Rated Reads

The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls, book 2)

by Alys Arden

Rated: High

It’s been a month since Adele and her two friends and fellow coven members trapped the vampires who had escaped a long imprisonment in a New Orleans convent attic back in there. Adele is tormented by knowing her long-estranged mother, whom she found out last-minute was a vampire, is also within that attic. And while she feels betrayed by Nicco, the Italian vampire who told her never to trust him but she kinda did anyway, she still misses him and feels bad about his imprisonment as well.

While she, Isaac and Desiree are glad to have reinstated the spell their ancestors set a couple of centuries before so that the vamp killing spree could end in post-Storm New Orleans, they are a little nervous that it won’t be permanent. After all, they didn’t “kill” the vampires, only contained them once again. They start feeling the need to track down the other descendants of that older coven and try to find more information about what brought the vampires to New Orleans in the first place — and why they were tracking Adele’s ancestor Adeline.

Isaac and Adele are dating, and Isaac is relieved to have Nicco out of the way. Adele is keeping the fact that her mother is a vampire a secret from Isaac and Desiree. And she’s started visiting the attic, sleeping on the other side of the locked door, because she’s starting to have dreams that are seemingly coming right from Nicco. His memories of his early life in 17th-century Italy may hold a key to solving the mystery Adele is trying to solve. But she doesn’t want to share any of this either.

Meanwhile, a strange young man has come to New Orleans and started working with Isaac on storm cleanup, and while he seems to have useful help to give, a few things don’t quite add up. And something strange is again happening in the French Quarter, with some kind of problem in the spirit world bubbling over into the land of the living. As Adele, Isaac and Dee try to sift through the clues about the current problem and the mystery of the past, as well as try to find other descendants, things start to get dangerous, and Adele and Isaac’s relationship is tested even with Nicco locked up in an attic.

I really enjoyed the first book, The Casquette Girls, and I was excited when this sequel finally arrived three years later. I had to reread that first one to remember the story and the details. I found I wasn’t expecting the directions the story went in this book, mainly with 1) this book going back and forth between not just Adele’s viewpoint but also Isaac’s and 2) not getting a lot of the back story from the past for a while. This book focused a lot more on the young people’s magic and their learning more about it, rather than on the vampires, since they were locked up and out of the picture. So this was much more magical than the first book, where the vampire story dominated more than the young protagonists exercising a lot of magic.

This story really ended on some serious cliffhangers, so I hope the next book isn’t three more years down the pike. I definitely want to know what happens next.

This book had all the atmosphere of the previous one, with a gothic Southern setting, old secrets and history, and curious characters. My only real problem with it was that there was a lot of strong language in this one, whereas there weren’t any f-words in the first. It just wasn’t necessary, since the previous book was just fine without that language. I’d like to see less in the next installment.

Rated: High, for roughly 20 instances of strong language and some milder profanities. There is a fair amount of violence, with a few scenes that are pretty gory and detailed. Sexual content includes making out and some talk about see-through shirts and wanting more, etc. There is a scene of sex happening in the past that’s not too detailed but disturbing in that it’s combined with a vampire feeding.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls, book 2)
  • by Alys Arden
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: