Wicked Game by J. Smith-Ready

So it all started with a really great blog. That’s how I found Jeri Smith-Ready. I never even knew who she was until one of my authors was interviewed by her. When I got to her site, I started reading and found a lot of interesting stuff. Then one day, she starts a contest, looking for a music related charity. She actually does something really great, for every one of her books, Jeri donates 10% of her author royalties to a charity that is specific to the novel. For her newest work, Wicked Game, she was looking for suggestions and was going to give away an ARC of her new novel. I was lucky enough to suggest the winning charity (VH1’s Save the Music) and ended up with an advance copy of Wicked Game.

I received the novel a couple of days ago and I just finished it. I’m kind of conflicted at the moment. Since I won a free copy, an ARC no less, I feel the need to write a raving review. However, I try to be as honest as I can, and while this novel wasn’t bad, it didn’t pull me in either.

We’re given a whole new perspective on vampire life. In Smith-Ready’s vampire culture, a person can obtain immortality in a familiar fashion (being drained and then fed blood), but eternity comes with a bit of a price. A vampire needs to stay in tuned with their “Life Blood”; meaning, if they were turned in the 80s, then they are stuck in the 80’s forever. They also get a case of obsessive compulsive disorder. I know OCD can be a touchy subject, but it’s kind of interesting how it gets used. Throughout the story, we learn more about Ciara through her actions than just being told who she is. The character development is well done for Ciara, but we’re only given snippets of the supporting cast.

The plot is a little bland. We have a villainous vampire who wants to stop Ciara, but we don’t see much of him. We only see the villain for about a chapter and that’s it. There are some hints to his presence, but it’s secondary to the main problem for the vampires – not losing their station to a corporate takeover. And while it’s a big problem for them, it’s not that exciting. I think that’s it. There’s really no excitement or action taking place. There isn’t some villain who is out to destroy the world or massacre hundreds of humans.

Overall, the novel was good. The pace wasn’t fast or slow, and while there wasn’t that much excitement, the story was a good change of pace. The courtship between Ciara and Shane (the male interest) seemed more real than a lot of what I’ve read lately. It wasn’t a quick whirlwind romance or a long drawn out process either. It was actually really good to read a romance that wasn’t centered on getting the participants into each others arms and their beds. While Wicked Game didn’t suck me in, it did keep my interest into finding out how everything works out. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a really good romance.

Also reviewed by:
the Book Girl
Amber Katze

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. You know, the more I read about this novel, the more I think about it and the more I like it. Especially considering the mood I’m in right now. It’s a vampire novel that isn’t too dark (i.e. LKH or Kenyon) or too light (MJDavidson), but it’s enough of both to give me a vampire novel without having the thought processes later. I can still remember different passages from the book even after reading it over a month ago, and if a novel does that, then it has to be good, right?

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