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Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (Jessica #2)

jessica-rules-the-dark-side-196x300In the vampire world, a dream of a wooden stake is an omen of betrayal.  Shortly after their marriage, Jessica and Lucius are preparing for a big conference where they must prove that they can lead in order to become king and queen.  Unfortunately, Jessica doesn’t know a word of Romanian and the girl from Hicksville, USA doesn’t immediately take to life as a princess.

She relies closely on help from her Dragomir clan, including Dorin (whom we met in the first book), Ylenia (sort of a Jessica wanna-be), and Raniero Vladescu, a surfer guy who’s a friend of Lucius’.

Things get complicated fast when an Elder is murdered and Lucius’ stake is found soaked in his blood. If Jessica wants to maintain true neutrality, she has no choice but to lock Lucius up.  Fantaskey places a time lock on the mystery to force her protagonist to wrap things up but I won’t spoil how or what happens from that point on.  Needless to say, your favorite characters lives are endangered, betrayal is rampant, and there’s a lot of blood.  What more could a vampire fan want?

I would strongly recommend that you check out Beth’s website prior to reading the sequel.  There is a disclaimer notice in the front of the second book about a short story available on her website.  Apparently this story covers Jessica and Lucius’ wedding and introduces the relationship between Mindy Sue and Raniero.

If you choose not to read this, you can still follow the book’s plot but the book DOES refer to the incidents from the story so I think it’ll be a richer experience if you read it first.  It’s nice to see an author choosing to post “between the novels” material for her readers.

Overall, I enjoyed this YA sequel and I can see Fantaskey continuing the series if she chooses with at least a third book.  There’s always more enemies than allies in the Vladescu clan.

On a personal note, I do wish that Fantaskey had chosen to spend more time with her characters outside the castle walls.  When I was Jessica’s age, my parents travelled to Romania and I loved the stories and photographs they brought back of the rural lives of the people and the sunflower fields and gypsies.

“La Reverdere!”

~ Lauren

My folks always pronounced that version of goodbye as “la river-dairy”.  I’m not sure how good their Romanian pronunciation is but the language is fun.

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Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has two decades of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at

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