The Sweetest Burn is the second book in the Broken Destiny series by Jeaniene Frost.
HQN Books published this paranormal romance book on June 27, 2017. I read it in paperback format, courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours. Although I received an advanced reading copy for review, my opinions were not influenced.
The Sweetest Burn includes elements of romance, sex, mythology, Christian religion, and action. Compared to the first book in the series, this one read more like a romance and less like an urban fantasy novel.
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…
Jen’s Review of THE SWEETEST BURN
Ivy must search for another holy artifact, the staff of Moses, in order to seal the demon realms. Adrian comes along. At first, Ivy doesn’t want him there because of his betrayal and absence, but she realizes she loves him too much and has to forgive him. Ivy is also accompanied by her sister, her male friend, and her gargoyle protector.
If you didn’t read the first book, let me explain Ivy’s heritage: she’s the last descendant of David, which makes her the only one who can wield certain holy artifacts to kill demons. Adrian, on the other hand, is the last descendant of Judas, so he’s destined to betray Ivy. He did so (in a roundabout sort of way) in the first book. Now, he’s trying to overcome his destiny and prove to Ivy they can be together.
In my opinion, the books should be read in order. Jeaniene Frost does give some backstory, but I think readers would benefit from reading The Beautiful Ashes before The Sweetest Burn.
Although this book focuses more on the romance than the first one did, the story moves along quickly. There is enough action to satisfy readers of both urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
The ending has a bit of a cliffhanger, but not enough to make me mad. I knew there would be a third book, and I’m okay with waiting to find out what happens.
In the first book, I forgave Ivy’s ignorance because she was thrown into a world she didn’t know existed. In the second book, she aggravated me. She is the savior of the world, but she doesn’t ask any questions or want to learn anything about the realms, God, the Archons, or the demons. It’s like she’s on a need to know basis, partly because she never asks. She bemoans how people keep things from her, but it is her fault for the most part because she doesn’t make much effort to learn anything.
For example, it drove me crazy that she kept calling the demon language “Demonish.” I can see someone doing this at first, but after a year or however much time had passed, wouldn’t someone finally ask the question what the language was called? It made me feel like she was too dumb, uninvested, or lazy for the job.
I can’t say Ivy was TSTL (too stupid to live) because she did come up with some solutions on her own. I guess it just bothered me that she wouldn’t try to learn more about her world or the people in it.
What saved Ivy as a character was her bravery and selflessness.
I like Adrian more than Ivy. However, I couldn’t see what they had going in their relationship besides physical attraction. He takes a drastic step to be with her, and it seemed too extreme for the early stage of their relationship. I mean, heck, she didn’t even know what language he was speaking. If they had known more about one another, beyond fighting demons, I would have been more comfortable with them taking their relationship to the level they did.
Costa is one of the best characters. He’s an ex-prisoner, turned friend, of Adrian’s. He’s become Ivy’s friend too.
Ivy’s sister. I couldn’t stand her. Although I understood her reasons for being distrustful, she got on my nerves. Still, she serves a purpose in the story, and I accepted her being there.
He is the mentor-type character. Except he doesn’t do much mentoring. He hides more than he gives away. I’m still on the fence about whether I like Zach.
As I said, Frost wrote the book to be fast-paced. She blended the various elements well. The story never dragged, even when she stopped to give setting descriptions.
The romantic aspect of the book fell flat for me. I preferred the uncertainty and sexual tension in the first book. In The Sweetest Burn, I felt like the author was trying to force an immature female lead into a serious relationship she wasn’t ready for, all for the purpose of being able to include a sex scene in the book. I know that wasn’t really the intention, but that’s how it felt to me.
I could visualize the settings and actions easily. Jeanine Frost is an excellent writer.
Do I Recommend?
The negatives: romance felt rushed; aggravating main character
The positives: fast-paced; vivid setting descriptions; interesting premise
Overall opinion: I really want to recommend The Sweetest Burn, but I think it is one of those books that a reader has to see for herself if she is going to like. Despite my feelings about the romance and Ivy’s ignorance, I would read the next book in the series. I enjoyed reading The Sweetest Burn, but it wasn’t my favorite book by Jeaniene Frost.
My Rating for THE SWEETEST BURN: 4 out of 5 stars (B)