The scarlet veil by Shelby Mahurin

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The world of Belterra could be likened to a 18th century French court except for a variety of mythical beings.  In the town of Cesarine, the reader will encounter many of the familiar magical characters from  Serpent & Dove series. ( Book 2, Blood & Honey and Book 3, Gods & Monsters.) Our heroine Celie Tremblay is clearly grappling with finding her identity and the trauma of past events, manifesting in flashbacks.  The squad of misogynistic Chasseurs (Huntsmen) do not make it easy for Celie to follow her destiny by ridiculing her performance as the first ever Huntswoman to join the Chasseurs. Being betrothed to the Commander is awkward for both of them despite Jean Luc being extremely proud of her.   

But Celie is among the last Chasseurs to find out about a worrying spate of murder victims drained of blood, until she stumbles across the latest victim,  Babette. Inhabitants of Belterra are not acquainted with Vampires at all – they are far too successful and secretive which makes the murders more horrifying.  Overhearing a meeting, to which she is not invited, she accepts that Jean-Luc does not take her seriously.  While walking alone against orders, attempting to prove her worth, Celie is mistakenly abducted because she is wearing someone else's cloak. Her Captor, Michal is the dark vampire king. He takes her to Requiem. Will this lure her friends into his clutches or is he merely trying to find answers for magic disappearing from his island kingdom?  

Readers will be enthralled by the placement of a very soft character into a very sinister, blood thirsty world and pairing her up with a new kind of monster. The effect is a crossover book with wide appeal.

Romantic intensity oozes from the  attraction of opposites and Celie and Michal mirror the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast.  But the Beast is actually evil and his menacing stretched out for hundreds of pages like a tapestry gradually softened by Celie. Will captivity with the Vampire be hell or sanctuary in this rich bloodthirsty romantic adventure?  You won’t see the Epilogue coming. Recommended for YA fans of Romance, given the relationships are kept 'high minded'. (619p) Visit youtube for several recent interviews with the author.

Themes: Vampire, Gothic, Romance, Magic.

Deborah Robins