Friday, 29 March 2013
#CBR5 Book 33. "Twice Tempted" by Jeaniene Frost
Rating: 3.5 stars
This is the second book in the Night Prince series, and as such, this review may (and probably will) contain spoilers for the first book, Once Burned, which I read, enjoyed and reviewed last year.
So the half-naked dude on the cover is basically supposed to be Dracula (although he gets really cranky when people call him that), and he's the hero of this trilogy of paranormal fantasy/romance. He can read people's minds, and is also pyrokinetic (hence all the flames on the cover). Leila, his girlfriend, is tired of his aloofness and the fact that while she's admitted openly that she loves him, he claims that she could never love the "real him" (what with all the centuries of killing, torturing and generally being a pretty ruthless SOB). So after a rather awkward formal ceremony where she thinks he's going to propose marriage, and he's "only" offering to turn her into a vampire, Leila has had enough, and decides that she needs to get out before he breaks her heart any worse than he already has.
Leila's not exactly a normal girl, after an accident when she was a teenager, she pretty much generates electricity and has learned to control it into a pretty fierce whip-like weapon. She has to wear rubber-lined gloves, or she can accidentally electrocute people. She can also gain psychic impressions from objects and people, but after a near-death experience at the end of the previous book, where Vlad coated her in his fire-proof aura to keep her from burning to a crisp in an explosion, that ability seems to have disappeared. Heart-broken and pissed off, Leila goes back to the US, where she intends to go back to her old, pre-Prince of Darkness' girlfriend life as a carnival acrobat. She barely has time to discover that her old partner thought she was gone for good, and has found a replacement in their act, before half the carnival is destroyed in a huge explosion.
Leila is saved by one of Vlad's henchmen (who totally has a crush on her), and because they're not entirely sure that Vlad didn't cause the blast because he was furious that Leila dared leave him, they decide that it might be best if Leila lets everyone believe she's dead, until they can figure out more about who caused the explosion. Leila tries to investigate, but as in the first book, isn't very good at being sneaky about it, and before she knows it, enemies of Vlad's have kidnapped her and intend to use her as leverage against him. Can she figure out who keeps trying to kill her? Will she get Vlad to actually admit his true feelings for her? Is her incredibly impulsive and reckless investigative techniques going to nearly kill her every single time? (The answer to all three is yes, by the way, sorry if that spoils some of the plot for you).
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, and this one was also a very fast and engrossing read. Vlad is a total alpha hero, who's used to unquestioning obedience from all his subjects. The fact that he can't control Leila, and that she constantly challenges him, not to mention defies his attempts to keep her safe and unharmed by getting herself into really quite impressively dangerous situations, time and time again, makes him furious. Their interactions are hugely entertaining, and there is some very good banter. I hope that Jeaniene Frost didn't intend for the "mysteries" in the plot to be very intricate, because I'd figured out exactly who was behind the attempts on Leila's life, and the motivations for it pretty much as soon as it became an issue. You don't read this book for the mystery, you read it because it features a super hot vampire, lots of action and some really quite scorching smexy times. Once again, I liked this a lot more than most of the Night Huntress books that are Frost's main series.