Published: 26th March 2013
Series so far: Once Burned
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.
This is the fantastic continuation of Vlad and Leila's story as they battle bad guys and their relationship problems. I just want to mention that I'm going to try my hardest to keep spoilers out of this review, because there were a lot of great actions I didn't see coming and I really would hate to ruin it for anyone.
The characters are still reeling from the events of the first book which is a nice continuation of adventures, but also means we get right back into the action which is awesome. Leila had decided at the end of the first novel that she needed a break from Vlad if he wasn't going to be emotionally available. So the first half had minimal Vlad, which was disappointing but I understood that both Leila and Vlad needed space - especially after the shit Vlad pulled at the beginning of the story. After that, Leila goes back to the carnie but of course things don't go that well, as she finds out her act has been replaced and then the trailer park blows up. Obviously, someone wants Leila dead and she's not sure who, and she even suspects Vlad which makes things a bit difficult.
This is where I'll stop, because everything happens in the second half, with a Maximas and Vlad showdown, betrayal and revenge, blood and sex and all sorts of drama! So, instead I'm going to talk about character development and writing quality. Of course, I expect no less from Frost than fantastic writing and plot lines and characters. As for the relationship, Vlad is changing for Leila, which means you get less snark, but I am a romantic and thus think it is adorable and admirable that he is changing for her. And what was great about the relationship was that Leila knew this and did not encourage it! She wanted him to stay the same man she fell in love with! This balance was brilliantly handled, I thought, as changing dynamics in relationships can be disastrous but Frost has this amazing knack of writing believable developments, allowing both partners time to adapt amid all the drama. And when that happens to be Vlad and Leila, one of my favourite book couples ever, I just want to hug the book!
All in all, this book had it all: Frost's amazing writing and characters, blood and gore, love and, of course, had me aching for the next book!
This counted towards my Genre Variety challenge.