on Jan. 21, 2013
I could not resist this Amish/vampire genre mash-up. Teenage Jael is the "Chosen One", born to slay the vampires that have infiltrated an Amish community in Minnesota that was the home of her parents. As befits a vampire slayer, Jael is named after a heroine of the Old Testament who killed an enemy of God's chosen people by driving a tent stake through his head.
In order to protect Jael until she develops her full powers her family has been on the run since before she was born, but now that she is about to turn 16 it's time for her to step up to her God-given responsibilities. Jael has had to live life as an outsider, unable to attend school functions like football games and having to spend hours a day practicing martial arts with her father, but with the help of her best friend Bree Jael is pushing at those boundaries. Bree doesn't know the truth about Jael, but somehow Shad, a Native American tracker who is also a student at their school, does. Shad is a good looking loner, but it is Bree who is interested in him, not Jael. Jael takes her preordained mission seriously but she has a humorous edge to her outlook, which adds to the fun of reading the book.
on Feb. 03, 2013
This second installation in the Amish Bloodsucker Trilogy is just as appealing as the first. Teenage Jael is the "Chosen One", born to slay the vampires that have infiltrated an Amish community in Minnesota that was the home of her parents, but since Jael and her parents have been on the run while Jael grew up and honed her skills, Jael has never been there. With her parents now dead, Jael must leave behind her friends in Sunburn, Nevada to live with the Amish grandparents she hadn’t known existed and get on with her destiny.
The transition to Amish living isn’t easy, but fortunately her grandparents are thrilled to have her there and she’s allowed to attend the public high school for now, where she meets a boy she starts to fall for in spite of herself. Between farm chores, school, and hunting vampires Jael is busy from before sunrise to long after sundown. Named for a heroine from the Old Testament, Jael takes her vampire slaying mission seriously, but she has a humorous edge to her outlook and an occasionally flippant teenage attitude that add to the fun of reading these books and keep you rooting for her.
Barbara Ellen Brink does a good job conveying the sights and smells of simple country living and the pushes and pulls of Jael’s sometimes complicated priorities. There are Christian elements to the story, but they are multi-denominational and not heavy handed.
on Feb. 09, 2013
I’ve gotten attached to the people and setting of this series, so finishing this last book in the trilogy about Jael, the teenage Amish vampire slayer, was almost as sad as it was satisfying. Ever since her parents’ murders, ordered by the vampire known as the Bishop, Jael has been living with her Amish grandparents in Minnesota, learning their plain and simple ways while awaiting the chance to root out the vampires hidden in their midst and avenge her parents’ deaths. Gabe, Jael’s artistically gifted boyfriend, has started to develop some martial arts abilities of his own, which is a good thing because the Bishop and his vampire underlings have some new tricks up their undead sleeves.
Though Jael’s slayer skills are already strong, she still has lessons to learn. Jael’s determination and overconfidence are putting her loved ones at risk, and when someone she knows begins to transform into a vampire in spite of struggling to resist the change, Jael realizes there are some gray areas in the battle between good and evil.
It’s great to have Jael’s Nevada friends Bree and Shadow back in the story for the grand finale, along with Jael’s globe trotting Uncle Seth. Author Barbara Ellen Brink has balanced Jael’s very serious dedication to her mission with a dash of irreverent teenage humor, which makes it all the harder to have to leave her behind now that her story is over.
Miss Lacey's Last Fling (A Regency Romance)
on Jan. 15, 2014
On the surface, Rosie and Max make an odd pairing. She’s a frumpy, over the hill spinster (26!) who’s lived her entire life in the country, but believing she’s about to die she heads to London to enjoy what little time she has left. He’s one of the most notorious rakes of London’s Regency society who’s seen and done it all so many times he’s bored enough that he’s considering suicide.
Once in the city, Rosie asks her scandal prone aunt for help with a makeover and then armed with a list of delights to experience before she dies she jumps wholeheartedly into London’s social scene, determined to see the sights and have all the fun she can while not worrying one bit about her reputation. Max has never seen anything like it and while he’s not the sort to get serious about any woman and just sticks around to keep Rosie safe as a favor to her aunt, still there is something about Rosie and, well . . . you can guess the direction of the storyline, but even knowing where it is going there are still delightful, sometimes laugh out loud surprises. This is a lighthearted and entertaining book--a wonderfully fun romp from start to finish.