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Thursday, April 18, 2013

REVIEW: "Twice Tempted" by Jeaniene Frost

Twice Tempted (Night Prince, #2)
Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost
(Night Prince #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository

For Ages 18+
Urban Fantasy -- Paranormal Romance
Avon -- March 26, 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 360 pages
Purchased from Amazon

SUMMARY
Dating the Prince of Darkness has its challenges...

Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her.

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity...

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity.

FIRST LINES
This wasn't the first time I had woken up as a captive.  It wasn't even the second.  I so needed to reevaluate my life choices.

MY THOUGHTS
Warning!  This review may contain spoilers for the first book in the Night Prince trilogy, Once Burned.

I am a huge fan of Jeaniene Frost's work especially her Night Huntress series so it should come as no surprise that I was eagerly awaiting the second book in this trilogy about the infamous Vlad Tepesh (Dracula) himself.  While I did not enjoy this one as much as I do the stories about Cat and Bones, I still thought it was a sexy and entertaining installment that made me excited to read the conclusion soon.

The last time readers saw Vlad and his human lover, Leila, they had agreed to "date" and see where their relationship went.  Leila has already admitted to herself that she was falling in love with the cranky Master vampire while Vlad is avoiding any mention of feelings beyond lust.  Twice Tempted opens with Vlad offering Leila the rare chance to be part of his "family" forever which she completely, and logically, misunderstands.  When she discovers the truth, Leila comes to the realization that Vlad may never love her the way she loves him so, in order to save what is left of her heart and pride, she decides to return to her life on the carnival circuit.  This, of course, sets off a huge chain of events that will keep our protagonists busy for the remainder of the series.

This book really showcases the evolution of Leila as a heroine.  I was not her biggest fan in Once Burned, but really felt like she came into her own here.  She is becoming more accustomed to the strangeness of Vlad's world and even appreciates what being his lover allows her to do.  I thought Leila showed some real backbone by leaving Vlad and trying to regain her independence.  She is also becoming more comfortable with her powers and their effects on her body.  I do still feel like she has a few too many reckless moments, but not nearly as many as she did in the first book.

Vlad is as cranky and overbearing as always which just makes me love him even more.  His snarky outlook on life is extremely entertaining and keeps things from getting to dark.  Readers get to see deeper into Vlad's psyche and why he avoids pesky feelings like love so much.  I liked how Frost utilized the classic "no one can love me when they discover the truth" excuse without making it cheesy and overly dramatic (which doesn't fit Vlad's character).

"No, you don’t." Another lethal growl. "You only know how she died. Let me tell you how she lived— in fear. My actions horrified her, as they horrify you. My enemies exploited her, as they exploit you, so it was more than an advancing army that made her throw herself from our roof. It was me."

He is a violent person and is basing his fears on what has happened to him in the past.  It was nice to see some cracks in his armor especially when he finally starts to admit his feelings to Leila and the people around him.

Vlad and Leila's relationship goes through quite a few ups and downs in Twice Tempted.  But, I think it helps with the fluidity of the plot and develops as naturally as it can with all the supernatural distractions.  I personally love the scenes where the two of them are alone and just talk.  These moments really show that they have a connection beyond sex which I think both of them desperately needed.

"If you introduce yourself to anyone as Mrs. Dracula, I'll bite you in a manner you won't enjoy." 

Like in the first book, I thought the chemistry between Vlad and Leila was obvious and written very well.  I do wish that the love scenes were a bit hotter, but that may be because I am used to the steamy Cat and Bones scenes in the Night Huntress novels.

There are quite a few side characters that have prominent roles in this installment.  Specifically, readers get to see more depth in Vlad's minions like Maximus and Shrapnel as well as Leila's family.  My favorite part was the development of Leila's relationship with her sister, Gretchen.  They really are starting to connect as siblings which I loved reading about.  And, as a good Night Huntress fan, I was ecstatic to see the cameos of Mencheres, Kira, and even the hints of Cat.

The plot of Twice Tempted consisted of a ton of action and suspense.  It primarily focused on who is trying to kill Leila.  Like a lot of things in this series, the mystery is connected to Vlad's past though in a way that I wasn't really expecting which was enjoyable.  I am really excited to see where Frost takes the Vlad/Leila dynamic next and am eager to see how everything gets resolved in the end.


***4 STARS***
FAVORITE QUOTE
"It's a dungeon, Leila. They're supposed to smell."  Mission accomplished. The stench might have actually killed my new appetite.  If Hell could fart, it would smell like this.


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Once Burned
2. Twice Tempted

AUTHOR INFORMATION

4 comments:

  1. Great review! I read some of Once Burned a while ago and really liked the dynamic between Leila and Vlad (*swoon*) but I'm glad to hear that Leila really evolves as a character in this book. I love it when that happens!

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    1. Also: I love the quotes you picked!

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  2. I haven't read any of Frost's books, but I know so many people say how much they love the Cat and Bones books. I should really look into them.

    Thanks for the review!

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    1. The Cat and Bones books are so great! Bones in my #1 book boyfriend and I would put Cat high on my list of favorite heroines. I highly recommend them if you like vampire books at all. Thanks for commenting!

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