May 22, 2013

Excerpt & Review ~ A Shade of Vampire (#1) by Bella Forrest

A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire, #1)

Title: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)
Author: Bella Forrest
Published: December 14th 2012 
Pages: 152 (Kindle edition)
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Source: Received for review from author
Average rating: 3.87 / 5
My rating: 4.5 / 5

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~ Synopsis ~

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? 

~ My Thoughts ~

This book had me at "island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine." The entire synopsis made me want to read this book; however, that line stayed with me, and I knew I had to read this!  I blazed through this story in just a few hours, caught under Sofia and Derek's spell and wishing I had my own Derek! What a sexy hunk of vampire! I'm not sure about the whole my-life-is-in-constant-danger aspect though - I think that might be a deal breaker for me. If you want a vampire in your life, though, danger is part of the package. :)  

I loved the way Sofia's character was written - I can't help but connect to a heroine whose very life is in danger yet is brave and smart with something about her, setting her apart from the other female characters. She sees her differences in a negative way while I see them as positive and even lifesaving. She surprised me with how quickly she captured Derek's heart and was definitely my favorite character. Sofia's emotions were realistic and raw, ranging from terror and anger to acceptance and affection. I sometimes found myself wondering if she was experiencing Stockholm Syndrome, where the abductee begins to feel sympathy and even affection towards the abductor. Then I realized while she was simply trying to survive, her feelings began to change along the way. 

There was something different about Derek, too, that set him apart from the other vampires. Derek even grew on me, which really caught me off guard. I expected to fully hate him but was relieved when I didn't, mostly because he's one of the main characters. It'd be difficult to hate a character who's so integral to the story, although I have done exactly that before! I even started crushing on him here and there. He has at least a shred of decency left but remains dangerous to be around - after all, he's still a vampire.     

Lucas, Derek's brother, is dangerous and vicious with no humanity left in him whatsoever. That "badness" about him just jumps right off the page. Since he found Sofia, he wants to claim her as his own though she was kidnapped specifically for Derek. The tension mounts, and I can see this situation pitting brother against brother over a human girl. There isn't anything I like about Lucas at all. He views Sofia as though she's a piece of property that should be his, which makes him a great villain to hate and root against. 

The dual POV made the story even more interesting. There was everything in this book - passion, violent vampires, action, suspense, solid plotting, and strong, believable characters. Forrest strikes just the right balance - by alternating Sofia's POV with Derek's, I gained insight into Derek's thoughts and actions without his mysteriousness being given away. 

I love the cover of this book - it's gorgeous and gives you a feel for the world you're about to enter when you turn to the first page. I also really love the title of the book and series. I'm highly anticipating the next book - I can't wait to see what's in store next for Sofia and Derek. 

~ Excerpt from A Shade of Vampire (#1) ~ 

I'd been meandering along the shore for about an hour when I suddenly sensed that I wasn't alone. Someone was approaching me from behind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showed up beside me, I couldn't hide my disappointment. 

He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on his lips. "Were you expecting someone else, love?"

I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times my father had told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over, taking in his appearance. My eyes widened. I couldn't find words to describe how fine a man he was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how his blue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I'd ever seen before. It was such a stark contrast to his pale - almost white - skin and dark hair. Standing beside me, he was easily more than half a foot taller. His height, broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence that was far more imposing than my best friend's. 

My gaze settled on his face. 

I realized that he was inspecting me just as closely as I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I gave my father's advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notions of heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a long time ago. 

I straightened to my full height and mustered all the courage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger. 

Big mistake. 

The confident smirk didn't leave his face for even a moment. 

"Like what you see?" 

"A bit full of yourself, aren't you?" I scoffed, annoyed by his audacity. 

He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his head toward mine. 

"Don't I have the right to be?"

He knew he looked good and wasn't about to act like he didn't. 

"Whatever," was my oh-so-brilliant comeback. 

My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back, unsettled by how close he was now. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, not quite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing. 

I would soon realize that I was about to play his game whether I liked it or not. 

He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. This motion alone made every single internal alarm I had within me go off in a frenzy.  

This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggle away from his touch, but I was no match for his strength. 

"Tell me your name," he commanded. 

I was about to refuse, but was horrified to find myself blurting out my name in response. 

"Sofia Claremont." 

As soon as I revealed my name, his eyes lit up with a kind of sinister approval. Then he reached for my face and traced his thumb over my jaw line. 

"Hello, Sofia Claremont. You're one stupid girl for taking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil a pretty little thing like you could happen to come by."

I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil he was. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. My senses took in everything at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand, smelled the ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry and saw the stranger's manic appearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I was barely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything to sensing absolutely nothing.  

My last conscious thought was that I may never see Ben again.

You can also get an exclusive FREE "sneak preview" of the first 6 chapters by clicking here.  
(Make sure you check it out now because this preview will not be available for long).  

~ Buy the Book ~

~ About the Author ~ 

Bella Forrest loves reading and cookie dough ice cream. She often travels and is camera shy. Besides the Shade of Vampire novels, she's also the author of Beautiful Monster and, coming out in June 2013, the New Adult novel, Fall With Me   

~ Connect with the Author ~ 


  1. I laughed at This book had me at "island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine." I have to add this book to my Goodreads shelf! I want to meet these characters. Especially Lucas because there's something cathartic about hating a character in a book.

    1. I hoped that would be funny, lol. It's the God's honest truth - that really drew me to reading this book! :D It's a really quick read and you get into the storyline right away. It starts out strong and ends strong. I can't wait to read the rest of the series. :) I agree about hating a character - it doesn't bother me to hate a character really, and it is cathartic. Bad guys are bad guys for a reason, right? He's pretty darn chilling.

  2. Thanks for the review and excerpt. You hooked me at your comment about the island and sun.
    I like a villain if it's written well. Ir the writer can make me loathe a character but still be drawn to him, then they've written a great book.
    This is going on my TBR.

    1. Awesome! I'm so glad I helped you add a book to your TBR. :D I agree - if you still enjoy a villain though you hate him or her, then that takes a lot of skill. :D Thanks for stopping by, Laura!


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