After escaping the depraved servitude of a vampire master she killed, Jessica has found her way, with three nomadic guides, to the sun-baked desolation of the Sahara-only to slowly perish. Then she hears the tale of Farida, an enigmatic beauty lost as well to the Sahara three centuries ago, whose ancient desire for the legendary vampire Lord Mason is stirring the same desires in Jessica. But the more Jessica's fatal curiosity reveals of Farida, the closer she gets to Lord Mason's irresistible and forbidden secret.
This is the fourth book in the Vampire Queen series but I have to admit I haven’t read the previous books. I won this one at a contest at the Knight Agency’s Blog and started directly with this one because it’s written to be read as a stand alone.
The first thing I noticed was the wonderful way Joey W. Hill writes. Her writing is like listening to music and her voice is just unique. I loved the way she jumps between different narrators. Okay, at the beginning that was a little confusing but I loved it more and more while reading this book. Her characters seem to be alive and real so I had to remind myself that this whole story is really just a story.
Jessica is one of the strongest characters I ever read about. No, she’s not one of these kick-ass chicks but she is so strong from within that I had to admire her. She lived through 5 years of brutal torture and multiple abuse and rape by a vampire master and his cronies. She is broken inside, no wonder after these years, but with the help of Lord Mason she discovers her will again and tries to fight these memories which still haunt her. She has throwbacks in her progress but this only made her more believable and real in my eyes.
Lord Mason is one of those tortured with the past heroes. He still can’t let go of his one great love although she died 300 years ago. He loved her and he thinks the guilt for her death lies with him. He sees in Jessica a way to safe her soul and perhaps redeem his own. He’s a real master, not only in the vampire world but also in the bedroom. He wants her submission but how to get it without reminding her of her past?
He has to find ways to show her that not all vampires are bad and that submitting is not the same as surrender after being brutalized.
The relationship between these two is developing really slow but this was the only possible way for it to be in this kind of situation. Jessica needs time to develop a foundation of trust and her past with vampires is a great burden for this goal. They both take only small steps but they won my heart with this.
In this book you have to wait long to get to the smex. Do you remember the books where the hero teases the heroine so long that she feel like bursting from being aroused more than mankind can imagine? You will so know what that means after reading this book. It’s not like nothing happens in the first 350 pages but the real smex is exclusive in the last hundred pages. That isn’t bad at all but at some points I could have screamed: “Now!!!!! Please!”
The overall plot was a bit lacking in my opinion. But perhaps I just couldn’t grip it because I haven’t read the first books. Some things were solved too easily and others felt like being a bit magnified. Luckily the emotional development between Mason and Jessica was so great that I didn’t mind the not so good main plot, not at all. Joey W. Hill is a great writer and I enjoyed this book and will buy all the others in this series ASAP.
To learn more about Joey W. Hill and her books please visit her website here.
The Vampire Queen Series:
1. Vampire Queen’s Servant:
2. The Mark of the Vampire Queen:
3. A Vampire’s Claim:
4. Beloved Vampire:
5. Vampire Mistress (release May 2010)