Top positive review
Masterful Story Crafting Balances High-Speed Romance & Action
Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2021
This Cruel Blood is book 4 in Everly Frost’s gritty, Soul Bitten Shifter world. Here we part from Tessa and Tristan, to follow friend, pack member, and vampire, Iyana. The story picks up right where we left Iyana at the end of This Caged Wolf, caught in her memory while staring into a fire. Little does she know; those flames are about to pull a fiery, hot pyromancer from her past right into her present. Thus beginning a journey of myth, self-discovery, and love.
Book 4 packs an action-filled punch. Fast paced to start, it slows and emotions catch-up toward the middle of the story, all to coalesce in the conclusion. The love story follows a similar pattern to the action, starting hot and early, slowing for emotional exploration, and then what a sweet ending. Of note, because this is a second chance romance, there is more focus on Iyana’s path back to Aiden than building a foundation for their connection. Consequently, I struggled with the quickly rekindled relationship, but as the story built and I learned their history, the more authentic it felt. Be forewarned, there is some on page loving. Additionally, while I would say this book is not quite as dark as Tessa and Tristan’s were, it’s still in the Soul Bitten Shifter world. So expect violence, character actions and motivations in all shades of gray, and some dark, unredeemable villains.
As always, the writing is spectacular! Frost is an artist when it comes to creating modern day myth through both her world-building and character development. She also finds surprising and ingenious ways to tie all her stories together, so for the familiar reader, watch for those Easter eggs. That said, while it’s probably not necessary to read the first three books (this is almost a standalone, spin-off); you will miss out on a lot of the little things if you choose to start here. Overall, the book is well edited and reads smoothly. And the epilogue is a gift to all of the Tessa- Tristan fans. I highly recommend you add This Cruel Blood to your “must reads” list.