“The Sweetest Burn” by Jeaniene Frost is part of the ‘Broken Destiny’ urban fantasy series that features Ivy, the last descendant of King David, and Adrian, the last descendant of Judas. Unfortunately, Adrian is also Ivy’s ex, and a half demon who is foretold to be her death. He is determined to find his way back into her good graces and protect her while she searches for the staff of Moses and tries to learn how to use her powers. Given the myriad of enemies they both have, the sooner they solve the clues they are finding, the greater the chance of saving themselves and their allies. Unfortunately, they are rapidly running out of time and allies and the prophecy may end up being correct after all.
I was charmed by the interaction between Ivy and Brutus the gargoyle, whose disguise as a seagull undoubtedly causes bystanders to be quite confused, at least until his true appearance is revealed. Ivy’s muttered threats to him had me laughing, especially when picturing them being directed at such an enormous being. There are multiple complicated relationships, with murky allegiances, that threaten to sabotage any progress, and I was a bit confused by some of the conflict between the characters, probably because it’s been a while since I read the first book in this series. I like the way religious artifacts play such a major role in the struggle against evil, but it would be nice to have a smoother transition and more background as I felt like I was reading about a treasure hunt with a comic book feel since most of the characters are only presented for brief conflicts and then disappear again. Despite that, there are snazzy elements that kept me intrigued, like Ivy’s tattoo(s), and exotic locations that would be interesting to visit.
Those who are squeamish should be advised there is plenty of death and violence throughout the story, but seeing Ivy kick butt and deal with the challenges and multiple monsters she faces is inspiring. The heat between the main characters only continues to escalate, and one can’t help but root for them to have a successful relationship, but of course their lives are disrupted even more by the surprising twists of this story. It would be advisable to read (or even reread) “The Beautiful Ashes” before leaping into this world, but I think that fans of sexy and determined folks involved in a massive struggle between good and evil will enjoy this story. And of course…who could resist Brutus the gargoyle?
A copy of this book was provided to me for review through Reading Alley.