REVIEW: Amaretto Flame by Sammie Spencer

The Blurb: Olivia has spent her life learning about her enemies, the deadly Venator – including how to kill them. What she knows nothing about is whiskey, playing poker, or rugged, copper-haired musicians. As punishment for a small ‘crime,’ Olivia is sent to a safe house in a human town and forced to live as one of them for a summer.

The Short Stick: Great beginning, great ending, great romance.

The Goods: This isn’t your usual indie book that pushes the limits simply to get noticed. You’ve read those ones before, they include some scary torture scene or some inappropriate sex scene. This is an NA book, New Adult, and I say that because Olivia is 19 and she’s self actualizing, exploring a bit of a new world, and falling in love for the first time. The nice thing is that there’s no school. There’s a bar, a hot boy, a mean girl, and some wimpy girls! I’d put this book pretty close in the ranks with some of Charlaine Harris’ work and would say that on most points the book delivers.

The Not So Goods: I wanted more. What this book is lacking isn’t plot, characters or even formidable villains. What it’s lacking is emotional depth and extended scenes. This is an indie book so I can see how an author would find Beta Readers who didn’t push her harder. Since this is me, and since I’m a masochist when it comes to my own work, I’m going to push. I wanted longer make out scenes, HOTTER make out scenes. I wanted more background information about Olivia. I wanted more beautiful writing, there were words, there were not a lot of the beautiful words. Some authors have a way of describing things that make a reader sigh and I wanted to sigh more. I also wanted the stakes to be higher. There’s a feeling at the beginning that this banishment isn’t really that hard to take. The last thing I wanted were more character quirks. I remember Mackey from Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement. He was allergic to iron so much so that his family used plastic utensils. He could die from the iron, it was very interesting. These characters have personality, but they feel like people I could meet on the street, have a five minute conversation with and know just about everything about them. I wanted them to have something different, off the wall about them besides scars because let’s face it, considering what we writers put our characters through, there’s always going to be scars. So that was it, to sum up, HOTTER Sexy Scenes, Character Quirks, and Beautiful Writing. Improve on that and the next book will be gold!

Rating: 3.5/5

Other Stuff:
Pinnochio Factor: Pass, they’re just like everyone else!
Bella Swan Factor: Pass, none of that sparklepire stuff in here!
Jace Factor: Pass, one hot boy in attendance!
Primrose Factor: Pass, there was a good ending.
Potter Factor: Fail, the plot is pretty stereotypical.
Cheese Factor: Pass, enough that it didn’t annoy me.
Bible Factor: Pass, it’s a wiccan book, and there wasn’t an overload of that tradition either.
Temperature: 98 degrees, body temperature, as in, it’s gonna get hotter!

Recommendation: Pick this one up if you’re sick of the boring books coming out from the big publishers. Pick it up if you’re interested in a well paced NA that doesn’t break the boundaries too much. Pick it up because it’s a great summer read!