Viper and Venom (Books 1 & 2 of the Vampires of Hollywood series) – Madisyn Ashmore / Monroe

*I received a free ARC of Venom, and bought Viper to read first.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

 

Viper Blurb:  What turns me on? YOU.519tD2acRIL__SY346_

Caleb Crane is a ripped and protective vampire who knows exactly what he wants. And what he wants is the sexy young lawyer, Abby March, who just showed up in Hollywood.

And then something shocking emerges from Abby’s past that changes everything. A secret so dark, she can’t hide from it or run away any longer. Will Caleb stay and fight for Abby, or will her shocking secret ruin everything?

 

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Venom blurb:  He was made to crave.

Abby March never meant to fall in love with a vampire. When Caleb Crane, a ripped and protective vampire bad boy, seduced her at his Hollywood estate, she knew he was dangerous, but she couldn’t resist. Caleb fell hard for Abby, but his love came at a price.

Caleb’s in deep with Abby when he discovers a shocking secretfight for the woman he loves, or will their romance bite the dust?

 

These books are touted on Amazon as ‘Twilight meets 50 Shades of Grey’, and I feel that is an accurate description, as I was definitely reminded of both those series while I was reading.

That is not to say that Madisyn Monroe doesn’t have something new.  Her world where vampires can have highpowered jobs in the public gaze, exclusive nightclubs and hotels, and yet still remain secret from the general populace due to their wealth and influence, is an interesting blend of the Cullen/Grey dynamic and one that works in her context.

Abby is a more dynamic main character than either Ana or Bella, arguing back and standing up for herself against Caleb’s dominant Alpha male shenanigans.  However this does mainly follow trope as, despite her protests, she still tends to give in to Caleb’s will eventually due to his smouldering sex-god powers.

The sex is steamy and straightforward, which made up somewhat for my main quibble which is that the main characters seem unnecessarily insecure about themselves, their looks, their positions and most of all, their burgeoning relationship.  There is a small amount of genuine external plot conflict in terms of other supernatural beings, exes popping up and so on, but a large proportion of the tension is jealousy or irrational insecurity from one of the two leads, leading to unreasonable, childish behaviour and communication failures.

However, generally the books are a fun, easy read, and do what they are supposed to for their target audience, so if you are a fan of Twilight-for-grownups, or 50 Shades of Vampires, then these books should be right up your street.  Do not buy if you are offended by words like ‘cock’ and ‘fuck’ however.  The language is very direct and the sexual content is, naturally, explicit.

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to make you wet.”
His voice was husky, dark, and dangerous.
My toes were inches from the edge of the swimming pool when I felt a cold, wet splash against my legs.  A man’s slick, muscled body pushed up from the illuminated turquoise pool and stood naked in front of me on the slate-tiled patio.

His tall athletic physique sent an immediate tingle through my core.  But it wasn’t until I glanced down and saw his generously sized cock that my heart caught in my throat.

– Madisyn Ashmore, Viper

You can find more from Madisyn at her website here, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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