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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Dakota becomes captivated by Luka Visraya, the bassist in Viscious, a super popular rock band, when they perform at a local club. Determined to make him and the band the center of her Spring Showcase, she negotiates a deal to live with the band for a month to gather all the shots she'll need. But when she arrives, she realizes that she wasn't really prepared for what life at the Manor will be like. Luka continues to draw her attention as she becomes fond of all the band members. She's determined to fight her attraction to him, she's strives to stay professional...and fails completely. Something about Luka makes it impossible to fight her attraction to him, even though it's obvious he is hiding something. Maybe the whole band is?
The idea of this novel intrigued me instantly. Eye-patch wearing photographer? That's certainly not something you read about every day, so count me in. There's a hot rocker who shows interest? Fuck yeah, let's get to it. And I wasn't disappointed. Dakota is a snarky smart-ass who obviously hasn't had a great past, but is determined to not let the past rule her future. She's truly interesting and I'm dying to know how she lost her eye, though we never learn in this installment.
I'm a little undecided about Luka. I liked him initially, dark and rocker-y and intense. But the further we get in, the more fucked up he seemed. He seems wise one moment and then so unbelievably immature the next. At one point, he literally throws a temper tantrum, destroying an entire damn room. Seriously? Grow up. There is no need for that kind of bullshit. For a bit, it almost felt like he was leading Dakota on because he's all over her one minute and then ignoring her the next. By the end, I'm no closer to deciding if he's swoon-worthy or a man-child who needs to be slapped than I was midway through.
The rest of the band are an odd band of characters. I loved them all, especially Dray, with his quirky scientific personality. Each member added their own twist to the book that I wasn't exactly expecting, but none of them were as fascinating as Luka. I can say definitively now that I desperately want to read Evangelista's Taste now. I didn't realize going into this that the Vicious Feast series was a spinoff of Taste. I almost wish I'd read Taste first so the mystery of what Luka (and the rest of the band) is would already be solved, but I guess it's good that I haven't read it. It keeps the mystery alive and fresh, though I'm dying to know what the hell they are.
Evangelista's writing style is clear and easy to understand, with that great addictive quality that reminds me a little of Jennifer L Armentrout. Once you start and get going, it's incredibly difficult to put it down. The massive cliffhanger at the end is a bit of a bummer, but it's not a deal-breaker since the rest is pretty awesome. It doesn't make it impossible for me to rate it higher than four stars, but that's still a great rating.
I highly recommend this for anyone who is looking for a New Adult novel that is a little out of the ordinary. It contains a bit of humor, mystery, and a bunch of smutty scenes for the romance lover in all of us. I'm going to add Kate Evangelista to my "authors to watch" list as I impatiently await the sequels release!
****Thank you to Kate Evangelista and Paranormal Cravings Blog Tours for providing me with a digital in exchange for an honest review****