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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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Man with rippling muscles and a sensual glare gracing the front cover? Yep, check. Interesting, character-driven plot full of unexpected twists and turns? Uh-huh, double check. Beautifully written passages that seem to transport a reader into the heart of the novel itself? Yeah, I can check that one off the list too.

So why have I come away from Twice Tempted not feeling entirely satisfied? It seems to have all the key ingredients for an enjoyable paranormal romance read and yet it fell short of my expectations.

Although I took an instant dislike to Vlad, Once Burned made for a promising start to the four book Night Prince series. Opening up onto the first page of Twice Tempted, the series’ second book, I found myself hoping that Vlad would have matured in his approach to his and Leila’s relationship.

Sadly, this turned out not to be the case. Within paranormal romance, there’s this trend involving over-bearing, hard-headed and arrogant male leads and Vlad strikes me very much as a victim of this trend. The way in which he treats Leila is manipulative and controlling and, in many ways, could be perceived as mental abuse.

There’s an incident in the first chapter where Vlad invites vampires from his ‘line’ over for dinner with the intention of having them bear witness to him offering Leila the ‘gift’ of vampirity. Leila knows nothing of his intentions. Leila knows nothing of vampiric customs…so, naturally, when he presents her with a box with a ring inside, she thinks he’s proposing. Cue complete and utter humiliation on Leila’s part. The fact that Vlad then goes on to tell her it was the last thing she should have presumed was the icing on the cake for me. Having once been human himself, plus having been alive for over 500 years, I know that Vlad possesses the intelligence to understand how his actions could so easily have been misinterpreted. I wouldn’t want to say he deliberately set out to humiliate her but his response to the incident very much led me to feel that way.

Further on in the novel, Leila’s abilities begin to have a detrimental effect upon her health and Vlad threatens to imprison her if she continues to put her health on the line. On the one hand, I guess it’s nice that he’s so mindful of her health but on the other, what the actual hell!? He essentially threatens to strip her of freedom if she exercises the right to choose what happens to her body. If Leila wants to use her abilities despite the risks then, as a 25 year old woman, that is completely her decision.

Anyway, enough about Vlad. Let’s talk about the actual plot. As I mentioned previously, it’s full of twists and turns and there wasn’t a single event in the book that I had previously anticipated. It very much mirrors real life in its unpredictably and I loved this. I experienced one or two genuinely jaw-dropping moments where the plot took a completely different turn to what I’d been expecting. Very early on in Twice Tempted, it becomes apparent that Vlad has been double crossed by one of his own and the way the reveal is drawn out makes for the paranormal romance equivalent of a ‘whodunit’. I found myself constantly trying to guess who had leaked the information regarding Leila’s abilities and whereabouts. Despite all my guessing, I was still wrong in my assumptions!

Overall, my only real issue with this book is Vlad. If you want to experience Vlad from Leila’s perspective, though, feel free to check out his Date Night feature here.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Song: Motley Crue’s Mutherfucker of the year (an apt title for Vlad)

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This book is available on Amazon in both e-reader and paperback format.

 

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