You do not have to have read Book 1, to enjoy this dark and mysterious tale, but I have and this is just a continuation of the wonderful story and beautiful language of author Estela Vazquez Perez. Perez very definitely has a way with words and her books are a delight to read, as the stories just trip off the tongue and draw fantastic mind pictures for the readers. At its heart, this series is very much a story about unrequited love and the pain that goes along with living forever, as a vampire, combined with the inability of a vampire to consummate true and lasting romantic love with another person. The characters from the first book are still there, but this book focuses very much on the life of Montenegro, after he returns to California and comes to terms with the idea that he is now an abomination and will live forever, but can never find true and lasting love.
I am generally not a great reader of vampiric fantasy, but Perez not only makes her characters real and the reader empathetic to them, she weaves a beautiful story as she goes. I cannot wait for the next iteration of this series to see where Perez takes these characters that I have come to adore.
Dark Serenade is an excellent read and one I can highly recommend.