22 July 2010

Beware! Rave review ahead: Joey W Hill - The Mark Of A Vampire Queen

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Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (February 5, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425219321
ISBN-13: 978-0425219324

Genre; Erotic/BDSM Paranormal Romance
Book II of the Vampire Queen series
Main Characters: Jacob & Lady Elyssa Amaterasu Yamato Wentworth
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
When he becomes Lady Lyssa’s full servant, Jacob crosses the threshold into a darker relationship with her than he’s known before. His time as a vampire hunter certainly hadn’t prepared him to embrace a world where humans are sexual commodities, but he adapted. Now he finds the integrity of his soul challenged as he serves his Mistress’s needs as fully as he services her desires.

The vampire world believes human servants are inferior, a vital source for their varying appetites. Jacob knows a human servant is far more than that. His Mistress needs a warrior, a friend and a lover. A man who will serve her in all ways, even if he has to betray the priceless treasure of her love.

My Review: This novel is the sequel to The Vampire Queens Servant and as such this review can contain mild spoilers. Just so your warned! Right from the get-go I have to say that THE MARK OF THE VAMPIRE QUEEN is a very character and romance driven story, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a plot, there was, it just played second violin. The torch of Jacob and Lyssa’s love burns bright which translated in sexual desires and feelings running so deep, it left a permanent mark on both main protagonists. The love unfolds itself on a backdrop where a vampire society is internally vying for control and this presents danger for Lady Elyssa Amaterasu Yamato Wentworth, the last vampire queen of the Far East Clan.

Joey W Hill immediately sets an emotionally fraught tone with a past life memory between Lyssa and Jacob, in which he was a knight, and it irrevocable drew me in. From there I felt flairs of pending danger but it was the deepening, the exploring of Jacob and Lyssa’s love that took the main stage. I slowly savored the growing bond and I got intimately acquainted with all they felt, wanted and needed. These two fascinating characters dueled with each other on every level; emotionally and physically, as with the heart and the soul. They challenged each other which translated in dynamic dialogues and along with an erotic force sizzling between them they were without a doubt each other’s match.

Since this is the sequel I got to know Jacob and Lyssa on an even more intimate level. The devotion of Jacob to Lyssa is moving – it doesn’t make him a lesser or weaker man – oh no, far from it! He is a man ingrained with valor, strength, chivalry and honor, but it is all encompassed by a matching arrogance and Alpha attitude. He is a hero that can drive you nuts but has you loving every minute of it, just because he cares so deeply for those in his heart.

Now Lyssa remains a captivating leading lady, she has a feral side to her, she is after all the last Vampire Queen and knows how her world works. Still, as the story progresses I got to witness more and more of her depth in the heart and soul. The intensity and extend in the way she cares, how she deems to shows that is something that I never would’ve expected reading in TVQS. She became one of those strong heroines that impresses profoundly, not by her physical strength or her Amazon attitude, but by the strength of her heart and her compassion.

Next to the courting, the issues that arise between Jacob and Lyssa and present danger, there is also a scorching passion blazing between them. It could go form gentle loving to a male/female power clash and it was all spiced up with a bit of variation to explore the sexual appetite. I loved it, it never bored me to feel the hunger emanating between Jacob and Lyssa, and that is not where it ended. As the plot gained more attention the council gathering became a plateau of inhibitive eroticism that was very arousing. It varied from a bit of M/M to group sexing and the use of certain toys wasn’t shied from either.

Of course there are mind games to be played, these vampires crave power and leave no chance unused to gain it. The vampire culture fascinated me with their rules, customs and rituals. I think Joey W Hill has created a great foundation for her world building and I’m eager to explore this culture further! The first half was very romance and character driven and the second half deepened on this and added a few plot twists that were hinted at in TVQS and the first half of this story. I will not go in to detail, that is for each to find out but for me the second half of the story was a perfect balance of character, romance and plot development.

I feel like I can go on and on about the awesomeness of this series, perhaps it’s just me, that this author knows how to find my hot buttons and keeps pushing it over and over again. I feel like a fan girl squeeing about characters who will never be forgotten and how their stories keep affecting me so. The only thing I want to add is that the secondary cast of characters equally piqued my interest. I met Jacob’s brother Gideon and their shared erotic moment with Lyssa was uber sensual. Gideon is a male who demands, period. I can’t wait to find out more about this tormented vampire hunter. Next to him vampire Mason also triggered my interest and Lady Daniella from Australia with her servant Devlin are also characters I hope to meet again later in the series.

THE MARK OF THE VAMPIRE QUEEN is an erotic romance of sheer excellence and I can understand the need for another story of Lyssa and Jacob. Their story is concluded but who doesn’t want more from such stellar characters? I feel like I’ve just been floored by a grand romance and have a hard time touching back to reality. A poignant story, that through the prose of Joey W Hill, delivered an epic romance between a vampire queen and a human servant which will deliver a thrill-ride of a read!

4,5 stars

Quote Jacob to Gideon:
“So love is all about meeting your terms, is it?” Idiot, stubborn, hardheaded jackass. You used to sing me when I had a nightmare. You used to smile. Gideon turned farther away, hunching a shoulder, but to Jacob’s surprise, he responded, his voice low and gruff. “I’m past loving anyone, Jacob. I just can’t handle it anymore. This is probably just the way it’s meant to be.” The desolation in Gideon’s tone was as cold as death, and Jacob wondered if the analogy was uneasily close to the reality of his brother’s life.

Quote Lyssa:
She’d left him a note, on the opposite side of the bed. “I made sure your brother took some breakfast with him. He thanked me for my hospitality and said if I ever hurt you he’d stake me out in the sunlight and happily watch me burn. I kissed him goodbye until his toes curled and he couldn’t walk without embarrassing himself. Maybe we should invite him to join us for Christmas.”

Quote Jacob [I feel this quote really give a good definition of who Lyssa is]:
He looked at her and saw the vampire queen, a warrioress. A cruel tyrant, a gentle nurse. A girl. A cold, haughty bitch, a generous and loving woman. A woman who loved fiercely. She’d stayed by a husband who’d been lost to violent madness. She shielded Thomas with her own life and risked all the power she was now trying to protect, all for the benefit of other.

****Giveaway****

Your comment on my review of The Mark Of A Vampire Queen enter's you in a giveaway where the winner can choose a book from Joey W Hill's backlist *woohoo*

See my blogpost; My first time reading Joey W Hill for more contest details.

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25 comments:

  1. Don't you just love it when you read a book that completely knocks your socks off? I've had a couple of those and was not afraid to gush about it in my review. This definitely sounds like a sexy and romantic book.

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  2. I really need to read these books! JA Saare raved about them, so one of these days I'll get around to it (like the million other books...) I skimmed the review, but I'm so curious about it! Have to remember to come back later.

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  3. AHHH!!! I want this book so bad!! I skimmed your review because I didn't want spoilers. This one sounds awesome though!

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  4. @Marq - Sometimes you just read a series of great books, have has a 3 book running streak with fantastic books that made me go in to hyper fangirl mode LOL

    @Stacy - Oh I so hope you're gonna give JWH a go, with whatever series catches your fancy :))

    @Mandi - You've read part one of Gideon, you've tasted and of course you're hungry for more. Jacob will be equally as scrumptious to devour!

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  5. I absolutely have to get this series now! After reading yesterday's post, and now today's, it really is a must! This is EXACTLY why I love blogs. I would have never ever put this on my TBR list if not for reading your reviews! *hugs* Thanks for introducing me to another new-for-me author.

    Also, I've been doing some searching on Amazon and came across an author named Sunny. Have you read any of her books? I think she has a couple of different series out there?

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  6. I've been wanting this book already and after reading your review it makes me want it even more. I have such a big to buy list that it will be a little bit before I buy it though.

    sstrode@scrtc.com

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  7. Glad to hear you liked it so much. I really enjoyed book one and look forward to reading more about Lyssa and Jacob.

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  8. JACOB!!! oh how i heart him! i LOVED the first book, and this one sounds just as deliciously addicting, cant wait to read it!! The relationship with Lyssa and Jacob is spellbinding to read. swoon!

    really awesome review Leontine =)

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  9. Ugh, I really need to dive into Hill's vampire series. I've read the first one but haven't had time for the rest. I'm really kicking myself too after reading your stellar review and how my you loved it. Ack!

    I've said it before but I'll say it again, why can't reading be my day job??!!

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  10. @Tanya - I've read a book from Sunny in the Demon Princess series and what I can remember was that it was good...great triangle relationship, nice angle to her world and she writes some scorching sexing too. I'm glad I could introduce you to JWH *grin*

    @Sherry - I hear ya on the wishlist...the CC can only handle so much of our book wants *wink*

    @Elaing8 - I loved book one but I was blown away with this book and now have got two series to nurture from JWH with a few more e-books on the e-reader waiting. I think two of them were loosely connected to the Daughters of Arianne series.

    @Sparklybearsy - Jacob and Lyssa together is...wel almost undescribable what they establish together LOL

    @VFG - Oh, the evil day job is a timesuck and I've got the luxury of (at the moment) being at home but even I can't read 24/7! I hope you can devour a JWH novel soon :)

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  11. ha ha, you had me at "humans are sexual commodities." :)

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  12. Hi Leontine,

    This is such a great series! I think it was really great that Joey Hill wrote Lyssa and Jacob's story in two books. It really gave the reader the complete picture between these two characters. Hill is an amazing writer!

    PS you don't need to enter me in the contest :)

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  13. I've had this on my wishlist since I first heard about it, and I really need to just bite the bullet and get it one of these days. It sounds deliciously angsty, which is exactly what I love.

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  14. I love Joey's books but for some strange reason I haven't picked up Lyssa and Jacob's books even though I've bought and read all the others in her vampire series so far. But I'm definitely planning on reading them someday.

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  15. Oh my gosh... Okay there is nothing I can say about this... CUZ I AM IN LOVE WITH JACOB AND LYSSA!! OKay, yeah she is a bad ass chicha!!!!!
    Your review rocks apples honey! You know I am going to say that.
    Once a fan... always a fan!!! And I am a stalker fan.. I love this woman and her writing!

    alliwantandmorebooks@ gmail.com

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  16. Leontine, your review of this book/series is amazing. I really do have to get it now.

    I love how your descriptions are so detailed and even how you've provided quotes to get to the core of each character. When you use phrases like, "epic romance...erotic romance of sheer excellence" to describe one of the best books you've enjoyed, I am just bowled over and thoroughly intrigued. Damn, you do know how to pursuade and that's what its all about.

    Great job on this review, you have put a lot of effot and time into your thoughts and feelings about Joey Hill's Mark of the Vampire.

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  17. Your review nearly swept me off my feet, hon! I know almost certain that I will love this series as much as you do.
    Now, can I also win some time in your contest to read all the remarkable books your recommending? That would be really helpfull. ;)

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  18. @Jessica Rabbit - ROFL

    @Jill D - Ditto...I couldn't agree more :))

    @Jeanette8042 - Oh they feel like their the heart of this world somehow LOL I'm definitely going to read Danny/Dev and Mason's story ASAP :)

    @Cecile - fan girl scream along with ya hon :)

    @Armenia - *snickers* come over to the Hill side girl...we've got such sinful delights over here *mmmwwwuuuaaahahahahaha*

    @Janna - We can swap lives for a week...isn't there some real life series about that?? *wink* You get to be a housewife with naughty attitude and I can be a career girl with a penchant for all things smutty :)

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  19. Oh good idea, Leontine!! Let's do it! :D
    But can we wait until after my vacation? lol!

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  20. Its been ages since I read this book but after reading your review I am pulling it off the shelf now! I love their Jacob and Lyssa's story. Haven't read much of the other books in the series but they are on my to be bought list.

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  21. Oh I really need to start reading this series - it's on my TBR list. Sounds like it was a great read.

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  22. Could of sworn I already posted a comment here.
    Love Joey's books. The vampire ones are still on the TBB list. Have to wait til the budget recovers.

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  23. Sounds like a great book. It's good to hear that this more than a "she's a vampire so you have to fall for her" type of book!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

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  24. *g* I'm so glad you liked that one, cause when you say it's top then I have to read it soon!! and there is no book I don't like out of those series *gg*
    greetings, Ina

    inale87 at gmx dot at

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  25. Totally agree with your review and love the quotes you picked. This is one of my favorites series.



    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

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