Series: Book 2 (sequel to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side)
Synopsis via Goodreads:
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?
My Review: 4 Stars
I thought book 1, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, was a fun read. Really cute, not too serious. Book 2 is similar. If you enjoyed Jessica's first story, you'll love the second. I did.
Jessica and Lucius are married and completely in love. Everything else should just be gravy, right? Wrong. Being royal is not the same as ruling a kingdom. Jessica is having a lot of difficulty finding her backbone when it come to the politics and governing. She's feeling out of place and exuding a lack of confidence. This is a huge problem for the happy couple because they need to a majority of the Elders' votes, in order to be exalted to King and Queen. Jessica knows that this is Lucius' rightful place - King and ruler. But is it hers?
When Lucius is framed for the murder of an elder, she has no choice but to assert herself and take charge in his absence. Since vampire mlaw states that blood is denied to those accused of murder, Jessica finds herself racing against the clock to find who has betrayed them and to save Lucius' from falling into a coma from blood deprivation.
Thankfully, Jessica has her bestie, Mindy, and Lucius' mysterious cousin, Raniero. These guys keep the spice and angst in the story. Mindy and Raniero add comic relief, when they can. For the most part, Jessica Rules is a more serious installment. It's still a lighter vampire novel for the younger YA crowd, but there's a darker aspect to this one. It's a life and death of your true love and murder kind of dark, without taking itself too seriously.
I think this is what I like best about Beth Fantaskey's stories. There's dark content, but not in a slit-your-wrist kind of way. She's able to separate herself from the other vampire stories by doing this, being silly and flirtatious. Her books are fun! She the kind of author that stands out to me, because her storytelling is so different. I find myself laughing, biting my nails and swooning at some of the things Lucius and Raniero say.
So, if you liked the first book, definitely give the second one a try. Just be forewarned that it's a tad darker and most of the romantic fun comes from Mindy and Raniero (since Lucius is in solitary confinement with his life on the line). I anxiously await the sequel!