keilexandra: (glomp)
Natural Law: Nature of Desire
by Joey W. Hill
313 pages (trade paperback)
Genre: Fiction/Romance

A dynamic and compelling love story, BDSM-style. Not quite as hard-core as Hill's vampire series, at least physically--this is about Violet breaking down Mac's emotional barriers, fascinating to observe for even the "vanilla" readers. A nebulous contemporary setting works well; Mac's profession--homicide detective--leads to realistic drama and conflict. I just have one question: how did T&K know that Mac was a cop? I'm suspicious of Violet "fingering" him right away, and even moreso of T&K having the same sense as lay(wo)men.

Just beautiful. In between the budding romance is a tense murder mystery, and the two plot threads twine together nicely by the end. For once, I don't mind a domestic happily-ever-after (no babies, thankfully) because, oh, Violet and Mac so deserve each other after all of their mutual suffering. I like Tyler's advice to Violet: it's easy to fall in love in three days, the trick is to stay in love.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
The Mark of the Vampire Queen
by Joey W. Hill
370 pages (trade paperback)
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Fantasy

The second volume of Hill's Vampire Queen series, from the Heat imprint; Jacob is now full servant to Lady Lyssa and thus subject to the dangers of her dehabilitating illness, the Delilah virus. When Lyssa dies, so will Jacob (although, of course, he is working hard to prevent that from happening). The emotional development was very good and the plot was beautifully suspenseful--I couldn't stop reading. Things really pick up once Lyssa and Jacob get to the Council meeting. Debra/Brian continues to be a really cute innocent lab assistant/scientist pairing, and Devin/Daniella are just adorable. The ending was a little neat for my taste; Lyssa's transformation made sense in context but still irked me, and Jacob's was slightly implausible. I would have liked a few permanent consequences, certainly. Also, I'm curious to see how Hill generates conflict in the next book, which comes out Spring 2009, after such a clear-cut HEA. Overall though, this was a satisfactory sequel and I look forward to reading more of Hill's work.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
The Vampire Queen's Servant
by Joey W. Hill
373 pages (trade paperback)
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Fantasy

I've been hedging about this book for a while now. I had two reliable recs, but it went out-of-stock at my local Borders so I used that as an excuse to delay purchasing. It was in-stock at the King of Prussia Borders though, and I had a 30% coupon; so I finally bought it, and I'm so glad I did.

First, I will give the same warning I was given: this romance is intense and BDSM-heavy. Someone said that Lyssa and Jacob's relationship resembles the classic abuse cycle, and in several ways it does. The plot is essentially dom vs. dom conflict with vampires and submission thrown in. But explicitness aside, it really hit home with me. In a way, this is the fucked-up relationship that I've been trying to write, except through gender politics as a fantasy of manners instead of a BDSM romance. The romance is absolutely the main plot, but the world is also well-developed and the emotional aspect is never neglected. Lyssa is truly mecurial, simultaneously brutal and loving, and her interactions with Jacob are fascinating. Hill's vampires are uniquely twisted.

I'm not so fond of the cover, though it's representative. Just seems like the targeted demographic underscores the Hill's tremendous talent. Her prose could use a little more polish (overuse of the word "cognizant," for instance), but POV slides smoothly even mid-scene. And have I mentioned how much I adore her characters? This novel kept me riveted and neglecting everything else until I'd read the last page. The ending is perfect--open for the direct sequel (The Mark of the Vampire Queen, which I will be buying as soon as it comes out), but tying up enough plotlines that I was satisfied.

It's been a while since I found a new author who captured my attention so fully, and I'm ecstatic. If you've kept with Laurell K. Hamilton despite her numerous flaws, and you don't mind BDSM, this is the book for you.


keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)

January 2011



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