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Review: Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Young Adult, Vampires
Hardcover $16.99 (320 pages, HARCOURT)
Ebook $9.99

The highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.
It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?

Author Site: bethfantaskey.com

Something was missing... but it was still just shy of lovable... (4 stars)

Now married and living in Romania, Jessica and Lucius face a new challenge together. While royalty they must still be judged worthy of being king and queen by their fellow vampires. Stepping up from being just a title to showing true leadership potential is difficult for a girl raised by vegans but Jess doesn't have a choice. When a violent crime leaves her beloved husband as the obvious suspect she will have to sink or swim on her own.

With the support of Lucius' cousin Raniero and Jessica's best friend Mindy, Jessica will find her resolve. Not just the strength to find the true perpetrator but to prove her worth as a vampire queen.

Please don't hate me for finding this sequel to be only okay. I know exactly what about it didn't work for me. I missed the tension between Jess and Lucius that their seperation in this book—while he's in solitary confinement until his trial—didn't allow for. At the same time it was awesome! I loved seeing Jess growing into her role, how she was learning to trust her instincts. As a married adult I truly found this part sang to me. This is a message I would want my daughters to get. Being strong as individuals is so important to a marriage and Jess shows that here, I felt proud of her as if I were her own mom.

I really enjoyed the alternating perspectives once again but mostly I wanted to read Mindy and Raniero's. They're very cute in their quirks. I would love to read an adventure of theirs! They kept the really obvious plot from getting dull.

Overall, I honestly struggled with missing the tension between our hero and heroine yet still managed to find it enjoyable. The plot is far from original and I had it figured out so fast it made the book drag at points but I was thrilled to jump into the lives of these characters again, seeing how they've grown since the last time I read them. Recommended for folks who loved Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side—especially those who took part in the wedding story voting—not so much for those who only liked it.

Notes: Received ARC via author.

Free on Kindle as of the date of this review:


Marnie Walski said...

Thanks for the honest review. I wasn't really a huge fan of the first one. It was a nice read but not a grab me by the hair and not let me go kind. I was tossing around whether I should read this... I think I will pick it up at the library though.

Brenda Demko said...

Thanks for the review! I liked Jessica's guide to Dating on the Dark Side. It's on my tbr shelf.

Rhianna said...

You're very welcome Marnie. One thing I didn't mention but saw a lo of complaints on this one was that Jessica was kind of wimpy and whiny and pathetic in this one. And she is to an extent. But I think that was the point. Showing her weakness strongly so the transition from wimp to queen will be more important.


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