Book Review: Heart of Thorns (Vampire Royals of New York: Gabriel #1)

Title: Heart of Thorns

Author: Sarah Piper

Pub. Date: May 8, 2021

Pages: 330

Pub: Two Gnomes Media

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️



They say Gabriel Redthorne is the most ruthless royal vampire of all.
They say he tore out a man’s throat just for spilling his bourbon.
They say his heart is so cold, the women he beds turn to ice.

Good. Let them talk.

The vampire prince has always known it’s better to be feared as a monster than loved as a fool, no matter how cold his bed is.

But then he meets her.

The witch who conspired with the enemy to take down the royal family.
Dark and devious.
Fire to his ice.
His prisoner.
And after one forbidden taste, the addiction that will utterly ruin him.


For five years, dark witch Jacinda Colburn has been preparing.
Preparing to betray her half-demon bloodline.
Preparing to change her identity.
Preparing to disappear.

But for all her careful scheming, nothing could’ve prepared her for the heartless vampire prince—or for the punishment her wicked sins have earned.

They say Gabriel Redthorne is vicious. Filthy. That he can kill a man with just a touch.
But now that he owns her, all Jaci wants to know is…
What can that vicious, filthy touch do to a woman?

This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. I got really excited when I found out that Gabriel Redthorne was getting his own trilogy, and omfg this book doesn’t disappoint. If you want to check out my reviews for the first three books in the Vampire Royals of New York world – you can click these links – Dark Deception, Dark Seduction & Dark Obsession. I’d check out the OG trilogy first, and then come back to Heart of Thorns as it takes place after the events of the OG trilogy.

You’re going to fall in love with the Redthornes.

I loved Dorian. He’s witty, sharp and dangerously seductive.

But his brother?


Firstly, there are a few names that make me an automatic sucker.

Gabriel is one of them.

But this man.

This man…well, vampire.

He’s broken. Traumatized. Hurting. In desperate need of a hug and someone to sass the shit out of him. He’s carrying so much baggage that he’s been holding on to for years.

For a man who could kill you very easily, he’s definitely got a hurt puppy vibe going on, and I’m here for it.

You know how in ACOTAR everyone love Rhys for the romance, Cassian for the *cough* spice, and Azriel for the…well, you know.

In this book, Gabriel is Az.

He’s on the quieter side, but his temper is constantly simmering just below the surface, waiting to erupt. He’s incredibly loyal, despite those he claims often annoying the shit out of him. He’s there if you need him.

He’s also a bit antagonistic…okay, a lot antagonistic. But the poor man is hurting!

I love him okay. I thought I wanted an irl Dorian, and I do. But I’d gladly take an irl Gabriel lol.

As for Jacinda – I love her.

I love that what we know of her from Dorian and Charley’s trilogy is seriously skewed, it’s one sided and there’s no context except for “she’s working with the bad guys, so therefore must be a bad guy”. So her character arc is so good. The exploration of her character is so good. She’s got just about as much tragic backstory and baggage as Gabriel and a temper to match. She’s hurting and broken and doing whatever she can to survive.

The two of the together is as much fun as you can imagine. The Redthorns are seduction incarnate and you’d have to be blind to not realize. I’m also such a sucker for BATB-esque type stories – Stockholm Syndrome…why is it so enticing in fiction?


But seriously.

Now that I think of it, Gabriel and Jacinda are about as broken as Rowan and Aelin were in Heir of Fire and that tension and chemistry is amazing. Gabriel and Jacinda are actually perfect for each other and I loved them. This whole book is just them bargaining and getting to know each other, and inadvertently falling in love with each other. It’s amazing and wonderful and again, wholly addicting. I don’t know how Sarah Piper does it over and over again, but I was immediately sucked in and hooked. I loved that it picks up right around where Dark Obsession leaves off. I love the world and the characters, and how the story just continues but with new protagonists. You get swept in and away and you fall in love with the characters. Piper has you wishing that you could slip into the world she created and maybe fall into a closet with a Redthorne Brother.

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