Release Date: April 30, 2013
Page Count: 416 pgs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Published by: Pocket Books
Source: Digital ARC provided by Edelweiss
The second book in the darkly tempting Blud series, featuring a vampire princess who embarks upon a dangerous journey to claim what is rightfully hers.
When Blud princess Ahnastasia wakes up, drained and starving in a suitcase, she’s not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both sensations is a handsome and mysterious man named Casper Sterling. Once the most celebrated musician in London, Sangland, he’s fallen on hard times. Now, much to Ahna’s frustration, the debauched and reckless human is her only ticket back home to the snow-rimmed and magical land of Freesia.
Together with Casper’s prickly charge, a scrappy orphan named Keen, they seek passage to Ahna’s homeland, where a power-hungry sorceress named Ravenna holds the royal family in thrall. Traveling from the back alleys of London to the sparkling minarets of Muscovy, Ahna discovers that Freesia holds new perils and dangerous foes. Back in her country, she is forced to choose between the heart she never knew she had and the land that she was born to rule. But with Casper’s help, Ahna may find a way to have it all….
Just as with Wicked as They Come, I finished this story thinking about how this novel could easily have been drawn out and made into its own fantastic series. The characters were amusing and full of personality, the settings were lively and original and the story line quickly pulled me in.
By the time the conclusion arrived I was very pleased by how incredibly entertaining the story was, but saddened by the fact that the journey with these particular characters had ended.
In the Blud series debut, the story was told from the female protagonist's point of view, but she was undoubtedly overshadowed by her love interest. I'm fairly certain that my review went something like "I love Criminy! XOXO Mrs. Criminy Stain 4ever." But with Wicked as She Wants, instead of being captivated by the male lead, I was very much in to the Ice Princess Ahnastasia Feodor.
Ahnastasia was a character who originally presented herself as selfish, violent, and arrogant. While I admittedly find these traits amusing to read about, it was obvious that her character was going to have to make some improvements if she were to remain likable. So, as the story progressed, her background was explored more thoroughly and her feelings and motivations behind her actions became easier to understand.
While Ahna had plenty of flaws, like her views on the status of Pinkies and her slight obsession with wanting to decapitate anyone she found disagreeable, I admired her fierce determination, her bravery, and her loyalty to her bludmen. When she discovered that she was kidnapped and left to die, her family murdered, and that someone had taken her place as the rightful ruler of Freesia, she was willing to do absolutely anything to return home and reclaim Freesia from the false queen. This included using the Pinky who rescued her and the young girl, Keen, that he watched over.
Casper Sterling, a character that Blud fans will know from Wicked as They Come and The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance, finds Ahna and nurses her back to health. They form an uneasy alliance and, along with Keen, make the dangerous journey to Freesia.
While I enjoyed Casper's character, he initially didn't make much of an impression on me. And at times it felt like there was more development put in to Keen's character as opposed to Ahna's potential love interest. It wasn't until much later in the story when some significant changes occur with his character that Casper really grabbed my interest.
When the dynamics changed in the relationship between Casper and Ahna, things really heated up and we're rewarded with a very intense and incredibly hot scene that was definitely one of the most memorable in the story.
If you're looking for a paranormal romance set in a remarkable world with fascinating characters written by an amazing author who consistently delivers the best, then the Blud series is a must-read.
The Blud Series