Monday, April 15, 2013

Twice Tempted, Jeaniene Frost

It's monday and wow am I struggling to get going.  But this book is so worth finding the energy to tell you about!  If you caught our TBR week last week then you know that a bunch of us have this book on our TBR list.  I snagged it from audible and once again really enjoyed the narrator that she has for this series.  Enough said - let's get to the book.

Twice Tempted is the second in the Night Prince spin off series, of the Night Huntress series, by Jeaniene Frost.  If you haven't read this series, the main character is none other than the infamous Dracula, otherwise known as Vlad Tepesh.  He was first introduced in the Cat and Bones (Night Huntress) series and is a dear friend of Cat and a constant thorn in Bones' side.  This relationship makes his character in the main series really interesting.  He has a dry sense of humor and always seems to show up at just the right time to help Cat out and drive Bones crazy.  So when this series was announced we all were very, very excited.  I say all of that because if you go back and read my review on book one I was a bit let down.  The other spins off books that she has done on the secondary males from the Cat and Bones stories have been stand-alone happily ever after tales - my favorite style.  For Vlad, she chose to not have it wrap up in just one book but to be a full series.  Which translates to mean that they most certainly do not get their happily ever after in book one.  Which was beyond frustrating.  In book one, his character was not the man we had grown to love in the main series and was instead a medieval dictator type.  Don't get me wrong - book one is worth the read it just wasn't the quick closure I had expected or the dry, sarcastic hero that I had come to love from the main series.  Given how much we all loved him in the main series and how it was his presence alone that made some of the main series books great (and book 4 tolerable) I decided to trudge on to book 2.  And I am so glad I did!

The second book follows Ms. Frost's same story line development that she followed in the main series, having the characters eventually reach a impasse and break up.  Frustrating and not original.  BUT - in this case it finally helps bring a better explanation to what makes Vlad who he is and how the vampire society works.  She tried in Book 4 of the Night Huntress series to describe the feudal society that vampires function under but for me it didn't come across so much as a explanation but instead as Bone's being a overbearing jerk.  In this case, she does a much better job explaining how much the society they live in defines them.  After thousands of years living in a feudal society, combined with the medieval world he existed in prior to becoming a vampire, Vlad has become what most would see as a monster and it is imperative that he continues to maintain that appearance.  It is this need to maintain control of every aspect of his life that prevents Vlad from giving himself over fully to her.  And when his distance becomes too much to take and she leaves him, it is this same need to have full unquestioned authority over everything that prevents him from asking her to stay.  It isn't until word gets back to him that the carnival she works at has been attacked and she is presumed dead that he realizes the extent of his mistakes and failures.

Leila's character simply rocks in this book.  She is completely devoted to Vlad but instead of allowing him to continue to push her away and just sit by, waiting for him to come around, she dusts herself off and moves on.  She is strong and true to herself.  Vlad's second in command and best friend was charged with the task of seeing her back home.  So when her tour travel trailer is attacked he is still close and comes to her rescue.  We she discovers that nothing remains of her trailer, including her beloved best friend, Leila sets out to find who is behind the attack and his murder.  Fearing that Vlad may be trying to eliminate her to seek revenge for her dismissal, he tags along to protect her and help her find out who is behind the attacks.  The trailer fire freed Leila's gifts that had been suppressed at the end of book one and it is through this return of her gifts that she accidentally contacts Vlad in her sleep and they begin to find their way back to each other.  They have a long road to make it through - working to finally understand each other, find out who is behind the attacks, and where their future lies.  But unlike Book 4 of the Night Huntress Series, it is clear that Vlad is not playing games with her head.  He is fighting to find a way to make it work and is just as reluctant to get hurt emotionally as she is.  He is finally the Vlad we all fell in love with in the main series.  And all the strange behavior by his character for a book and a half finally make sense.  This book makes the journey so worth the ride!  Again - I did the audible version and really enjoyed it.  There will definitely be a third book in this series, as the ending is yet another cliff hanger.  But, thankfully, she is going to have a fresh plot based on his enemies and not rely on having them fight as something to write about.

RATING: Five Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.  Many thanks.
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