Monday, May 4, 2015

Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost

The climactic third novel in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost's Night Prince series finds Vlad and his newly turned bride, Leila, at odds with each other—and vulnerable to the one vampire powerful enough to end the Dark Prince's reign . . .

Play with fire, pay the price

Leila's years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn't learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin . . .

Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn't like Vlad to feel fear, but he does . . . for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad's greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his overprotectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad's love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both . . .

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This book blew me away. The energy, and the raw emotions that go into it, not to mention a great deal of edge-of-the-seat action make this a book you won't soon forget. And I have to say that at this point, I think Vlad and Leila have surpassed Cat and Bones as my favorite couple in this universe. Bones may be melt-your-panties sexy, but Vlad is pure raw lust and rugged sexuality that will appeal to your inner bad girl. And while Cat is all kinds of badass rolled into one firey redheaded bundle, Leila's keen intelligence and self-assuredness make up for what she lacks in strength and experience. Together, Vlad and Leila are combustible on so many levels in so many ways that you half expect the book/e-reader/headphones to catch flames in your hands as you read/listen to this book.

In some ways there were echos of Destined for an Early Grave in some of the relationship trials that Vlad and Leila face here, though the rifts between them are never quite as serious. They also are both actively trying to make things work between them, so are not so often at cross purposes as Cat and Bones were at times. But they do have different ideas of how to make things work, and reconciling those ideas doesn't come easily, particularly once Vlad's rage and protectiveness are inflamed to a fever pitch. Still, Leila proves on several occasions that her ideas are the best course of action, particularly when Vlad's rage blinds him to everything but firey vengeance while Leila manages to keep enough of a cool head to keep her brain engaged and problem solving. Still, she rarely argues with or defies Vlad simply to be contentious -- when she does so, it's because she's taken time to think about things and is convinced that she is right, or at least that there is some fatal flaw in Vlad's plans that he's overlooking.

While one major threat to Vlad's power and existence is laid to rest in this book, it's far from being a sunshine and roses situation by the end of the book. The cost of victory is steep for him in many ways, and at least one major threat to him and Leila still remains. There are a few other, less critical situations that remain unresolved as well, or at least not fully resolved even if tentative resolutions have begun. Still, they do seem to have reached something of a calm in the storm that their lives have become, and it's intimated that they will have time to rebuild, or at least to begin rebuilding what has been lost before they'll have to face the remaining threat anew.

Another amazing 5 star book in this epic universe. Definitely read the first two in this series, if not all the books that come before it in the timeline, or you will likely be more than a bit lost in some places. Not to mention the spoilers for those previous books you'll encounter. I can't wait to see what will be in store for Vlad and Leila next, though like everyone else I will simply have to wait until Ms. Frost gives us the next book. At least there will get to spend more time with them eventually.

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