WICKED AS SHE WANTS – Delilah S. Dawson
A Blud Novel , Book 2
Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1-4516-5790-6
May 2013
Paranormal Fantasy Romance

London, Sangland and Freesia

I woke up starving and in the dark.  I'm not sure what woke me. If it was the music or the man, but whatever it was drew me from my deep sleep.  I used my nails to claw my way out, and was surprised at how the task exhausted me.  I was even more surprised to find I had been locked in a large suitcase.  I had no idea where I was … all I knew was that I was starving and the man playing the music would be just what I needed to sate myself.

Ahnastasia Feodor is the Crown Princess of Freesia, and she has been locked in a suitcase for four years.  Casper Sterling is a renowned musician in Sangland.  When Ahnastasia (Anna) first escapes from her prison she attempts to drain Casper of his blood, but in her weakened condition she is no match for him, and he quickly subdues her.  Anna has no idea she has been “asleep” for four years, but she quickly learns her sister is missing, her parents murdered, and her brother enthralled to the sorceress Ravenna.  Anna is the last of the royal family who is capable of saving her kingdom, and despite her disdain for pinkies (humans used as a blood source) she finds she must rely on Casper to help her travel to Freesia and save her people.  She commands him to do so.  He laughs.  Anna is infuriated; how dare a human breathe the same air as she let alone deny her anything.  Especially his blood.  The two, along with Keen, Casper's friend, they reach a precarious bargain.  In exchange for their help, she promises to make Casper the royal musician and give Keen a place in the palace once she has regained the throne and avenged her family.  Of course as a Royal Bludwoman, she has every intention of draining both impudent humans dry once her goal has been met.

Casper Sterling is a talented musician; he's also a drunk, and there is something about him that is not like any other human Anna has met. His young friend Keen is equally enigmatic if a little more annoying.  Casper agrees to help Anna for his own reasons, and Keen will not be left behind to fend for herself in London.  Their journey from Sangland to Freesia is fraught with many dangers, some more deadly than others.  As they travel together Casper finds himself intrigued with the blud thirsty princess and is determined to teach her that humans are just as resourceful and reliable as any bludman.  On the journey, Anna learns many things she never knew having lived a sheltered life as a pampered princess before her abduction.  She is drawn to Casper, but no matter how much she wishes it was so, a woman of royal blud and a common human can never be together.  But Casper has a secret that may change everything, if they can live long enough to reach Freesia and regain Anna's throne.

I'll give a brief description of the difference between Sangland and Freesia, just for perspective.  Sangland (much like England) is the domain of the humans, though Bludmen, Demons and such do live there.  Freesia is fully controlled by the Bludmen (vampires) and humans are treated as pets and used as a food source.  Even the animals of Freesia are different.  There are Blud bears, blud unicorns, blud peacocks, and they are a vicious lot, all surviving on blud.  It's a dangerous environment if you are human, and not always safe even for those of the Blud. It is, in essence, a land of blood and ice.

WICKED AS SHE WANTS is the second book in the Blud series and is a fascinating read.  The author has created a world that is like ours in many ways but also very different.  Keen and Casper are what are called Strangers.  I won't tell you what that means; you have to read the book to find out, but they are unlike any other humans in Sangland.  The royal family of Freesia reminded me of Anastasia and the Romanovs of Russia.  I believe the author patterned the monarchy on that royal family.  There is a lot going on in this novel and many different surprises.  If you enjoy a good fantasy novel with danger and romance blended into a captivating tale, you will want to read WICKED AS SHE WANTS.  Characters from the previous novel make brief appearances, and while it's not necessary to read the first book in the series , WICKED AS THEY COME, it might make it easier to follow WICKED AS SHE WANTS from the first page instead of figuring it out a few chapters in.  Either way you are in for a treat, as WICKED AS SHE WANTS delivers a satisfying fantasy romance.

Terrie Figueroa