First Impressions: I adored Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and I was screaming with joy when I found out I would be able to review this sequel! The first book was one of my favorites of the year when it was released and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. I love the cover art on both books, too! I actually didn't realize there was going to be a second book until I was creeping around on the author's website one day and BINGO! There it was! I'll even admit I was a little scared to read this book because so often the sequels are never quite as good as the original.
First 50 Pages: One of the first things that I noticed with this book is that it was immediately much darker and less teenagerish then the first book. In the first book, there was so fluff and I couldn't really find that in this book. Everything is much more serious this time around. It's in Jessica's hands to save her husband from his execution, so there was a level of suspense right from the start which I really enjoyed. A woman that has to save a man? That's a big change from other books with similar plot lines! I love strong, dependable female characters!
Plot and Characters: There are alternating Point of Views in this book between Jessica and Mindy, a feature that I really enjoy, but not everyone will. As for the plot, Jessica has to be able to stand on her own two feet and adjust to live as a ruler of vampires. In the first novel, as the reader we are left with many unanswered questions and this book fills in those gaps. Once again, Jessica does a complete transformation throughout this book that I just loved reading about.
There were a few differences that I noticed between this book and the first. For one, there isn't as much romance as the first book. I'm okay with that, even though the romance in the first was one of my favorite things. There is a good explanation why the romance was sizzled down, since you know, it is really hard to have romance when one character is imprisoned for a good part of the book. When you do find the romance, it's electric! You know how people say that with time, the heart yearns more? That's a pretty good way of describing it. I love the romance between Jessica and Lucius, although I'll admit, it is rather odd to find a married couple in a young adult novel!
It was also really nice to hear more from Mindy and Raniero in this book. Their POV's were also added into the mix, and while I didn't care too much for Mindy in the first book, I actually liked her character in this one. They are more of a side plot then an actual part of the storyline but I don't think that they detracted me in any way from the main storyline. I enjoyed their parts on this book and their romance made up the slight lack of romance between the main characters. I thought they were very interesting!
Final Thoughts: This book didn't disappoint me at all. It is on par with the first novel and I may have even liked it a bit more because of its darker themes. It felt like an exchange. While the first book was loaded with romance, it didn't have much suspense and action. While the second book doesn't have a ton of romance, it makes up for it with suspense and action. I think Beth did a great job with this book and I can't wait until I see what she comes up with next!