Review: Craved (Gwen Sparks #1) by Stephanie Nelson
Gwen Sparks, a witch who owns a small magic shop in the outworldly town of Flora, WA, is thrust into the middle of crime solving when witches begin to turn up dead. Her ability to read the newly dead’s last thoughts is instrumental in solving the crimes. When it’s discovered that witch’s blood is the new ‘drug of choice’ for young vampires, she becomes the killer’s prime target.
- Title: Craved
- Series: Gwen Sparks #1
- Author: Stephanie Nelson
- Prominent Characters: Gwen, Aiden, Micah
- Recommended Reader Age: 18+
- Sexual Content Level: moderate
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Someone is draining witches in the otherwise peaceful town of Flora, WA. Gwen Sparks, a young but powerful witch, gets pulled into the action because of her ability to ‘read’ the memories of the dead. The story opens with Gwen being approached in her magic shop, Broomsticks, by a handsome vampire, Aiden Blake, who has been pursuing her romantically for two years.
When Gwen watches the news and sees the story of a young witch found dead, she feels compelled to volunteer her gift to help the investigation, even though she dreads seeing Micah Reynolds, a detective with the Flora police department, who broke her heart when he dumped her to mate with someone of his own kind.
Ms. Nelson does a good job of showing the connection that remains between Gwen and Micah, and also Gwen’s reluctance to allow herself to fall in love with Aiden. All three characters seem to play a constant game of flirting and teasing, which at one point becomes a bit redundant. The sexual tension between Aiden and Gwen is well done, the love scenes felt a bit rushed, but enjoyable. The jealousy and remaining feelings between Micah and Gwen are easy to feel.
Although Gwen is a powerful witch, she seems reluctant to use her magic unless prodded, which isn’t explained. For example she walks in the rain getting completely drenched. When her employee at the shop asks her why she didn’t conjure an umbrella, she replies that there was too much on her mind. Getting soaked should have been a big hint. She then magically repairs her hair and face, but leaves her clothes wet.
The storyline was a bit hard to follow at times, especially when getting snagged by discrepancies. Aiden’s age changed from 315 to 615 years old. Which mattered later when he was faced with an older, stronger vamp. Gwen’s friend called to tell her Micah was waiting for her in their apartment, but when she got home he wasn’t there. He did show up later, with Aiden. For some reason the vamp and werewolf always showed up at exactly the same time, which made me giggle. Also, the time that had passed since Gwen had sex, changed from 8 months to two years, neither made sense since she and Micah had broken up a year earlier and he was her last lover.
Craved is a cute story and a quick read. I did enjoy reading it and wish that I could give it a higher rating, but I honestly struggled getting past the too many mistakes.
This vamp has a healthy self esteem…
“A woman as beautiful as you should have an equally beautiful man to accompany her to the Gala,” he said.
Just kiss me!
”You are the most complicated person I’ve ever met! One minute you’re trying to seduce me and the next you’re pushing every single one of my ‘piss-me-off’ buttons. How I’ve dealt with you for the past two years is beyond me.”
The idea for this story is good and I liked the characters, especially Micah and Aiden, Ms. Nelson did a good job and they stood out. If only Gwen were less flat and we could get to know her better it would make a much better read.