Author: Beth Fantaskey
Release Date: January 10, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Copy provided by publisher
Overall: 5 Stars
When Jessica Packwood found out she was a Romanian vampire princess, she had the shock of her teenage life. Turns out that was the easy part. Now, married to Prince Lucius Vladescu, she has to claim her throne and convince a vampire nation she’s fit to be their queen. But Jess can’t even order a decent meal from her castle’s Romanian staff, let alone deal with devious undead subjects who would love to see her fail.
And when Lucius is accused of murdering a vampire Elder and imprisoned without the blood he needs, Jessica finds herself alone, fighting for both their survivals. Desperate to clear her husband’s name and win his release, Jess enlists the help of her best friend Mindy Stankowicz and Lucius’s mysterious Italian cousin, Raniero Lovatu. But both of them are keeping some dark secrets. Can Jess figure out who to trust – and how to rise to power – before she loses everything, including the vampire she loves?
Full of romance, mystery, and danger, the highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side shows that sometimes a princess has to earn her “happily ever after” – with a sharpened stake in hand.
You don't know how excited I was to finally be able to read the long-awaited sequel to one of my favourite vampire novels, Jessica's Guide to Dating the Dark Side! After waiting a couple years for this book to be released, I dived into its pages with sheer giddy happiness and a certain touch of disbelief that the book was finally in my hands. Seriously, I did a silly happy dance because I'm such a fan-girl... or it may have been related to seeing more of a certain vampire prince named Lucias Vladescu...
It's been awhile since I last re-read the first novel, but that didn't really matter because as soon as I began reading Jessica Rules the Dark Side, all of the events came rushing back to me in a moment of clarity and I was in love once more with a storyline that I've never been able to resist. Feeling lost in her element, Jessica has become unsure of herself in being a vampire ruler, relying heavily on Lucias for support. So while I did miss Lucias' presence once he'd been locked away for crime he didn't commit, I also liked seeing Jessica finally begin to overcome her doubts and gain confidence in her capabilities, becoming a stronger person you could be proud of.
I'll admit, I was slightly doubtful about reading from Mindy's point of view in the story. After playing a rather minor role in the first book, she's more of an important player in this one. As a human, the things which trouble her provide quite the contrast compared to all of the pressure Jessica is under as a vampire princess who's also trying to save her husband. But don't be alarmed that it's only Mindy's narration readers are getting! Jessica is still very much the central figure of the novel and much of the book is from her perspective; it just came as somewhat of a surprise to read Mindy's take on events. I also loved how, in a similar fashion to the first book, Beth Fantaskey included letters and emails between Lucias and Raniero, revealing witty senses of humours they normally hid under guarded expressions among other vampires.
Beth Fantaskey has delivered a sequel that is just as entertaining and addictive as its predecessor! If you were a fan of the first novel, you must read Jessica Rules the Dark Side as soon as possible because you won't be disappointed! While I may have been able to predict who was daring to mess with Lucias and Jessica's happily ever after, that didn't stop me from enjoying the book any less. Jessica Rules the Dark Side was just as wonderfully good as I'd hoped it would be!
Thanks so much to Thomas Allen & Son for providing this review copy!