Dark in a very sexy way this book doesn’t reek of overly Vamped cliché’s, nor does it seek to over-analyze the supernatural world of Vampires. Set in a modern setting a vampire prince has come to claim his bride, hoping to keep a family fued from escalating further. He gives Jessica a Manuel on growing-up undead. The manual itself, which the book is named for create’s a sense of childlike whimsy that really takes you out of the story at times. When Lucius hit’s his melancholy stride things do become touch and go for you love/disdain for his character, I think that was the author’s purpose, but it can throw you. The romance does sizzle, especially since Lucius insists on that fabulous chivalry too many young women dismiss as poppycock now’a’days. I think Jessica herself has a huge transformation, not just farm girl to vampire princess, the likeness of her beautiful mother Mihaela, but also girl to woman. Her final sacrifice and the telltale ending is thick in emotion and those who were left wanting by Twilight’s occasional “nice” (Hey, I like nice!) romance will really get a kick out of this near-tragedy. Jessica’s parents are the two most unlikely favorite characters, but they really change the dynamics of the novel for the best. The best thing is the love story. He helps her grow to love herself; he helps her become a woman and a princess. She really teaches him who he truly is beneath his wounds and as she continues to heal those hurts, he reveals more and more of himself to her.
In the end this book did not make it onto my Mod Podge Bookshelf, though I wish it’s next reader the best time reading it, I did thoroughly enjoy myself and hope you will too, if you pick up a copy. Also, read the online sequel, which I thought was even better than it’s published pre-cursor!
Thoughts on the cover: Great cover, truly, deeply, madly- I love this cover. They are posed, but the fullness of her dress and the fluidity of their pose seems to suggest you caught them mid-dance. Yes, there are fangs on this cover, no, I am not a fan of retractable fangs, but I think Lucius being a darker, in need of redeeming vampire, the fangs do seem to fit him.
Oh, how I love the names of the novel! Read it for nothing but the names! My favorites are Antanasia, Jessica’s name by Princess-ship, Lucius, which would fit in quite well with the Luca, Lucas, Luc names trending now. Mihaela just rolls of the tongue as does Reveka!