Enduring Instincts

SJ Frost
Enduring Instincts
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MLR Press
Release Date
September 2011
LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance, Vamps & Shifters Romance

Vampire Daniel Valente struggles to live on his own, now that his master, Titus Antonius Calidus, has found eternal love with another. Carrying mental and emotional scars, he lives in loneliness and feels as though he's lost who he once was.

Ryunosuke Kimura has known Daniel for hundreds of years, and loved him for many of them. Even though he believes Titus is the only one Daniel wants to give his heart to, when he hears Daniel needs his support, he rushes to be with him.

With Ryu at his side, Daniel's confidence returns, and with it, he sees the enduring love Ryu has always had for him. As they grow closer, new threats from old enemies arise, and if Daniel and Ryunosuke are to spend eternity together, they must first defeat the past.

Book Review by Valentina Heart (author,reviewer)
Jan 18, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
167 people found the following review helpful
A sequel to a great vampire book written by a very talented author promised much more than it ultimately delivered. I read the first book in the series for the sole purpose of being able to enjoy the full experience of the author's vampire world. I did like the first book, very much, but the sequel really didn't challenge me in any way and I had trouble finishing it.

While the characters from the first book still have a large role in this one, this is essentially a story about Daniel, Titus' protégé and ex-lover we had the privilege of meeting in Natural Instincts and Titus' longtime friend, samurai Ryu.

Unlike in the previous book, here Daniel is a very different vampire. He is wounded, feels abandoned and has trouble containing his fears. He's all but falling apart and for once he can't seem to find the comfort he needs in Titus. Of course Titus is not the kind of master to just shun the vampire he made, so he calls Ryu for help, any help really.

Ryu on the other hand has always been in love with Daniel, but never dreamed his feelings could be reciprocated. He runs to the rescue simply because he can't do no other and for once Daniel surprises him by returning his affection.

I didn't disclose any spoilers because all of that is written in the blurb, but I don't think I even could say anything questionable because nothing really interesting happens in more than half of the book. I was very intrigued by the blurb itself, because probably everyone who's ever read any yaoi can't help it but lean toward anything Japanese. So samurai? Yeah, I'm right there. Then you have the bad boy Daniel, who was a wicked good character in the first book, but with a past that just about broke my heart. So you add those two together and you just have to have an explosive read filled with both anticipation as well as sweetness. Well, I'm sorry, but I really didn't experience any of that.

I can't deny this is a very well written book. I know and I'm sure a lot of people will agree, S.J. Frost is a very talented author who can turn men into wet dreams and write emotions with the best of them. Still, in this book, I think things went a bit too wide.

There was a lot of talk about the past and in general just a lot of talk which really bored me to death. It took me weeks to finish the book and not even at the end did I warm up to the characters or particularly cared what happens to them. They turned out to be very different from the image I had of them based on the first book, and instead of interesting characters with intriguing pasts, what I got were basically just two sappy vampires who had a rather indecisive stand about everything.

Still, that is a matter of personal opinion. I really couldn't get into the characters and couldn't wait for all of the sex scenes to be over. The bad guys just about walked the line of absurdity and that is also where the whole plot sort of collapsed for me. Too many things had no connection to logic plus all the contradictions from one chapter to the next made everything very confusing and unfounded. I can't say I liked these vampires or their abilities, because if I removed the talk they had about how powerful and amazing they were, what I got when it came to action was the behavior of spoiled rich men and the strength of fledglings. I really wasn't impressed by anything and I'm not sure I will read the next book in the series. That is, if there is one.

That said, I really don't mean to be harsh, and I truly do like this author's work. I've given both four and five stars to Frost's previous books and to this day recommend them to readers interested in the subjects of the said books. But I can't really contain my disappointment with this one and it was only that respect and the obvious talent of the author which prevented me from rating it with two stars.

My last word for those about to read this, I truly hope you enjoy it and see in Daniel and Ryu all that I have apparently missed and that this author finds her way on your shelves.
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