Book Review | Jorie’s 1st-ever #vampireromance “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens A new paranormal trilogy by #IndiePub ChocLitUK! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 40 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

{ A Special #ChocLitSaturdays on my 2nd Blogoversary! }

Acquired Book By:

I am a ChocLit reviewer who receives books of my choice in exchange for honest reviews! I received a complimentary copy of “Dance Until Dawn” from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Growing up with Buffy & Angel:

I met my first vampire when I was thirteen whilst on holiday in New Orleans as I watched the motion picture “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry. Perry I knew from 90210 as most of us who grew up in the 1980/90s were an appreciator of the series; however, Swanson was new to me then, but would later re-appear in another favourite series “Early Edition”. My parents had a meeting they were attending in the city, so I vegged out seeing Buffy whilst consuming copious amounts of bread pudding; courtesy of ‘room service’. This first introduction led me to the tv series spin-off lateron, wherein I would come to feel attached to both Buffy and Angel respectively. For me, the appeal of the tv series faded when Angel left, which is why I said ‘good-bye’ to Sunnydale and hallo to Los Angeles!

Along the way, I have contemplated reading works of vampire fiction, as my best friend in high school had an affinity for them, yet personally I couldn’t get the appeal myself. I respected Anne Rice as a writer and researcher, but as far as soaking inside one of her novels? I fear I side-stepped the notion because I had a feeling based on what my friend disclosed to me, I would have a very difficult time appreciating the narrative as a whole. Other vampire works would come up in conversation, but I sided with my joy in watching the tv serials, until of course, Angel left my interest too by jumping the rails on story-lines and believability. A bit quirky perhaps that the ‘believability’ was an issue for me, but it was!

I settled into Gothic Lit and Southern Gothic Lit as a gateway into psychological suspense and Gothic settings of atmospheric intrigue as a way to encompass what I was attracted too without going full throttle down a rabbit hole I might not enjoy visiting. Strangely, it is within these realms of literature I found sure footing and have continued to find myself attracted to books published fitting under one or both of these card catalogue headings.

One novel stands out to me as being potentially a ‘vampire’ novel except to say, I have only read the first several chapters of it and am uncertain where it’s leading me in the end; this would be “The Accursed” by Joyce Carol Oates. When I first discovered this novel from my local library I cannot even properly recollect the joy in devouring her narrative voice and the gutting suspense of ‘wondering’ what was truly going on. Thus, if you have read this novel, do not spoilt for me!

On my connection to Ms Stevens:

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms Courtenay, Ms Harris, and Ms Gover, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms Stevens, either through #ChocLitSaturday chats or privately. We have been lightly talking about Gothic Lit and Vampire fiction since I first attempted to read Dance Until Dawn during Horror October 2014! I must say, it was through these conversations I garnished a newfound respect for Gothic Lit and even started to form a curiosity about reading Dracula as I had previously felt the novel was something completely different than it is! I find conversations like these quite the blessing, because you get to find like-minded persons who share your interests whilst endeavouring to expand your horizons in literature at the same time!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Stevens through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

Book Review | Jorie’s 1st-ever #vampireromance “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens A new paranormal trilogy by #IndiePub ChocLitUK! #ChocLitSaturdaysDance Until Dawn

Do you Believe in Love After Life?

At twenty-two, West-End dancer, Ellie Wakefield should be having the time of her life. The only problem is, since waking up in a three-hundred-year-old vampire’s leaky cellar, Ellie’s been very much dead. And to make matters worse, she’s found that an aversion to blood and a fear of the dark aren’t very helpful – especially when you’re a fledgling vampire.

William James Austen has fallen hard. He’s spent the last year loving Ellie from afar and now he’s finally able to be truthful about who and what he is. As the most powerful vampire in London, he’s used to getting what he wants. But this time, Will might just have bitten off more than he can chew.

*originally published as Fledging in 2011

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: The London Vampire Chronicles, Immortals of London

Also in this series: Revenge is Sweet Cover Reveal

on 7th April, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 356

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Will Austen has his own Twitter! (@austen_will)

Read updates on the London Vampire Chronicles Blog!

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #ChocLit, #DanceUntilDawn OR #LondonVampireChronicles

About Berni Stevens

Berni Stevens lives in a four-hundred-year-old cottage in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, son and black cat. She trained in graphic design and has worked as a book cover designer for more than twenty years.
Books and art remain her passion, and her love of the paranormal began when she first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, aged fourteen. She is now on both the committee and the book panel of the Dracula Society, a society for fans of gothic literature and film.

Berni has had several short stories published, and her first novel, Fledgling, – a paranormal romance – was published in the US. This is Berni’s debut novel with Choc Lit and the first in a series of three.

Comparatively speaking, on ‘vampires’:

Considering my limited experience with vampires, and the fact I have only watched a few family-friendly Halloween motion pictures which depict vampires alongside ordinary characters (outside of Buffy & Angel), you could say my ‘sense’ of what constitutes recognition in vampirism boils down to Angel (and his alter ego Angelus), Spike, and Darla as they were the main focus on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Uniquely enough the obtuse introduction on behalf of Will in Dance Until Dawn reminded me of Spike, except without the snarky cheeky humour he was on point to share with his friends. Will is a classical rare breed where he doesn’t like to admit he’s faltered to acknowledge an anomaly in his plans nor a deviation to his goals. In this, his arrogance overtakes his relatablility because he’s too centered on his ego and his uniquely heightened je ne sais quoi!

Whilst Will first took Ellie out and about under the cover of night, I started to warm up to him as a character because his brute exterior was starting to melt a bit more. He’s a complicated character because he’s brooding behind a past he doesn’t want to yield to Ellie, even if it means he is to become misunderstand by the reader at the same time. How this reminds me dearly of Buffy and Angel; how vampires by nature are private creatures who’d rather not show their inner selves to anyone, lest the person they believe has overtaken their heart. Despite a few flutterings of recognition, what I appreciated was the refreshing newness to Dance Until Dawn, as I don’t want to spoilt it but let’s just say by most vampire standards Ellie is lacking two key elements to her survival and this made me appreciate her even more!

My Review of Dance Until Dawn:

Will is not the easiest vampire for a girl to warm up too nor is he completely atypical of his kind; being self-centered and focused solely on what appeases his nature is quite expected. I’d have to say as far as rendering himself a vamp a girl can trust at the jump-start, he has a bit of learning to do on his method towards encouraging trust! He takes everything quite literally without empathy for giving the bare bones truth of a situation it’s own merit of place in a conversation without sympathising with the confusion which comes along with it. He’s quite difficult in a lot of ways to be around as he’s a bit absolute yet there is a part of him which yields when his heart’s affection is on the line. Will is most definitely a bloke whose personality of character is one part paradoxical and one part overtly confident to a fault.

Ellie is handling her sudden switch-out of realities from life to death with the frank honesty of being completely wigged out and holding on with a thin line of sanity! Going on a full-on whinge and bailing out on the incredulous truth of accepting what her captor has attempted to tell her, I found Ellie to be quite relatable in showing how you can be plucked out of your ordinary life and dealt a set of circumstances that would test the will of any tenaciously strong woman!

I love lush depictions of a setting inside of a novel, and getting to know Hampstead (a northern corridor of a suburb to London) was quite a smashing find! I liked how it echoed a reminder to me of the East Village in NYC with the Heath being a bit like Central Park; this natural oasis in a highly dense metro city where you would not fathom to find such natural beauty amongst the city dwellers! I like finding places within well-known cities which take you a step outside the normal route of exploration; digging inside a little hidden niche where time and place were curated with care. I could definitely understand why Will wanted to take Ellie here, it was a way of giving her back a part of her soul.

Vampires do not like to play by the rules, and knowing how they are territorial, it did not take me by surprise that a bit of drama would evolve out of an old relationship gone sour. Will Austen has a side to his personality that is intense and shockingly fused to his internal rage; or in other words, a bloke who has not yet learnt to temper his emotions. Ellie is both startled silly and silent whilst admiring the power beneath the boiling level of Will’s temperament; to me this was the moment she started to view Will with a level of respect and caution. There is an undercurrent issue with their sanctuary at his estate from being disrupted by the woman who turnt Will originally. His is such a sad and gutting story of how a grieving widow could be innocently vulnerable,… yet is how he managed to take a sad beginning and built up a life around himself which truly starts to draw your empathy for his plight.

Oh, my dear goodness — how I had forgotten a bit about what happens when vampires take up arms and set about to fight each other to the death! I loved seeing the companionship between Will’s army of friends taking a stance against his arch nemesis Khiara, as it brought back happier memories of my Sunnydale days. Truly what stood out to me was the strength Ellie had throughout this whole discourse of a life shift. She not only re-found her own confidence in who she was but she took an incredibly difficult situation and turnt it into her own personal path of growth.

I flinched a few times as I never could quite get through a full-on fight scene with vamps in the past without wondering why they cannot just be civil and get-on with each other diplomatically! Aye. It’s the building of the relationship between Ellie and Will I appreciated the most; how she challenged him and how he vexed her. Complete opposites by most angles of perception and it’s how they realise who they are to each other in the end, that makes Dance Until Dawn an enduring story full of love.

I happen to fancy the title of the novel, as ‘Fledging’ was a good designation originally as it was exactly who Ellie is for the better part of the story; a newly alive vampire. ‘Dance Until Dawn’ to me implies that for whichever amount of hours are left before the dawn first starts to break across the horizon, we’re meant to take ourselves up in the dance of life until our feet and minds are fully entwined in a surplus of joy. To dance is not limited to an expression of art but rather a state of mind and wellness.

Appreciating duality of creativity from Ms Stevens: cover art design & narrative voice:

Rather than penning a vampire novel in a way I thought it might become revealed on the page, Stevens happily surprised me by giving a dual perspective through both the present action and dialogue with segue ways cutting back into Will’s private moments with his journals. In this representation of his internal thoughts completely vulnerable to his innermost core of being, we start to see different layers of his personality which become hidden and cloaked from view whilst he is in the presence of Ellie. I liked this shifting back and forth, because it proved he was more complicated than he wanted to appear, and a bit more tenderhearted than I think he’d dare want me to reveal too!

Stevens has a keen sense on how to present Will in a way that is not quite attractive in the beginning yet gives you time to warm to him whilst reading what he is scribbling into his journal. He’s a bit like a newfound father trying to capture all the moments of a young babe’s life, as he’s quite protective of his ‘fledging’ as he refers to Ellie during her transition from human to vampire. It is through this incubator period both of them are seen in their raw emotional and most inquisitive states. A brilliant move on Stevens to give us something to chew on whilst we’re sorting out how we feel about Will!

Prior to reading Dance Until Dawn I have happily been drawing readers attention whenever I speak about ChocLit novels to the cover art designs of Ms Stevens! I am happily amazed each time I find a new cover she’s designed as she tends to match the exterior mood and scenes with the stories which are so happily devoured by yours truly! I appreciate seeing ChocLit use a cover art designer like Ms Stevens, as her art comes across refreshingly original, as too oft I find covers to be a bit too generic and/or predictable yet hardly ever pertinent to the story! I’ve caught a few errors along the way reading other novels, but mostly, it’s when the design doesn’t echo the characters or story I find my ire kicked up a bit! I wish other publishers of Romance would take as much time to consider their covers as the publishers and authors who are hiring Ms Stevens!

When it comes to a Berni Stevens cover art design I find myself wicked excited to jump-dive into the text because part of what appeals to all of us is the art on a novel. I never read a book simply due to the art alone, as I have to feel a sense about the story, but if the art and story merge together in my heart to where I am itching to read the novel; I find the most blissful harmony!

This is the first novel within the series “The London Vampire Chronicles” and I saw little notions of how this can become expanded throughout the context of Dance Until Dawn! For instance, there are a limited ‘few’ (vampires) residing in London as apparently the vampires in this world are as particular as those who resided in Buffy and Angel’s! I had forgotten a bit about ‘territory’ and the ‘unspoken yet definite rules’ of order — passages included in this novel brought back the memory of the previous two series, and thus, I had a bit more foundation to understand certain things than I first thought I had!

What would be clever is to see how the series expands over the next two novels, and where the characters in Dance Until Dawn will continue to play a key role in that evolution. On a personal note, I saw a lot of Berni Stevens in the character of Ellie; especially through the conversations within #ChocLitSaturday, there were parts of Ellie’s character I knew were of Stevens. She even gave her a heap of cheeky humour where she vacillated between what her new living reality was becoming and the reality she’d seen in vampire / horror films! I had to smile reading those instances because I had a feeling it was a glimpse at the writer being reflected through character. It was wicked seeing the similarities and also seeing how clever an author’s interest can underlit such a hearty story of her own inside a genre she’s dedicated too.

Fly in the Ointment:

There is only a light flickering of strong language in Dance Until Dawn, as most of the words spoken in haste or angst are ‘off camera’ so to speak, including when Will chooses a particular word to clarify a moment for Ellie, even she is aghast his language turnt foul. I do not mind a light inclusion of stronger language as long as it’s not the norm or used for reasons other than which befit the story. I was quite thrilled to find Stevens rarely used any method of dialogue except for the give-take tension between Ellie and Will which to me was far more satisfying to read than any strong word could intone! To see each of them struggle to find acceptance with the other and to view each other in a different light — to me that is simply golden! Strong words are never my preference, but the few which were included were aptly placed. Even if the strongest one twitched my nose the most.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

 On how Jorie baked her chocoholic heart into bliss:

Blogoversary Delights banner created by Jorie in Canva.

It wouldn’t have been as much fun without trying to cook and bake a few wicked sweet delights for my 2nd Blogoversary! To be able to whip up a batch of chocolate cupcakes (originally I had tweeted I was baking a cake, but I opted instead to lengthen the joy by making the ‘cake’ portable; 15 little cakes felt best!) and pour homemade vanilla frosting over them was true bliss! I had attempted to keep a bit of ‘chocolate’ in my life and reading hours as I consume ChocLit novels, but alas! Only a handful of times in the past year I was able to do this, thus, this was especially lovely finding myself in possession of three cupcakes over the course of two days! I shared the rest of the little sinful cakes with my parents and neighbours alike.

A new recipe is quite fitting when you want to celebrate an epic life moment, and for me, a blogoversary definitely is defined as such! Therefore, imagine my shocked amazement to eat ‘hominy’ for the first time and have the sensation I was eating “popcorn mac and cheese”! I am uncertain if my British mates across the Pond will find this ‘delish’ or ‘ooh dear my what is Jorie eating now?’ as I know sometimes in our chats, we have a bit of an issue knowing which foods whet a thirst of an appetite for each other and which ones leave us wondering how the other could find that so desirable! Laughs. Trust me though, hominy is so addictive you barely notice you’ve had two and a half servings! Ha!

I don’t have pictures of the homemade French Toast but oh! Between the choice in bread (ciabatta)  and drizzling over maple syrup over it whilst the cinnamon in the dredge gave it such a cosy delight; I must say I not only dined well on my 2nd Blogoversary but I was enveloped in a lot of love and joy given to me by those who left me notes and tweeted me out messages which touched my heart.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

A most excellent resource I found about Hampstead Village!

Hampstead Area Guide – Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings London(old) via Benham and Reeves Lettings

Inspired to Share: Although this is mostly about seeking a place to let whilst in London, what I liked is the narration about Hampstead whilst the realtor gives you such a wonderful lovely overview of the area itself. The scenery and the architecture truly take me away into the novel a bit more as I can start to visualise it even more now that I’ve watched this lovely video! It’s quite a bang-on cosy niche within London proper, if you ask me! I love the Heath itself — perfect for the nature girl at heart, and settled in so very close to art and cultural events! Quite smashing job this real estate firm did in putting this together; especially grateful as being in America it’s quite hard to pop over and visit whilst reading a novel without the kindness of finding videos! Ms Steven’s depictions of Hampstead are the best gateway to seeing what is visually present in the Hampstead Area Guide!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

This book review is courtesy of:

ChocLitUK Reviewer

Be sure to catch my next Choc Lit review
which will be announced during an upcoming Jorie’s Box of Joy!
And, visit my ChocLit Next Reads List on Riffle
to see which stories I fancy to devour in 2015!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Don’t forget to Replay the Bookish Chat #ChocLitSaturday had on 21st March, 2015 on “Friendship & Romance: what do you love about a Romance developing out of friendship?”! A very special surprise was included in our last chat! RSVP our next chat for the 11th April, 2015! Til soon, I hope we’ll see you chatting with us! Spread the joy of #ChocLitSaturday to your bookish friends, all are welcome! Visit my post on #ChocLitSaturdays vs #ChocLitSaturday for more information! As the words I expressed about #ChocLitSaturday on my spotlight for The Wild One by Janet Gover.

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

{SOURCES: Cover art of  “Dance Until Dawn”, author photograph for Berni Stevens, author biography, book synopsis, and book reviewer badge were all provided by ChocLitUK and used with permission. #ChocLitSaturdays Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. All photography of food was taken by Jorie. Photography was collaged in Canva by Jorie. Photographs by Jorie. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. The Benham and Reeves Lettings video for “Hampstead” had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

Tweets shared as I read the novel:
{ share if inspired }
{ in addition to tweets shared for blogoversary }

Comments via Twitter:

Special Appearance by Will Austen via Twitter:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Blog Birthdays & Blogoversaries, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Castles & Estates, Cemeteries & Graveyards, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Diary Accountment of Life, Domestic Violence, England, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Geographically Specific, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Indie Author, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Modern Day, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Gifts, Romance Fiction, Singletons & Commitment, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Vampire Romance, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature

All posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary!
I try to visit your blog in return as I believe in ‘Bloggers Commenting Back
(which originated as a community via Readers Wonderland).

Comments are moderated. Once your comment is approved for the first time, your comments thereafter will be recognised and automatically approved. All comments are reviewed and continue to be moderated after automated approval. By using the comment form you are consenting with the storage and handling of your personal data by this website.

Once you use the comment form, if your comment receives a reply (this only applies to those who leave comments by email), there is a courtesy notification set to send you a reply ticket. It is at your discretion if you want to return to re-respond and/or to continue the conversation established. This is a courtesy for commenters to know when their comments have been replied by either the blog's owner or a visitor to the blog who wanted to add to the conversation. Your email address is hidden and never shared. Read my Privacy Policy.

40 responses to “Book Review | Jorie’s 1st-ever #vampireromance “Dance Until Dawn” by Berni Stevens A new paranormal trilogy by #IndiePub ChocLitUK! #ChocLitSaturdays

  1. Wonderful review, Jorie – and very well deserved too. I loved this book. I was never a fan of vampires but Berni’s book, Sarah Tranter’s ‘No Such Thing as Immortality’ and the tv series ‘Being Human’ has turned me a bit!

    • Hallo Ms Thomas!

      :) I completely agree with you! Ms Stevens has completely turnt my opinion round to the positive whilst I happily found myself attracted to her style of telling this story! So much so, I’m going to trust her advice and read Dracula for this upcoming Horror October, as I failed in my attempt to read it during 2014’s event! I’ve heard good feedback and response on behalf of Sarah Tranter’s novel; so much so, I was quite surprised I was growing interested myself! It’s not a genre I regularly read, and yet, in the hands of ChocLit authors, I find myself entranced same as you! :) This is a credit to them, surely!

      Did you ever catch episodes of Buffy or Angel? I never saw Being Human, perhaps I should! I know the Sookie Stackhouse series (fiction) and the accompanying serial “True Blood” is not one I’d watch/read. Friends of mine love it dearly, but I saw by their fond recollections and what I gathered online from the author’s site, it’s too far outside where I’d travel. What makes Being Human different and drinkable?! It’s been ages since I’ve given a sci-fi series a chance; wells, unless you count Doctor Who! I’ve been a Whovian since Sci Fi November 2013! lol

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! So thankful to see them! :)
      Appreciate seeing you on Twitter; your always so kind to share tweets and links!

      • In answer to your question about Being Human – there are two versions of the same. One is the UK version and the other is the US version. The concept and first UK series was by Toby Whithouse and starred none other than the fabulous (sigh) Aidan Turner, who has since starred in The Hobbit films and (currently) the remake of Poldark. The premise is a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf sharing an apartment in the city of Bristol. (What could possibly go wrong?) Lots of things of course.

        In my humble opinion the UK version is better, grittier and scarier – although I watched the US version too, of course. I didn’t think the US actor made a very good vampire, although I liked the werewolf. The stories were slightly changed and of course it was set in the US (Boston.)

        And I am of course an ardent Joss Whedon/Buffy and Angel fan. The best vampire series ever written.

        I’ll go away now! xx

  2. fab review – so glad you liked it! On the back of this I’m making Berni’s book my book of the week in my Read it Write it Sell it blog! Keep it up Jorie!x

    • Hallo Ms Flint!

      :) How wicked fantastic! :) You should tweet me the link when it goes live, I’d love to add it to this post for future visitors to find! :) I’ll tweet a s/o about it as well! Thank you for your kind words of praise — I know my love for ChocLit and the stories they publish is transparent in my book showcases on behalf of their stories, but every so often, I make a selection to tip my hat into a new direction — I’m blessed to have found a story-teller whose heart for Gothic Vampires is an equal match to my limited repertoire of vampire lore! :) Keenly interested now in seeing your own post!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a happy note! :) I am looking forward to sharing my next ChocLit selection and honestly I love being a book cheerleader for ChocLit! Stay tuned!

  3. janelovering

    What a brilliant review, Jorie! It’s so lovely when reviewers go into detail about what they love in a book! Berni is a wonderful story teller and a gifted graphic artist as her covers for Choc Lit show.

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Lovering!

      Ooh, now see this is my favourite part of being a book blogger! Getting to blog in-depth about what a story gives back to me as a reader who is finding it alight in my imagination! I love being able to write in length, and to truly dig inside the heart of the stories I am reading! I do this for all the reviews I post on Jorie Loves A Story, inasmuch as I like adding the personal bits too. I like sharing a piece of my ordinary life as it applies to the stories I’m picking up to read. The honour is mine and my joy is doubled seeing a comment like yours (honestly ALL the comments today overflowed my soul in happiness!) letting me know how my words are touching you about a story I was thrilled to have read.

      PS: I love your cameo; I grew so used to Mr Dino, it was nice seeing you there! :)

    • bernimoonhouse1620

      Please read it Angela, I want to see whether Will can (eventually) charm you! Not an alpaca in sight either – promise. Thanks so much for commenting. xx

    • Champion, Ms Britnell!

      My heart was full of smiles reading your note! :) Ooh boy! IF I managed to encourage you to jump-dive out of your comfort zone I cannot even properly say how much bliss this gives me in return! I will say, you might be pleasantly surprised! :) If you try it out, I hope you’ll return to let me know how it went as you read it!

  4. Loved reading your wonderful review, Jorie, with all the fantastic detail. I feel just the same as you and Sheryl about Berni’s wonderful cover designs. Quite something to be able to write a fabulous novel too! Hope you have a lovely Easter. :-)

    • bernimoonhouse1620

      Jorie certainly has written a fabulous review, Clare, I don’t think I am ever going to stop smiling! Especially as she managed to sneak in some comments about my ‘day job’ too! Thank you for stopping by. xx

      • Of course, I’d talk about your ‘day joy’! :) When I found out the UBB plug-in allows me to acknowledge Illustrators I was more than willing to go back through my archives to sort out a way to give you recognition! :) I love art in all mediums, but cover art design is very dear to me!

    • Happy Easter, Ms Chase!

      Thank you for visiting with me today — I am so very happy to hear you loved how I journalled my thoughts about reading my introduction to this lovely series! I originally thought it might be a stand-alone but when I unearthed it was a series, I found myself celebrating the chance to continue to soak back inside this world. Especially when I resolved my slight grievances over Will Austen! He reminded me a bit of Ebenezer; a bit off-putting at first but at his core, his true heart and soul shined. She is definitely dually talented; to illustrate a story through art and to pen a story through a palette of words is a special gift to be blessed to share. Have a lovely weekend!

  5. Christine Stovell

    I wasn’t a vampire fan (sorry, Berni) until I discovered the Choc Lit selection – and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Lovely to see our talented Berni getting such well-deserved praise.

    • Good afternoon, Ms Stovell!

      Wells, technically I was never considered a ‘vampire girl’ myself — even with my days of Buffy & Angel fondly remembered, within my peer group there were those who were bonefide vamp appreciators; in their eyes I always fell short. They read the fiction stories and watched every film or tv series that showcased vampires with such passion and dedication, I gave them credit for going ‘all in’. I simply stood on the sidelines with Buffy & Angel; even though admittedly there were episodes of both series which tested me a bit, but for the most part, the memories are joyful because I just liked the quirkiness of the ‘group’ headed by Giles.

      I love picking up ChocLit novels because going-in, I know I’m about to cross into a world I am going to enjoy getting to know, as each writer with ChocLit has their own unique style and method of crafting a story together. Finding myself snuggled into a vampire series, gives me a mirth of joy because I had wanted to find a way to read this genre but without the ‘additions’ of the bits I would shy away from wanting to read. Ms Stevens put everything I had hoped to find in her novel, and a heap more as well! Thanks for sharing in the joy of my discovery!

    • bernimoonhouse1620

      Thank you Chris :) I know vampires aren’t for everyone!! I’ve loved the genre for years, so they’re like ‘friends’ to me. xxx

  6. What a fabulous in-depth review, Jorie. I also love it when the cover and story merge together to bring you a hugely satisfying work of art. I must admit, I’ve adored Choc Lit books covers ever since I first clapped eyes on them. They are truly tempting. I think your review shows – just a little ;) – how much you totally adored this book. Thanks so much for sharing! xx

    • Good afternoon, Ms Browne,

      I was wicked happy seeing you drop by today to help celebrate the joy I had in finding a Vampire Romance I could cheer for and happily share my experience of reading it! A true credit to Ms Stevens because I normally am quite shy about even tempting myself to pick up a novel that fits within PNR/paranormal romance be as it were but to ‘add vampires’?! Ooh dear my! Her style of writing about them made the world of difference to me, because she found a way to allow us to ‘connect’ directly to Ellie and gave us a reason to find Will redeemed from our first impression on his character.

      Isn’t that the truth!? ChocLit truly has some of the best cover art on the market today! If you could only see my face light up in joy when I see the covers in person; I honestly never tire of the excited joy I have in picking up the novels! :) Thank you for giving me the happiness of knowing my words resonated with you and that you could see the story through my eyes! A lovely compliment to receive! Blessed.

    • It has been such an inspiring #ChocLitSaturdays for me as well — I am not oft blessed with such a warm response and reception to a review I’ve posted!! I returnt after lunch to more comments and more love being expressed for finding this book for either the first time OR happily reflecting back on memories of having read it. Each comment is treasured by me, but to see such a collection of gratitude notes all at once; wells, it’s surely touched my own heart. I’m thrilled there are so many notes being left for you to discover! :)

      • bernimoonhouse1620

        I’m totally overwhelmed – both my your wonderful review, Jorie, and by all the lovely comments. I might actually need to go and lie down to recover!! Big hugs to you all. xxx

  7. Sally Malcolm

    What a great review, Jori! Wow, you’ve put so much thought and research into it. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts on what sounds like a fantastic book!

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Malcolm!

      I’m thrilled to bits to see you alight on my blog today! I love to anchour my ruminations on a book by a part of my own life which can thread a connection to the story at hand. In some ways, you could say my book blog is a combination of sharing my reading impressions with a mixture of ‘stories from Jorie’s life’ interspersed with the book itself. I like adding the personal touches to make how I enter into a book more dynamic for my readers as much as to give a measure of understanding on how I came to want to read a book as a whole. We all have so much we take with us as we enter into stories, it’s nice to get a chance to share the ‘back-story’ of inspiration from the reader’s point of view.

      For instance, I recently read “Mademoiselle Chanel” by CW Gortner wherein I revealed how I discovered Chanel No. 5 through “The Shell Seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher; giving way to a family legacy I never realised I had! There are bits and bobbles of my memories threaded throughout my Story Vault; as each story I read inspires me to share another window into my world.

      Thank you for your lovely compliments!

  8. Sarah Tranter

    What a lovely lovely review, Jorie. Your comments and enthusiasm for the book engage the reader in their own right. Have a wonderful Easter x

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Tranter,

      May you and yours have a blessed Easter in return! I’m attending a potluck at church after services as I happily enjoyed a Good Friday luncheon as well. I am so overjoyed to hear you say this: Your comments and enthusiasm for the book engage the reader in their own right. Truly warms my heart to know how my words are translating to readers, as this is something I always hope I manage to do; to put into words how my own experience within the stories can reflect back a presence of insight to someone else. Bless you for stopping by and giving me such a beautiful compliment.

  9. So thrilled you have found a way into the vampire / gothic world through Berni’s book. There are a few of us who like a good gothic – and when it comes to Gothic, Berni is definitely your girl. Hope we’ll all be enjoying more of her books soon. Janet X

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Gover,

      You’re definitely right about finding a way into the world of vampires through Dance Until Dawn! No one was more surprised than I, to not only find a story I could heartily absorb, but one that was writ with such a compassion for the characters and the world-building. It became a bit of an experience to delve inside! I love books which are equal parts character driven and atmospheric in setting; I had dipped my toes into Gothic Lit previously, but *vampires* were especially a more cautious inclusion for me to seek out; that much is true. From what I had gathered about this book prior to reading, it simply ‘felt’ as close as I could get to where I’d like a vampire story to take me. Thus, having put it down, now I’m eager for Book 2! Champion, eh!? :)

      Thrilled we love the story-teller’s style together!
      *Ooh, and how nice to see you came through Google+!

  10. Jan Brigden

    Fantastic review, Jorie. So detailed. I loved Dance Until Dawn too, and look forward to reading more of Berni’s London Vampire Chronicles. :)

    • Hallo Ms Brigden!

      :) Thank you for stopping by today to let me know my review resonated with you and that your as eager as I am to read the next of the series! :) Ms Stevens replied with a ‘little hint’ of what is to come below, and I had a feeling things might get a bit more complicated as time moves forward as they tend to do so when different factions of vampires try to either co-habitat or win a takeover of territory. I am keen to see how the world shifts if it has a more definitive effect on the characters we already know and the ones we’re about to meet next.

      Bless you for letting me know you like my in-depth reviews! I love writing book showcases like this and I’m thankful for your feedback. You’re welcome to visit again and share your thoughts; as I keep two Story Vaults: one by genre, one by publishers, as well as a Bookish Events page.

      I was thinking if you like paranormal stories, you might be keen to check out my interview with Lynn Carthage.

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Harris!

      :) Yes, I definitely do know how having this set in Hampstead would give you a warm affection; I was truly delighted to have learnt the connection as I truly fell in love with the setting as I read the novel! Thank you for your compliments as I truly was happily surprised finding a ‘new’ series of vampires in a style I could not only love reading but at the heart of it a story-teller who knows how to let readers like me who are sensitive to vamps find new confidence in reading about the London Vampire Chronicles!

  11. Jorie what a wonderful review of a smashing book. I found myself nodding and smiling at everything you said. Berni is truly a marvel with her covers as well as a lovely writer and I for one can’t wait to see what Will and Ellie get up to next.

    • Thank you, Ms Ferry!

      Ooh, this tickled my bones reading this reaction! Ooh boy! I knew you loved the book yourself, but to find that you saw a reflection of my reaction in your own — that’s quite a special compliment for a book blogger! I do always hope my words resonate with readers (and writers), so that they can see within my reading experience something they can personally relate too. Quite wicked we both shared a memory of a story which equally delighted us both to read! Smashing!

      Ooh, I am a HUGE appreciator of Ms Steven’s work as a Cover Artist! I love giving her recognition on my blog as an Illustrator, and now, a double blessing *I LOVE her Vampires!* :) Yes, I most definitely agree — I cannot wait to see where Books 2 & 3 will take us as we dip back into where we last left off with Will and Ellie! I’m thinking she might find a way to dance again,… or become a night gardener? Did you smirk too when you realied what the white flowers were representing on the cover!?

  12. What a completely fantastic review, Jorie. I can’t thank you enough for taking so much time and trouble to make it so detailed. You have truly made my Easter Saturday HAPPY :) !
    I am so thrilled that you enjoyed Dance Until Dawn – especially as vampires lure you out of your comfort zone. Follow Will on Twitter – if you dare! @austen_will
    Thanks again!

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Stevens!

      Wicked sweet! :) I was hoping you’d find a happy SURPRISE when you read my review! I know you were a bit on pins for me to step outside my comfort zones on vampires, but as you can see, they are in my life a bit already! And, your vision of Vampire Rom not only agrees with my sensitivity of their nature, but you gave me an extension to reach past my youth and embrace a new family of vamps who truly have a lot of their humanity still within them. To me, seeing Ellie’s humanity nearly intact to where she was more human than vampire I think humbled her in such a unique way! Then, seeing how she transitioned and accepted her new path, wells, your a story-teller who knows how to guide a tentative reader into a wicked good story!

      Ooh, I most surely did follow Will Austen! Tweeted out the fact I updated my review to reflect the series blog and his account! :) Blessed to find a vampire series I can read without worrying about what I will find inside — the best beauty is the suspense and the drama! :)

      • I’m sure when Will ‘wakes’ he’ll have something to say! He’s not shy as you know.

        Things change a little in the second book as Will’s world becomes more dangerous and he loses some of his confidence. I wanted the dynamics to change as Ellie grew stronger – but that’s all I’m saying. Plenty of surprises in the second book. By the third book, Will and Ellie take a step back to allow Stevie the limelight – but their roles are still significant!

        I’m ecstatic that you enjoyed the book – absolutely ecstatic! Thank you! xx

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)