Review: Dark Summer by S.J. Coles

Dark Summer

Is a human lifetime long enough to learn to love a vampire?

The tumultuous events of the Blood Winter are a fading nightmare, and Alec and Terje are trying to build a life together at Alec’s newly restored ancestral home of Glenroe. There’s just one problem… Terje doesn’t appear to be committed—constantly called away on mysterious errands and seemingly unable to forsake his own kind. Alec begins to wonder if Terje is capable of loving anyone, let alone him.

When an old uni friend Jay Singh, recently out of the closet and looking rather too good to be true, returns to Alec’s life, he becomes more conflicted than ever. Things only escalate when Alec is forced into the social and political issues still surrounding the haemophiles’ tumultuous integration into human society and soon it is more than just his relationship on the line.

Can Alec figure out what kind of future is possible with a vampire—and if it can ever be enough for either of them—before it’s too late?

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, murder, alcohol abuse and blood drinking.

Publisher’s Note: This story is best read as a sequel to Blood Winter.


Goodreads: Dark Summer by S.J. Coles


Rating: 5 stars

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

When I learned that there was going to be a sequel to Blood Winter, I was so excited as it is one of my favourite vampire novels. I couldn’t wait to read Dark Summer and it did not disappoint.

After the events of Blood Winter, Alec and Terje are rebuilding their lives together and away from the political fallout and unrest from the previous novel. Alec is growing frustrated as Terje does not seem to want to commit on the same level that he does, and he is always going away, sometimes for months at a time. When an old university friend comes back into Alec’s life, he finds himself conflicted and in part yearning for a more human relationship. Then he learns that Terje’s former Magister is back and they are both unwillingly thrust into a world that they had sought to escape from.
This sequel has a darker tone than the previous novel, which suits it perfectly given events. It is told from Alec’s point of view, and you can really feel just how conflicted and troubled he is by his inability to understand Terje, and in turn Terje’s difficulty in reading him. For the two of them the relationship presents different complications but what brings them together is the willingness to try. I really love them as a couple and really wanted them to work through their issues.

Much of the novel is about their relationship, but this is interwoven perfectly with Evgeniya’s return. This time the threat that she presents is different and the confrontation forces both Alec and Terje to face their problems head on.

The writing style is raw and powerful, with a dark tone which also has its lighter moments. This and the descriptions crafted the world perfectly and I felt as though I was living the entire novel rather than reading it. The end does wrap up many of the loose ends, but I would love to see a continuation in the future!

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