A while back I posted some mid-book thoughts on Dark Rooms, and not-quite-a-while-ago I mentioned I was reading Bloodrealms. I've finished both (ish) and am now prepared to imbue you with my opinions! So get ready. Or don't. Your choice.
Let's just get to the actual reviews.
First up - Lili Anolik's Dark Rooms
It just didn't hold up for me. As much as I tried to sympathize with the main character, and no matter how much I told myself I wanted to know whodunit, the truth is that I just couldn't care. No one was likeable, and the "mystery" wasn't gripping. I finally skipped to the end to see if Grace (whose name I just had to look up because I already have forgotten her) kept the baby or not. Found out one thing about Grace's mom which made me think for about two seconds before going, "Yeah, that makes sense and really isn't a surprise." and was disappointed in the blah ending Anolik used. I didn't see any character growth to speak of, which pretty much kills a book for me. Can't recommend it. Sad to say it. (Also, I was extremely sad to be so disappointed by a book which has a murder take place in a cemetery that is next door to the main character. There could be So Much Cool from that, but... nope.)
Next - Aurora Whittet's Bloodrealms
Short version: I think the editor was pressed for time on this one, and it shows. :(
Longer version: The beginning showed such promise! Everything building up to a fight among her four suitors to win Ash's hand, in a dark and foreboding place called the Bloodrealms. Should have been an excellent read culminating in an intense fight to the death.
I got so tired of Ash's perpetual worrying that I skimmed the second half of the book, stopping to read the last few chapters. I read the Big Twist (which, by the way, I knew was coming since they introduced the character in the beginning), and, based on the ending of this book, I don't think I'll be picking up the last one. There just doesn't feel like a reason to - it feels more like Whittet wanted to write a trilogy so she stretched for something to fill up space in a plot she had that would have covered two books quite nicely.
I wish Whittet the best and hope that people less bothered by grammatical errors and typos than me will enjoy the book, but this is one series that is done for me.