“Family Secrets” by Melissa Zaroski

 photo FamilySecrets_zps64c72474.jpgThe series takes place in the fictional small town of Davenport, IL on the sprawling property of the founding family’s 200-year old Manor.

Emma Davenport is over 200 years old and has remained with her family through the generations, who have accepted her for what she is. Her sixth-great nephew, Daniel Davenport, lives with her on the property as her “younger brother”, who she gained guardianship of when his parents and sister were tragically killed. He is a young Hollywood actor that is the star of a blockbuster movie franchise. 

When the current installment of the movie franchise is filmed on the Davenport property, Emma is completely taken by a human actor that she has adored from afar for years, Todd Foster. Their relationship blossoms, but not without turmoil; mostly stemming from her immortal offspring and partner-in-crime, Zachariah Dancy and her maker, the ancient Scottish/Irish vampire, Aidan O’Shea. The ghosts (literally) of Emma’s past begin to harass Todd, wanting her to fess up for her wrong-doings. 

Emma learns that there’s a reason for her immense attraction to Todd, one that surprises the both of them. With this revelation, Todd’s life is forever changed and will always be in danger, as will Emma’s if she keeps him around. Todd learns that there is more to Emma than just being an average vampire and wonders what kind of future he will face now that she has become a part of his life.

This book was given to Book Reads and Reviews for an honest review by the Author, Melissa Zaroski.

The Review

I’m a big lover of all things paranormal, especially seductive tales of things that go bump in the night. Melissa Zaroski did not disappoint with this vampire tale. It was a clever take on vampires, I was pleased not to see sparkles or “rings” to keep them in the sun, and I enjoyed the wide array of characters.

Ms. Zaroski breathed life into even some of the smaller characters, giving them a charm that made them all likeable. I commend her for giving just enough detail to support them, but not too much.

I loved Emma. She was fierce and lovable at the same time, of course heartbreakingly beautiful, but with a secret… many of them, in fact.

Todd, an actor she had admired for years comes to her home along with other actors to film a movie, and the pull between them is immediate, but not overdone. Significant time passes before their relationship evolves, which I liked.

The problem is that Todd is plagued by the skeletons in Emma’s closet, and to make peace, she has to come clean…

I read the adult version and it was sexy but not gauche, erotic but tasteful at the same time. I do enjoy a raunchy tale, but from time to time it’s nice to read something a little classier, which is what this delivered.

My only pet peeve (and this is incredibly minor and I’m probably the only one who noticed) were the very very few errors (under five in the manuscript). I’m not sure if this was an ARC that was unedited or the published copy, but it did not detract from the story too much. Most wouldn’t notice, but I feel it should be mentioned.

The writing was strong, not too overly detailed but it didn’t completely ‘wow’ me in parts. The beginning was a little slow for me, and it only became truly page turning closer to the end of the book. I have heard that for a writer to be truly great, one must hook the reader in the first page.

I very much enjoyed the twist at the very end, it was definitely not a full on cliffhanger, you had a satisfying end for the characters… but with just enough intrigue to pull you into the next book. I’ll pick up the next in the series and look forward to reading more from Ms. Zaroski.

~”Crimson” (Independent Reviewer for Book Reads and Reviews)