Vampire Queen series, Book #7
Author: Joey W. Hill
Paranormal Erotic Romance, BDSM
It's Joey W. Hill, obviously Accolade. Obviously.
As servant to vampire mistress Lady Daniela, Elisa’s devotion is unwavering—until Lady D makes it clear that the children entrusted to Elisa’s care may be destroyed if they cannot be integrated into the vampire world. Elisa’s young charges are vampires of such potent desires as to belie their youth, given to a reckless bloodlust that makes their assimilation nearly impossible. But Elisa has one desperate option.
His name is Malachi, a Native American vampire who is a legend for his work with rehabilitating feline predators. With his primal understanding of the rules of survival, he is the fledglings’ last hope. But it is Elisa who is feeling the heat of his irresistible animal instincts. Now, as Malachi struggles to control the children’s impulses, he opens himself up to those of Elisa—and the passion they all share for the night could seal their fates forever.
I've read lots of paranormal and erotic romance, and it's very rare that a book in this genre makes me cry. The usual responses are laughter, arousal, irritation, sadness, happiness/love, etc.. but crying? Not often. This story made me cry. I was so riveted that I could not put this book down from the moment I picked it up.
There are a few seemingly conflicting paradigms at work here - the heroine, Elise, is a simple servant. She's submissive and enjoys living a simple life. Yet, she did battle with her vampire masters when it came to protecting the vampire children in her care, showing an inner strength. When they were sent to Malachi's care on his feline preserve, she stood up to Lady Daniella to be allowed to stay with the children. Once there, Elise battled with Malachi when she didn't agree with his treatment of the children.
Malachi is a vampire, and by definition, is dominant both sexually and in all other aspects of his life. He is Master. And in the vampire world, emotions like love are considered weaknesses. Human servants are just that - servants, not partners. Yet, he finds himself warming to Elise, listening to her, respecting her ideas and honoring her requests.
Of course, there is eroticism. Joey W. Hill has a gift for depicting power exchange and writing strong Masters who command submission with just a look... with everything they do... with everything they are. There's one scene in particular that stands out for me, where you get a taste of the pleasures of the cruel sexual games that vampires like to play. Here, we see Malachi's dominance and kindness as he guides Elise through the very scary sexual experience. It's so well written, so hot, so emotional. We see it from both perspectives. It doesn't get better than that.
There are so many layers to this story - there's Malachi and Elise's love story, the vampire children and Elise's connection with them (very moving), the past that haunts both Malachi and Elise (though in different ways), the sexually charged vampire world, and how everything ties in together. It's very emotional; there are very sad and traumatic scenes, yet it's heartening. It's dark and light and sexy. And there is heartbreak and pain and there is love and hope. Endings and new beginnings. I definitely recommend this book and, really, the whole series.