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Review: Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) by Jeaniene Frost

Submitted by Doll Elvie on April 12, 2013 – 4:00 amOne Comment

Author: Jeaniene Frost
Title: Twice Tempted
Release: March 26, 2013
Series: Night Prince #2,
Night Huntress – Complete World #10
Reviewer: Elvie
Source: Personal Library
Purchase: | Book Depository

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…

Twice Tempted is the sequel to last summer’s Once Burned, and continues the story of vampire Vlad Tepesh and his human lover, Leila. The story resumes a few months after the conclusion of the events of the previous book. Readers may remember that both Vlad’s showdown with his nemesis, Mihaly Szilagyi, and the status of his relationship with Leila, the human woman who wields both the power to harness electricity and the power to pick up psychic impressions by touching objects and people, were left somewhat up in the air at the end of the first installment. Neither situation has been resolved to any satisfactory degree in the intervening months. In fact, Leila’s doubts about their relationship seem to have only grown.

This book was a worthy successor to the first Night Prince story. The things that Once Burned a good read continue to hold true for Twice Tempted; Leila is an amazing heroine – I think I want to be her when I grow up! She more than holds her own against 500+ year old Vlad, despite his amazing stubbornness and towering arrogance. Their chemistry is as combustible as ever (see what I did there?), and both characters evolve, or at least, reveal more of themselves as the story progresses. The intriguing secondary characters introduced in the first book are more than cardboard cut-out figures; several of them play important roles in the plot, and readers get to learn more about their backgrounds and personalities in this second book.

When I reviewed Once Burned, I said I wasn’t sure whether it was a paranormal romance that read like an urban fantasy, or an urban fantasy that read like a paranormal romance, and this blurring of the lines continues in Twice Tempted. Leila and Vlad have tragedy and betrayal to deal with, but they must also deal with their own emotional discords. The progress of their relationship through multiple high and low points is the primary plot driver of this second book, with the intrigues and dangers that beset them frequently taking a backseat. I wouldn’t characterize this as a flaw, however; instead of progressing along a somewhat crooked path to a pat HEA ending, Ms. Frost keeps it real in the same way that the relationship between her Night Huntress protagonists Cat and Bones evolves and encounters new challenges, long after their supposed HEA was reached.

Beyond all the emotional pyrotechnics (I did it again!), Vlad and Leila have other challenges to face. Again, as in the first book, although the short arc plot lines were both largely resolved, the tie-in to the larger story arc became clear at the very end of the book, and then the book ended immediately afterwards. Not a cliffhanger – no heinous surprises were introduced to leave us writhing in agony until the third and final book is published – but another very abrupt and unexpected ending that left me feeling surprised and off balance. I kept tapping my ereader screen, trying to get to the next page that I was sure was there! But other than wanting more Vlad and Leila time, I was not left unsatisfied with the ending.

Vlad is a ruthless character who has been protecting his people by any and all means necessary for hundreds of years. Despite this, the situations with Leila and his enemies manage to force him into new territory, and watching Vlad cope with the turmoil is great entertainment. Watching Leila grow into a woman amazing enough to make the so-called Prince of Darkness toe the line is even better.

Elvie was raised to view books as on about the same level as food and water — utterly necessary for survival! One day her parents realized that the guest bathroom was the only room with no books. Elvie proudly carries on this tradition, although she thoughtfully provides her guests with reading material, too. As a German translator, she is lucky enough to be able to troll for great reads in two languages. She is particularly fond of historical fiction and romance, all fantasy, and sci-fi. When not sucking down books in mass quantities, Elvie enjoys cross-stitching, genealogy, movies, and wasting time on the internet. She lives in North Carolina with her daughter.
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