Book Review of Velvet by Temple West

Velvet by Temple West is my second Swoon Reads pick. It’s been a delightful read. Reading it was like entering a vivid, cold and dreamy daydream. One I really didn’t want to part with as it was so sweet and…almost magical.

 I previously read A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall—such a sweet book. If I could compare the two to drinks I’d say that Sandy Hall’s book was like sipping on a refreshing Shirley Temple while reading Temple West’s first book of her trilogy was comparable to drinking a sparkling sangria. It was refreshing, sweet and addicting. I found myself reading more often than expected—in the kitchen while cooking, outside the grocery store before my weekly shopping trip, in my car before leaving work—I just couldn’t stop until I got my fill! (If you’ve ever had this experience with a book, please let me know which book captivated your attention as such. I’d love to read it!) Needless is to say that I flew through this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A bit on Temple West

I think I’m in love with Temple West. She gets what I need in a book—character development, a bit of mystery—but not too much—an ambitious heroine with a kind heart, all wrapped up into a sweet love story—one where there is only ONE love interest. I find love triangles quite trying.  

Now, this book is very reminiscent of the Twilight series—handsome protective vampire falls in love with a troubled mortal ect.—but I believe this to be a superior book given the mix of humor and drama embedded in the book. Temple West makes no qualms about it being inspired by that series. She specifically notes that while she loved that story, she had an issue with the writing hence she set about to write a more entertaining version. (If you’ve read it, do you think she was successful? I certainly think so. I found myself laughing and crying and being altogether entertained while reading it.)

Temple West wrote this over the course of five years so it’s no wonder that it feels like such a complete novel.  I’ve read various manuscripts on Swoon Reads and often times feel… at a loss for words as to how dissatisfied many of them are, which makes me feel REALLY guilty because I REALLY want to help an aspiring author make their dream come true and possibily perfect their craft…but I just can’t. I’ve given up on reading these as time is of the essence and I simply don’t have the time to read, provide a constructive critique and vote. Instead, I have now decided to pick up the selected books as a way of supporting the Swoon Reads community—so expect many more reviews of Swoon Read’s picks on my blog going forward.

Synopsis

Caitlin is our main character. She’s sassy and sweet and gifted with great talent for fashion design. She’s also gone through a series of tragedies throughout her short lifetime—losing both parents. As a result she is sent to Stony Creek to live with a very nice aunt she scarcely knows and towards whom she holds a great deal of resentment as a result of her not being around during the hard times.

Once she arrives to Stony Creek, she ventures into an unexpected adventure filled of romance and new beginnings. In the following quote, Trish, Caitlin’s supportive and brilliant bestie, perfectly describes a bit of the love story: (page 225)

You and Adrian [dreamy hottie with a body] are magical strangers in the land of Stony Creek. All the dull little woodland creatures want to understand the smallest details about the magical strangers, but the magical strangers keep to themselves, thus building up their own mystery and allure.

About the characters

My favorite character was Caitlin. It’s hard not to love her. Not only is she clever and thoughtful, but she is also quite a strong young girl. She wears her heart on her sleeve hence she comes off as a bit of a terror at first, but given all that she’s endured its hard not to empathize with her and quickly forgive her. Over the course of the book, she begins to be more like her neutral self and less of her angry self—to a great degree this has to do with the distraction of her charming vampire “boyfriend” who makes it a point of sticking by her no matter what.

My second favorite character would be Trish as she’s so supportive and witty—she makes for the perfect bestie!

Favorite Quotes

Page 1 – Caitlin to self

By the suits and ties of Tim Gunn, I swear I will hunt you down and eat you for breakfast.

Page 71 – Norah to Caitlin

You don’t have to be an asshole; you choose to be an asshole

Page 190—Adrian to Caitlin

Fear is a good thing, sometimes. It keeps us aware of what’s important.

Overall

This book is definitely a four star worthy book. I loved the plot, the characters—everything! It’s just wonderful. It isn’t too serious, nor is it too sexy—I actually wouldn’t really describe it as “sexy” given that there isn’t sex in the book at all but rather a lot of cuddling and two evenings where the characters go to interesting parties and dress up.

The only down side to this book is that it is rather predictable, especially towards the end—but that’s okay. I sort of expected as much & I think most of us that pick up such a book go in with that assumption.  

A little about the feel of the physical book—which I really appreciate and so feel inclined to mention—is that it opens up really easily. I purchased the boxed set of the Hunger Games, paperback edition. Those books are so challenging to read! You have to really struggle to keep the books open. This one stays open on its own—soooooo helpful!—which makes the reading experience that much more pleasant.

Have you read this book? Have you read any vampire related books lately? If so, thoughts? 

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