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The Mark of the Vampire Queen

by Joey W. Hill

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1467135,779 (4.11)1
From Joey W. Hill, the bestselling, award-winning author of the Vampire Queen and the Knights of the Boardroom series, comes this scorchingly hot novel of servant and master, vampire and vampire hunter. For fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and J.R.Ward. Full servant. With his new title, Jacob must attend to Lady Lyssa's every need, venturing into a world of passion darker than he's ever known. As a vampire hunter he wasn't prepared to embrace a world where humans are sexual commodities, but he has adapted. Now he finds the integrity of his soul challenged as he serves his Mistress's needs as fully as he services her desires. He loves her, though other servants warn against giving her his soul. Everyone knows that Vampires have no regard for humans, so why would a Vampiress bother treating a mere sex toy with respect? But 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.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This book is erotica and comes with the requisite trigger warnings, but I am going to say a lot of the things in this series are a bit hardcore. I think the first book really didn't hit the right beats for me because it was half a book. I also don't read a lot of erotica, or contemporary-paranormal romance. The first and second books of these series would be so much stronger in a collected omnibus or something. I also had some issues with the depictions of BDSM in the first book, there were a lot of situations where it didn't feel consensual and it is my understanding that consent is a huge part of BDSM. I also found the forced threesomes quite uncomfortable to read. However, I like the concept of vampires being into BDSM. Vampire romances are kind of overdone post Twilight, so I like seeing different takes on the concept. Vampire romances are hard because they are horror monsters stuck in a genre that has to have a happy ending. This inevitably softens their edges to being more like falling in love with a superhuman. It also kind of kills the metaphor of the vampire because a person sucking another person's blood and penetrating another person is meant to be sexual, but combined with actual sex it makes it extremely literal, so it is a fine line to toe. It was a bit difficult in the first book, and I think this book fell back into softer vampires than the original concept. I don't think this is a bad thing because I think this book works as a romance in a way the first one didn't. This book also makes the two characters who are supposed to be dominant and submissive respectively, equals and throw out the idea of there being a mistress and a master, so the BDSM elements are really walked back a lot. I don't think this is a problem because I don't think the BDSM elements were working in the previous books. I like the relationship between the two mains and how it evolved over time, but again it would have been more effective if these two books had been combined and elements edited so it was more cohesive because there were elements that were played up, like Carnal that weren't as big a threat at the end. Playing up the precognition and the flashbacks in the beginning to explain the connection would have been better.
I also want to note that some of the historical flashbacks needed some research. For example I will accept that they wear corsets at a Renaissance Faire, even though it is not historically accurate, but I will not accept that in actual medieval times. Corsets weren't called corsets and were not a thing until the Victorian era (prior to corsets they were called stays, and in the medieval era they didn't really have stays in the same way they had in the 18th and 19th centuries), but this is a nitpick I noticed because I read a lot of historical novels. ( )
  ScarletOPimpernel | May 31, 2020 |
Continuing Jacob and Elyssa's story, Joey gives us more wonderful story to immerse ourselves in this couples dynamic relationship
( )
  wyldheartreads | Jun 20, 2019 |
Well not my favorite vampire world at all! Dark and sadistic. It was truly terrifying at times. Yet I found myself shockingly excited by it all! It all just confirms how corrupt my mind has become! Jacob *fanning self* is the reason I kept reading. A true loyal hero! He could not be broken though Lyssa tried. She did get on my nerves most of the time with her arrogance and " this is for your own good " mentality. Such the martyr! It was a good story, different but good! ( )
  GwendolynGrace | Jul 15, 2015 |
3.5 stars. I did not like this one as much as the first one. I will say that the end surprised me. I will say that the Gathering reminded me a lot of the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice. The one thing that is different is that the servants are forced into having sex with one another (which of course was not allowed for Beauty and her fellow slaves). ( )
  mlsimmons | Sep 20, 2013 |
The second half of Vampire Queen Lady Lyssa and her human servant Jacob's story, started in [b:The Vampire Queen's Servant|1285704|The Vampire Queen's Servant (Vampire Queen, #1)|Joey W. Hill|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255651645s/1285704.jpg|1274773], this book was an entirely underwhelming experience. Despite a full plate of conflict - Lyssa's fatal disease, volatile vampire politics, the nature of the romantic relationship itself - I failed to connect with it emotionally and ended up skimming through sex scene and exposition alike.

To begin with, it's plagued with telling in the character-focused first half. Too often the character would go and do something - like have a m/f/m threesome with Jacob, Lyssa and Jacob's brother Gideon - and then the author would go and expressly say why they did it in the POV prose - to relieve Gideon of his pressing loneliness and resentment, in the example I give. Not only is that my job as a reader to draw those conclusions on my own, I kept reading the explanations and disagreeing. Being managed by the author just kept me from connecting with the characters, and as there's little plot or action going on at this point, I was bored stiff.

The plot does pick up about halfway through when the Vampire Scout Jamboree...uh, Council Meetings convene in South America. There's all manner of intrigue, politics and entertainment as hundreds of vampires and their servants convene for a vamp G7 summit. Unfortunately, between the charged bits of intrigue, there's a lot of gratuitous kinky sexual nonsense that left me cold. It felt like filler to me, but if you like unemotional group sex with penetrative statues or choreographed group anal sex that sounded like a cross between Broadway and a porno-style gangbang, then holy hell, is this the book for you. As a bonus offer if you order now, you also get penetrative sex with a winged gargoyle-like creature. Hurry, sale ends soon.

The solution to Lyssa's disease opens up a whole host of other issues and spends no time at all dealing with them. The book ends as a steaming pile of deus ex machina lacking any emotional punch at all.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I loved the emotion in the EC published book of hers that I read, so I'm really surprised to have found these books to be emotional flatliners. I've heard great things about book four in this series, [b:Beloved Vampire|6149219|Beloved Vampire (Vampire Queen, #4)|Joey W. Hill|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255997459s/6149219.jpg|6328263], so I may still read that. Maybe these two were a fluke. I don't know. ( )
  Ridley_ | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Epigraph
In two previous lifetimes, Jacob had served you. Once as the samurai warrior who guarded yo as a child. Once as the knight who saved your caravan from vampire hunter attack during the Crusades. Despite the fact it happened centuries ago and he was only with you a short time, you always remembered his so vividly . . .
I believe Jacob comes to you only when your life is truly, genuinely in danger.
-Brother Thomas, former human servant to Lady Lyssa,
Vampire Queen of the Far East Clan
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Centuries Ago...

The vampire hunters had been swift, their numbers considerable.
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