Belle Morte / Bella Higgin / Book Review


Ever since the first vampire stepped into the spotlight, people can't get enough. Paparazzi flock to the glamorous immortals. Everyone wants an invitation to a vampire gala. And donors beg to be let into the five great vampire houses to give their own blood to the beasts. June Mayfield was one of them--one of the few donors, that is, to be let into the house of Belle Morte.

But that was months ago. The donors can't leave the house while they're serving, but they can still write. June did write, at first, but it's been months since Renie heard anything from her sister.

In her heart, Renie knows something is desperately wrong. The only solution? Sign up to be a donor herself and enter the dark and mysterious world of Belle Morte--a world she might not escape, alive.



My expectations for Wattpad publications aren't high, and so I was pleasantly surprised. This is far, far from the best book out there, but it was admittedly decent. The Wattpad algorithm for what gets picked up for publication is highly predictable. This book fits the demographic, but its execution is a notch higher than the rest. Just, though, a notch.


Surprisingly Good This is not a diss at all directed at Bella Higgin. It's a purely I've-got-low-expectations comment directed at the publishing imprint. Higgin's writing isn't perfect--and her plotting is far from it--but it is still... surprisingly good. That is to say, this book is legible, readable, even decently enjoyable from time to time. In fact, it's kind of a shame Higgin's debut is coming from Wattpad, because in the hands of another house, this book (and any subsequent career) would have much higher hopes. I hope Bella Higgin doesn't get left behind because of this debut. I don't believe this is the best showcase of Higgin's work.

Multi-POV Romance Does this romance include a lot of things I don't like? Oh, yes, it does. But I do appreciate an author who will give her male perspective a chance to shine. Renie is the lead here, no doubt, but a few chapters dip into her vampire love interest--what he sees, what he feels, what he knows about the situation surrounding them. This perspectival switch gives us insight that romance doesn't usually give--a very important insight, I think, if we're experiencing mutual insta-love. So I appreciate it.

Friends I mean, a vampire book where the leading lady has a cast of friends that actually come into play? Friends who aren't just cardboard cut-outs that fade from her life as she gets consumed (figuratively and literally) by her vampire beau? That's nice. It's nice to have active friends portrayed in this genre. Sure, I took some issue with the portrayal of these friends--especially the heavily-stereotyped "gay-best-friend" archetype that makes his way into these pages--but the fact that these friends exist at all is a step in the right direction.


What I mean by this is... this worldbuilding makes no sense. The vampire house in question is located in the UK, and yet all of the vampires (or all of the memorable ones, anyway) have very obviously French names? You're telling me not a single dandy-turned-vampire made his way into this vampire house that is set, you know, in the British Isles? Why not just set the whole thing in France? I mean, why? Abundantly French

I hate the insta-love/insta-lust sort of romance trope--or writing foible, as I see it. This trope, to me, dates a piece very badly, calling us back to the time when YA was still a young marketing category. The heavy reliance on insta-lust--as well as the throwback sort of vampire plot--mean this book doesn't feel contemporary. It feels a little bit 2008, and it very well might have its origins there if it was pulled from the archives of Wattpad. It doesn't feel fresh. Insta-Lust

We did sparkly, maybe-I'll-eat-you-or-maybe-I'll-just-make-out-with-you vampires already. And that's fine. For the record, I don't hate Twilight, at least in book form. I enjoyed the series, to some extent. So I'm not saying, "Kill it with fire!" I'm just saying that maybe we should get some actually scary vampires sometime soon? If you like your vampires with some bite, this isn't the book for you. Non-Threatening Vampires



Fans of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight will enjoy this new glitzy world of immortals. Those who liked the trope-y fun of Tracy Wolff's Crave will like these new celebrity vampires.


Publisher: Wattpad Books
Date: April 5, 2022
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


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