Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages/Word Count: 306 Pages
At a Glance: I strongly recommend you read this book, as I would hope it would please you as much as it did me.
Reviewed By: Janet
Blurb: Working graveyards in a gas station seems a small price for Cory to pay to get her degree and get the hell out of her tiny town. She’s terrified of disappearing into the aimless masses of the lost and the young who haunt her neck of the woods. Until the night she actually stops looking at her books and looks up. What awaits her is a world she has only read about—one filled with fantastical creatures that she’s sure she could never be.
And then Adrian walks in, bearing a wealth of pain, an agonizing secret, and a hundred and fifty years with a lover he’s afraid she won’t understand. In one breathless kiss, her entire understanding of her own worth and destiny is turned completely upside down. When her newfound world explodes into violence and Adrian’s lover—and prince—walks into the picture, she’s forced to explore feelings and abilities she’s never dreamed of. The first thing she discovers is that love doesn’t fit into nice neat little boxes. The second thing is that risking your life is nothing compared to facing who you really are—and who you’ll kill to protect.
Review: Vulnerable is the first book of the Little Goddess series, and is a re-edited release of the first book published by Amy Lane. When I first heard of this book almost two years ago, there was talk of maybe a re-release upcoming so I decided not to read it then. Instead, I read everything else she had ever written apart from the Green’s Hill books (except, accidentally, I Love You Asshole; it was too late after I bought it) and in the process, I became all about Amy Lane all the time. Really she has never disappointed me with a story of any length. I expect to read stories about amazing characters who are real and flawed, but hopeful and looking for love and redemption, and that’s what she delivers every time. In the process I may laugh, usually cry, but always experience a sense of awe at the sum total of emotions she can invoke within the covers of the book. All of this to say that I have now had the pleasure of reading Vulnerable for the first time, and Wow!!
I had wondered how this author would be able to build a fantasy world filled with elves, vampires, and assorted weres, and yet set it in the hills outside of Sacramento in a fashion that could be believable for me and which could sustain a series of five books . Not because of doubts about her skills in wordsmithery; but because she is simply so good at M/M, drama filled novels of a contemporary nature that I felt this was her strength. She did it by creating Green’s Hill, a blessed mound that houses all of the beings loyal to Green, an elf King, and Adrian, the vampire King who is his long-time lover and consort.
Cory is a student working the local gas station on the overnight shifts, and has been interacting with the residents of Green’s Hill for the past year without having any idea of who all her customers have really been. Until one night a regular customer awakens something inside of her with a touch, and she is soon seeing all of the supernatural beings around her as they really are – minus their glamour. And that was it for me – the connection had been made: There were people to meet and places to see, battles to be fought and creatures to protect. I was on a path of discovery and a part of the magic that was unfolding before my eyes.
World building is a necessity for any book but is the major requirement for a book about supernatural beings, and when you are placing them in a split real-world situation, then you need to have an even stronger talent for merging these realities smoothly to hold the attention of the reader in the present as the book is narrated. There were moments in this book that were so vividly described I actually had to close my eyes and digest all of the images Amy’s words inspired. The morning in the grove that grew from the joining of the three of them was intense, and I needed time to picture the majesty created, and the trees, with their images molded into them, are still shimmering in my head. So many images feel real that even the memories of Adrian’s torture as a young man, prior to becoming a vampire, is indeed a testament to the skills Amy Lane has had from the very start.
As an opening book in a series, there are a lot of details being layered into the background of the story, but I never felt a lack of connection to the characters due to this. They were always clearly identified in whatever they were doing, either as a narrator of a chapter or as the actors in the scene taking place on the page. Amy Lane introduces us to many of the characters we will see in future books, but she still managed to kill off a few in Vulnerable, which just about killed me too. Who does this? Makes me love a character, then promptly kills him? I can’t wait for the next book, sincerely can’t wait.
The only other thing I can add is I strongly recommend you read this book, as I would hope it would please you as much as it did me. It will give you hours of enjoyment, and there is the promise of more as the rest of the series unfolds.
You can buy Vulnerable here: