Book Review: Serpent's Kiss (The Beauchamp Family #2) by Melissa de la Cruz

Summary: 
The powerful Beauchamp family, introduced in the New York Times bestselling Witches of East End, returns in The Serpent's Kiss, with dizzying plot twists and the spell-binding magic that have made both Witches of East End and Melissa's Blue Bloods series such enormous successes.
 Just as things have settled down in the off-the-map Long Island town of North Hampton for the magical Beauchamp family, everything gets turned upside down once more when Freya's twin brother Fryr, or "Freddie" as he's called now, returns from Limbo with shocking news - that it was none other than Freya's fianc√©, Killian Gardiner, who set up his downfall.

He begs Freya to keep his presence a secret, even from their own family, but somehow the irascible Freddie is still able to conduct many affairs with the town's young lovelies from his self-imposed exile. Until he falls for the wrong girl.

While Freya tries to keep her brother from exacting revenge on the man she loves, Ingrid has her own problems. Her human boyfriend, Matt Noble, becomes entangled in a complicated investigation, and when the magical creatures at the center of it come to Ingrid for help, she has a difficult choice to make.

To top it off, a dead spirit is trying to make contact with Joanna - but does it mean to harm or warn the witches? All hell breaks loose at the family reunion over Thanksgiving, and much mayhem ensues, but when the culprit behind Freddie's imprisonment is finally revealed, it may already be too late to staunch the poison that's been released by the serpent's kiss. The spells cast by the bestselling Witches of East End continue in this bewitching follow-up that Melissa de la Cruz's many fans won't want to miss.

Release Date: June 12, 2012
Age Group: Adult
Source: Library

Review:
I liked The Witches of East End (read my review here) but I liked Serpent's Kiss so much more!  Book one had a ton of world-building, which slowed the book down for me. I was so happy to pick up Serpent's Kiss and jump right back into the Beauchamp family's world.  I loved that de la Cruz included a summary of the events of book one at the beginning of Serpent's Kiss.  It's been over a year since I read The Witches of East End, so I was quite foggy on many of the details.  The summary was concise but descriptive enough to fully recap the events of book one.  I love that!

My favorite part of Serpent's Kiss was reading about each character's love life, especially Ingrid's.  I loved watching she and Matt build their relationship.  Freya, I am not as close to---a lot of her thinking and actions felt irrational to me, but I really identify with Ingrid.  The third person narrative still felt personal and de la Cruz's characterization kept me in tune with each character's thoughts and feelings.

Serpent's Kiss had a much more involved plot and more action than The Witches of East End.  Now that the Beauchamp family's world is built, de la Cruz was free to really get the plot moving.  So much happened in this book, and that action kept things really interesting.

I'm really happy with The Beauchamp Family series.  It is definitely an adult series, but the adult scenes are very tastefully done.  I can't wait for book three!


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