The Sweetest Burn

Jeaniene Frost
The Sweetest Burn
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HQN Books
Release Date
June 2017
Book 2 of Broken Destiny
Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance

The breathtaking second novel in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost's Broken Destiny series finds Ivy and Adrian rekindling their alliance—and passion—as the struggle for the fate of the world begins…

Conquering a supernatural realm turned out to be easier than getting over a broken heart. But her initial victory has made Ivy a target for revenge, forcing her to reunite with the dangerous—and dangerously sexy—Adrian. Ivy isn't sure which will be harder: finding the hallowed weapon that will repair the crumbling walls between the demon and human realms, or resisting Adrian, who's decided that come hell or high water, he will make Ivy his.

At first, Adrian tried to resist his feelings for Ivy. Now, determined to break the curse that dooms their love, he's vowed to save her and to have her. If only he can persuade her to forgive his past sins. But defying destiny—and surrendering to the smoldering desire between them—will bring consequences and sacrifices they never imagined…

Book Review by Administrator (author,reviewer)
Jun 21, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
149 people found the following review helpful
Originally posted by elfthereadingaddict at Reading Alley:

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?
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Book Review by BookAddict (reviewer)
Jun 24, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
158 people found the following review helpful
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The second book in the Broken Destiny series can be read as a standalone. It is recommended to read the first book to understand how this all begins. Full disclosure, I did not read the first book and I was still fine catching up with Ms. Frost's concise recaps.

This is a book filled with conflict and moral lessons. I liked it because the character is constantly in turmoil trying to decide what to do. Ivy is the last descendant of David. As the last Descendant, she is the one who can wield three artifacts which can bring about the destruction of Demons. If it was easy, there would be no story. Ms. Frost throws in so many obstacles, I am impressed with her cruelty and ruthlessness. Because these hardships is a kindness to Ivy as it brings about her character development. As Ivy bemoans, what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger.

From what I can tell, Ivy is an idealistic young woman who wants to save everyone. She is neither experienced nor jaded like Adrian or Zach. This is an important point, because it brings about the question of why it is the youth who make the changes. Is it because they don't know enough and are dumb enough to think they can do it? Because they believe it can be done with a bit of hope, they actually succeed? Whilst an older jaded person will know it is not possible and they will not try. Is this a self fulfilling prophecy for both the young/dumb and the old/wiser? Is it really wiser when a person gives up hope? What I liked about this book in my old age is not the characters - it is what each character represented and how idealists become pragmatist with enough experience.

Ivy is a character with determination and grit. She is like Buffy, before Buffy died, went to heaven and was pulled back down to earth. Ivy still believes that being given the answers and taking the easy way is the most expedited way to save the world. She misses a very important point that Zach is trying to teach her. Zach is like Yoda to her Luke. And I felt bad for Zach. It is clear he has been given parameters which he must abide. His methods and reasons are rather transparent for me yet unfathomable by Ivy. However, I think about if I was still in my early twenties, I would probably respond the same way as Ivy. Ivy sputters in self righteous indignation, certain that Zach is unhelpful. Ms. Frost's interplay between Zach and Ivy, and Zach and Adrian, are poignant and harsh. It reminds me of all my Chinese teachers, they educate through tough love.

The plot to this story is a fascinating interpretation of biblical characters, events and artifacts. I usually shy away from Christian reinterpretations because they usually cross a blasphemous line I have difficulty ignoring due to my upbringing. However, there are a few authors who write it in a way that is thought provoking and doesn't generate a subconscious response of outrage at heretic postulations. Ms. Frost is one of them. She is respectful of religion and brings about a paranormal story with rich imagery, characters and a plausible unseen world. She leaves openings for spin-offs as well as hooks a reader into this dark, nearly apocalyptic world. The set up for betrayal and fighting one's destiny is well done. She cleverly places Ivy and Adrian in a prisoner's dilemma with their heritage and foretold destiny.

A key point Ms. Frost does emphasize is choice. I especially liked how choice, even when a person does not feel the choices are good, is still a choice. This is a hard lesson to learn and understand for many. This is the kind of book which generates discussions cross generations in a book club. I love it. This book is recommended to those who enjoy anti-heroes, the harsh realities of sacrifice all tempered with love, loyalty and hope. Can't wait to read the next book in this series.
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Book Review by Administrator (author,reviewer)
Jul 15, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
128 people found the following review helpful
Originally posted by cherylss at Reading Alley:

Brilliant story line and fabulous characters!!!

This is book 2 in the Broken Destiny series and it features Ivy and Adrian. This book has a lot going on inside. There is nonstop action throughout! This is a fabulous paranormal romance with a brilliant story line and characters that keep you on the edge of your seat. This is about the last Davidian and the last Judian who just happen to be in love with each other. Talk about some messed up destiny!

I can't wait for the next book in this series.
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