First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don't fall in love.
After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.
Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?
Temple West’s Velvet is an extraordinary addition to the YA Vampire world! True, I know most of you are tired of vampires. I honestly never stopped loving them! Every vampire book I’ve read has been different in terms of lore, so I’m always seeing fresh new vampires with every book I pick up. Even if there are more similarities than not, I still manage to see the differences each author adds in to make them truly her (because yeah, the majority of those authors have been women!) own.
Velvet has quite the different set of vampires in it! I remember reading a lot of comparisons to Twilight in the beginning and honestly, nothing makes me want to ignore a book more when that happens. I wasn’t the biggest fan of that book. Yeah we all have our issues with it and the movie franchise or maybe not and you loved it! To each their own, I always say. There’s nothing wrong with loving that book and there’s nothing wrong with hating it. I think my main issues came from all the comparisons, even going so low as to say that a book series that predated Twilight, reminded them too much of Twilight. That really got the blood boiling. This tangent is getting off topic. Let me reign in it. Did I see some similarities to Twilight? Yes. But very general. You have a vampire boy and a human girl falling in love and the whole forbidden romance—which yeah, not necessarily a Twilight trope—and he has a vampire family. That’s pretty much it, in my opinion. And add to that, the vampire family is nothing like the Cullens.
So moving away from the Twilight comparisons, let’s discuss this book! Caitlin has just lost her mother to cancer and she’s officially an orphan. She moves in with her aunt and uncle and cousin, and she’s dealing with a lot of anger. She’s quite miserable for awhile, but I can understand her feelings. It felt very realistic too. Then there’s Adrian. The mysterious bad boy everyone’s always talking about. Slowly a friendship forms and then eventually, secrets are revealed. Adrian is a vampire. He’s been told to look out for Caitlin because it seems his demon father, yes, his father is a demon, not a vampire, is after Caitlin because he wants her to have all his little vampire children.
Segue over to the mythology and lore part of this book, I have to admit I really liked what Temple did with her vampire origin story. In this world, vampires are not made. They are born from a human and demon and yeah, the human is the woman. But she always dies after childbirth because the body just can’t withstand having a vampire baby. Now here’s where things get a little muddied. You’re raising a vampire child and he ages like a normal human does, then around 18 or so, the aging process starts to slow and then possibly when you reach 30 you’re done aging. This just kind of confused me. Maybe it just wasn’t executed as well, because it made it seem like Adrian has already done sooo much. That he is so old, but yet, he’s still like 17 or 18. But he mentions living in Greece and yeah, it’s not a long shot that he could’ve lived there for a few years. But then it gets mentioned other things he and his siblings have done—because he has siblings too! All born from a human mother (all different) and the same demonic father. Needless to say, that while I did enjoy some aspects of this lore, other parts kind of got confusing.
Another issue I had with this one was the pacing. I felt like it was going rather slow for the longest time. I mean we’re literally just watching Caitlin and Adrian fake date, because that’s the “best” way to guard someone, if you pretend to be in a relationship. And naturally, all that faking soon starts getting Caitlin developing real feelings. But alas, there’s the whole rule that vampires and humans cannot be together. Typical. And while I did feel rather bog down some of the time with this one, I still found myself reading. Because there are some really great characters in it too. Lucian, Adrian’s youngest brother who they only recently rescued from their demonic father, is such a cool little kid. He’s odd as he was raised by his father for ten years, but at the same time, he’s so cute as he’s trying to learn some social skills and norms. Adrian’s other brother, Julian—really starting to LOVE this name, as if I already hadn’t loved it!—is another story. We’re talking your bad bad boy. He seems to have a lot more anger to him. And I was actually kind of glad there was no awkward love triangle between him, Caitlin, and Adrian. Though this is only book 1 out of the trilogy. Hopefully Temple won’t go down that path! But Julian, despite being all moody and brooding, he definitely has some depth to him! I hope we get to see more of him—in a platonic way—in the next two books too!
Because this is a love story, in some ways, I will say that the romance was cute! Yes, the couple is pretending to be a couple, but it’s not long before Caitlin is starting to have real feelings for him. It’s also about when things get super complicated between them as well. What’s real and what’s pretend? It’s questions that drive Caitlin crazy!
And then of course there’s the whole “special and unique” motif. We thought Caitlin was just an ordinary girl who somehow gained Adrian’s dad’s attention, but we’re starting to learn that there might just be something “special” to her after all! And I’m actually rather intrigued to learn what that will be!
It ends with an earth shattering cliffhanger and I am so glad I waited until now to read this one when I have the second book waiting for me! It was quite the shocking! Let alone all those other little issues that were popping up and will have to be dealt with! Secrets aplenty waiting to be revealed and acted upon! This will fast become a favorite of mine despite a few tropes that may have got on my nerves a tiny bit, but not enough to deter my enjoyment!
If you’re like me and love vampires of all kind, then Velvet will definitely be read you’ll want to check out! For I don’t think I will ever tire of vampire books, they are simply bound to my heart! And this one was quite good indeed!
Overall Rating 4/5 stars