Twice Tempted (Night Prince Series #2)

Twice Tempted - Jeaniene Frost Leila is reviewing her relationship with Vlad and is concerned. She doesn’t know where it’s going, she doesn’t know whether he’s tiring of her like he has so many others and, ultimately, she doesn’t know if she’s going to be happy. Increasingly as the days pass and Vlad racks up one faux pas too many, it seems the answer is that she’s not going to be. He is not going to return the same depth of love se feels for him – and seems closed to the very idea.So she leaves before getting any more hurt.And then someone tries to kill her.Presumed dead, she needs to find out who tried to kill her, who is hunting her and stop them to protect herself and her family. But she also needs to know why. Is it her enemy? Is it Vlad’s? Or is it… Vlad himself, motivated by his overwhelming pride and unwilling to swallow the insult of her leaving? Which leaves her with terrible choices of who to trust.I was impressed almost from the beginning by the writing of this book. After all, this isn’t just the second book of a series, this is a book that rests on the Night Huntress series of world building. The temptation to infodump is very very high. But it’s not only masterfully resisted – but the world is wonderfully presented. Little side references like Leila being careful not to fry the shower, her immunity to fire and how that relates to Vlad’s power, her thinking back to the last time she was kidnapped – it all serves extremely well to fill in the past story without us ever once having an info dump or a convoluted moment or a great, big, clunky “as you know… let me explain the plot to you”. The past is explained – but it’s a reminder for a reader who hasn’t read for a while, not an attempt to re-tell the whole book.And the story itself flows well. It’s wonderfully focused on just one storyline, side issues crop up now and then to each side, there are issues and distractions, but they’re brief and more re-direct the main story than they mini storylines in their own right. The protagonists act in a sensible and realistic fashion, there’s a lot of real emotion, a lot of realness and lot of believability. And not once did I want to lay about the characters with a large haddock for their sheer foolishness. Everything’s just so well balanced – enough mystery to intrigue, but not so much that it’s lost and hopeless. Enough questions to stop it being linear without becoming distracted. Enough action to be exciting without it being a slog of battles and enough capability from Leila for her to seem competent and strong without her seeming ridiculously perfect and overpowered. All the conflicts were real, both against the enemy and Leila and Vlad’s emotional conflicts, nothing seemed convoluted, nothing seem contrived. It all workedI’m also impressed that, while cameos from the other books appear, Jeaniene Frost has resisted the urge to play with her old characters. They make brief visits, they don’t hang around, they don’t dominate the plot, they don’t try to become protagonists or major characters; she’s teilling Leila and Vlad’s story, not Cat and Bone’s story nor Mencheres’s story. Read More