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Eternal Hearts by Jennifer Turner

Eternal Hearts by Jennifer Turner (A Darkness Within Series #2)

Toni Tutoro just wants to go home. Banned from Chicago's vampiric society after cutting a swath of violence through the city, she must now successfully complete an investigation for the Lord of Chicago to regain the right to live in her hometown again.To ensure Toni's safety during her probationary period, Drake Black, a feared assassin, is secretly contracted to protect her. Even with direct orders to keep his relationship professional, and his own personal vow to never get involved with a female vampire again, Drake finds himself drawn to Toni in ways he can't explain. But unbeknownst to him...he's tied to one of the people who drove Toni to her night of destruction.
Drake's legendary heritage holds the key to Toni's survival and success, but will she be able to forgive his connection to the brutal night that robbed her of those she loved most? Will Drake be able to forget the betrayals in his past and risk taking one more chance? But most of all - can they find a way to reach each other in the darkness?

* * *
(minor spoilers ahead)

Before I start venting, please bear in mind that I rarely find paranormal romance as satisfying as urban fantasy, so I am biased. Plenty of people will love this book. So read it and judge for yourself.

First of all, I love this cover much more that the first. It has more connection to the plot than the first book.  It is an interesting book, but the world-building and humor I admired in the first installment are virtually non-existent. This is a straightforward paranormal romance.

Drake, a mysterious male character from the book #1 becomes a typical "oh, how can I live my life without this woman" man when he gets an order of protection on Toni Tutoro, Fledgling vampire who was exiled from Chicago.

Toni is supposed to be a strong female character but we know all this from the words of secondary characters. She is just not allowed to show her strength in this book. Yes, she is super nice to everyone, keeps saying sorry, cries and gives hugs, but most of the time she goes with the flow.

There was a moment in the book when Toni was left on her own to lead an investigation into an illegal appearance of werewolves in Chicago. It would really have shown her potential. But no. Magically her long lost brother appears out of nowhere and practically takes charge.

Why? There are many paranormal romances where the female protagonist is strong, and I absolutely love them. Take Alexandra from If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl or Elena from Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh, - their strength and resistance to the male character are spicing everything up. But again this is just my personal preference :)

One secondary character who I found creepily intriguing was Oktober - a vampire who could manipulate emotions of everyone around him and who could literally eat people. He was the essential bad ass. However, I've got a suspicion that the next book with him as the main character will turn him into everything that noble and good and woefully misunderstood.

One of the reasons why I admire the author is that Jennifer Turner doesn't shy away from showing us true evil. Toni goes through this huge tragedy of what happened to her family. We see her enemy Natasha Stryker being as vile as you can get, and it feels real, not one dimentional. You want the evil punished, the villains stopped.

Like I said, Jennifer Turner has got serious potential and I really liked the books; they kept me hooked, however the issues I had with them prevented me from awarding the books with higher marks.

* * *
М-да, за что я хвалила автора в прошлой книге? За юмор и окружающий мир.
В этот раз нет ни юмора, ни строительства мира, и главные персонажи очень и очень середнячком. Блин, ну нафиг! Есть интересные задумки, но то ли смелости не хватает их разработать, то ли присутствует упорное желание оставаться в рамках среднестатического паранормального романа.

В этот раз кроме скуки главные персонажи никаких эмоций не вызвали. Дрэйк из таинственного ассассина перевращается в обычного "о, как мне без неё жить" мужика, Тони Тюторо - главная героиня, которой все восхищаются, то плачет и со всеми обнимается, то думает о том, какой Дрэйк хороший МУУЖчина. Сопли, сопли, сопли!

Как только я с облегчением вздохнула, когда Дрэйка от неё отозвали, а ей поручили расследование, решив, что вот наконец девушка-вампир сможет показать свои ум и сообразительность :), не тут-то было! Магическим образом на сцене появляется давно пропавший брат Тони, Доминик, который к тому же тоже вампир, и берёт расследование на себя, а Тони за ним плетётся.. 

В конце у Тони есть возможность подраться со своим заклятым врагом, но нет! Её задницу всё-равно спасает появившийся Дрэйк.
Мораль сей басни ясна - женщина должна сидеть на кухне и ни к чему не годна без мужика. Плевалась.

Ну есть же паранормальные романы с сильными героинями: возьмите хирурга Александру из If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl или шикарнейшую охотницу Гильдии Елену Деверо из Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh? Да полно примеров. Здесь же автор пытается со слов второстепенных персонажей убедить нас, что героиня - сильная женщина, но её поступки говорят о совершенно другом поведении.

Понравился жутковатый монстр Октобер, который будет главным персонажем в следующей книге, и которого я как подозреваю нужная женщина волшебным образом облагородит. Тьфу!

Понравилась сцена между Стефаном Нелеком и его противником. Они оба играют в шахматы, но реальными жизнями людей. Чем-то это мне напомнило сцену из книг Перумова, где боги играли людьми как пешками на шахматной доске.

Всё остальное: казнить, нельзя помиловать. Хотя очень многим понравится, не сомневаюсь.

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