Heart of the Vampire, by Gayla Twist.
"But his death was not my fault," I repeated. "He caused his own death. I just happened to be there."
"That doesn't matter," she insisted. "You are a human, and someone must pay."
"That's so unfair," I insisted. My legs were trembling, but I had to be brave. I had to keep talking. She was, after all, planning to kill me. "This is like in the movies when some nerd wants revenge on some jock, so he does something to humiliate the jock's girlfriend."
"No, it's not," she insisted. "It's not like that at all."
"Yes, it is," I fired right back at her. "It's the exact same thing."
I reviewed the first Vanderlind book, Call of the Vampire, back in April, and have been waiting since then to get my hands on the sequel, which ended up being just as good as the first. The final book in the trilogy, Fate of the Vampire, will be out this winter, as well.
Aurora Keys is heartbroken, struggling to forget the beautiful and enigmatic Jessie Vanderlind, who has told her it is too dangerous for them to be together. And he may be right. Jessie is, after all, a vampire. But that doesn't make forgetting him any easier.
Just as Aurora is starting to pull her shattered life back together, Jessie reappears at her window with a warning: there are many vampires who want to see her dead—and him locked in a coffin for a hundred years. Aurora and Jessie are accused of staking a vampire for the sake of a human and must fly to Budapest to plead their case in front of a vampire tribunal. Their only hope of survival is to convince the world’s oldest vampire family that they are desperately in love—and have been for nearly 80 years.
I'll be honest and say that the whole "vampire tribunal" thing did remind me a lot of Twilight, where Bella's life is threatened by the Volturi, but the author puts her unique spin on the events in this novel. The concept of reincarnation has always been interesting to me, too, and Aurora has to pretend to be her great-aunt to convince the tribunal that Jessie's killing for her - of a fellow vampire - was justified.
Jessie and Aurora have great chemistry in the novel, and I love the way Twist always has Aurora connect what's going on back to the "normal" world - see the above quote, for example. The Vanderlind series has more humor than other vampire stories I've read, and I'm curious to see how Jessie and Aurora end up in the third - and last - book in the series later this year.
4 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the author for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.