Monday, January 13, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Savor by Kate Evangelista

Title: Savor
Series: Vicious Feast #1 (But really a sequel to Taste!)
Author: Kate Evangelista
Release Date: December 2, 2013
Pages: 295
Goodreads Rating: 4.36 Stars
My Rating: 3/5 stars (but read my review to find out why it might actually be better than that!)
My Content Rating: 18+ (Explicit sex)

Summary from Goodreads: Mature and explicit content. Not recommended for readers below 18-years-old. Yup, you've got to be that old to read my story. Consider yourself warned.

I’m Dakota Collins, a tough talking, eye patch wearing, workaholic photography student. Why am I important? Well, maybe because I get to spend an entire month with Vicious, only the sickest indie rock band out there.

You see, I needed a subject for my Spring Showcase introspective in order to graduate. During a chance encounter at a club I’d been sent to cover for the Daily Gossip, our ironically named college paper, the features writer I usually teamed up with introduced me to the band—by accident, I might add. It involved a run in with a scary, bald bodyguard. Anyway, long story short, I signed a contract to take pictures of Vicious.

I should have known their handsome yet way too serious for his own good bassist, Luka Visraya, wouldn't be able to keep his hands to himself. He’s gorgeous and all, but the way he smiles spelled trouble with a capital L. I’m in for a long month with him around.

Crazy shit happens and then some. So, if you want the skinny on Vicious and the events revolving around my stay at Lunar Manor, read my story.

Okay, I have to start out by saying that this is not really book #1 in a series - it's a sequel to Taste.  I really wish I would have known that because I think I might have liked this book a lot more if I'd read Taste first (of course this is just conjecture since I had no idea that Taste existed until after I finished Savor).  I can kind of see how this qualifies as a separate series (since it's told from a new character's perspective - and the other book is YA), but I REALLY wish there had been something in the description that had let me know that this was a spin-off of Taste.  I think it would have made a big difference if I had read Taste first.

I did like this book.  I enjoyed it - but I wanted something more.  Read on to find out why...

The negatives:
  • Not much happened.  The whole time I was reading this book, I was expecting it to be a paranormal novel - I kept waiting for something paranormal to happen.  Throughout the book there are all these references to how life with Vicious is going to be dangerous or something and how weird things happen with them.  There were clues dropped - young-looking servants with grey hair that all look very similar, times when I thought that perhaps one of the band members could maybe read Dakota's mind, a reference to an odd altar at their mansion - I kept waiting for something big to happen, some proof that my suspicions were correct.  But they never came.  For all the talk of danger and drama, the only thing that really ever happened was that Luka occasionally threw a temper tantrum.  Really, the book was all about the sexual tension between Luka and Dakota and not much else.  There were hints at something deeper, but it just never materialized - until the last few pages of the book!  And the big climactic reveal near the end (not those last few pages) just fell a little flat for me.  I found myself thinking, "Really?  That was it?"  Then there were those last few pages that changed everything!  It left me feeling like I had just read a prequel to the real book.  That is, until I found out that there was another book before this book.  I read the blurb for Taste and it all sort of fell into place.  I found myself thinking that if I had read Taste, all those references to the danger and the possible hints at paranormal would have made much more sense - I would have known what was happening and I wouldn't have spent the whole book waiting to find out Vicious' secrets (well, at least not as much).  I still feel like this book might kind of suffer from middle book syndrome a bit, but I would have enjoyed the journey a lot more.  
What I loved:
  • Dakota.  I loved Dakota. She was tough and yet vulnerable and she didn't let her past trauma (or her obvious disfigurement) get in the way of living her life.  I also really loved her passion for photography.  The parts of the story that revolved around Dakota's photography project were some of my favorite parts of the book.  I loved seeing the world through her artistic eye!
  • The mystery of Dakota's traumatic experience.  Obviously something traumatic happened to Dakota at some point in her past, earning her some nasty scars and an eye patch.  Throughout the book Dakota has dreams about being chased - she doesn't seem to think that they're related to what actually happened to her (I never did quite understand why), but the trauma and the dreams definitely affect Dakota deeply.  Her struggle with overcoming the dreams and their effect on her was the most compelling part of the book, in my opinion.  I just wished that we had gotten more answers to these mysteries by the end of the book - but I will definitely read the next book to find out more.
  • The band members.  I loved all of the band members - Luka, the sexy brooding guy who Dakota feels drawn to; Demetri, who has a sharp sense of humor (but blushes when the tables are turned); Dray, who is sweet and childlike in his enthusiasm; Phoenix, the girl with tons of confidence on stage, but who isn't quite as sure off; and Yana, the band's manager, who is smart and efficient and knows how to get things done.  I thought that Evangelista did a fantastic job allowing us to get to know each of them.  Since the characters really were the book (there wasn't a ton of plot, in my opinion), this character development was really important.  This was the key to making Savor a book I wanted to keep reading!
  • Chemistry.  The chemistry between Luka and Dakota was definitely high.  I sometimes thought both of the characters were a bit schizophrenic when it came to whether or not they wanted to follow through on that chemistry, but it was undeniably there.  This led to some very steamy scenes between the two of them!
So, I really wanted to love this book - and I enjoyed reading it, but I found myself waiting for something more to happen and I was never quite satisfied.  That being said, I loved the idea of this book and I plan to go read Taste as soon as possible and I really want to read the next book, Relish.  I highly recommend reading Taste before reading Savor and you need to go into it realizing that this book is doing a lot of setting up for the next book in the series.  I give it  3/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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About the Author
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she lives in the Philippines and writes full time.

Author Links:
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