By Gena Showalter
Release Date: 8/23/2011
The Royal House of Shadows series from the Harlequin Nocturne line is the collaborative effort of four popular romance authors. Gena Showalter gets the series started with LORD OF THE VAMPIRES, a tale of a vampire prince who becomes a sex slave, and the human woman who comes to his rescue. While I enjoyed the premise, I was a bit disappointed with the book as a whole.
The basic set up of the series is that an evil sorcerer attacks the kingdom of Elden and kills the king and queen. Elden is in an alternate world to that of humans. Before the king and queen die, they cast spells on their four children: the queen sends them away from Elden for safety and the king instills each of them with the need for vengeance. LORD OF THE VAMPIRES is the story of their son and vampire Nicolai who ends up for auction in the slave market of Delfina. He becomes the sex slave of a witch-princess in Delfina, and his memory is erased by magic.
Meanwhile in the world of humans, Jane Parker is in seclusion as she recovers from a terrible car accident that took the life of her parents and sister. Before the accident, she was a scientist who studied otherworldly beings, including vampires. One morning, Jane finds a strange book by her front door. The book tells the story of a vampire being held as a slave, and he needs her help. The next morning, Jane wakes up in the kingdom of Delfina, determined to find and rescue Nicolai.
Part of the reason I struggled with this book is that I felt lost, like I missed out on a lot of world-building that would have helped me enjoy the story more. I think a prequel was in order to introduce us to this alternate world and explain the backstory of the attack on Nicolai's kingdom in more detail.
Because I couldn't fully get into the story, I wasn't able to connect with the characters like I'd hoped. Jane was a good character. She was smart and strong, and I assume she handled being transported to this other world easily because of her scientific background and prior research. Nicolai's character fell flat with me. His one word sentence "Mine." (when referring to Jane) was way overused.
On the plus side, I will say that this book was very erotic. Obviously Jane and Nicolai had some powerful sexual chemistry, and in that department they really clicked. Though, it does make me wonder why a man who had been kept against his will as a sex slave for so long would even want to be with Jane that way. (I'd think he'd need a break!)
Though this particular book did not work for me, I am still a big fan of Gena Showalter's writing. One of my favorite paranormal romances is her book HEART OF THE DRAGON. As for the Royal House of Shadows series, I plan to continue on and try the next book LORD OF RAGE by Jill Monroe.