Hi, Aadi here with another review. This time it’s by Dawn Witzke, the author of my story, which she finally finished this week. Yay. She reviewed Honor At Stake by Declan Finn. Enjoy. (She created the cover for the book too.)
I am such a sucker for a good romance and this one delivered a sweet clean romance that left me begging for the next book to come out. Declan creates a story that expertly balances action, suspense and romance that is less Twilight and more Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series. There are good and bad vampires in this book.
This book is definitely for an older teen (16+) audience. There is a considerable amount of violence and the occasional adult topic not suitable for younger readers.
My favorite moments in the book
1) It’s the first time that Marco and Amanda start to get past that whole “let’s be friends” thing. It’s so close that you’re on the edge of your seat ready to cheer when they finally kiss. Instead, you’re yelling noooooooo! Declan sets it up just like Lucy with the football and then just rips it away at the last minute. The only consolation is that you know eventually they are going to ditch the stupid “let’s be friends” and live happily ever after…okay maybe not, but they’ll at least get together eventually.
2) The bedroom scene is my favoriteist scene out of the whole book (Okay, maybe the 2nd favoriteist scene). Amanda shows up in Marco’s bedroom to talk over some ideas. Most of the scene focuses on the main plot of the book, but ends with a very sweet conversation where they seem to be miscommunicating, but the reader can tell exactly what they’re trying to say. These intimate moments are what makes reading romance oh so worth it.
3) My other favoriteist scene takes place on a rooftop with vampires and explosions. I do love a good explosion. Besides the explosions, I love the fact that the characters use the same tools that normal people use…youtube. It makes them more believable.
There are many many scenes throughout the book that I like, but I don’t want to give away the whole book.
- Declan uses a good mix of show and tell to create a unique voice and awesome story.
- He does an impeccable job of balancing the action, suspense and romance. Usually, you get one with a side of the others, but not in this book. All three are served up in equal shares.
- The “rules” for vampires are consistent. Declan does stray from the original vampire lore, but not so much that it’s not believable, unlike a book with sparkley vampires.
- There are Vatican ninjas involved and they have cool toys.
- The romantic scenes are very well done. Declan has a rare gift to be able to write romance scenes that women actually want to read. Men usually fall short in that area.
- There are hooks throughout that force you to keep reading because you just have to know what happens next.
- Did I mention there are ninjas? Oh, and fencing and krav maga and explosions and loads of other fun stuff.
The Not So Great
- A few places get heavy handed with the info dumps.
- The emotional continuity of Marco’s character left me puzzled in places especially in regards to Lilly.
- The romance build up wasn’t there. Either there was romance involved or none at all. It wasn’t consistent throughout the book. Since the romantic scenes were done very well and it’s not a full-fledged romance novel, I’ll give it a pass.
- I found it perfectly fine that Dad was nosing about Marco and Amanda’s relationship, but I found it kind of weird that strangers/acquaintances were adding their input. I would find it more acceptable if the stranger/acquaintance had his advances rebuffed all the while Amanda was claiming to just be friends with Marco.