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On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? …or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

4 out of 5 stars

This is a book I have heard great things about and I have very much wanted to read for a long time and I was not disappointed. To give you an idea of how good it is, the evening I started it, my sixteen-year-old brother came in and told me I had to do something and when I returned, he had pilfered my Kindle and was raptly flipping the digital pages despite my demands he return it. I had to wrestle it back. (No, this has not happened before nor since.) He finished it and has started the second.

The plot:

This was a shorter length book that had good character development, took time growing the romance, and does not shy from tumultuous drama and agonizing suspense. The concept of the Shade and the vampire covens was a believable explanation for how they had managed to remain hidden from the eyes of the world. The book does end in a MASSIVE cliffhanger, so be forewarned, but overall I thought the story elements and the take on vampires was quite good.

The characters:

I liked Sofia more than I’ve liked some heroines. She was brave and didn’t ask anyone to save her, but wasn’t ungrateful when they did. She was perfect for Derek in that she didn’t let him get away with claiming he “couldn’t” resist his vampiric urges and makes him take responsibility. That was refreshing. Lots of the vampires I’ve been meeting in literature needed a good slap and a “pull yourself together, cupcake” speech. I did kind of feel bad for her over her helpless love for her foster-brother, Ben. More on Ben in a second.

Derek was a compendium of traditional bad boy vampire traits—tall, dark, handsome, muscular, etc.—but he does have a few quirks and personality traits like his love of piano music and difficulties with technology. It is clear the author put forth an effort to make him a fleshed-out love, multidimensional love interest, not just another cookie cutter alpha male type.

There are two feelings I have on Ben—pity and loathing. I can’t really say why because of spoilers, but he struck me as ungrateful and self-righteous and it’s horrible what happened to him, but…ugh, you’ll have to read it yourself.

Then there’s Lucas. Lucas is Derek’s creepy older brother who really, really needs to get staked. He’s pervy, obsessive, violent—yet there are parts where the author actually made me feel a twinge of something akin to sympathy for him. It was incredible. Bella Forrest really does know what she’s doing. (But I still want him very, very dead.)

In closing, a good vampire paranormal romance. I gave it four stars because it didn’t quite consume me the way some other PNRs have, but I do believe it was an outstanding piece and Ms. Forrest is a very talented lady.

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