This is the second book in the de Vincent series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. You can read my review for the first book, Moonlight Sins, that focuses on the younger de Vincent brother, Lucian, here. This book focuses on middle brother, Gabriel de Vincent. This is an adult romantic suspense set in a haunted gothic mansion in New Orleans. Though the mansion is decidedly haunted, it is a contemporary story and the hauntedness just applies to the setting and tone and doesn’t get involved in the plot.
Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up… and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.
Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman… one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.
I was lucky to get an advance download review copy of this book, through Edelweiss which is awesome for so many reasons, but also because this is my first ARC ever, and that, is definitely a blogging milestone – woot! So thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher!!
Okay so I talk about the setting and tone a lot in my review of book one, and nothing has really changed there. Our main lady gets sucked into working at the de Vincent creepo mansion when her mom needs cancer treatments and she fills in for her, after so many staff quit and no one wants to work there due to the hauntings and events from the first book.
I like Nikki’s character a lot because I felt like I could totally relate to having a teenage crush and being over the top about it and then looking back and wanting to smack yourself for the way you acted and how young you really were and seemed. I think she’s very articulate and honest with her feelings and how she communicates to Gabe and other’s – she’s never pretending to be something she’s not, even if that complicates things. Also, I love a good second chance story.
In the first book we were left with that juicy bomb about Gabe’s ex and his recently discovered love child he knew nothing about for the first 5 years of his life. Honestly, although this was definitely touched on in this story I really thought we would get more about this new addition to his life. It was more of a background part of this story while the romance and suspense happened. I haven’t decided if I think this is a good or bad thing yet so I might just be neutral about it.
The romance was hot and kind of went from enemies to friends to lovers. The sex scenes were very steamy and well written and actually highlighted Gabe’s reluctance to address the truth of his own feelings towards Nikki, especially with how long it took him to freaking kiss her.
Again the de Vincent curse seems to be out for Nikki, and some real traumatic shit happens but just like in the first one it hardly phases the de Vincent brothers and their women just brush it off and move on with the help of their sexy alpha de Vincents. Honestly, the de Vincents are a little too chill about murder and doling out justice on their own terms.
I again thought the interactions between the de Vincent brothers was the most intriguing and where I was interested in Devlin’s story before, now I’m like gimme gimme gimme. This book pointed out some interesting tidbits about Devlin’s personality indicating that he does, indeed have layers and might just be the most complex de Vincent brother yet. Also you get a sneak peek at Devlin’s future love interest, who is Nikki’s bff and omg I almost snorted when I realize who she was. I think my suspicions are on track with assuming book three will be the best yet.
Recommend for those who read the first book (though you could probably get away with reading this as a stand alone but it would spoil book one), for fans of erotic romantic suspense in a gothic setting, and fans of enemies to friends to lovers and second chance romance tropes.
This book comes out Tuesday 6/26/18!