Title: In the Service of the King
Author: Laura Kaye
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Vampire Warrior Kings (Book 1)
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
ASIN: B006IIX0N2 (Harlequin)
Reviewed by: Kiwi
Kael, Warrior King of the Vampires, loathes the Night of the Proffering. He needs the blood of either his mate or a human virgin to maintain his strength, but hasn’t enjoyed the ritual since he lost his mate centuries ago. Kael doesn’t want a new companion, yet his resolve is tested when he lays eyes on his new offering, Shayla McKinnon. He is drawn to Shayla’s beauty and poise…and the submission she offers. She is eager to give him anything he wishes, including her innocence, to please him. Will Kael give in to their overwhelming desire—even if it means risking Shayla’s life?
Quick & Dirty: An enjoyable read on a sunny afternoon.
Opening Sentence: Kael paced the length of his private sleeping chamber, avoiding the plush emerald carpet and keeping to the uncovered stone floor at the edge of the room.
In a world where vampires are known to some humans and almost worshipped by them even, live the seven vampire kings, each holding rule over their portion of the Earth. Surrounding each is a group of humans known as the Electorate, ones who have traded their services in deception and cover, along with their virgin daughters, in exchange for protection from death and disease, and those who would do them harm.
In the wilds of Ireland lives such a king, Kael the Fair, Warrior King of the Vampires, Chieftain of Clan MacQuillan. Every three months, to maintain his health and immortality, he must feed, But the donor, must be either his mate, or a mortal virgin, preferably in her twentieth year. It is this need that Kael despises the most. Ever since he lost his mate and child in childbirth, the Proffering is an unwanted necessity, and an unwelcome risk. You see, with the partaking of a human woman’s blood is the chance that he will find his destined mate, and he is unwilling to risk another loved one, not when the war with their enemies is still at hand. So, he takes the blood of the Proffered by knife and only takes their virginity because he cannot fight the power inside him.
But, this time, something is different. Because this time, the Proffered really is destined to be his mate.
Shayla has been training for this moment for seven long years, has been dreaming of the day she could join the vampires and their helpers, and aid in the war against those who murdered her sister. When she is finally chosen to be the Proffered on her 20th birthday, she is ready and all too willing. But things do not progress as she has been told, and she is sent home untouched. She sees herself as a failure to her family and race, but all is not lost. Upon returning to her home, she finds that Kael has requested her return to his castle. She prepares to return, to perform her duty, but all is still not as she was told.
You see, despite his other plans, The King wishes to keep this one as his mate, for apparently it has been destined, and he cannot leave her or her magical mismatched eyes alone. What follows is a love story, true to good old Harlequin form, and a mating completed by one of the most amazing rituals I’ve read about. It’s so strangely beautiful.
In the Service of the King is a wonderful light read, and I hope that I will most certainly enjoy the next installment, Seduced by the Vampire King, which comes out in June 2012.
Shayla smiled and held up her hand. “Is this just…chemistry? Biology?”
Kael frowned down at the pattern on his palm, then looked back into her eyes. He studied her for a long moment, then sank down to one knee and grasped her marked hand in his.
“Our mating is chemistry and biology. My body, my blood, needs you on a fundamental level. You. Your body brings me peace, comfort. Your blood restores my immortality and humanity. But I wanted you before this, Shayla. I brought you back because I knew, even then.” He held their joined hands to his heart. “You are more beautiful than my eyes can take in. Your eyes enchant me and hold me to you. You are brave and fierce and strong and bright and these are just the things I’ve learned in the few hours we’ve been able to share. I want to know more.”
Shayla bit down on her lip, trying to restrain the tears and joyous sob that threatened. Kael reached up and pulled her lip from her teeth with his thumb. He arched an eyebrow and she couldn’t hold in the laugh-cry that escaped.
“Be mine, love. Please”
The Vampire Warrior Kings Series:
FTC Advisory: The author provided me with a copy of In the Service of the King. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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