Title: Roses for Rachel
Author: Shelby V Painter
Genre: Fiction/ Romance/ Fantasy/ Vampire/ YA
Favourite Quote: ‘I don’t know how to feel about anything anymore. I used to pride myself on always being so in control of my emotions and my strength, but since I’ve arrived here it has been tested over and over and I can feel myself losing grip. The thought should be scary, that I’m losing myself somehow, but at the same time, I almost feel like I’m being more me these last few days than I’ve been in a long time. The scariest thing to me though is the fact that I’ve stopped using my free time to look for exits.’
At the age of 10, Rachel was too young to realise that the man she followed in the toy store was going to change her life forever. Kidnapped and sent off to another country to a boarding school with girls just like her; Drighten Boarding School, the home of stolen girls, a stone fortress in the middle of nowhere with no chance of escape. Her captives deem themselves the hero in this story, after all, they’ve saved each girl from vampires that have overpowered the government, ensuring the survival of the human race, they’ve been saving girls all over the world.
Knowing that there was no one left to go back too, no one dared to escape.
Rachel knew that when she turned 18, she would be moved to another school for boys and girls, something the other girls were excited over. Personally, she was just looking forward to finally leaving the building that held her captive for the last 8 years. When they finally turned up at their new destination, they quickly found themselves shackled with bags over their heads. It became very clear to them in that moment that they weren’t the key to saving the human race at all, they were instead auctioned off to the very beings that haunted their nightmares – vampires. Rachel wasn’t just purchased by any buyer either, she was purchased to compete for royalty along with five other girls. An opportunity of a lifetime they tell her. A chance to become their vampire princess, or die.
‘Someone had come up behind me and thrown a black fabric bag over my head. I could feel hands on the tops of my shoulders as a voice filled my ear.
“It is your lucky day, you’ve been chosen.”‘
I discovered Shelby V Painter on WattPad where you’ll find that she has uploaded the whole trilogy for Roses for Rachel, (#2 Anything for Rachel & #3 Forever for Rose) I would definitely recommend reading them all if you enjoy the first one. They do not disappoint. You’ll noticed a few grammatical errors but you’ll forgive her for that as the story will keep you wanting more, I read all three books in a weekend.
Vampire romance took a turn when Twilight was released, it put me off them for a long time, reading the same story became a drag – a human meets a vampire, they fall in love, the world is against them, they fight through it to stay together – ideally immortal, forever. Blah Blah Blah.
Roses for Rachel caught my eye because of the story approach into the supernatural. Being kidnapped as a child in a toy store to be secretly groomed to be a human blood bag, royalty or to simply die without knowing it. A different approach indeed.
When Rachel discovered she was one of five captive girls taken from a ‘feeding school’ to compete for the Prince’s hand in a competition, shock wasn’t the word to cover it. It was interesting to see how her character kept a level head in her situation, fear for her friend more than her own safety, discovering that vampires were real and using her to take part in their royal game (…The Hunger Games rings a bell) yet silently resenting her bedroom colour and daydreaming of food when confronting the prince for the first time. Rachel has a great personality, she does occasionally snap and get emotional but then wouldn’t anyone in her position? She fights the attention and the competition to keep as much of her humanity as possible, never acting more than who she is, which is exactly what pulls her towards the Prince.
Prince Calvin is to be expected, a bored immortal royal who doesn’t want the responsibility of being King and ruling over the vampires. The competition pushed on him by his father, Calvin was going to at least get a blood bag out of the mess, that is of course, before he met Rachel. The girl who would rather be at the buffet table than spend time with him. A curiosity that bloomed into something more. It was so predictable that the rest of the story almost became pointless.. almost. The story continued to pull me in to find out how it ended. What I really enjoyed about Calvin was how he developed as a character alongside his feelings for Rachel, he began to care for his people and decided on his own independant path throughout the event that at first was meaningless to him.
‘Prince Calvin shook his head as he spun me again, then pulled me back and lowered me into a deep dip. “Does my very presence offend you that much, or are you still only focusing on the dessert table?” He asked with a hint of humor slipping into his tone as he brought me up slowly.
“I think I’ll just stop speaking.” I whispered and he tilted his head down slightly to look at me, but the second his eyes caught mine he looked away again, almost like he was nervous too.’
The additional characters were really well told. I for one can definitely imagine Stanley Tucci playing the role of Master Pedro, Rachel’s eccentric friend/ mentor who act’s like he’s above all else at the beginning but actually becomes an important aspect of her life within the royal home of Castrum De Petra. If the book ever became a film and they didn’t have Stanley Tucci then I will be thoroughly disappointed.
The author did a great job at setting the scene to really put yourself in the moment, the settings around the dark underground city tunnelled underground where the vampires lived were greatly detailed from the royal chambers, the ballroom, the dungeons and the secret garden. The character development was great, each character playing an important role whether big or small. The story had many twists and turns which always kept me wanting more, overall I really enjoyed the trilogy and would definitely recommend it for a vampire romance lover.
I was sure the worst thing to ever happen to me would be being kidnapped, and sure, that was pretty bad. What was worse though was being kidnapped, held captive for years, and then being auctioned off to the highest bidder. I thought maybe I had caught a little break when I found out that me and five other girls were being sold to royalty, but I should have known something about that wasn’t right either.
Under the cover of eternal darkness, and deep beneath the ground, was a whole world I never knew existed, one that promised to be more than anything I could imagine. The people who bought us told us we would have a life of a princess, but there were only two catches…
1. We would be competing against each other for the affection of the Prince who would change our whole lives by picking one of us to rule at his side.
2. That prince just happened to be a vampire.