This is the first ARC I ever won *Squee*~ I absolutely loved "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" which I am kicking myself for not reading sooner. I admit it: for some reason the title kinda turned me off. I don't know why. Maybe it wasn't lyrical enough or too plain but the story is top notch and fresh. After reading "Dating" I went to Beth Fantasky's website and found an awesome novella of Jessica and Lucius' wedding. If you haven't read it, you definitely will want to read it before reading "Rules". I only wish I could put it on the Nook. :)
This book takes place after Jessica and Lucius have been married. Jessica is trying to adjust to being a princess and ruling over the elders. Jessica is really adverse to the violence and power that is now a part of her world. Lucius loves her very much and is supportive and trying to help her adjust. There interactions are just as intense as before. But before Jessica can find her inner strength, Claudiu, Lucius' Uncle is murdered and Lucius' stake has his blood on it. Because of the law, Lucius must be held in custody in the dungeon of the castle with no blood and only bread and water. No blood will slowing make Lucius weak and desolve into madness that some vampires never recover from that is if he isn't destroyed for murder first. Jessica is left to rule by default. Lucias' cousin, Raniero comes back to protect Jessica and help solve the murder mystery. Jessica isn't sure she can trust Raniero as uncovers his past as a vampire assasin. Mindy, Jessica's BFF comes to help support Jessica. Mindy and Raniero have a history from the wedding novella which is why you should read the novella first. Raniero is a CA beatnik surfer who Mindy feels will never amount to anything like her deadbeat Dad. But underneath, trust me, Raniero is all hot Romanian Vampire. Jessica's only remaining family, Uncle Dorin and Cousin Ylenia also lend support and advice. There is a lot of action and intrique in this book that keeps you reading and wondering what will happen next. I refuse to spoil the mystery but can say I personally had a feeling about it. Fantaskey's hunky Romanian Vampires are back and just as attractive. My only complaint is that I personally would have loved to have more interaction with Jessica and Lucius but because of the storyline this was impossible. Fantaskey did give me the honeymoon flashback which I craved after the Novella. Lucius' quirky sarcastic wit that I loved in "Dating" is back but this time it's between Lucius-Raniero as email/note exchanges.
This is a well rounded original story and if you read "Dating" you will love the sequel. If you haven't read it--what are you waiting for?!