Title: Lord of the Vampires
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Royal House of Shadows (Book 1)
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
Format: Paperback, 288 Pages
ISBN-10: 0373618662 (Harlequin)
ISBN-13: 978-0373618668 (Harlequin)
Reviewed by: Sheila
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out….
Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him.
In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai’s memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.
Quick & Dirty: A paranormal twist to the story of Alice and Wonderland.
Opening Sentence: Once upon a time, in a land of vampires, shape-shifters and witches, the Blood Sorcerer coveted the only power denied him: the right to rule.
Once upon a time in a computer far far away, there lived four queens. Each queen had the gift of storytelling and regaled their subjects with tales of far off lands. One day, the queens decided to create a story together. “Our people will love them,” they said to each other. “So,” one commented, “what shall our story be about?” And there begins the birth of the Royal House of Shadows series. Okay, not really, but it COULD have started like that. Four friends DID get together and started a series where each author would be in charge of one book. Each book would be a twist on a fairy tale, and each one would concentrate on one of the lives of four royal siblings. The rest of it is pure speculation, and poetic license, on my part.
Lord of the Vampires is about a vampire prince, with no memory of his past, and the woman from another world he summoned to save him. This story contains lots of sexual situations; including sexual abuse, attempted rape, and the occasional orgy. There are two options for buying these tales. The first is just the one story. The second includes other tales by the author. Gena Showalter’s bonus stories include: The Darkest Angel and The Darkest Prison from her Lords of the Underworld series, and The Amazon’s Curse, which is set in the Atlantis world. I like the option of reading more from an author that’s easily accessible. I have added reviews for the extra stories at the end of this review.
Nicolai, nick-named the “Dark Seducer,” is an alpha male in every sense of the word. He is strong, sexy, and helpless against his primal instincts. He is driven to freedom and revenge, but he does know whom to fight or why he needs to in the first place. In the beginning, he is consumed by thoughts of avenging… something. He vows a slow and painful death to the evil queen and her abusive daughters for their part in his imprisonment and abuse. But Nicolai is trapped and must bide his time to fulfill his vows of retribution. He sends out his magic to bring him the one who can help him; the only one who can save him, Jane.
Jane Parker is a brilliant scientist from our world that is transported to where Nicolai is incarcerated. She’s not sure how it happened but recognizes Nicolai as the man from her dreams. At first she can’t choose between being scared or turned on. She is seen by those around her here as one of the kingdom’s evil princesses, courtesy of Nicolai’s glamour, and helps him bust out by exploiting her “position.” She’s scarred both emotionally and physically by a car wreck that killed her family and left her injured yet manages to handle the stress of dimensional traveling with ease. At first, this really bugged me. I mean, who in their right mind would stay calm in the same position? Of course, the explanations of her easy acceptance are both believable and written seamlessly into the overall plot. Ms. Showalter works the back-story of Jane and Nicolai throughout the book, as opposed to dumping it all together in the beginning. I appreciate discovering his past, as recovered memories, along with Nicolai. I like that Jane’s research in our world bridges over to Nicolai’s and she uses that knowledge to adapt. It makes me feel like I am a part of the story; discovering tidbits as the character’s do.
Together, Nicolai and Jane fight the bad guys while falling in love with one another. But can they overcome the obstacles that face them? Can their love survive Nicolai’s memories and Jane’s secrets? Is his love stronger than his need for vengeance? Is her past more important than her future? This book definitely delivers. I recommend it to those who enjoy a little smut with their happily-ever-after.
Because they were near a stream, bathing her patient was easy. In fact, there’d probably never been two cleaner people trapped in the wilderness. Nicolai was no longer oiled, his skin scrubbed to a healthy pink shine, and yet, the scent of sandalwood was stronger than ever. Every time she breathed him in, she tingled, her blood heating, her mouth watering.
It hadn’t helped that in bathing him, she’d run her hands all over him. As dirty as he’d been-cough, cough – she’d had to bathe him a lot. Those muscles…
Here are reviews for the additional stories that can be found in the special edition release:
“The Darkest Angel” by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #4.5)
The angel, Lysander, is a formidable warrior in the God’s army of righteousness, and he is good at his job. Never before has he been dissatisfied nor conflicted with his role in life, until now. Bianka Skyhawk is his opposite in every way. She is the great-granddaughter of Lucifer himself and her sexy-as-sin harpy body was made to tempt even the most weary of men. When Lysander kidnaps her in an effort to teach her to change her wicked ways, Bianka declares a sensuous war on the angel. For she is confident that he will succumb to her “charms” and release her back to her family. The harpy and angel match wits and will against one another, determined to be the victor. But the two of them may find that love can be a platform to compromise. And that even good and evil come in shades of grey.
“The Amazon’s Curse” by Gena Showalter (Atlantis series #5)
The Atlantis series was over after the fourth book was written. The vampire Zane and the Amazon Nola met in the last book, The Vampire’s Bride, while participating in an Atlantis version of Survivor. Nola is cursed by the gods to not be seen, felt, or heard; nor is she allowed to leave the confines of her Amazon camp. Zane too was cursed; he cannot use his magical talents, including teleporting, which would really come in handy, now that he has been captured by Nola’s tribe. Nola is forced to watch Zane suffer at the hands of her “sisters”, but yet can do nothing about it. It is not until both Nola and Zane admit their true feelings for each other, that the curses are lifted. I don’t think that this story would make much sense if you do not read the last book.
“The Darkest Prison” by Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #3.5)
Though this story is set in the Underworld’s world, it follows two gods up on Mt. Olympus. Atlas, titan god of strength, once seduced the Greek god of strength and victory, Nike, into releasing him from his prison in Tartarus. But before he got away, she realized that she was not the only guard that he was with. In retaliation, she branded her name upon his chest. When the tables are turned and it is Nike who is imprisoned, Atlas gets his revenge by tattooing his name on her back. What they both refuse to admit to is their mutual feelings for one another. But they soon recognize that they are true equals and would be happy with none other but one another. Overall, I enjoyed the story on its own merits, and not because it is a part of one of my favorite series.
The Royal House of Shadows Series:
FTC Advisory: Harlequin provided me with a copy of Lord of the Vampires. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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