This is the second in Sunny's Monere, Children of the Moon series, and it's every bit as silly and entertaining as the first. We join our intrepid heroine as she takes up position as Monere Queen of Louisiana. The first ever half-blood queen, Mona Lisa has a tough time winning over her suspicious subjects, but of course she manages it through her winning mix of threats and sex.
There are new men to contend with as Monere warriors vie to take their place in her bed (even though she's so totally not going to bed anyone beside the two men she already has, Gryphon and Amber.) Wannabe lover Halcyon returns to tempt Lisa again (but she can't get with him because, you know, she met Gryphon and Amber first and it would be mean.) And there's old rival Mona Louisa, who's hanging out next door in Missouri plotting revenge and rubbing her hands together evilly. Then there's Lisa's brother, Thaddeus, a half-blood male capable of Basking (calling down the moon's rays for regenerative purposes, something no other Monere male can do.) He's got to enrol at school.
All in all, it sounds pretty action-packed, no? Well, yeah, but ... Although Sunny's writing is more fluid and sophistocated this time around, I still felt there was a lack of setting and description. Sunny offers lavish descriptions of the house Lisa and her court occupy, but I never got a sense of the city they lived in, the land surrounding them, etc. I sort of had this image of a grand, palatial manor house floating around in mid-air somewhere near New Orleans.
There's a stronger, more coherant plot this time too, but never any real sense that Lisa won't triumph over evil, because everyone just loves her too damn much. She has a coterie of men flinging themselves in front of oncoming buses for her just in case, so there's no chance she's ever gonna be, like, tortured and hurt. The sex scenes are pretty entertaining, for the wrong reasons (the phrase "quivering sheath" springs to mind) and, as per Mary Sue guidelines, everyone wuvs Lisa.
On the plus side, Sunny is refreshingly unafraid to cull her characters when need be and I did find the ending unexpectedly poignant. All in all, a step up from Mona Lisa Awakening in terms of writing, but just as wonderfully ridiculous. And yes, I will be buying Mona Lisa Craving. I don't care how dumb the title is.