Friday, March 6, 2015

Barb's Book Review... Twice Tempted

Twice Tempted (Night Prince, #2)
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.


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The second book of the Night Prince series was just as good as the first. A lot more action and a helluva lot more intense. The character interactions are more intense. There is more of an edge to Vlad. That over protective vampire who doesn’t take no for an answer grows. It makes him seem more real. He is a man in love for sure.


***small spoiler alert***


Leila has feeling Vlad’s attention and closeness since the night he rescued her and her powers went wonky. She was wondering if the little voice in her head was right. He only wanted her for her powers. But that couldn’t be. As the coldness she felt between them grew she decided to get out of the house. Maximus took her and her sister shopping. Gretchen of course took that in stride. Also, Maximus tells them Leila they needed to get back since she would need to get ready for a dinner they were having that night. A fancy dinner at that. Leila was not in the mood for it but she agreed to leave and get ready. When Leila went down stairs to the dining room along with Vlad there were many vampires seated.


As the dinner progressed the nerves in Layla grew but when the end of the meal came and Vlad stood making a small speech where he handed Leila a ring box she went into total girl mode. Assuming it was an engagement ring… it however was not. It was a replica of his family’s ring. A sign to show anyone that she was a part of his line. He was offering her immortality and a place to call home but not what she really wanted. The thing she most wants from him she could never have. His love. Leila decides what he can give her is not enough.. and she leaves him. It hurts but she walks out and goes home to Florida. Maximus escorting her and shrapnel escorting Gretchen -her sister- to make sure they got where they were going.


When Maximus arrives in Florida with her but there is no Marty. After some asking around she finds out where he was headed. When she and Maximus arrive in Georgia they quickly locate Marty. He and his new partner -the new “Frankie”- there for a few shows. He offers her the spot back but she refuses. The girl, Dawn, needed the job so she would just stick around and see what she could find to do. After Maximus left Leila broke down and spilled everything to Marty about what had happened with Vlad. She had held it together until then. But Marty was like her dad so it was easy to talk to him. After a night of sleeping on the couch Layla goes and watched a show Marty and Dawn have under the big top and then goes to see a man about some jewelry. Time to sale some of the stuff Vlad bought her to get some spending cash.


As she looks through the jewelry as the man she is going to sell it to looks it over she comes across the replica ring Vlad had given her. Her heart sinks seeing it but before she can really react to it the trailer she is in erupts in flames accompanies by a big ass BOOM. When Leila wakes up again all she can see is a man in front of her with an oxygen mask on. A firefighter. But she is safe. Everything around her is destroyed. Melted. Burned. Dead.. but she is perfectly fine. Vlad’s aura saved her ass again. Apparently its still working. She starts to scream for Marty but after a few minutes.. nothing. Then all of a sudden -in a blink- Maximus is there. He green eyes the people around and gets her the hell out of there. Once they get to a hotel and she gets a change of clothes from him she realizes her power is back.. and fire once again hurts like a bitch.


This of course means its time to see who tried to kill her and who killed Marty. Using the green eye effect they score some of the evidence the cops found and she gets a thread to the bomb maker. THey follow the trail and along the way Leila dreams of Vlad. Its like she can't get him out of her mind. But she pushes the thoughts away and focuses on the bomb maker. But the runs cold as soon as they get to his street… seems his house went BOOM too.. (laughs) So they go to a motel and try to figure out how to track down the person that blew him up.. but before that can happen they are attacked. Maximus is shot with liquid silver and she is helpless to get away and save him. Its a choice. Kill her attacker and let Max die.. or go with the attacker and save Max. So she goes. When she wakes again she is tied up in a room. One that rocks… she is on a boat.


Quick thinking, and being pissed off helps her come up with a way to get out of her ropes and to exact revenge on her captors. Violence is in her blood… she was awesomely in control and used her wattage to her advantage. They never saw it coming. But once that was done… she was stuck. She fried the motor to the boat, the radio was out and the one cell phone she found was in pieces. What could she do? There was only one thing to do… she used her gift to find Vlad. And after making him promise to not kill or torture Max she told him where she was. When he and Mencheres showed up they rescued her and the other battered and beaten humans she had found under the boat in a cargo hold. There was a quick stop at Mencheres and then they were off to Romania.. again.


When they arrive things are a little tense between her and Vlad’s people. Leila is no longer his lover so his people are polite but curt with her. (Laughs) I don’t know what she expected… duh. But things between her and Vlad heat up as their tempers flare more than once. Heatedly. When Leila finds out Vlad has Max in the dungeons, locked away there and will have him there for the next century or two she storms off to find them. Thanks to using her power she has a nosebleed and uses it to her advantage. Acting faint and like a true damsel in distress she fakes a faint and gets the idiot guard to carry her to Vlad.. and then jumps up and demands to know what’s going on. That fight draws to an end fast. Vlad demands an apology in front of everyone… which she gives then has to ask him for his blood to heal her. (Dead) Paybacks a biotch!!


Later that night they meet in the parlor between his room and her old room. They talk which means they argue. She is stubborn as hell. He is unyielding in his choices and things go from hot to scorching in the blink of an eye. He is determined that she loves a fantasy version of him but she knows she loves the real him. Vlad pulls her to him and makes a crass remake about angry sex and something in her comes back to earth. She manages to get her senses back and the argument continues until Vlad walks out on her. The next day things go from bad to oh no she didn’t. Leila, set and determined to prove him wrong goes to the weapons room and starts touching things. She will learn all about him that she can. After an undetermined amount of time and so many memories she hears her name being called. Its Vlad. When he pulls her to him she tells him he’s wrong she does love him and the world goes black. When she wakes again, groggy and disoriented Vlad’s there, looking down at her. She has been in the hospital room she’s in for 3 days. Not only did she give herself a kick in the ass and hemorrhage out she died. As in dead. Vlad managed to save her and has been giving her his blood for days through an IV drip. Its the only thing that saved her. But his anger words that he will always bring her back, no matter what settle in. She stays in the hospital room for another 3 days, sleeping and trying to get her strength back.


Once she goes back to the room she is using she cleans up and then discovers her clothes are gone. When she questions Oscar he says that she isn’t staying there anymore. Panic. She goes to Vlad’s room and barges in…. (laughs) telling him he can’t kick her out…. yada yada.. but he gets her attention when he shows her his closet. All of her things are in HIS closet. In his room. Not a spare room.. HIS room. Then as if she isn’t shocked enough he informs her that they are getting married… tonight. (snorts) She of course has to turn it into a debate. He agrees that he does love her. He isn’t about to let her get away again. and then hours later after many debates and talks with her family they say I do.


Then the next day, the first day they will share as husband and wife… they have a fight. SURPRISE SURPRISE...  Vlad confides in her -via his iPad- that someone in his house has betrayed him. And it must be someone on his 4th floor. One of his most trusted people. But he has no clue as to who. Leila wants to use her gift to find out who. He vito's that with a “not as long as you’re human” comment. But you can’t blame him. Every time she taps that power she kills herself a little faster. But one thing we all know… no one tells Leila no… so she starts a secret mission to find answers. And with Cat’s quick thinking -since she is still in the house but leaving soon- she saves Leila from being busted when Shrapnel opens his door as she gets ready to touch the handle. They walk off together to see the control room. Thank goodness Cat can read her mind and knew what she was up to. After she parts from Cat she is determined to go to her room with the pocket of small things she took from the desks there to search through later. But is soon busted by Vlad. Gals got no chance.


The next day when she remembers the items in her skirt pocket -after she picks it up off the floor where Vlad left it after her tore it off of her..- she shoves her hand into her pocket and gets an image of someone. Why would she be in the control room? Thanks to some quick ass thinking she plans a trip with her sister Gretchen, Sandra -one of Vlad’s humans- and  of course Vlad knows she is up to something but doesn’t know what… but allows them to go with Shrapnel, Oscar and a car full of armed escorts. But when they get out of earshot of the castle, Leila acts fast. She touches Sandra and then all hell breaks lose. She sees Shrapnel coming to her, in her room, green eyeing her. Shrapnel? He’s the one giving the brunette vampire information. As soon as she pulls from the vision Shrapnel blows up the other car and veers them off the road.


They crash and Leila, who isn't restrained by a seatbelt is flung to the floor of the car. She’s hurt and pissed. Both her sister and Sandra are hurt but not badly. Oscar however.. is shriveling. Shrapnel stabbed him in the heart before he jumped out. Then the fight is on. Shrapnel attacks. The fight ends with him on the ground. No arms or legs and her all but passing out as she tries to get her sister and Sandra out of the car before the gas ignites. But Shrapnel messed her up in a bad way. Using her powers has caused her to start to lose it… and just as she thinks she is out.. Vlad shows up before her world goes dark.


This time when she awakes… things are so much more different. She has changed. He was right he would do anything to keep her. But not like she thought. She had had his blood already in her but with the hemorrhage from the fight and using her powers she had been drained. So Vlad giving her his blood, again, started her change. it was going to happen anyway but she hadn’t planned to do it this soon. It was going to be an adjustment… on that was going to take time but her urges for blood would soon pass and she would be able to control herself. Until then Vlad would make sure she was taken care of in all ways. After time, thinking its safe to go up stairs she is almost in the clear until Gretchen pops up. Vlad of course has her in his iron grip to keep her from killing her sister, but the damage is done. Gretchen figures it out and knows it was the only way to save Leila… but that thought doesn’t make it any easier on her. She saved her by dragging her from the car after Leila collapsed. No one knew that until she said it. Its then that Vlad realizes her sister had saved her from going up in flames with the car. He has guards hold Leila while he moves to Gretchen and takes her hand. Scoring his with a dagger he offers Gretchen his blood. A blood bond that makes her one of his in the eyes of the vampires. It offers her a protection nothing else can beat. Her father isn’t happy with either course of action so he packs Gretchen up and leaves. He is still pissy after the whole wedding thing anyway.


Now that she is all vampy… its time to put her gifts to work. She and Vlad go into the dungeon and talk to Shrapnel. Which means that Leila watched Vlad impale him then question him. (laughs) That doesn’t bother her though. She is determined to get her gift to work. she touches the blood stained stones willing her power to work. Even though she is just became a vampire.. Vlad warns her it may not work but guess what.. he was wrong. it just took it a few times to pop up. Then it comes to Leila... she knows the person after her. She has seen her before. When it comes out that the brunette is an ex lover of Vlad’s.. he gets a wee bit testy. (snorts) And now its time to find her. Leila has to be careful though in her search… Cynthiana has herself spelled so if Leila finds her it kills her. Well it did as a human both times she found her.. but now as a vamp what would happen? So after finding a few constructive ways to search for Cynthiana she figures out that she (Cynthiana) had been putting spells on Vlad to make him love her. Thought they obviously failed many times.


Then Leila gets it. Time for a game of cat and mouse. They get word to her as Shrapnel had been all of this time. And she replies. Now, its game on. The location Cynthiana picks instead of the one they had suggested is a busy place. The Romanian subway station.. a busy as hell place. Leila takes lots of precautions to get herself sorted to be able to handle being in that space with so many humans. Leila is the only one who would be able to get in and not be noticed. As Cynthiana doesn’t know what she looks like. As she enters the place she looks and searches for her. The fun begins when she spots her. Because Leila -through a hidden mic- relays the location she is in she is told to stay back. Vlad’s voice rings clear through the speaker and Cynthiana must hear it because all hell breaks lose and the chase is on.


Not only does Layla have to fight to get through the humans but Cynthiana; Cynthiana tosses spells at her. Making rats attack her, then… ghouls. (laughs) Talk about a mix of vermin. Thankfully Layla is able to use her gifts and takes down as many of the Ghouls as she can. until more show up.. but before she can get overthrown Vlad shows up and as she hits the deck, everything in the tunnel she is in is set ablaze. When he helps her out of the tunnel she sees they have Cynthiana. Restrained and boy is she pissed. When they get her back to the castle and in the dungeon, Shrapnel is brought in to see what happens.


As Leila asks her questions small things start to come into play. As Leila puts the pieces together she looks Cynthiana as she tells her she has seen her before. the woman she saw the night of the first bombing. This shocks the shit out of Vlad and Cynthiana. Then more things come together. then the search is on. As Leila searches for a thread of essence to find the one she is looking for Vlad holds Cynthiana. Szilagyl is the puppet master behind Cynthiana’s attempts to kill her. Szilagyl wants her alive.. and now Leila really wants to get her hands on him….

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