I've read the whole book, not knowing til the end that it was part of a series. That is so annoying when it happens. Still it was an enjoyable read, without having read the first one. However it didn't appear to effect the outcome that much.
The story is captivating with well thought out characters and plot location. Sometimes the heroine did come across as a little desperate and pushy, but it was well balanced out by the actions of the other characters.
I'm still unsure about the ending thou. I felt it could have been handled differently.