A Shade of Blood, by Bella Forrest.
Sensing how deeply she had begun to mean to me, I was unable to keep myself from voicing out what was going through my mind. I knew it was selfish of me to ask it of her, but the words flooded out of my lips before I could second guess them.
I hoped that the words wouldn't come across as a command, that she would know them for what they were - a plea. I, Prince of The Shade, was begging her - supposedly my slave - not to leave me, because I knew without a doubt in my mind that her departure would only serve to plunge me deeper into the darkness that took over my life five hundred years ago when my own father turned me into the monster that I was.
A Shade of Blood is the second book in this series, the first being A Shade of Vampire that I reviewed last month. I was feeling a little cheeky that day and called A Shade of Vampire "much like Twilight on crack," but A Shade of Blood delves more into the world of The Shade and is much more detailed and delicious to read than the Twilight series ever was.
When Sofia Claremont was kidnapped to a sunless island, uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet, she believed she'd forever be a captive of its dark ruler, Derek Novak.
Now, after months of surviving an endless night, the morning sun may soon rise again for Sofia. Something has possessed Derek's heart and he offers her a gift no human slave has ever been given in the history of his cursed island: escape.
High school, prom and a chance to move on with her life now await her.
But will she be able to forget the horrors that steal her sleep away at night? ... or the feelings that haunt her for that tormented prince of darkness?
When A Shade of Blood opens, vampire prince Derek Novak has just given Sofia and her friend Ben a choice: they can stay at The Shade - not as slaves - or can go home. Ben immediately chooses home, but Sofia has to think about it a bit; she's in love with Derek. She feels like she can't abandon Ben, though, so she chooses home as well. After a few weeks, she realizes she has to go back to The Shade, and when Vivienne Novak, Derek's twin sister, comes to her world to convince her and show her the way back, she takes her up on it.
ASOB is a lot more detailed than ASOV, even though I liked ASOV and gave it 4 out of 5 stars, and it really draws you in to the world of The Shade. We find out about a competing vampire clan, and also a number of secrets about Sofia's father, who left her with Ben's family to take care of when she was little, and her mother, who was declared insane when she was young, as well.
Even though Derek is supposed to be "the bad guy" and Ben "the good guy" in this novel, I was still rooting for Derek and Sofia to get together. Derek has never really loved anyone the way he loves Sofia, and although he definitely has a dark side, he's not a bad guy overall - just a guy who has made some bad choices in the past.
I think the first novel was completely from Sofia's point-of-view, as I recall, and this book is from everyone's point-of-view: we get chapters from Derek, Sofia, Ben, Lucas (Derek's no-good brother), and others. This really helped to round out the novel as a whole, in my opinion.
Read A Shade of Vampire before you read this one - ASOB is okay as a stand-alone book, but it's better to have read the first to completely understand The Shade and all of its inhabitants.
5 stars out of 5.
(PS: isn't that cover gorgeous? You can buy A Shade of Blood as an Amazon e-book or paperback from this link, too.)
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel from the author to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.