Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/WriterRating: 5 out of 5 ControllersReview Source: Blog TourReviewer: JCarrollWow! Wow! Wow! Double Wow! This book left me extremely thirsty for more! No pun intended. I read this one as a standalone, meaning I didn’t read book one in this series before reading this second book. I haven’t happened upon The Vampire Agape books. before reading this one. Had I began with book one; I would have met Bood Jewel with much more scaffolding and a solid cache of information concerning the characters and their history. Yet, surprisingly, even though I started the book cold, I warmed up rather immediately. From the prologue, “Becoming Marsala Dauphine”, I was hooked! This book cast its spell right from page one. I absorbed the romantic flow of the words with ease. I couldn’t put the book down. I found that I was being drawn into the magical realm of vampires, all the while keeping one foot on solid ground of reality. The two main characters, Curry the handsome, laid back vampire and his “agape” soul mate, Chansey (I love this name), were a likeable pair from the beginning. Their pure, romantic love for one another touched me at once. However, there was a sense of foreboding, an awareness that their love would be tested and tried throughout the book. And tried it was. The book begins with the engagement in New Orleans, and a serious change of events moves them quickly to warm, endearing Savannah. The evil vampire, Marsala from Curry’s past haunted and threatened their lives and love. This made every decision they made based on safety and survival. I was pleased with the flow of events, and the author’s ability to keep me interested through characters’ actions and resulting consequences of those actions. The camaraderie in the coven of the “good” vampires adds much to the story. The supporting characters are not very developed, but the way the plot unfolds and the attention put on the events surrounding the endangered love affair between Chancy and Curry, balances itself. The question of what is a Blood Jewel is yet to be answered. Much emphasis is put on the fact that Chansey is not only Curry’s Agape, but a “blood jewel” as well. When another human blood jewel is saved from the treacherous hands of an evil vampire in a nearby coven and brought to the heroic Coven of Landra, Curry realizes the importance of discovering the hidden meaning. However, this mission takes a backseat as the challenge to keep Chansey safe from Marsala’s evil clutches places itself front and center. I have never read a vampire novel before…I’ve never actually had the desire. But after finishing Blood Jewel, I downloaded book one within five minutes of reading the last sentence. I absolutely must know the earlier events to which much of the plot referred. Was there a great need to read book one before devouring Blood Jewel? Evidently not! By devouring, I mean I could not put this one down. I cooked dinner with one hand while holding the Nook in the other. Folded clothes, rode in the car, watched my daughter’s softball game and sat at the pool, all with the book in my hand. To call me consumed does not do it justice. Obsessed sounds more like it. This action packed, edge of your seat, romantic novel should definitely be put on your “to read by the end of summer “ list. What’s hotter than a hunky, wealthy, romantic vampire…right? My advice? Pick up book one before reading Blood Jewel. But if not, Jump right in!!!