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Title: Bitter Fruits (Eden's Fall #1)
Author: Sarah Daltry
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Synopsis: For fans of dark urban fantasy comes a novel that questions why forbidden fruit is always the most tempting...
A vampire-themed masquerade party isn't really her scene, but Nora is sick of frat parties and bars. When she meets Alec, the appeal suddenly becomes clear. It's obvious that they've been struck by the same intense mutual attraction, but Alec keeps his distance. Intrigued despite herself, Nora pushes a little deeper -- and discovers Alec's unimaginable secret...
Nora is not afraid of following Alec into the darkness, but the choice is soon taken from her. Someone is hunting her -- someone tied to the secret and desperate to see it play out. But when Nora finally meets her aggressor, she finds herself hopelessly drawn to him. She needs to make a choice between the two men, but can she save them both, knowing one is destined to die?
Review: I usually am not a huge fan of vampire romance books. The only vampire books I really get excited about are ones like Buffy where the vampires are the ones being killed or ones where there are vampires that are a new take on a classic horror creature. So I was really pleasantly surprised when I actually enjoyed this book!
The romance in this book is a main plot point, but it's messy and complicated. Oh, and very steamy. Definitely 18+. Nora is torn between two men - Alec and Caleb - and feels inexplicably drawn to both of them. Alec is the sweet one; he refuses to sleep with her until she knows his story and even then wants to make sure she understands what exactly will happen to him. He doesn't want to involve her in his world unless she decides that's where she wants to be. I really enjoyed learning more about him as Nora did and watching his secrets unfold.
And then there's Caleb, who is seen as the "bad boy" and the scarier of the two. His fate is tied to Alec's in a big way and I really enjoyed the connection that's endured through time. Nora feels totally different with him than with Alec and tries to avoid him as much as possible until the pull is just too much. There's a really strong connection there, and I thought it was really interesting to see how Nora was connected to both men in totally different ways. I also really liked how she made her choice when the time came, and am glad that things worked out for them.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the inclusion of the Biblical mythology. Lilith plays a huge role in this book, and I really liked how she was portrayed. She's not really evil, but she's definitely not good. I think she's just really misunderstood and I appreciated her side of the story too. I also think there's still a lot more to learn about her, and I really hope that Sarah continues this series and completes the trilogy she had planned.
This book is so much better than the Twilight series, in my opinion, and I think that fans of vampire romances will really enjoy this book. Even if the vampires are unlike any you've read about before. The writing is excellent, the characters are likeable and relateable, and the plot is exciting. There are quite a few really steamy scenes so I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under 18 though. The explicit scenes are important to understand Nora, Alec, and Caleb, so they are pretty necessary, but they're well written and don't take away from the other major problems that need solving. I really can't wait to read the rest of this trilogy eventually! 4/5!