Title: Snow Bite, Blood Red (Once Upon a Man Book 1)
Author: Jade Astor
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Characters: King Jasper, Albion
Sub-Genre: Paranormal, Historical, Vampire
A man-loving twist on a classic tale. The younger son of a powerful lord, Albion leads a comfortable but sheltered life in the castle with his father and half-brother, Rosarius. Everything changes for him one night when he is summoned to the palace of King Jasper, along with all the other eligible young men in the realm. Much to his brother’s resentment , Albion is chosen to help break the curse that has befallen their ruler.
Forced to live as a creature who shuns the daylight and feasts on human blood, King Jasper has nearly given up hope of finding the true love who can restore his life and his humanity. Just as he starts to believe that Albion may be the one to heal him, a mysterious assassin tries to put a stop to their growing passion. With the forces of both envious men and dark magic working against them, Jasper and Albion must find a way to outwit death and forge a life together.
I totally agree with what the blurb says: A man-loving twist on a classic tale, because this is very true. Ms. Astor definitely put a creative and interesting spin on the much loved story, and made it into her own. I liked the author’s ability to draw me into the intricate world of these characters and I enjoyed the couple of hours of escape it gave me from my everyday life.
This book is hard for me to rate. I read it yesterday and still I’m unsure of exactly how I felt about it. Not to say the book wasn’t good, because it was, but there was something about it that felt a little off to me. Now, I love a retold fairy tale romance, and I thought this one in particular was quite unique so it’s not that. I also thought the characters were pretty well-written and found them to be interesting people. Sitting here, I think the reason why I liked the book, but didn’t love it is because I was never convinced that King Jasper really loved Albion for who he really was or what he could do for him.
Jasper was plagued with a family curse that has made him into a vampire. The only way to break this curse is if Jasper finds true love. The blood of his beloved mate will free him from his curse, so Jasper is more than a little anxious to find his true love. Every season he makes all of the landowners bring their newly turned18 year old males to court, so he can see and possibly meet these men who could possibly be the mate he’s been waiting for. He doesn’t notice Albion at first, (Albion’s father makes sure of it) but once he does notice him, Jasper orders his presence and into his bedchamber.
Now, I totally understood this and I definitely saw where the author was going with it. I liked the sweet and naïve Albion and understood why the slightly jaded Jasper would be interested in him. Albion is definitely like Snow White. He’s been sheltered and sees the world through rose colored glasses. He doesn’t like to believe that there are people out there that are capable of evil, especially if it is a relative or someone close to him. I liked him. I thought he was interesting and an all-around nice guy. I think in my mind I wanted more for him. I wanted to see Jasper really wine and dine him. I wanted to see them spend more quality time together, and make their relationship more than what I thought it was.
Please do not misunderstand me. This is still a good book. There is a lot of danger and intrigue that follows these characters around and there is definitely a lot of physical chemistry between Albion and Jasper that was steamy and very sensual. I also liked the spin on Albion’s half-brother Rosarius. Ironically, I thought Rosarius was extremely interesting and at the beginning of the book I hoped he too, would get his own story, *this just proves I’m a sucker for bad boys too* but since he ended up being not what he first seemed to be, that isn’t going to happen. I also thought the world Ms. Astor created was an intriguing and interesting one and all in all I really liked this book. If you like fairytaled themed romances, this is definitely a book you should consider. Ms. Astor definitely has a way of writing unique characters with an interesting twist in her storylines. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series and seeing what other journey this author will take me.
Reviewed By: Gabbi