King of Darkness by Elisabeth Staab
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (340 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle
ETERNAL COMMITMENT IS NOT ON HER AGENDA...
Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human—although drifting through the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons' blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the sexy, arrogant king of the vampires, this party-girl's life turns dark and dangerous.
BUT TIME'S RUNNING OUT FOR THE KING OF THE VAMPIRES...
Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate had gotten it seriously wrong...
Newly crowned King of Vampires, Thad Morgan, doesn’t simply want to find his destined mate he needs to find her. The safety and fate of the entire Vampire community hinges on Thad coming into his powers. For that to happen he needs to find "the one". Naturally, he'd find her at a late night rave, right?
Elisabeth Staab’s debut novel is fast paced and descriptive. In a refreshing take on vampire wars the villain in the Chronicle of Yavn are a covey of sadistic wizards out to kill and steal vampire powers. Book one is centered on Thad and Isabel. She’s a vampire seemingly without powers and therefore useless in the vampire community. He needs to find the one that was foretold to be his mate before his own powers can be released.
Thad isn’t the typical hero you might think of when you hear “king of the vampires”. Most readers would assume he’s going to be a super-pumped up alpha male with heaping doses of self confidence. On the contrary, Thad isn’t nearly as confident as he needs to be to garner the respect of his people. A queen at his side would go a long way in changing the minds of the vampires to support and obey Thad.
Likewise, Isabel “Izzy” is hardly “queen” material. As I mentioned, she doesn’t have a power since her parents didn’t have power. Or does she? It took me a little while to buy into Thad and Isabel’s attraction but that’s okay because it took them a while as well. The sexual chemistry is there in spades and they take full advantage to explore those sparks every chance they get. The sex is descriptive and intense but Ms. Staab does a good job not making it the focus of the story.
I was hooked from the moment Thad laid eyes on Isabel. She isn’t at all what he expected but he soon realizes she’s exactly what he needs. When Isabel and her human roommate, Alexia, are attacked Isabel comes to terms with needing Thad as well. Their relationship is rocky for a while due to a distinct lack of trust and lots of miscommunication but in the end the lust they felt early on grows into love.
The secondary characters in this book make a strong impression and are sure to be seen again soon. In fact, Ms. Staab has already noted that Anton and Tyra’s story will be out next with Prince of Power. I’ll be interested in seeing how they reconcile their major differences in the coming book. Another sub-plot that captured my attention was between Thad’s protector and friend Lee and the very human spitfire, Alexia. I’m not sure Lee knows quite what to do with her but he certainly wants her!
This series has some real potential. It works well to give readers a taste of the world Ms. Staab has created as well as a preview of things to come. Since this is the first book in the series, it’s the perfect opportunity to get a taste of Ms. Staab’s talent and be a part of a striking unique new series.