Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde

Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde

3.8 16
by Ash Krafton
     
 

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Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who is saving the world - one damned person at a time.

Shy and sensitive Sophie has all but given up on love until she meets Marek, a mysterious stranger who seduces her with his striking good looks and his take-charge attitude. Yet the darkness she senses within him may be more than she is prepared to handle when Marek draws her

Overview

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who is saving the world - one damned person at a time.

Shy and sensitive Sophie has all but given up on love until she meets Marek, a mysterious stranger who seduces her with his striking good looks and his take-charge attitude. Yet the darkness she senses within him may be more than she is prepared to handle when Marek draws her into a world of vampires, werewolves, and treachery. Forced to leave behind the comfortable routines and certainties of her past, Sophie makes unbearable sacrifices and uncovers hidden truths about herself and the world around her.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A meet-cute at an Egyptian antiquities exhibit draws self-confessed bleeding-heart advice columnist Sophie Galen into the orbit of Marek Thurzo, a moody mystery man with “Paul Newman lips” and an intense interest in Sophie from the moment they meet. In short order, Marek introduces Sophie to a secret underworld of vampires, werewolves, and demivampires—his own kind, vampire precursors who can still walk in daylight and have not yet lost their souls. Sophie herself has a destiny among “the DV,” as she learns to her considerable peril. Krafton’s paranormal romance will appeal most to readers who have outgrown Twilight but think the Anita Blake books are too salacious. It’s competently written and deft with wish-fulfillment, though the serviceable plot is largely constructed to ensure that the heroine remains devoted to her dangerous lover, no matter how great the risk to her own life and sanity. (Mar.)
Romance Times - Cindy Himler
"This is an enjoyable read that will keep one's interest."
Shadows of Romance - Tricia Schneider
"This novel is filled with light and dark, good and evil, and a love that is tested beyond all limits. Ash Krafton's writing is amazing and I simply cannot wait to read the next book in this series."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780982991367
Publisher:
Pink Narcissus Press
Publication date:
03/28/2012
Pages:
370
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.77(d)

Meet the Author

Ash Krafton’s writing credits include stories published in Absent Willow Review, Silver Blade, and Bête Noire. Several of her poems have been published, as well, one of which was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is a member of Pennwriters and is also a contributor to the Query Tracker blog.

BLEEDING HEARTS won grand prize in the Maryland Writers’ Association 2008 competition and has since won several other national novel writing contests, including achievement of finalist rankings in six Romance Writers of America competitions. A sequel, BLOOD RUSH, is nearing completion and a follow-up, WOLF’S BANE, is underway.

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Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
BrandiBea More than 1 year ago
Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton is such an amazing book! I have been recommending it to everyone. The writing is great and the story is so refreshing to all of the vampire books that are out now. I loved Sophie, she is smart and witty and I love her sarcasm. Marek is the perfect bad boy with issues but has a sensitive side. I think my absolutely favorite character in the whole book is Rodrian, Marek's brother, because he has sexy features and is just hilarious! This book has romance, action, mystery, and Egyptian history. I couldn't wait for Blood Rush to come out!!!
BrandieC More than 1 year ago
While I enjoy paranormal and urban fantasy, I am generally not a big fan of paranormal romance. I point this out only to emphasize how good Bleeding Hearts had to be for me to give it 4 stars. The character of Sophie had me hooked from the very first page. She came alive immediately, and her voice sounded just like that of an old friend. Having become attached to Sophie instantaneously, I was fully invested in her relationship with Marek, so much so that I spent the last third of the book crying because I could feel Sophie's pain radiating off of the page. Bleeding Hearts succeeds for me, where other paranormal romances do not, because Sophie is not the usual kick-ass heroine. She is just as human as I am; while her Sophia gift is more extensive that normal human empathy, it bears enough similarity that I was able to identify with Sophie's emotions. While the Demimonde series, at least as represented by this first entry, may not have the action of many paranormal series, it more than makes up for that with its emotional depth. I will be reading and reviewing Blood Rush, the second in the series, within the next week, and I can't wait to see what happens. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
sarahconerty More than 1 year ago
For those readers who love paranormal romance but don't enjoy graphic sex scenes, this is the book for you. The few references to physical romance are very chaste with absolutely no descriptive action whatsoever. While the romance of Sophie and Marek is the focus of this story, it is set against a backdrop of a political web of power-mongering between DV and vampires fighting for territory and manipulating humans. The really exciting action comes towards the end, when Sophie is kidnapped and Marek is taken. I really enjoyed the fast pace, the truly scary Master Vampire character, and the steadily increasing tension of Marek being forcibly evolved. I could not stop reading! I feel like Sophie really redeemed herself in this part of the book, and I ended up caring about her, enough so that I am really looking forward to BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2),
PureJonel More than 1 year ago
Any book that can evoke more than one intense emotion is worth reading.  And I don’t mean a little giggle here, a little tug at your heart there.  I mean, full blown laughing out loud at one point, bringing tears to your eyes at another, edge of your seat curiosity and suspense at yet another point.  This novel provides that to the reader, and more. The history and mythology wound through and into this story is absolutely brilliant.  Not only is it wound seamlessly into the storyline, but it is also mythologically correct (before she runs with it, of course).  She takes Egyptian mythology and creates a phenomenally unique creation myth for both vampires and Weres.  The mythological accuracy of the beginnings of this creation myth make it all the more believable and help her create a world that you can actually visualise. The descriptive techniques that Krafton employs bring this world to life.  You can actually see each and every element of the town in which these people find themselves living their day to day lives.  It is a very dark world, but it is vivid all the same.  The characters are the same.  They are brought to life in a manner that is fitting to their dark outlooks on life.  They are also uniquely suited to their roles within the story as a whole. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  It was very well written.  There was a while through the middle where the novel just meandered along its storyline, but as a whole it was a very cohesive unit that left you wanting the sequel.  
msigmond More than 1 year ago
Had potential but missed it for me This is a confusing book to review. The best way I know how to say it, is that it had a lot of 4 star moments, but it had a lot more 2 star moments. The biggest problem with the book in my opinion was the pacing. We start with a premonition in the opening chapter, and we don’t get any more information for almost a fourth of the book. Then we get a sudden reveal, and back to nothing happening for another fourth of the book. What in the world is supposed to make me get through this suspense? The only reason I kept reading was because I got the book as a review copy and felt obligated to finish. In retrospect, I imagine it was supposed to be the love story that kept me distracted. Perhaps if that had been done well, then I would have joined Sophie in following its unexpected development and then it would have added even more to the plot later on. Instead, I found the relationship very forced and unnatural, and couldn’t figure out why we were spending any time at all with it. They supposedly enjoyed talking for hours, but the only examples we have of that are research related or depressing, and the attraction was only described as how hunky he was or something. I just wanted to get on with the story. I will take my own advice and briefly highlight my remaining thoughts on this book: - the emotional descriptions in the book were all technically proficient, but lacking a core spark or authenticity to make it real to me - the author knows how to write poetically, and I would occasionally admire a flowery phrase, but more often I found the embellishments distracting and hard to read past - the storyline and contexts were very disjointed. I often got confused jumping from scene to scene, and back again, and motivations and descriptions would change, sometimes in the same scene, that left me wondering what was really happening - the lack of information on the paranormal universe was very frustrating, and our naivety was used against us in contrived plot twists that could have been avoided with a few simple questions - the word "evolution" was used to describe a process that was not evolution, which I found annoying - The main character was presented as an intelligent, cautious person, and yet she made at least two incredibly foolish decisions that seemed out of place and ruined the character for me All that said, by the time I got to the end of the book, I actually did care about the characters. The critical scenes at the end of the book actually were hair-raising and I flipped from page to page. And during a few moments I actually thought I might shed a tear or two. But these moments were unexpected because I was so numb at the point to what was going on. I remember thinking at the halfway point, wow, this book could have been so much better if they had just deleted the first 20 chapters. It was like that. The book definitely had potential, the author obviously is gifted, but too many things kept getting in the way to make it anything but an average book, hence 3 stars.
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Spamicka More than 1 year ago
this book was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!! The moment I picked up this book and read a few pages I was hooked, I had stayed up all night reading this and had spent a part of today finishing it up. It was totally a boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy, girl finds power, boy goes fights enemy, and girl loses boy story. Mareck, was interested in Sophie the moment he met her, Sophie became interested in the first moment she had thought she met him. They dated for a but, then one night they witnessed someone being attacked and kill, the killer being a vampire. Marek was a demivampire not fully a vampire. Vampire's in this story are created in a different way than I have ever read. They have to lose their soul to become a vampire, until then they are only demivampire. I loved the use of Egyptian history in this. And the details of the scenery and the character detail was awesome, I felt I was right there watching everything play out in front of me. I also love the uniqueness is some of the names. Basically the only other thing I can say about this book though is, When is the next one Coming out. P.S. I loved this book soooooo much it has been placed on my favorites list and I will recommend this book to everyone I know. :) A definite must read. Thank you Ash Krafton for this wonderful new series. YAY EXCITED FOR BLOOD RUSH & WOLF'S BANE:D
cpoirrier More than 1 year ago
I received this book in exchange for an honest review... The story of Sophie & Marek is touching and emotional (although lacking in the physical). The author builds the characters beautifully. However I just wish she would have went into more detail with the Egyptian mythology...I love the idea (reminds me of Anne Rice but different)! At the end of the book I was left hungering for more info on the world of the demivamps and the relationship with the Fallen. I liked that once the DV "fell" the character changes...a result of the soul leaving the body. I will be watching for the second in the Demimonde series!
JackieBCentralTexasJB More than 1 year ago
Read from August 20 to 21, 2012 Book Synopsis Sophie Galen is an advice columnist whose work leaves her neck-deep in other people’s problems. Thanks to her compassion, her gut instinct, and her magnetic charm, Sophie really knows how to attract little black clouds. Marek Thurzo is no little black cloud; he’s a maelstrom. Marek is Demivampire, a race with the potential to evolve into vampire. A warrior who’s taken his share of spiritual damage, he hovers dangerously close to destruction. He seeks salvation. She’s driven to save him. But what if he can’t be saved? Sympathy for his plight becomes true empathy as Sophie’s hidden nature is revealed. Marek suspects she may be one of the Sophia, oracle and redemption of the damned Demivampire. She alone can turn back the evolutionary clock. All she needs is the courage to face her fears. Can she save him from Falling? My Thoughts I have to say that the character of Sophie Galen is a refreshing blend of innocent and jaded, she has seen so much that life has left it's scars on her soul but at the same time she still has so much empathy and compassion for others that she wants to save as many of them from their pain that she possibly can. Sophie meets Marek for the first time on a street corner, she is giving change and a travel token to a beggar and Marek makes a comment about the fact that she is giving money to someone who will either use it for drugs or drink rather than the food she intended it for. Not a very auspicious start to their acquaintance. Later on Sophie again meets Marek in one of her favorite museum exhibits, this time he is suave and perfectly turned out the better to charm her into chatting and before the two know it they spend hours together. The relationship grows and the two become closer, one night though things change for Sophie when she and Marek are witnesses to a brutal killing by a "creature" that appears human but when he turns into the light Sophie realizes that he is actually not. Marek is left with no choice but to finally explain to her exactly what he is and exactly what he could become if follows the destiny that fate has laid out for him. This story has some familiar themes that the author has taken and made her own by introducing a different vampire mythology that has it's roots in Egyptian culture and folklore, not only does it freshen up the theory of where vampires originated but it also opens the reader up to thinking long and hard on what is the lesser of two evils. Marek has a younger brother Rodrian and together they have spent many years protecting the human population from wholesale slaughter by the dreaded vampires. In doing so they have also made a powerful enemy in the Master vampire who wishes to make Marek give in and embrace his darkness. Rodrian and his youngest daughter become very close to Sophie as her relationship with Marek deepens. Readers will enjoy their camaraderie together as it provides Sophie a taste of belonging to the family that she has never had. One of my favorite characters in the book though has to be Sophie's best friend and childhood sweetheart, Jared is now a priest but they remain close and he is her sounding board when she needs someone to help her when she is troubled. This is not a story about "sparkly vampires", it is a dark paranormal romance with heart and feeling and the themes of friends, family, honor, sacrifice and responsibility are firmly at the fore as one reads. The author has taken the best of the lore of vampire and used it in this tale to tantalize the reader into turning the pages, along with that she has added her own unique twist of mystical mythology that puts this book that one step it takes to make it stand out from the rest of the genres offerings. I enjoyed seeing how it all came together and think that others who like their vampires to be more than just a "pretty face" will also. [EArc from author in exchange for honest review]
kimmarie211 More than 1 year ago
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This was so slow in the beginning that I almost gave up on it. I wasn't connecting with the characters and didn't feel like their chemistry was really connecting either. But then somewhere about half way thru, I got sucked in. And ZOOM! The book took off. The connections were all there and I got truly involved with the story line - it was a great take on a saturated vampire market. The angst that the characters have was believable - I even was emotional at the end. I can not wait for the next one!
mzserena More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. When I first started reading this book, I wasn't all that enthused. It was incredibly slow and didn't draw me in as quickly as some books I've read, but I stuck with it because the premise of the book intrigued me greatly. Once I got a couple chapters in, I was hooked. I loved the way Marek and Sophie interacted. I loved the way the story developed. I absolutely loved how the vampires were integrated into the story. Sophie is an advice columnist who can't help but try to fix everyone she meets. When she meets Marek, her entire life changes and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The story is a boy meets girl romance with a twist of vampire lore. It's got the action you'd expect when dealing with vampires but it's not overwhelming and in your face. The only thing that bothers me about the story - IT MADE ME CRY. Books don't do that to me often. I'm now looking forward to the next book. I want more.
NiinaCs_Blog More than 1 year ago
Sophie Galen has a great deal of empathy for her fellow man, she's an advice columnist, destined to help people, unable to turn another way, but when she meets Marek she sees a man tortured and dark, and she knows he needs her help, wither he wants to acknowledge it or not. Marek is drawn to Sophie, her light and kindness, a stark opposite of his life as one of the Demivampires, a creature evolving to be a vampire, one of the dead soulless monsters. Marek suspects she's a Sophia Oracle a woman with the essence of Isis with the power to help the demivampires, to stop the evolution to something straight out of nightmares. Bleeding Hearts was absolutely amazing reading experience! Krafton writes with heart, emotions and skill and it shows! I absolutely loved the language, it was perfect, engaging and entertaining the reader. I rarely come across books so well written, but Bleeding Hearts was so enjoyable to read that you could tell the first few pages in that is was going to be great! The plot was deep and thorough, this book was an introduction to the demivampire world, everything got told, and it was done gradually over time while the plot still moved on and the characters become people instead of staying as just mere characters. I loved the subplot, and it kept nagging in the back of my mind as the main plot proceeded, loved it! The characters were completely believable, they shared common emotions, big and small and they all became likeable and some lovable. Sophie, in who's point of view the whole book is in, you can't help but love she's generally sarcastic in the wholehearted way and not just when it suits the story. She's really wise and kind, without being a push over or stereotypic oracle. She was so entertaining to read, a superb heroine! The romance was in the background, there was some but not much, I loved Marek's passion and intense focus on Sophie but seriously who dates and waits over a month to hit the sack together when the attraction so obviously is there. That was the only thing that lowered the rating of this book - I would have wanted more romance, it wouldn't have had to be graphic or anything, but I needed to have it there. But it's no more than a ½ star knowdown as the book is so good even without the romantic element being stronger. In all Bleeding Hearts was a super read! And I highly recommend it to Urban Fantasy lovers and Sweet Paranormal Romances fans - and if you aren't a lover or a fan but can stand vampires give this ago, the writing is fantastic!
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