Terrible Praise

by Lara Hayes

For five hundred years, all Stela had known was a roving life in service to her maker, Fane. But in the last century her family has built a permanent residence in the abandoned freight tunnels beneath Chicago, where anonymity reigns supreme.

Navigating the modern world is not easy and Stela, once a fierce warrior, has traded the heat of battle for petty negotiation, her sword for a pen, and her station as Fane’s enforcer to now serve as her family’s financial liaison.

When a late meeting forces Stela to visit a nearby hospital, she crosses paths with the beguiling Elizabeth Dumas—a brilliant nurse who sacrificed her academic career to care for her ailing mother. Their charged encounter will threaten the secrecy Stela has sworn to uphold, and the bond they unwittingly forge will irrevocably alter both their lives.

Worlds collide and entwine in Terrible Praise, Book One of The Redamancy Series.

The Redamancy Series Book 1.



In stock



Genre Paranormal
Length 288 pages
Publication Date April 12, 2018
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781594935978
Editor Cath Walker
Cover Designer Judith Fellows



"Vampires have always been my favorite monster. The mythology is unique in that the creature solves for two of humanity’s biggest fears: fear of death, and fear of change.

The myth of the vampire promises eternity here and now, exactly as you are, or in some iterations the most perfect version of yourself. The price is steep and the path is gory, but what would you do for forever? Would you die, just a little? Would you kill?

While writing Terrible Praise, I asked my characters those questions and more. My vampire Stela called my curiosity and raised me this: what’s the point of eternity if the goal of life is growth through change? My human Elizabeth assured me that life is a series of small deaths, no matter the path we choose."

—Lara Hayes

  • A Bella Debut Novel.


Lambda Literary Review
The first in the Redamancy Series, Terrible Praise is a highly engrossing story. As noted by the author, the definition of Redamancy – an obscure word well suited to Stela – is the act of loving in return. Themes of identity, fulfillment, loss, loyalty, love and redamancy are explored in complex, nuanced ways. The characters draw the reader into the story while the pacing keeps the reader engaged. Hayes’ writing is a pleasure to read and provides thoughtful and sensitive observations, especially when it comes to her characters.

The Lesbian Review
I LOVE a first person that is written well. So this book checks off all my qualifications for first person which is; written well. A good first person can really pique my curiosity and keep me guessing and Lara Hayes had me confused (is she really crazy?!) but never lost and always interested. The leading ladies are Stella and Elizabeth, I enjoyed the way they were written especially Elizabeth. Her actions were rational and logical which I can get behind. Stela has a mysterious air to her and I love that sort of thing. I just gave a romance book two thumbs up. So you know this book is amazing just read it.

Lex’s Reviews - This is another debut book that I never once considered that it was. While this may be the first published book, it’s clear that Hayes knows how to write. I’m happy to say I loved the ending and it gave me hope. This is going to be a series so it ends when new things are just beginning. I enjoy different and more cerebral reads on occasion. And I like where the series seems to be headed, so I will be reading more.

Customer Reviews

4 reviews for Terrible Praise – Paperback

  1. omarty7 (verified owner)

    I can’t remember the last time a book pulled me in so quickly but, I’ve only had Terrible Praise for ONE day and I’m already dreaming about it! Which is honestly equal parts amazing and spooky. This is book one of The Redamancy Series so I am really looking forward to spending more time with characters Elizabeth and Stela. (Be prepared to fall in love with one OR both of these characters; I’m so ride or die for Elizabeth Dumas it’s kind of ridiculous).

  2. countryclubpics

    The author does an amazing job of taking you straight to the setting, this is the quality of descriptive writing you dont really expect from a debut novel…after the first page you are there, you are with the characters and you don’t want to put the book down. Can’t wait to follow this series and see what the author does in the future. Best book I’ve read in a while.

  3. cades

    I have reread this book more than 10 times. It is one of the best books I’ve read, and favorite LGBTQ title I’ve found. I’m extremely excited for June to get here with book two.

  4. paedagogue

    This is absolutely exceptional writing. A fiercely alluring horror story about a tender, terrifying love affair that is literally for the ages. The prose is atmospheric, pitch perfect, the characters are darkly complicated, frighteningly real.

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