Afterlife #3: A Sucker For You – Marlene Perez

“I should have staked you when I had the chance”

Tansy, vampire queen of California, is going on a road trip. She’s bringing an eclectic bunch with her: her best friend (the only human), her two assassin sisters, her boyfriend (a werewolf who’s trained as a vampire slayer) and his pack (minus the one who stayed behind to study). They’re headed to Vegas to stop a wedding.

Besides the obvious ickiness associated with the idea of their parents being married, Tansy’s mother, Vanessa (AKA, the Executioner), has compelled Vaughn’s father, so it’s not exactly a free will decision as far as Adam Sheridan is concerned. Tansy and Vaughn are determined to prevent this happily ever after.

“Do you think it’s a coincidence that I follow Vanessa to Vegas and all hell breaks loose?”

It’s been six months since Tansy attended the worst part of her life and became a striga vie, a witch/vampire hybrid, and her witch is at war with her vampire. Granny’s tonic isn’t working as well as it used to so her allergy to the sun has been getting worse.

Tansy has the Blood of Life ruby with her but she doesn’t know what it does yet or even who gave it to her. All she knows for sure is she needs to do whatever it takes to ensure Vanessa doesn’t get her hands on it. Besides the priceless gemstone, Tansy has brought along her parasol and her trusty drumstick (all the better for slaying vampires).

It’s family reunion time in Vegas. While Vanessa is doing her best to evade her daughter and get on with her dastardly deeds, Tansy finally gets to meet her absentee father. Mason Alicante, the head of the Paranormal Activities Committee, is also Rose and Thorn’s father. He’s one character who certainly lives up to his reputation. Rose and Thorn need their own series.

The Drainers, who reinvented themselves in the sequel as the Thirsty Thieves, are at it again. This time, they’re the Bleeding Hearts and they’re trying another new style of music, pop.

Hecate, the best hellcat ever, makes an appearance. She’s such a good kitty.

Granny and her Old Crones Book Club stayed home for this adventure but Granny still has her part to play. She’s my favourite character of the series, not that it was ever a close call.

My main question mark in this book related to Wanda, the healer. When we first meet her, she says she’s not going to be around for the next few weeks because she’s going to a deserted island. In the next chapter, the group have dinner at Wanda’s World and chat to Wanda, who is clearly not on holiday.

This book has action scenes where vampires meet their doom via drumstick, parasol and other lethal means. There are werewolves with ginormous appetites. The characters stay in luxury accommodation and visit specialty hidden world stores. There are mushy lovey doves scenes and mysterious tattoos.

This is my favourite book of the series. It’s unusual for me but I enjoyed each book more than the one that preceded it.

I’m not usually into books that feature vampires and I don’t generally read romance novels but this series hooked me. They’re light reads but they were fun and a great escape. I’m definitely keen to read more books by this author.

Content warnings: Readers with emetophobia may have trouble with some scenes.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Vampire-witch hybrid Tansy Mariotti has exactly one goal: to stop her mother’s Vegas wedding.

It’s not because she hates weddings. It’s not because the groom is her boyfriend’s dad (although yuck). It’s not even because Vegas weddings are cliché as hell. It’s because her mum is an evil incarnate vamp known as the Executioner. Nothing good can come of someone marrying a person named the Executioner. Nothing.

With the help of her werewolf boyfriend, her bestie, her granny’s no-crave-blood tonic, and her favourite stake – a drumstick – Tansy is Vegas-bound and ready to raise hell, all while hoping her witch side can keep her fangs at bay. Only suddenly, her witch side is fading … fast.

Tansy’s running out of time to stop her mum and save herself – before what happens in Vegas stakes in Vegas. 

Afterlife #2: I’m With the Banned – Marlene Perez

Tansy got way more than she bargained for when she and friend/crush Vaughan set out to save her best friend, Skylar, from Travis, lead singer of The Drainers, a band that sucks both literally and figuratively.

Tansy, a Mariotti witch, is now a striga vie, a witch/vampire hybrid. Not only that, shortly after acquiring her vamp abilities, she got a serious promotion: queen of the California vampires. The job comes with a surprising amount of admin.

Meanwhile, Skylar has returned to being human, which considering she’s the one who got Tansy into this mess in the first place, doesn’t seem especially fair. I’m not a fan of Skylar; she’s not the best friend that Tansy deserves.

One really good thing happened during the road trip: Vaughan has graduated from crush to boyfriend. Only he’s been MIA recently, learning to become a vampire hunter. Oh, and he’s a werewolf now. So are all of his new friends.

The Drainers have reinvented themselves. They now call themselves Thirsty Thieves and are singing country and western. Badly.

I found Rose and Thorn, who work for the Paranormal Activities Committee, intriguing during the first book but they didn’t seem to do much. In this book their potential becomes more evident and I want to spend much more time with them. They’re training Tansy to become a badass and they’re big on motivational speeches.

“There are other things to worry about besides vampires,” Thorn said.

I stopped moving. “Like what?”

“Werewolves, banshees, Medusas, Narcisi, and stupid people,” she said, “Just to name a few. All of whom can run faster than you. Your granny can run faster.”

Vanessa, Tansy’s mother, comes back onto the scene for the first time since she abandoned her as a baby. Vanessa is doing her best impression of a loving mother but she’s the vampire known as the Executioner so may not be as trustworthy and caring as she’d like Tansy to believe.

“You know she’s about as stable as a toddler on a sugar binge, right?”

I’m absolutely obsessed with Granny. She’s amazing! Her tonic helps Tansy manage her newfound sun allergy, she’s a librarian and her coven is called the Old Crones Book Club. She also knows when to be a sweetheart and when Tansy need a loving push.

“Now, are you going to sit there like a lump or are you going to get off your tush and handle business?”

Unlike most series, I enjoyed the sequel more than the first book. I’m looking forward to meeting Tansy’s father and can’t wait to see where Vanessa’s storyline takes us.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

I never wanted to be a vampire queen.

But on the bright (if not sunny) side of the debacle, I’ve got a super-hot new boyfriend. And he just might be the perfect guy.

Well, if the perfect guy ghosts you for a month and then comes back to school with a new look, a pack of friends, and a secret. But we have bigger problems.

The Drainers are back. They’re singing a different song, but have they really changed?

Even worse, werewolves’ hearts are being ripped from their bodies – which is putting the people I love in danger. I need to figure out who is behind the murders before there’s an all-out vampire-werewolf war.

No one is going to mess with my friends, even the ones who like to get wild and howl at the moon.

Sometimes, all a girl can do is grab her tiara and start kicking some supernatural ass…

Afterlife #1: The Afterlife of the Party – Marlene Perez

Spoilers Ahead!

Join Tansy as she embarks on a road trip with her friend/crush Vaughan. They’re following a band that’s on tour, but not because they’re groupies. They’re trying to save Tansy’s best friend, Skylar, from the clutches of Travis, the band’s lead singer. Travis is a vampire that’s been feasting on Skylar.

The first in a planned trilogy, The Afterlife of the Party sucked me in straight away. (See what I did there? 🧛🏼‍♂️) I felt like I already knew Tansy, Skylar and Vaughan, and enjoyed hanging out with them. I loved the name of the vampire’s band, ‘The Drainers’, and I was keen to learn all about Tansy’s witch heritage.

I appreciated that consent was addressed in a vampire story, although after the vampires were introduced there were a number of scenes that had me scratching my head. I do need to acknowledge that I read an uncorrected proof so it’s entirely possible that the things I struggled with may not be included in the final version. Having said that …

Rose and Thorn mostly wandered in and out of scenes and didn’t contribute a great deal to the story. I anticipate they will have a larger role in the sequels, and I hope they do because their characters have the potential to become very interesting. However, by the end of this book both they and the Paranormal Activities Committee they work for seem pretty irrelevant.

I didn’t always feel the urgency of Tansy and Vaughn’s attempts to find Skylar. Especially when Tansey found Skylar close to death, did a quick healing spell on her and then left her again.

Sometimes terms that had already been defined, like Bleeders, would be reexplained in later chapters.

Tansey says she told Granny the “entire story” but less than ten paragraphs later she mentions a key part of the story that she has kept from her.

I knew I’d have to tell her eventually, but I wasn’t quite ready for the look of disappointment I’d see.

The showdown that I knew was inevitable as soon as a certain character was introduced disappointed me. It was over and done with much too quickly for my liking. If someone is going to try to take out a Big Bad I want there to be more of a fight, and maybe a cliché Big Bad monologue to go with it. While there are still plenty of baddies left for our heroes to deal with in the sequels, if it was that easy to get rid of the Big Bad then won’t their underling’s deaths be even easier?

I hope the sequels reveal the identity of Tansy’s father and explain what the deal is with Connor. I want more time with Granny, who could become my favourite character if I got to know her better. I’d also love to see Tansy and her friends cross paths with other hidden world creatures.

Content warnings include the violent death of an animal and mention of sexual assault. Readers with emetophobia may have trouble with some scenes.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Entangled Teen, an imprint of Entangled Publishing, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

When my best friend Skyler told me about this party in the Hollywood Hills, I was less than enthused. As it turned out, my feelings were more than justified. That party ruined my life.

Tansy didn’t even want to go to the party. It’s hard enough living in one of your best friend’s shadows and secretly in love with your other best friend.

And now she’s leaving it a vampire.

Now her best friend Skyler is stuck on the road trip from hell, on tour as a groupie with a literal band of vamps. Tansy sets out with Vaughn, her other BFF turned maybe more, to save Skylar’s life and take down the band. But when they find themselves in the middle of a vampire war, will Tansy be able to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her friends?