Book Review – The Dark Prince by S.L. Jennings

by Maryse on March 20, 2013 · 34 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Dark Prince (BOOK #2 in The Dark Light Series) - If you are new to this series, you MUST READ #1 first!!! —> Dark Light (check out my review of #1 but just know that #2 is a 5-STAR PLUS read, for me)

I. Am. ELATED!! This book gutted me in the most intense way. I was romantically floored, then distressed, and in the end? Ah ah ahhhhhh! I’m not saying. ;)

Okay so like… you know when you start a book and it’s good, but our fellow readers are talking about other books that also look good (and that they are enjoying) and you question if you want to check those out right away, just in case? You become a book glutton and can’t focus on just one. You “book-hop” (I’m kind of guilty of this). But I can’t help it ’cause I’m looking for that ultimate book-rush and, if I’m not 100% (or close to that) connected… I can be distracted. Tempted away.

Not with this one. “The Dark Prince” snared me from the very start and it did not let me go. I didn’t wonder… I didn’t wander. THIS was the only thing I wanted to read. And considering the fact that I liked, but did not fall “crazy-in-love” with, book #1 (other than falling for Dorian of course, that was inevitable), #2 had to be really something to make me obsess the way I did, with it.

I know this is my truth. My past. My present. My future. It is what I knew all along and, like a freaking idiot, ignored because my beautiful illusion was so much better than my tragic reality.

And it was people. IT WAS SOMETHING BIG!!!!!! I’m in love with every character in that book, and I was heartbroken for, and because of them, too.

“How do you know him?”

Donna crumbles into chest-heaving sobs. “Oh please, no! Please, Gabriella! Don’t tell me… don’t tell me it’s him. Don’t tell me he’s the one!”

She knew. For months she read it in my aura. She knew I was involved with someone and something had changed me. She knew I had fallen in love. She just never imagined it could have been with the epitome of all that is corrupt and immoral in their world.

With him.

This book ran me through a gamut of emotions, but didn’t rush me through them. At times I simmered, and at times I boiled over but the author always allowed me to feel it. Every single scene is doused in intoxicatingly emotional (and often excruciating) detail. But not… overboard, if that makes sense? Not “over-the-top”. This time, I did not eye-roll. This time, the author tricked me. This time, the reveals surprised me (even if I saw them coming… she one-upped me). This time, I felt every single moment, and, “paranormal” or not, I believed it.

Even as fear flows through me in staggering ripples, all I want to do is bury myself in his arms and let him ease my trepidition. Trepidition I feel for him.

How stupid can you get, Gabs?

I get you, Gabs. After all, I too, am a Dark addict.

I delighted in it’s rush, wallowed in it, indulged some more, and eventually… I broke. My heart. It still hurts so bad, and so good, too. And that’s all I ask for in a read.

I feel my eyes pool with fresh tears, unable to blink them away. And why would I? This is the end. There’s no use in trying to stifle my agony. It’s true; I am dead inside. Without Dorian, without the beautiful illusion of love and true happiness, I am but an empty shell. Even the mirage of my life that pacified me for twenty years cannot pull me back from the ledge. I can’t go back to that. Meeting Dorian – loving Dorian – has altered my entire being. Life without him is death.

You know when in a book, the love is good, the relationship is finally smooth-sailing but after awhile of good and “easy”, and lots of it, it can get well… for lack of a better word… boring? You might skim a scene or two, or heave a sigh and wonder when the action will start again? When the emotional discord will re-present itself? Not this. There was just something about them… that was magical (LOL! I know, considering the subject matter ;) ). Their private moments were verrrrryyyyy romantic, sure (sappy?) but no. I could have lived forever in their bliss. When it was good, it was awesome and there was A LOT of it. Ahhhhhhh the wonderful relief. I loved (love) it.

BUT!!!!! And maybe it’s ’cause I knew this “but” was hovering… and maybe it’s that that kept me on the edge of my seat even during the “smooth-sailing” but when things got rough… LOOK OUT!!!! And it was so much, so many different ways, for so many different reasons and all of them, to me… while I was gasping in shock, I was also “understanding” why.

“The very thing that draws me to you is the very thing I hate.”

“You don’t mean that,” I find myself whispering.

“Yes, I do. And you have to accept that. I’ll never be anything other than Dark. No matter how much I wish I could be.”

I was devastated. And while this one can be plenty melodramatic, it didn’t have that over-the-top “oh come on!” feel to it. I was right there with them, with her, every step of the way.

So what’s it about?

Decisions, political alliances (paranormal power and all that – dark vs. light – you know how it goes). Black and white. And all of the grey in between. But SO much more than that.

Best friends, lovers, ex-lovers and scattered loyalties. Rules and breaking them. Rules and upholding them. Adjusting, adapting, coming together just to break apart again. Being hurt. And hurting others. Selfishness. Self-sacrifice. Oh I swear I think I cried for everyone at some point or another, in this book. Bad guys. Good guys, and trying to figure out who is who. This is what our heroine has to contend with, and every single thought in her head was me. I was her. And what incredible growth. So well thought out, so perfectly timed. Her growth, her realizations, and her occasional faltering did not feel contrived. She was real in all of her humanity, her mistakes, her feelings, her healing. One step forward, two steps back, and I was taking those steps with her.

I told myself that it would be alright, that Dorian would be enough for me to leave my hopes and aspirations behind. But all the while I had been trying to be enough for him, I never truly considered if he, and all that his presence represents, would be enough for me.

This book compared to #1? Leaps and bounds, my friends. Leaps and bounds. In writing, in story flow (from scene to scene it was seamless – as if the author was living it with them). In the character growth, and intensity. BUT!!! I appreciate book #1 (Dark Light) that much more now, after having experienced this one. Book #1 is worth it just to get to #2 (after all, I did like it. Especially the 2nd half.) .

Whether you’re into paranormal or not, if you love experiencing incredible romance and devastating emotional pain in your reads and if you love to question the truth, possible betrayal, and who to really trust  (whether they be human or paranormal, they all felt human to me) then THIS IS FOR YOU!!!

“And how would you know that? You aren’t even human!” I feel hurt, angry tears spring to my eyes, and I quickly blink them away.

“And neither are you!” he shouts, his voice nearly vibrating the room.

*hrmph*… you both could have fooled me. Very human indeed. You know… along with all of the cool super-power stuff. ;)

I would do anything to be going into book #3 right now. I’m not ready to leave their world. My throat just got tight again… *sniff sniff*


Here’s the reading order —> The Dark Light Series

You wanna read how crazy we all went reading this one together? This should say it all. This many people, with this strong of a reaction can’t be wrong. ;)

Maryse’s Book Blog: Oh. No. He. DIDN’T!!! He just made me fume and I just KNEW!!! Ugggghhhh!!!! Ohhhh I love reading. *smirk*

Gi: My dark prince?!

Patricia: buhahaha you too huh? !?!!!?!!!? i know…….  if they check my bag at work i am so busted! !!! crack i tell ya crack!!!!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Gi you can KEEP your dark prince. GAH!!!! How could heeeee? *sniff* but I love him…. *sniff*

Barbara: Niko is just as awesome..

Gi : Oh my gosh u going love him!!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog:  Oh no. Nonononono it just got worse. Nooooooooooo

Gi: Yup, hate that b@&$@&$&@!

Nikki: ugh that book was so full of angst at times, i loved it!

Sasha: I know exactly what part you are talking about, I had tears rolling down my face

Maryse’s Book Blog: S.L. Jennings I hope you are writing #3 right now ’cause uggggghhhhhhhh! Okay so I haven’t met Niko yet…

Maryse’s Book Blog: No but I’m in pain. Absolute pain.

Syreeta Jennings: It’s 424am where I am but yes, book 3 is on its way! And no worries…you will meet Niko soon

Patricia: sweet jesus i am at 49% and have to go to bed!!!!!!! crap! !!!!! pain nooooooo how they just did bow chicka wow wow …….NOOOOO! !!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Gi: I’m so in pain. I finish it today!!!!

Jennifer: It does get better… or worse… depending on where you are!

Rosie : ^^^ insert evil laugh

Nikki: How fun would a book be if there wasn’t angst?! Lol.

Rachel: I’m 45% into the dark prince and I’m OBSESSED! I can’t stop reading!

Patricia: no worries?????????? fils de pute! !!!!!!!!!! i am not getting any sleep tonight….guess i wont be winning mommy of the year in the morning

Maryse’s Book Blog: Ha! I’ll be up all night, too!

Jennifer: The only words I have for this book was that my heart was ripped out of my chest then shoved back down again! This book killed me!!! But loved every minute of it!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Wow Syreeta. I LOVE Gabs in this. Her every thought is perfect. Exactly want I’d think. Leaps and bounds… ”One day down…” OMG I love that line.

Syreeta: Thank you, Maryse! I’d like to think we grew together

Sandy: Just started it:) now ill pribably be up all nite lol

Ena: You must have hit the BOOM in TDP but wait there are more. Yes Dorian landed himself in timeout for quite awhile for that one

Nardia: Ok ok I have only started ready Dark Light!!! I have the next one downloaded ready and waiting for me to finish the first……don’t tell me anymore!!!

Trina: 2:00am and I have to try and finish DP!! I can do this!!!

Carol: Couldn’t agree more loving the dark prince was up till 3 am only half way.

Keighley: I’m only at 15%, loving it so far but haven’t reached anything that’s ripped out my heart- now I’m scared!

Jennifer: Lol, i was that way with Jared.

Julie: Ok ive got this on my kindle. I need to read it next to find out what all the fuss is about.

Jeannie: I need to stop checking in on this page because my TBR is starting to make my brain implode

Brittany: Love this series!! New favorite

Rosie: OMG I love that series!!!! It is amazing! Mrs. Skotos

Brandie: … I absolutely loved these books. I think I may spontaneously combust waiting for book 3!

Melanie: Just finshed Dark Prince. I love that me and Gabs made the same choice. It makes me think the characters actually can hear me yell at the book. And the ending…..I guess even if you are a supernatural badass you should use the peephole hehe. I need the next book asap.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Ok I passed out, but woke up at regular intervals for more. I’m at 80% and I 5 star LOVE this book. The intensity doesn’t let up, and it flows so well. Many times I have been gutted and on the verge of tears, and GABS … Just wow. Love everything about her.

Jennifer: I totally agree! This book had my stomach in knots with me sitting on the edge of the couch!! LOVE IT!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: *giggle* love this —> “… all I want to do is slap the Dark out of him…”

Ena: Yep just wait for the final BOOM. But this one is like in your face BOOM

Jennifer: I second what Ena said! Just you wait, hee hee. I am kinda liking Niko A LOT though,

Maryse’s Book Blog: It’s hard to read with an inch thick of tears in my eyes. Very hard.

Sasha: Blink rapidly, let those babies roll and read on!!!

Angela: That book was amazing just wait till the end it will knock your socks off, your mouth will be left wide open for quite some time.

Sandy: Oh know im still on book one, lol must read faster

Patricia: Man…..that was awesome!!!!!! I have no words, just a question…how in the heck am I gonna come up with something to read after this????? I have no clue?

Trina: Ohhhh NOOOO!!! Maryse Black, your crying???? Damn, damn!!!!! I’m only half way through chptr 14.

Jamie: LOL!! Dorian has ruined us ALLLLLL!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: Awesome you guys. An absolute must on my top 2013 list without a doubt. Okay, time to review… *phew* what a ride.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Lise March 20, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Gah… Wowzer… I am at 12% and so very excited, for me! I love when you give a book 5 stars plus.:-)
Awesome review, Maryse!

Minha (BrazilianGirl) March 20, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Does it finish in a cliffhanger? I was going to wait for book 3, but I’m so curious now that you gave it 5 stars…

Rose March 20, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Wow !! Great review and I totally understand what you mean by book hopping which is a habit of mine too(bad one or good one- lol….?:) Now you’ve definitely peaked my interest and since I have book 1, I’m going to start it tonight!

Bonnie March 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM

8% in and now I REALLY can’t wait to finish!

Maryse March 20, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Minha – it’s a different “kind” of cliffhanger. Let’s just say a different stage to the story (and who knows what we’re in store for?). I’m dying to continue reading, but am good with how this one ended.

Jennifer D March 20, 2013 at 3:51 PM

I always tell people there is a baby cliffhanger… Not the major kind that you want to throw your kindle across the room and curse the author for making your wait months on end. I did want to throw my kindle several times throughout the story though!!!!

Maryse March 20, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Best. Feeling. EVER!!!!

Er… well, one of ‘em, anyway. ;)

Keighley March 20, 2013 at 4:44 PM

5 star plus *rubs hands with glee* hehehee so excited now its had the Maryse seal of approval. seriously girl, youve never steered me wrong & as your enthusiasm is so infectious :D love your genuine / emotional reviews. Do chuffed this series is getting recognised & sure youll get SL jennings a ton of new readers – heres hoping, cos this series deserves it!

toni dooley March 20, 2013 at 5:06 PM

OMG! wat can you really say after a read like this! i loooove Gabs…i felt for her sooo bad a lot through book 2. And gotta love some Dorian! ANd woop wopp NIKO! funny! Cliff hanger left me wide open…cant wait for BOOK 3!

Courtnee March 20, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I LOVE THIS! SO much fun! This is waaay better than any book club! I love how excited everyone else gets too- even though I finished it on Sunday, it’s like I get to relive all of those feelings again! I haven’t read anything in a long time that had me feeling so much intensity for the good and the bad! It was like, every where you turned, every relationship, every situation… it was just so MUCH (in a really good way). Instead of it just being the angsty situations, I found myself relishing in the times when things were good. And, I am LOVING the introduction of Niko!! Book 3 can not come out soon enough!

Madeline Sheehan March 20, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Great review! She deserves it too! I absolutely loved both books!

Maryse March 20, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Me too!! There we all were, up late together freaking out!!! I LOVE US!!!

LucyLou March 20, 2013 at 10:26 PM

5 STARS PLUS!!!!! Gotta have it!! Sounds Great!

sandy sciacca March 21, 2013 at 6:50 AM

wow, i hate when i can’t see the words because i’m crying LOL,, can’t wait for the 3rd one to come out, what a way to spend my nite….. now to come down off my Dorian high LOL

Jamie March 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

OMG! OMG! I’m reading this right now and am swooning over Dorian. Is there a better reluctant hero out there? Fantastic series – I can’t wait for #3!

Mindy S March 21, 2013 at 9:26 AM

I LOVED this series !!! S.L. Jennings did a fabulous job with these books ! I can not wait for more !! I love me some Dorian ! & Niko !!

kelsey March 21, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Absolutely beautiful work. I devoured Dark Prince (wishful thinking in more ways than one ) Agree with everything you said in your review. I think this series has the makings of all things good, I expect it’s only going to get better. The characters could all have their own book.
It gave me the BDBrotherhood feel, like we are going to be part of a great new paranormal family.
Very exciting :)

Trina March 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Just finished!!!! WOW!!! Is all I can say!!!! Amazing!! I am left just speechless!! Book 3….I need you!!!!

Kristine March 21, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I can honestly say that I started this series strictly because of all the hype that I had been hearing. Trusting you and your reviewers, I knew it was going to be good but, HOLY *%!?…… I have just finished The Dark Prince and absolutely loved how the book ended and think it was the perfect way to tease us and keep us salivating for book 3. I can’t wait to meet Alexander ;)

Lindsay March 23, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Amazing 2 books!!!! What a way to end off. Any suggestions on what to read next? It has to be something incredible in order to compare.

Mihaela March 24, 2013 at 7:42 AM

Am in LOVE i have just finished the Dark Prince <3
This books have ruined me for good :) now I just need to find something to read just as good in till book 3 is out :(

Linh March 25, 2013 at 4:25 AM

I just finished and I want to give this book a million stars! Ahhhhh. How will I ever get down from this high?

I LOVE you Maryse for this recommendation. Been in a book slump and this completes me.

Michelle March 25, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Wow! Paranormal typically not my thing, but these books- WOW! LOVED LOVED every minute of reading them. Great recommendation Maryse!

Lynette March 27, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Oh Good Lord this book was AMAZING!!! I think I cried through most of it and loved every second!! ☺ I can’t wait for Light Shadows- I’m in Dorian withdrawal already ♥ ♥

Sweeta D March 27, 2013 at 9:58 PM

So so good! How am I going to make it until book 3 is released? I loved Gabs. She is no weakling. I can’t wait to read about Aurora’s exact reaction to being jilted at the alter! She truly earned it!:)

keighley March 28, 2013 at 4:43 AM

Dang spoiler alert! Im still 75% through the Dark Prince and that last comment just appeared in my inbox, as I ahd notifications on :-( hate that!

sandy sciacca March 28, 2013 at 6:40 AM

LOL, thats why i try and be careful what i say but sometimes i know we get caught up and forget others haven’t read it yet:(,,, is there a blog or place to talk about this series, i would love to know:)

Megs April 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Stayed up late to finish this book. I’m in love! I need a few days to digest before I start a new series. It was THAT good!! My heart is broken for a couple of characters though…

Devon Y April 17, 2013 at 12:53 PM

This is my favorite series BY FAR. I am anxiously awaiting book 3 like we all are.
These books are going to go into the re-reads pile. I know I could read them over and over.
I just LOVED Niko though.

Kim May 11, 2013 at 7:53 AM

I can’t believe how much this book made me cry and I loved every minute of it!!!

Jeannie Smith June 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I just finished and it was everything you said it was! Toward the middle, I was starting to doubt, because it seemed like nothing was going on, then it all started snowballing and I couldn’t figure out what would happen next. I can’t wait till book 3 now – what an ending!

Jenniffer July 9, 2013 at 12:04 PM


Do you know when the next installment will be out? i CANT WAIT!

Vlada October 11, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Hi everybody!)) My name is Vlada and I’m from Russia and I want to express you my opinion about this book: it really kills me: I can’t sleep, can’t do my homework. I always reed it and I haven’t free time because of it… Unfortunately, there aren’t original books in my country so I have stopped at the 19 contents((( but I hope I will read next soon

Marion Gibson January 2, 2016 at 10:14 PM

I started the Dark/light series with the Dark Prince on Friday and I’ve just finished Light Shadows at 3am Sunday morning I just couldnt put the books down I was so caught up in the story I’ve laughed and cried at the heartbreak .It was a rollercoaster of emotions and totally unputdownable series. I’ve still to read Nico’s story I can’t wait to start it. So thanks for an amazing story a complete 10 out of 10 for it.

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