“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I might be a vampire so I don’t give a shit.”

Redonk Nutshell: Enslaved vampire prince magically enlists the help of human woman in engineering his escape

Sometimes I enjoy Gena Showalter books, other times I find them sort of ho-hum.  The pros: her world building is a trip, her characters are typically witty, and it’s a safe bet the plots are going to be S-T-E-A-M-Y.  The cons: aforementioned plots are predicable and follow the same formula, aforementioned characters are often two dimensional

I’ve read Showalter’s Atlantis series, and a few others.  I enjoyed the Atlantis series, though each installment plodded along using a similar, predictable plot arc.  I was invested enough just to want to know what happened to the next supporting character.  Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Playing with Fire.  So, it was with guarded curiosity I started Lord of the Vampires, the first book in the Royal House of Shadows.  Interestingly enough, the next two volumes are to be penned by two different authors, a ploy I think will work to the series’ advantage.

Lord of the Vampires is the story of Nicolai, a vampire prince enslaved by a competing kingdom, and his quest for freedom and revenge.  Nicolai hoards enough of his magical power to reach out to an unknown human, a woman that is destined to be able to cross over into his world and help free him from his oppressors.  He lucks out with Jane, a brainy government scientist who studies the supernatural.  Nicolai manages to bring her over, and she accepts the tasks he sets before her.  Why?  Because he’s stone cold hot and she wants to jump his bones. She’s also intrigued.  I mean…there’s magic at work, here, and she is, at heart a scientist.  Working together they manage to make their escape, but they don’t get far before running into one trial after another.  Their trek together brings them closer and closer, and before long their enraptured fascination with one another evolves into something deeper.

Nicolai is a brute.  He’s all the braun while Jane is more the brains.  His single-syllable responses to her in many passages reminded me of Jane and Tarzan.  It didn’t really work for me.  His transition from mindless avenger to regal, passionate lover was fairly well done, but was somewhat mindless.  In other words, I saw it all coming from a mile away.

All this said, while I didn’t really dig the plot I was far from disappointed with some decent smutty scenes.  Showalter never lacks on that front.  The tension and teasing between the pages sizzles, enticing you to soak it all in as fast as you can.

The next two installments in the Royal House of Shadows series are going to follow the stories of Nicolai’s siblings.  I look forward to seeing how they pan out.

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter (pub August 2011, 288 pgs)

Rating: C

Romance: 2/5         Raunch: 4/5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *