such.

A full review will probably find its way here in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I thought I’d entertain the four people who read this with a couple of actual text message conversations spawned by my time in Wildstar thus far.

Oh and *puts on braggy pants* my buddy Stargrace is the CM for the game. Yeah, that’s right. Be envious!

WARNING!!! Contains profanity. Cause I get irksome.

***

me: Trying to get to Thayd. But these guys are needy f*ckers and keep adding more tasks to my list.

They’re all like, well since you’re there…

And I’m like omg get your own damn eggs!

A: lol

me: And they’re all, come on. It’s a couple of flower petals. What could go wrong?

And I’m like omg fine. But after this shwarma. And then the flower’s guardian spirit jumps my ass.

And I’m like f*ck shwarma. You bitches owe me lobster.

A: lmao

me: And then they’re all, oooh look! You leveled. And I’m like goddamn right bitches. Cause you had me killing every living thing on the f*cking planet. What kind of hippie treehuggers are you?!?!?

Space monkeys.

Terrifying space monkeys. Killed me.

A: lmao

me: Oh sure. Laugh it up.

You weren’t covered in space monkey poop.

***

If you’re getting the notion that my tribulations provide endless amusement… You’d be right. Now, pardon me, while I go deal some serious revenge killing on some pixilated space monkeys.

Perfection Challenged Excerpt – Jade Kerrion

I’m always all about the success of writers. More books is always good! To that end, the lovely and talented Jade Kerrion is releasing Perfection Challenged, the fourth book in her Double Helix series.

Below is an excerpt from the novel 🙂 Enjoy!!

“The best of the four books…the perfect ending to an amazing series.”

Enjoy an excerpt from Perfection Challenged, the thrilling conclusion to Jade Kerrion’s multiple award-winning, bestselling DOUBLE HELIX series. If you’ve never picked up the DOUBLE HELIX series, keep reading for a special offer on the six-time award-winning novel, Perfection Unleashed.

Perfection Challenged

“I have to get back to work,” Danyael said, adjusting the crutch under his left arm.

Alex Saunders, director-general of the Mutant Affairs Council, frowned. “Did Abd-al not explain to you the dangers of pushing your body too hard, especially given your situation?”

Danyael shrugged. “Live or die, the bills have to get paid, and gene therapy is expensive.”

“That’s what I’ve come to talk to you about.” Alex gestured at the lounge area tucked in a corner of the hospital suite. “Will you sit?”

Since Alex had been kind enough to open with politeness instead of threats, Danyael complied. Alex waited until Danyael claimed the armchair before lowering himself onto the couch. “We’ve been monitoring you, Danyael. I’m sure you know that. You’re one of the world’s most powerful alpha empaths, and you don’t have the luxury of privacy.”

Danyael said nothing.

“I know you want nothing to do with the council, and I’ve done my best to respect your decision.” Alex looked pained. “When you went to Nelson Harris to schedule the amputation, it was all I could do not to interfere. We both know the council healers could have healed you. In fact, they want to help. You have many friends, whether or not you know it, or care. You’re a fighter, Danyael. I don’t doubt your will to survive, but this…this newest crisis is beyond you. You’ll have enough difficulty finding a donor. Paying for gene therapy—”

“I may not be able to afford gene therapy but I can’t afford the council’s favors either.”

“Danyael, we can help. We want to help.”

He looked away, a bitter smile twisting his lips. “You need stronger psychic shields, Alex. I can sense the lie. What is the trap that you want me to walk into?”

Alex shook his head, the gesture sad and slow. “We need you to bring Galahad in.” He slid a tablet across the coffee table.

Danyael picked up the tablet and perused the article as Alex continued speaking. “You know Senator Sullivan’s daughter, don’t you?”

“Yes, Chloe. We dated briefly when we were at Harvard University.” Danyael’s brow furrowed. “What does Galahad have to do with the senator’s death? The article specifically says that he died of smoke inhalation.”

“John Sullivan was one of Galahad’s genetic donors, and the twenty-fifth of thirty donors to die in the past three years since Zara freed Galahad from Pioneer Labs. We don’t have physical evidence to tie Galahad to any of their deaths—”

“Yet you’ve judged him guilty based on circumstantial evidence.”

Alex winced. “You must understand. We have an obligation to investigate and to keep his surviving donors safe. If he’s guilty, if he is indeed hunting down his donors, you’re the only one of the five remaining donors who can stop him. No one else stands a chance against the epitome of perfection.”

“I’m surprised you think I do.”

“No one else can kill with a touch.”

****

perfection-challenged-600x800PERFECTION CHALLENGED

An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre has survived abominations and super soldiers, terrorists and assassins, but he cannot survive his failing body. He wants only to live out his final days in peace, but life and the woman he loves, the assassin Zara Itani, have other plans for him.

Galahad, the perfect human being created by Pioneer Labs, is branded an international threat, and Danyael is appointed his jury, judge, and executioner. Danyael alone believes that Galahad can be the salvation that the world needs, but is the empath blinded by the fact that Galahad shares his genes, and the hope that there is something of him in Galahad?

In a desperate race against time and his own dying body, Danyael struggles to find fragments of good in the perfect human being, and comes to the wrenching realization that his greatest battle will be a battle for the heart of the man who hates him.

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK

PERFECTION UNLEASHED Perfection Unleashed

“Higher octane than Heroes. More heart than X-Men.”

Recipient of six literary awards, including First place in Science Fiction, Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and Gold medal winner, Science Fiction, Readers Favorites 2013.

FOR A LIMITED TIME, E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR JUST $0.99 (Discounted from $2.99)

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Ever by Jessa Russo – Re-release!

[So. This happened on Sunday, September 1. And because I’m a total ding-a-ling, I missed the big day. But goshdarnit, Jessa Russo is amazing and wonderful and I want to post this and do what I can to help out 🙂 If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, do it! You won’t be sorry 🙂 I know that some of it is out of date, but the important information is there!]

 
Happy Release Day, EVER! 
 
 
To celebrate EVER’s rebirth, and Jessa Russo’s first step into the indie self-publishing world, she is giving you the first chapter of EVER for FREE! Yup! FREE! You can read along, decide if you want more, then click on one of the buy links below to grab a copy for
yourself! *Paperbacks available soon!
 
Check out the FREE first chapter HERE
 
We’re also having some fun on Twitter
(details below), and Jessa has also compiled TWO prize packs of super awesome
stuff!
 There will be one (1)
lucky winner in the US, and one (1) lucky winner Internationally! Want to
know what we’re giving away? 
 
 


***GIVEAWAY FUN!***

The winner(s) will receive the following items:


 

US ONLY Prize Pack (ONE winner):

Set of 4: custom Frankie4Ever / Toby4Ever Coasters (2 of each) + Signed EVER bookmarks +

Signed paperback copy of EVER by Jessa Russo (YA)

Complete set* of The Darkness Falls Trilogy e-books from Krystal Wade (YA)

*Includes WILDE’S FIRE, WILDE’S ARMY and WILDE’S MEADOW

Signed paperback copy of EYRE HOUSE by Cait Greer (NA, adult content)

Paperback copy of THE CHARGE by Sharon Bayliss (YA)

Paperback copy of SEALED WITH A CURSE by Cecy Robson (A, mature content)



INTERNATIONAL Prize Pack (ONE winner):

E-book of EVER by Jessa Russo (YA)

Complete set* of The Darkness Falls Trilogy e-books from Krystal Wade (YA)

*Includes WILDE’S FIRE, WILDE’S ARMY and WILDE’S MEADOW

E-book of THE CHARGE by Sharon Bayliss (YA)

E-book of BROKEN FOREST by Eliza Tilton (YA)

E-book of THE VALENTINE CHALLENGE by Marisa Cleveland (A, mature content)

E-book of THE GATHERING DARKNESS by Lisa Collicutt (YA)

E-book of 1,000 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS by Connie Michael

ENTER HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway | a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

***TWITTER FUN!***


We’re also going to be tweeting a bit today, to celebrate not just EVER’s re-release (hashtag: #EVERTrilogy), but also playing up a major theme of the book–Ever’s love for her deceased best friend. We’ll be tweeting the theme with the hashtag #IfICouldBringBack and then sharing who we would bring back and why, or what we’d do with them, etc.

So, sticking with EVER as my example, the main female character of the series may tweet something like this:

#IfICouldBringBack Frankie, I’d finally tell him the truth. That I’ve loved him since we were in diapers. #EVERTrilogy 



Who would you want to bring back? An old flame? A relative? Maybe a famous author or dignitary? Think about it and join in the fun on Sunday, 9/1/13! We’ll see you on Twitter!

 



***BOOK DETAILS!***

 
EVER
The EVER Trilogy, Book One 
By Jessa Russo
September 1, 2013
 

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious. Of course, it doesn’t help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible. 


Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.


Some girls lose their hearts to love. 

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.
 
 
Jessa Russo’s Links:
 
 
 

Stay tuned for the second book in the trilogy, EVADE, set to release on October 1st, 2013! 

You can now add EVADE on Goodreads!


 
Remember to follow EVER’s 9/1/13 re-release day FUN on Twitter with these hashtags: 


 
#EVERTrilogy
and 
#IfICouldBringBack
 
 
 

ONE – LeighAnn Kopans

View the electronic details here.

OR

Get the paperback version here.

I am cheerfully setting work aside to do a very, very long overdue review. I’m sure by now, we’ve all gathered that I love to read. I set my reading goal for the year at 150 books, but to be perfectly honest, I blow it out of the water. I’m also discovering that I like doing the whole review thing as well. Mostly because I want other people to like the books I like.

In this case it isn’t JUST about the book, although it’s freaking amazing. It’s also about the author. LeighAnn Kopans is one of the lovely people I stalk follow on Twitter. She is the very definition of awesome. ONESweet, inspiring, encouraging, supportive, and just generally a terrific person.

Does this really make her book better?

Hell yes, it does. No amount of love will make a bad book, good. But it definitely makes a great book, better. Because you sit there reading this terrific novel and in the back of your head the whole time is the knowledge that you know the author (even if it’s just through Twitter) and she is a truly fantastic human being. My joy in her success made reading ONE an even better experience.

Fortunately, for those of you who don’t follow LeighAnn around like a puppy, ONE is completely amazerful all on its own!

The Blurb:

When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin’s mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub’s internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed.  Now it’s up to her to decide if it’s more important to fly solo, or to save everything – and everyone – she loves.

The Good:

The story is amazing. A fun, different take on superpowers. I read through it super fast to the exclusion of all else. There were many glares and sighs as my nose was stuck to the screen of my Kindle, but it was so worth it. Seriously, if I had all the moneys I would buy copies of this to just leave lying around for people to pick up.

This isn’t your usual spandex wearing superhero story. It goes deeper. I love the fact that in order to fly, you need a combination of powers that work together. I’d honestly never thought of it, but it makes perfect sense. Which is part of the draw for me. It makes me think: Oh yeah, that’s totally how that would work if we had superpowers.

LOVE IT!!

I also love the characters.

Merrin is such a great heroine. She’s smart, strong, and she knows what she wants. She loves fiercely and fights like hell to save her family. I just want to hug her.

Elias is totally swoon worthy. He’s the sort of boyfriend every girl should have in highschool. He’s sweet, confident, supportive.

The best part about their relationship, for me anyway, is that neither of them loses their sense of self. Yes, they’re in love and they can do amazing things together. But Merrin never gives up being herself or tries to be different to make Elias happy. Theirs is a healthy relationship that makes me all kinds of happy.

No bad. Just read it. You won’t be sorry!

Take it Like a Vamp – Candace Havens

This review is so horribly overdue, I cannot EVEN begin to say. All I can do is apologize profusely for the lack. Work blew up like nobody’s business and I’ve been running to exhaustion since about mid-May. Again, my deepest apologies to the ladies at Entangled and to Ms. Havens (whose work I really enjoy).

I could fill the whole blog post apologizing, but really, no one is here for that. Nor should you be!

View the details here.

In my fogged and totally out of it brain, it took me a minute to remember the book and why the name Candace Havens was so familiar. Well DUH. She was one of the authors featured in A Riveting Affair – A Steampunk Anthology. All the squees. I really love this woman’s work! I reread the first line of Take it Like a Vamp and immediately remembered the entire story. It’s pretty darn groovy.

Casey’s best friend is a super hot guy, and really, who doesn’t wish they had one of those! Hers also happens to be a vampire, a rather high ranking one at that. Naturally, Casey doesn’t believe that she is good enough for the hottie but still manages to end up right in the middle of a vampire power struggle with said hottie wrapped around her little finger.

I know what you’re thinking, but the truth is, no. Vampire stories never get old. They’re a whole lot of fun to read and this one is no exception. TakeItLikeAVamp

The Good:

I love Casey. She’s a terrific character. While she has insecurities, they aren’t enough to where she lets people walk all over her. She’s got some serious fight going on. One of the things that I really enjoy about her as a female lead is her strength. Yeah, her man is all kinds of alpha and intimidating, but she holds her own and stands up to him. Repeatedly. She insists on a partnership. For this alone I could totally kiss the author. In a non-creepy way, honestly. It isn’t just Nick she stands up to, though. She also kicks some serious ass when his psycho ex (from like a hundred years ago) shows up and tries to take a bite (literally) out of her.

Nick is the hottie, head of the council, vampire. He’s a pretty good guy, who has fallen in love with his neighbor. It’s sort of cute how he tries to resist her, being a vampire and all. But boy, does he jump at the chance to have Casey, when he has to get married, or else. He’s kind of a dumbass for not just telling her straight out from the get go that he thinks she’s amazing, but guys are silly like that sometimes, and where’s the fun in

Now, I know that I should be all swoony over Nick, and don’t get me wrong. He is totally swoon worthy, but his bff Linc totally steals the show. He’s got all of Nick’s swooniness and a smart ass sense of humor on top of it all. Every alpha male needs a best friend who keeps him grounded and tells him how things are without sugar coating, and Linc is that guy. I’m pretty sure he has his own book, but if he doesn’t yet, he really needs one!

The Bad:

There’s not a lot that I could pick out that irked me in this one.

Casey, while initially down on herself, really came into her own and shined like mad by the end of the book. Her self-esteem improved, but NOT just because she had a man. So there was nothing there to piss me off about her. I related on all kinds of levels. She’s really a wonderful character.

Overall:

Candace Havens had already impressed me in A Riveting Affair and she did so yet again with Take it Like a Vamp. I really enjoyed this and am seriously considering another read through. The writing is great and the characters develop really well. Especially my girl Casey! I highly recommend giving it a read, you won’t be disappointed!