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Book Review: Crave by Melissa Darnell

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There is no doubt about it: I am a fan of young adult fiction, preferably of the fantasy romance variety.  I can’t get enough of vampires, witches, ghosts, and demons, and if I like a book, I am usually thrilled to discover that it is part of a series. When you fall in love with characters, like I did with Gena Showalter’s Intertwined or Rachel Vincent’s My Soul to Take, there is nothing better than to discover that there are more books on the way.

What I’m not so keen on is the experience of rushing towards the end of a book, heart beating against my ribcage as the tension reaches boiling point and then… and then nothing. I understand the use of cliffhangers in books and films but for goodness sake, at least wrap up the storylines in the current installment! It seems to me that young adult authors are increasingly using this technique to end books in arbitrary places (I’m specifically thinking of the House of Night series), without ever really wrapping up the plot in any one book.

It is safe to say that I felt more than a little bit frustrated when I reached the end of Melissa Darnell’s Crave. I even flipped back and forwards through the pages to make sure that I wasn’t mistaken but it does seem that the book just ended, right in the middle of the action. So will I be coming back for more? The answer is yes; despite my frustration, I will certainly be picking up the next book in the series Covet when it is released later this year.

Crave is a paranormal romance told from the point of view of Jacksonville High School students Savannah Colbert and Tristan Coleman. Tristan is a Descendant, a member of the Clann family who hold much of the power in their East Texas town. Once friends with Tristan and other descendants, Savannah was ostracised when they shared a kiss in the fourth grade and banned from being friends with them. As rumours abound about the magical sources of the Clann’s power, Savannah discovers that she is descended from a far deadlier, more ancient family altogether – vampires.

When Savannah is struck by a mysterious illness, she recovers only to find that she is changing. As Savannah comes to terms with her vampire heritage, she and Tristan feel inexplicably drawn to one another. They embark on a forbidden relationship of secret dates, magic, and shared dreams, but does Tristan truly care for Savannah or is he only compelled by her? And what will happen to Tristan and Savannah if the Clann or the sinister vampire council discover their relationship?

I thoroughly enjoyed Crave and raced through it in a matter of days. I felt that it was a bit weak in parts with respect to vampire and witch mythology but this certainly picked up in the latter part of the book. In any event, there was sufficient drama between Savannah and the other characters in the book to maintain the pace. All told, my only real complaint was that the book simply ended without any of the main storylines really being wrapped up.

Despite the frustrating ending, I would certainly recommend Crave to fans of paranormal series such as the Vampire Academy, House of Night, Twilight, Intertwined, or Soul Screamers series.

Crave is another great book from Harlequin’s MIRA Ink imprint.  It is the first book in The Clann series which is currently planned to be a trilogy.  You can purchase it at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.

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About Mandy Southgate

Mandy Southgate is a blogger, serial expat and eternal tourist living and working in London. Aside from writing at Blogcritics, she blogs about travel and London at Emm in London, entertainment and media at Addicted to Media and war crimes, genocide and social justice over at A Passion to Understand.