Book Review: The Heart of Arima (The French Vampire Legend Book 2) by Emma V. Leech

Corvus and Jehenne finally get to be together, but their troubles aren't over because they still have to make a trip back to the Underworld. But Jehenne has been having visions about a baby, and Corvus is not the father, which means she'll have to choose between Corvus or her future child, and neither choice is going to be without consequence, especially when Corvus finds out.

Book Review: The Heart of Arima (The French Vampire Legend Book 2) by Emma V. Leech | reading, books, book reviews, paranormal/urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampires, witches
Title: The Heart of Arima
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 497
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


First of all, the thing I loved most about this second book in the series was all the emotion. Both Jehenne and Corvus have passionate, explosive personalities with strong emotions, and unlike in the first book when it made them seem overdramatic, this time it worked in the book’s favor. I like some good angst and drama and high emotion in romance, and this book gave me that, especially since I could understand why both characters were so upset. Jehenne was really stuck between a rock and a hard place and that scene when she walked into Corvus’s office was rough, and poor Corvus, well, I too would’ve been hurt if I had been in his position.

Jehenne herself was less frustrating this time. She seemed more mature and didn’t make as many bad decisions. I completely understood her hesitancy to complete the bond with Corvus. I thought it was mature of her to realize that, even though she loved Corvus, she was still young and shouldn’t rush into a decision about spending eternity (literally, since they’re immortal) with someone she really hadn’t known for very long. It annoyed me that no one else in the book seemed to understand that and kept pressuring her to sleep with him already. It annoyed me even more that everyone kept insinuating sex and love are the same thing and that the only way to “prove” she loved him was to have sex with him. I could also understand her wanting to have a child someday and being upset by the fact that that wouldn’t happen with Corvus since, as a vampire, he can’t have children. So even though she was still fairly emotional, it was for good reason.

As for Corvus, he was a little less perfect, which was a good thing as I don’t like when characters are too perfect. He definitely had a temper and knew how to be cruel when he wanted to be, but he was still a good person.

There was also Cain, *SPOILER (for Book 1)* (Jehenne’s brother from her past life) *END SPOILER* who turned out to be a pretty interesting, mysterious character, and the relationship that grew between him and Jehenne was sometimes rough and full of arguing but also sweet.

The one character I didn’t like was Corin, not because he was poorly written but because he didn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word no. He was constantly touching, kissing, and trying to manipulate Jehenne into having sex with him even when she told him to stop, tried to push him away, and even tried to use magic to hurt him. So that “nice” thing he did wasn’t nice, it was just the truth. *SPOILER* He told Corvus that he tried to force himself on Jehenne, that she didn’t want to go through with it despite her longing for the baby, so that he would take the blame instead of her in order to save her relationship with Corvus… but him trying to force himself on her is literally what happened. Jehenne first ran out of Corin’s house because she had changed her mind, then, even when she was in her underwear after he healed her injuries and her mind was clouded by a magic-induced lust, she still told Corin no and tried to push him away from her. It doesn’t matter if she felt lust or desire or attraction, she told him to get away from her and tried to push him away. It was only her necklace that stopped him. That’s sexual assault. Or like taking advantage of someone while they’re drunk since the magic was clouding her judgment. *END SPOILER* And I wasn’t ok with how Corin’s actions were made out to be ok by the characters.

I think I also liked the plot a little better in this one than in the first book. Between all the relationship drama, the sweet moments of happiness and friendships and family, and the trip to the Underworld, it was more gripping.

So overall, aside from the problematic sexual assault part, this was another enjoyable book in the series that fixed most of the issues I had with the first one and kept me gripped with it’s plot, characters, and emotion!

*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 2nd read.*

Reread Ratings:
4 Stars (1st Read – 2015)
4 Stars (2nd Read – 2016)


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  1. Greg

    I do like the covers of this series. Sounds like I could definitely relate to Jehenne- I mean eternity’s a long time and if everyone is pressuring her to get on with this undead dude, I’d be pissed too. lol and Corin sounds like an ass. I’m kinda curious by the Alfheim thing (are there fae in this) and if it’s set in France that sounds like a plus too. Nice review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      The covers are so striking, right? Corin was an ass, in my opinion. No one else seemed to feel that way though, except Corvus. But Corin is the Prince of Alfheim and an elf, so yeah, he’s fae, but he was the only one (though I think they’ll be going to his realm in Book 4). I love that this series is set in France! Thanks 🙂

  2. Angela @ Simply Angela

    This series looks like something I would enjoy. I’m always looking for a new paranormal series to try out. And it’s always nice to see the characters maturing as the series progresses.

    I had that problem with The Fire Child (the book I reviews yesterday). I didn’t really care for the main characters or their actions, yet I loved the book. It’s crazy how that happens because, for me, normally the characters make or break the book.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I do think you might enjoy this. I know I am! I agree that it’s nice to see characters mature as the story goes on.

      It’s weird when that happens. One of my favorite series has an MC I can’t stand who makes awful decisions, yet I still love the series. Although I think it’s because I love how realistic some of the other characters are, so maybe not quite the same as your situation lol.

  3. kimbacaffeinate

    This series is new to so thank you for sharing. I tend to shy away from this genre in YA, but this sounds more complex. I enjoyed the excerpt and your breakdown on the characters and emotions.

    1. Kristen Burns

      To be honest, I categorized it as YA because the character was 18 at the start, but it’s seeming less like YA as it goes on. Thanks, glad you liked my review!

  4. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    See I was wary but interested by your review of the first book but this second one sounds like it would push my buttons. A character who can’t take no for the answer and is way too forceful with someone and then everyone telling a person that sex and love are the same thing and just sleep with a guy already. Just… ugh, that sounds full on aggravating. I’m glad you liked some of the characters more this time but I think I’ll have to give this a miss. I think it may be one of those books where I might have enjoyed it without reading reviews for it, but then I would never have heard of it if it wasn’t for reviews. It’s quite a quandry really.

    1. Kristen Burns

      And here I thought this was a positive review, haha. But no, I get it, there are certain things that just push our buttons too much. I could deal with the sex/love thing because the MC had some sense about it, but I was definitely bothered by the sexual assault part. But the rest was good enough that I still wanted to keep reading the series.

  5. Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

    I’m almost there K! I have a vampire book on my nightstand!!! I may be able to read one with you and chat about it soon! Glad you are enjoying this series. I would have too since I’m all about drama and family relationships nowadays 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      You?? Have a vampire book???!? What book is it? I don’t even know what your taste is anymore, so I have no idea whether you’d like this one or not, haha, but you might if you like drama and family relationships.

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    Yay! I’m so happy that this second installment fixed the issues you had in the first book, Kristen. I liked the premise but your issues with Jehenne in particular made me a little leery. Now I can go into this series confidently. 🙂 The character development seems to have gone in the right direction for the most part. And the plot was a bit tighter? That’s great. I’ve already added it to your shelf! LOL

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I do think you might like this series. It definitely improved after that first book, both the characters and the plot. Can’t wait to see your thoughts if/when you read it!