ARC Review: Savor (Vicious Feast Book 1), by Kate Evangelista

savor_1600Savor (Vicious Feast #1), by Kate Evangelista
Crescent Moon Press
December 2013
Paranormal Fantasy
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.

Again, refer to the warning above.

In Kate Evangelista’s YA paranormal romance, “Taste,” sixteen-year-old Phoenix McCay falls asleep in her school library, misses curfew, and finds herself in the beautiful, and frightening world of Barinkoff Academy’s “night students.” There she becomes the unwitting subject of a science experiment, the obsession of dueling princes, and the catalyst for a long-simmering revolution.

SAVOR brings along the principle characters of the parent novel, personalities and social status included. Phoenix is beautiful and caring, but somewhat trapped in herself. Luka still calls the shots, while Demitri maintains the upper hand in a very delicate dance of mutual love and hate with his cousin. Demetri’s younger brother Dray is geeky and adorable. Luka’s sister, Yana is stylish, savvy, but with her wings clipped by her brother’s tight control. But SAVOR gives these characters a few twists. For starters, former Night Students are no longer bound to their underworld kingdom, burdened by the facts of their very existence. In fact, Evangelista left the world of “Taste” mostly in the Young Adult aisle when she turned her focus to a new heroine.

Dakota Collins is a college senior, whose strength, determination, and independence is plain as day to anyone with eyes. Her depth perception is crippled by an injury that compels her to wear an eye patch, yet she pursues a career as a photographer. She’s talented, driven, and professional. She is amazed that Luka Visraya, the hottest bass player on the planet, would entertain the idea of being the subject of her spring project, but he invites her to spend a month at his house, with unfettered access to the entire band, on condition of a non-disclosure agreement. The only rule seems to not ask questions people don’t want to answer.

Here, Ms. Evangelista gives us “Almost Famous,” set in the Beast’s mansion, with Morpheus at the front gates offering Belle red and blue pills. The world of Vicious, Luka’s band, surpasses her expectations before she even gets to their house. It’s opulent, frenzied, isolating, and at times, mad.

Incapable of taking a bad picture, Luka is a battered doll beneath the skin. He is twenty-something going on fifty under the weight of his father’s expectations, from which his band has been his one relief. There is a trend among celebrities who stop getting told “No.” Michael Jackson and Britney Spears are prime examples, and Luka has all the ingredients in his life to self-destruct. He’s got more money than God and has the privilege to what he wants. He’s overworked, under pressure, depressed, has an alcohol problem, and people cower under his rage.

Dakota shares a lot with Luka in that she is also a battered doll. Horribly scarred, she maintains her self-esteem by pushing everything she has into photography and saying “screw it” to the rest of the world. Unlike Luka, to whom the word “no” would be defiance of his authority, to Dakota “No” is just simply a word. It looms over her with 50-50 odds of being the answer to any question she asks. Thus, she has an advantage over the other occupants of Luka’s household in that she doesn’t have to put up with his crap. He never says as much, but it is clear in their scenes together that Luka loves having someone unafraid to put him in his place. It’s a good thing, too, because the boy needs sensitivity and sexual harassment training.

SAVOR is a fun, sexy introduction to what I anticipate to be a mind-blowing series. It is intended for adults, contains mature (sometimes erotic) subject matter. I would recommend it to fans of NA Paranormal Romance.

***I was given an ARC by the author in return for my honest opinion.***

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