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Duncan (Vampires in America, #5)
D.B. Reynolds
This Same Earth: Elemental Mysteries Book 2 - Elizabeth Hunter From the ending of A Hidden Fire, Beatrice left for LA to continue for grad school. What I didn't expect is for Gio and Beatrice to be separated for 5 long years. Isn't that a bit excessive? Maybe to him, it felt like 5 days. But Gio, she is human. I thought the prologue that was being told in the form of Beatrice's journal entries depicting her feelings for Gio during the period was genius. We can feel how much she misses him, but as years pass, the feelings turned into resentment. I totally agrees that she should probably hate him for what he did.

This Same Earth started 5 years later, after the event in A Hidden Fire. Gio had kept himself busy with hunting down Beatrice's father (that man really is a piece of work), adopting a fake nephew, Benjamin (this 12yo is so cute), while allowing time for Beatrice to live her own life. Another thing that I didn't expect is for Gio to appear all of a sudden back in Beatrice's life and make his intention known. I was surprise to find him became all charming and flirty here. The Gio that I know from the previous book is a Mr. Frosty who don't give a damn or bat an eyelash to the ladies and emotionally reserved. Is this really Gio, the hot Italian scholar I read in A Hidden Fire? I'm not complaining, just saying.

Beatrice herself did a lot of growing during the 5 years gap, which did her good. Gone is the bubbly, carefree, defenseless young student. After her experience with the supernatural villain, she is working herself towards some ass kicking. Beatrice is content with her life now, she had a job in a library (seriously?), a lovely Hispanic boyfriend (do I see a trend here?) and a supportive bff (barbie Dez). When Gio showed up and demanded her help in researching (yeah right), she's not only pissed, she's livid. I would too. If this is not Gio we are talking about, I would demand some serious grovelling. But since this is Gio, I allow him to charm his way back. And he was pretty good at that. Thank God it didn't take long for Beatrice to cave in to his charm. I hate to read about two person being angry with each other. When Beatrice and Gio reunited, we can clearly see the dynamic had shifted somehow. They used to have this mentor/student, employer/assistant relationship, but now they seems more on an equal footing.

Do you still remember Carwyn, the funny priest with Hawaii shirt? He's not any fun here. Poor him. His eldest son is missing and was later believe to be related to Lorenzo. Gio and Beatrice met up with the devastated Carwyn and tried to help locate his missing son, while at the same time tracking the spawn of Satan, Lorenzo. Seriously, I really wanted to kill off that motherf*cker. No thanks to you for making Gio's life a living hell.

We got more action and ass kicking scene in this installment. A lot of new characters are introduce as part of the vamp community. Beatrice met her great-great-dunno-how-many-great-grandpa who happen to be a vamp as well. He makes me think of the Godfather with lots of ulterior motive and hidden agenda. While, Carwyn had such a BIG family that I was wondering how does he keep track who is who. I definitely need to mentioned Gemma, Gio's ex-lover, who wants to kick Beatrice's ass whenever she got the chance. Two words, cat fight.

Although Gio is indeed quite different from what I knew of him, that didn't make me love him any less. He used to be Mr. Cool, now he is Mr. Warm. Is kind of comforting. He is so dedicated, caring and loving towards Beatrice, while loyal to his friends, and brainy as well. Did I mentioned that whenever Gio turned inferno and sometimes got his hair singed, he looks totally hot literally and figuratively.

We are left with another cliffhanger and the search for missing dad is still ongoing, but Gio and Beatrice is getting close. They seems to be playing The Amazing Race game with all the globe trotting. Meanwhile, the spawn of Satan is still creating havoc wherever he went. There's no rest for the living dead as long as he's still around. Overall, This Same Earth is a strong follow up from the previous book. But I feels that the magic that makes A Hidden Fire awesome is lacking here. The predecessor is different, is classy, is unexpected and have a nice twist. This Same Earth just feels like a well written UF/PNR to me. Nonetheless, I'm so invested in both Gio and Beatrice along with all their family and friends. And the thing with Beatrice's father kind of driving me up the wall with his elusiveness. I hope that when he finally made his appearance, make sure he came out with a BANG!

p/s: I finally get myself to find out the meaning for 'tesoro'. I never would have guess.