Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: The Vampire Queen's Servant

The Vampire Queen's Servant
(Vampire Queen #1)
By: Joey W. Hill
Published by: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: July 3, 2007
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Owned by Reviewer
Genre: Paranormal Erotica
Audience: Mature (18+ only) 
Erotic fiction with heavy themes of BDSM

My Thoughts:
I picked up The Vampire Queen's Servant at the recommendation of friends. I was warned that if I can't handle hard core BDSM and multiple partners, then to steer clear of this one. Well, if you know me at all, you know that telling me that only intrigued me and urged me to drop everything else I had to read and start this one immediately. I figured if there was a scene I couldn't handle, I could skip that scene. I paid a little more for this eBook than I normally do, and in the end I didn't regret that decision at all. I have not been this sucked into the Vampire world since my traipse through the realm of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Not since my first read-through of Dark Lover have I been completely enthralled with the adult vampire scene and the politics of a brand new Vampire world. I found myself thinking about this story and the characters 24/7, reading in the car at red lights and drive through windows, and looking for any excuse to pick up my Nook. I was absolutely consumed by the world Joey Hill created.

The Vampire Queen's Servant is the beginning of Lady Lyssa and Jacob's story. Jacob is a typical alpha-male with one huge distinction. He is drawn to Lady Lyssa and has trained to be her human servant following the traumatic loss of her previous servant. What his training neglected to prepare him for was the submission that being a human servant demanded. I love a strong female character, but I was leary of a male submissive. I love an alpha male and I didn't want to see Jacob lose that part of himself in his quest to serve Lady Lyssa. What I found was that the struggle between these two alpha characters was fascinating to me. I loved the banter and battle of the will between them. 

This trip into the Vampire world held a whole new set of rules and politics for me. There are two distinct political forces at war, the born vampires and the made vampires. Lady Lyssa is a made vampire, and she has created and ruled over a world that requires vampires to control themselves and limit their killing of human lives. The made vampires are rebelling against this system and if any of them discovers Lyssa's weakened state, her world will crumble. The role of the human servant in this world is, I suppose, not unique to the Vampire world, but it was new to me. The human servant is trained to care for his/her master or mistress in all ways imaginable, from providing household and hygienic services to sexual and feeding services. They are to be submissive to their owners in all ways imaginable. This is where the heavy BDSM and multiple partners come in. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to handle them or that they would overwhelm the actual story, but I found that there were really only three hard-core scenes, and they did not in any way dominate the story. They served the purpose of driving home to both myself and Jacob exactly what being a human servant entailed and made Jacob question his ability to serve Lady Lyssa in the ways required of him.

There is a very unique bond between the vampire master/mistress and his/her human servant. It is both a physical and emotional bond. What neither Lady Lyssa or Jacob are prepared for is the depth of the bond, the love, that grows between them. Jacob is desperate to fight his nature to become what Lady Lyssa wants and needs, and Lady Lyssa knows that he is too much of an alpha male to ever become a true human servant. But that doesn't stop her from wanting him and being compelled to mark him as her servant even against her better judgement. There are forces at play that are both pushing these two together and at the same time threatening driving a wedge between them and threatening their lives.

I was absolutely sucked into this world. There were questions raised that pushed me to continue reading even when I knew I should be doing other things. I had to find out what was wrong with Lady Lyssa and if Jacob would give up and turn away from her. I was intrigued by the world created by Ms. Hill. The characters and story roamed my head 24/7. I could not stop thinking about them, even after finishing the book. 

Summary from Goodreads:
Lady Elyssa Yamato Amaterasu Wentworth is a centuries-old vampire who's been given a new servant-Jacob, a total alpha male unaccustomed to submitting to any woman's wishes. What really binds Jacob to her are not her sensual midnight hungers, but something far more provocative. It stirs her blood, renews her life, and awakens her soul like only true love can. The passion between Elyssa and Jacob yields something else unexpected-a shared history that reaches back through the centuries and is fated to challenge their destiny like nothing ever will again.

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