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Monday, October 3, 2011

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

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.

Time tripping, dimension hopping adventures are in store for readers as they embark on another journey of amazing romance and sensual delights from the creative mind of Ms. Showalter.

There’s a vampire in trouble, a land in siege, a corrupt and deviant royal house, and a simple woman with a brilliant brain who has to accomplish the impossible – free the vampire, trust him that he won’t kill her, and somehow heal him. That’s a lot to ask a regular human woman and yet, there’s that thrum of sensual interest, a yearning and the heart of a lioness inside that won’t let the heroine, Jane, back down. It’s her journey that I found most interesting because she goes through the most change. She has so much to lose and more than she could imagine to gain. The part I liked best about her personality was that she’s not just book smart. Some braniacs are fine in an office but completely fall apart in dealing with other people in real life situations. Not so, Jane. In fact, Ms. Showalter created a very unique character. She’s been through her own brand of torture in her young life and it was a great emotional hook. I also liked how the author took that tragedy and made it into a strength. One the heroine could emotionally heal from and the hero could respect.

The hero, Nicolai, is a mixed bag of tortured hero fun. He’s got it all. If he knew about Murphy’s Law, he would have hunted Murphy down and had him run through with a sword. The poor guy has one indignity after another heaped upon him. Nothing goes right and his life is an existence of never ending nightmares. No matter that he can’t remember anything, he is smart, cunning and hyper-focused on his goal – escape and kill …someone. He’s just not sure who. From certain descriptions in scenes when he loses his temper, he’s going to be incredibly effective with his vengeance. I can’t wait to see that happen. And, despite all that the twisted and ugly princess tried to do and did to Nicolai, he has this inner core of goodness and light that can’t be corrupted. The only one that can tap into it is Jane. The heroine inspires a healthy dose of lust too which made for some spicy and entertaining reading. I adore how Ms. Showalter writes those scenes. They’re so vivid and fun.

The conflict is clear. The dialogue is often funny between Nicolai and Jane, many times insightful or endearing and definitely a compliment to the characters. The drama and suspense is well balanced without getting too dark and depressing. It was well done enough that I didn’t have the need to bite all my nails because of stress. Some chocolate was good though.

Princess Laila and her mother were whack jobs. Great villains who seemed unstoppable, they were darkness and sadism personified. How fulfilling it was when there was finally a confrontation between Nicolai and Jane and those pains in the neck. Even better, answers were revealed. The author was very sneaky in how she wove hints and revelations throughout. It took awhile before she allowed me to have the full picture of just how much the hero had lost and how motivational it was to find out he could reclaim most of it back. There’s a price to be paid, obviously, but he’s man enough to see it through, especially with Jane by his side.

For the first book in a new series, Ms. Showalter has stoked the fires of imagination and curiosity. She’s laid the ground work with terrific world building and insured that I’d be invested in finding out about what happened to Nicolai’s other siblings. One thing the author has a talent for doing is making me laugh. I loved the reference to glitter and that line about poking the bear. It’s just so … Jane.

Lord of the Vampires is the start of a series that is going to rock the romance world. There is so much detail and the overall story arc is fascinating. Add in two well matched strong characters up against dramatic odds and readers are in for a thrilling treat. The happily ever after is solid but by no means is it the end. After all, readers have to find his sister and I am tickled by where the author said she was. It sounded so exciting! I can’t wait.