Fans of teen vampire romance will find much to enjoy here.




Elise Amador has lived a normal, if sheltered middle-class life in San Pedro, Calif., but the summer of her 16th year brings family turmoil, romance and—vampires.

Debut novelist Rubalcava brings a Latina twist to the burgeoning genre of teen vampire romance. Ely Amador has a loving family—although her older brother, Ace, has disappeared for a surprisingly long time, and no one seems to be looking for him; her sister, Camy, is suffering from inexplicable stomachaches; and it’s a little strange that her mother never seems to age. Could Mom’s repeated, unexplained absences from home have something to do with plastic surgery? No, as Ely begins to discover on a trip to Mexico to discover her roots with her paternal grandmother. Mom is a vampire—albeit one in a severe state of denial—and her children—something no vampire should be able to have—are all in the process of becoming bloodsuckers themselves. Which makes them very, very interesting to a large cast of “normal” vampires, who suddenly find the option of sexual reproduction quite attractive. In addition to the vampires competing for Ely’s attention—the devastatingly attractive Jordi Pax leading the crowd—her developing powers seem to make her like catnip to the high school boys, including Connor, the brother of her best friend, Sarah; Landon, the boy she crushed on before she met Jordi; and Josh, an arrogant jock. And then there’s Chuy, the orphan boy she semi-adopts in Mexico, who is the only one who can explain why the locals regard her with superstitious horror. The prose can be somewhat pedestrian—there’s much dropping of brand names, band names and close description of outfits—but the use of Mexican folklore and mythology to construct an alternative vampire world is a refreshing change in this genre, and the depiction of friend and family relationships, functional and dys-, is warm and well-observed. Ely may be a reluctant vampire, and she may not understand her powers, but when her best friend is threatened, she doesn’t hesitate to use them.

Fans of teen vampire romance will find much to enjoy here.

Pub Date: May 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-1470084523

Page Count: 218

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2012

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A standard but satisfying twin-swap tale with a sweet love story at its center.


In Baird’s romance novel, a young woman agrees to impersonate her twin sister but finds herself falling for her sibling’s fiance in the process.

Jackie Webb begs her identical-twin sister, Hope, to fly from North Carolina to Maine and pretend to be her. Jackie is scheduled to visit her fiance Brent Albright’s family, mere days before their wedding. She’s a wedding planner herself, unexpectedly forced to work during the scheduled visit—and she fears that if she doesn’t show up in New England as planned, her strained relations with Brent’s family will grow worse. Hope agrees to go the Maine, just to help with wedding preparations, and she has every intention of truthfully identifying herself. But when Brent’s mother immediately mistakes her for Jackie, things quickly spiral out of control. After Brent’s grandmother greets her with disdain, Hope decides to continue the ruse to win over the family. Then she learns that Jackie’s upcoming marriage to Brent, who knows nothing of the trickery, is more of a business deal than a romance. She resolves to save her sister’s future by creating a true bond with him. But unlike Jackie, she’s relaxed and fun-loving, and Brent finds himself delighted to be falling in love with her. As Jackie’s delay grows longer, Hope finds herself falling under Brent’s spell, as well. This wholesome and romantic tale by Baird, the author of An Unforgettable Christmas (2019) and many other romances, is engaging throughout as she tells it from Hope’s and Brent’s perspectives. Although most readers are likely to guess many key plot developments before the end of the first chapter, they’ll still find it great fun to watch the events unfold. The author presents a diverse cast of characters who are as entertaining as they are endearing, as well as many evocative descriptions of the beautiful Maine countryside. Although this novel is a light read, it alludes to deeper issues of confidence, loss, independence, and trust that give it some unexpected heft.

A standard but satisfying twin-swap tale with a sweet love story at its center.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68281-522-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2020

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A classic plot plus Lauren's trademark snark and steam add up to a winning rom-com full of heart and holiday cheer.


A Christmas wish leads to a Christmas nightmare when one woman gets stuck reliving the holiday season, Groundhog Day style.

Things aren’t going as planned for Maelyn Jones. At the age of 26, she’s living with her mom and stepdad, she’s stuck in a dead-end job, and, perhaps most important, she just had an eggnog-filled holiday hookup with Theo Hollis, her family friend and the brother of her unrequited lifelong crush, Andrew Hollis. Maelyn’s spent years waiting for Andrew to notice her as more than a friend, but now she knows she’s screwed things up for good by kissing his brother. The only thing that’s going perfectly in her life is the lovely Park City cabin where her family, Theo and Andrew’s family, and her parents’ other college friends get together every Christmas. But then, on the last day of their vacation, Theo and Andrew’s parents announce that they’re selling the cabin. On the drive to the airport, Maelyn miserably wishes that she could find out what would make her happy…and suddenly, she’s back on the plane to the cabin, pre-Christmas, about to live the whole week over again. With another (and another and another) chance to make things right, will she be able to finally tell Andrew how she feels and discover real happiness? Lauren—the author team behind The Honey-Don’t List (2020) and countless other romantic comedies—is as reliable as ever with this cheery holiday outing. Down-on-her-luck Maelyn is a likable protagonist, and it’s easy to relate to her desire to fix her life (even if most readers don’t have the benefit of time travel). Her conversations with Andrew are adorably banter-filled, and her relationship with her parents’ friend Benny, an aging, wacky stoner, is sweetly charming.

A classic plot plus Lauren's trademark snark and steam add up to a winning rom-com full of heart and holiday cheer.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982123-94-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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