Review: Once Upon a Hallow’s Eve by Danielle Garrett

Reviewed by Debz

This is an urban fantasy romance with vampires (wooohooo!!!!!) The heroine here is Lacey Vaughn, basically the princess of American vampires and her love interest, Matthias Hartford.

Lady Lacey, daughter of the ‘Baron of the East’ has been summoned by her father back into the fold. After being on self imposed exile for 3 or so years, her father has commanded her to come back home and she has two options, come voluntarily or be brought back.

Upon her return, her father informs her and the court that she will be wedded on the annual Hallow’s Eve all. Not only will she be married, her husband will be chosen via a tournament of the blood. For context on the tournament of the blood, think of sweaty men, fighting each other in pairs, until one surrenders or dies until there is one victor.

Lacey is rightly horrified by this announcement; not only has she been forced to move back into the house she grew up in with the an unfeeling, power hungry vampire king (I know right!!) she isn’t even given the choice of suitors because the eight men have already been chosen for her.

Immediately we get to know the two main contenders; Matthias and Jerrod. Jerrod is a creepy turned vampire (as opposed to an upper class ‘bornling’) who has served Lacey’s father for 100s of years. He’s a misogynistic brute, with bad breath (using my creative licence here) who wants to win the competition so that he can dominate Lacey and, in turn, rule the court. Matthias, on the other hand, is Vampire nobility and is seemingly only in the competition to appease his mother and her trusty psychic.

After one of the contestants is killed during the opening ceremony and Lacey’s best friend Jupiter is kidnapped, Lacey is taken to live with Matthias for a few days until the dust settles or the culprits are caught. Here they get to know each other and if not fall in love, at least stop detesting each other.

My one problem with this book is that it was not as fleshed out as it could have been. It says that this is the first in the Haven Paranomal Romance series, so I expected more world building. The author did say that Lacey was a character in a Beechwood Harbour Magic Mysteries series, so maybe reading those first might have made all the difference.

Lacey and Matthias continue to fall in love as they try to find her best friend and uncover the secrets her father and his cohorts are keeping. The best friend search was also a little sketchy for me. After reading books about heroines who would literally go to the ends of the earth for their friends, Lacey’s attitude to the whole kidnapping ordeal was a little sub par for me. I just felt like she could have done a little bit more, pushed a little harder.

Lacey uncovers her father’s plans for the vampire nation and (gasp) finds out that another person from her past has their own plan for a coup against her father and drastically change the supernatural world as we know it. It’s up to Lacey and her trusty sidekick Matthias to stop the shenanigans.

My final verdict: The book is a great introduction, but a little too short. The world building could be better and more thorough. Lacey could be a little more kickass.

Since this is the first book in a series, I hope all these are rectified in the next one.

Rating: C+ (I might rethink this rating when the other books come out.)

Click to purchase: Amazon

Once Upon a Hallow’s Eve
by Danielle’s Grant
Release Date: October 31, 2018

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