(Yes, I'm going to review books I love in no particular order until I've caught up to what I'm reading right now and yes, I'm going to rate them with horses!).
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side - Beth Fantaskey
Armed with a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire's Guide to Dating, Health and Emotions, Jessica tries to imagine the transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But just when things start to heat up with Lucius, a devious cheerleader sets her sights on him.
Soon Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war - and save Lucius's soul from eternal damnation. All of which leaves her to wonder: wouldn't life be easier if she could just fall for a nice mortal boy?
Review: The first thing I noticed about this book was its gorgeous cover. So much that whilst leaving the Borders store with it tucked under my arm, I flashed it proudly for everyone to see. For me, this was just the beginning of everything wonderful this novel would hold.
First of all, we meet Jess - funny, brave and individual, I found a lot of her personal traits were something I could easily relate to and I enjoyed being positioned for the most part of the book with someone so strong and comfortable in her individuality. Fantaskey did not disappoint, and unlike some who leave readers anxiously awaiting the introduction of the male love interest, allowed Lucius a quick and easy entrance which set the plot in motion. I loved the interactions between Jess and Lucius, which varied from funny and sweet to intense, and watching them both grow and mature as they fought their way through several unprecedented obstacles to eventually fall in love. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the letters Lucius wrote to his Uncle - it gave a lot of insight into his perceptions and watching him change and grow as a character through his own eyes was a clever technique which only made me love the book just that bit more. This would be the perfect book for romance fans seeking a happy ending, but with a little hardship along the way. I couldn't put it down and read it in only one day! The ending will leave you breathless and thirsting for more.
Overall, an excellent read and one of my all time favourites. It won't be for everyone's tastes, but I can't recommend it enough. The vampires are traditional, yet unique to the modern day, and Beth has even included extras on her website for you to read right here. This one gets a dignified 5-Horse rating from me (extra if I could!).