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Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Gena Showalter
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out….

Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate "The Dark Seducer" had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him.

In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai's memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than thirty novels in a thrilling blend of genres: breathtaking paranormal and contemporary romances, supernatural humor, and cutting-edge young adult novels. Visit her at

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"I need you, Jane."

Frowning, Jane Parker placed the note on her kitchen countertop. She studied the scarred, leather-bound book resting inside an unadorned box, surrounded by a sea of black velvet. A few minutes ago, she'd returned from her five-mile jog. This package had been waiting on her porch.

There'd been no return address. No explanation as to why the thing had been left for her, and no hint as to who "I" was. Or why Jane was needed. Why would anyone need her? She was twenty-seven years old and had only recently regained the use of her legs. She had no family, no friends, no job. Not anymore. Her little cabin in Smallest Town Ever, Oklahoma, was secluded, barely a blip in the neighboring expanse of lush green trees and wide-open, blue sky.

She should have tossed the thing. Of course, curiosity far outweighed caution. As always.

She carefully lifted the book. At the moment of contact, she saw her hands covered in blood and gasped, dropping the heavy tome on the counter. But when she lifted her hands to the light, they were scrubbed clean, her nails neat and painted a pretty morning rose.

You have an overactive imagination, and too much oxygen pumping through your veins from the run. That's all.

Cold hard logic—her best and only friend.

The book's binding creaked as she opened to the middle, where a tattered pink ribbon rested. The scent of dust and musk wafted up, layered with something else. Something…mouthwatering and slightly familiar. Her frowned deepened.

She shifted in her seat, a twinge of pain shooting through her legs, and sniffed. Oh, yes. Her mouth definitely watered as she caught the slightest trace of sandalwood. Goose bumps broke out over her skin, her senses tingling, her blood heating. How embarrassing. And, okay, how interesting. Since the car accident that ruined her life eleven months ago, she had experienced arousal only at night, in her dreams. To react like this in daylight, because of a book…odd.

She didn't allow herself to ponder why. There wasn't an answer that would satisfy her. Instead, she concentrated on the pages in front of her. They were yellowed and brittle, delicate. And beaded with blood? Small dots of dried crimson marred the edges.

Gently she brushed her fingertips along the handwritten text, her gaze catching on several words. Chains. Vampire. Belonged. Soul. More goose bumps, more tingling.

Some blushing.

Her eyes narrowed. At last the sandalwood cologne made sense. For the past few months, she'd dreamed of a vampire male in chains and woken to the fragrance clinging to her skin. And yes, he's the one who had aroused her. She'd told no one. So, how had anyone known to give her this.journal?

She'd worked in quantum physics for years, as well as what was considered fringe science, sometimes studying creatures of "myth" and "legend." She'd conducted controlled interviews with actual blood drinkers and even dissected the corpses brought to her lab.

She knew that vampires, shape-shifters and other creatures of the night existed, even though her coworkers on the quantum physics side of the equation had not been privy to the truth. So, maybe someone had found out and this was a simple joke. Maybe her dreams had no connection. Except, forever had seemed to pass since she'd had any contact with those coworkers. And besides, who would do such a thing? None of them had cared enough about her to do anything.

Let this go, Parker. Before it's too late.

The command from her self-preservation instincts made no sense. Too late for what?

Her instincts offered no reply. Well, the scientist in her needed to know what was going on.

Jane cleared her throat. "I'm reading a few passages, and that's that." She'd been alone since leaving the hospital several months ago, and sometimes the sound of her voice was better than silence. "'Chains circled the vampire's neck, wrists and ankles. Because his shirt and pants had been stripped away, and a loincloth was his only apparel, there was nothing to protect his already savaged skin. The links cut him deeply, to the bone, before healing—and slicing open again. He did not care. What was pain when your will, your very soul, no longer belonged to you?'"

She pressed her lips together as a wave of dizziness crashed through her. A moment passed, then another, her heartbeat speeding up and hammering wildly against her ribs.

Raw images tore through her. This man—this vampire—bound, helpless. Hungry. His lush lips were pulled taut, his teeth sharp, white. He was surprisingly tanned, temptingly muscled, with dark, mussed hair and a face so eerily beautiful he would haunt her nighttime fantasies for years to come.

What she'd just read, she'd already seen. Many times. How? She didn't know. What she did know was that in her dreams, she felt compassion for this man, even anger. And yet, there was always that low simmer of arousal in the background. Now, the arousal took center stage.

The more she breathed, the more the sandalwood scent clung to her, and the more her reality altered, as if this, her home, was nothing more than a mirage. As if the vampire's cage was real. As if she needed to stand up and walk—no, run—until she reached him. Anything to be with him, now and forever.

Okay. Enough of that. She slapped the book closed, even though so many questions were left dangling, and strode away.

Such a strong reaction coupled with her dreams utterly nixed the idea of a joke. Not that she'd placed much hope in that direction. However, the remaining possibilities upset her, and she refused to contemplate them.

She showered, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans and ate a nutritious breakfast. Unbidden, she found her gaze returning to the leather binding, over and over again. She wondered if the enslaved vampire were real—and okay. If she could help him. A few times, she even opened to the middle of the book before she realized she'd moved. Always she darted off before the story could snare her.

And perhaps that's why the stupid thing had been given to her. To hook her, to send her racing back to work. Well, she didn't need to work. Money was not a problem for her. More than that, she no longer loved the sciences. Why would she? There was never a solution, only more problems.

Because when one puzzle piece slid into place, there were always twenty more needed. And in the end, nothing you did, nothing that had been solved or unraveled, would save the ones you loved. There would always be some dumb guy throwing back a few cold ones at the local bar, getting into his car and hitting yours. Or something equally tragic.

Life was random.

Jane craved monotony.

But when midnight rolled around, her mind still hadn't settled in regards to the vampire. Giving up, she returned to the kitchen, grabbed the book and stalked to bed. Just a few more passages, damn it, then she'd start craving monotony again.

Jane's oversize T-shirt bunched at her waist as she propped the book on her upraised legs, opened to the middle of the story, where the bookmark was still set, and returned her attention to the pages. For several seconds, the words appeared to be written in a language she did not understand. Then, a blink later, they were written in English again.

O-kay. Very weird, and surely—hopefully—an I-just-need-sleep mistake on her part.

She found her place. "'They called him Nicolai.'" Nicolai. A strong, luscious name. The syllables rolled through her mind, a caress. Her nipples beaded, aching for a hot, wet kiss, and every inch of her skin flushed. She thought back. She'd never interviewed a vampire named Nicolai, and the one in her dream had never spoken to her. He had never acknowledged her in any way. "'He did not know his past or if he had a future. He knew only his present. His hated, torturous present. He was a slave, locked away like an animal.'"

Just like before, a wave of dizziness slammed through her. This time, Jane pressed on, even as her chest constricted. "'He was kept clean and oiled. Always. Just in case Princess Laila had need of him in her bed. And the princess did have need of him. Often. Her cruel, twisted desires left him beaten and bruised. Not that he ever accepted defeat. The man was wild, nearly uncontrollable, and so filled with hate anyone who looked at him saw their death in his eyes.'"

The dizziness intensified. Hell, so did the desire. To tame a man like that, to have all of his vigor focused on you, pounding into you…his participation willing… Jane shivered.

Lose the ADD, Parker. She cleared her throat. "'He was hard, merciless. A warrior at heart. A man used to absolute control. At least, he thought he was. Even with his lack of memory, he was patently aware that every order directed his way scraped his nerves raw.'"

Another shiver rocked her. She grit her teeth. He needed her compassion, not her desire. He's that real to you? Yeah, he was. "'At least he would have a few days' reprieve,'" she read on, "'forgotten by one and all. The entire palace was frothing over Princess Odette's return from the grave and—'"

The rest of the page was blank. "And what?" Jane flipped to the next, but quickly realized the story had ended on an unfinished cliff-hanger. Great.

Thankfully—or not—she discovered more writing toward the end and blinked, shook her head. The words didn't change. "'You, Jane Parker,'" she recited hollowly. "'You are Odette. Come to me, I command you. Save me, I beg you. Please, Jane. I need you.'"

Her name was in the book. How wa...

Product Details

  • File Size: 404 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne; Original edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DB7ZOA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite from Showalter August 22, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I feel like a traitor. I LOVE Gena Showalter. She is one of my top go-to authors for paranormal romance. So when I found out about this book and the Royal House of Shadows series, I was sooo excited. But (I can't believe I'm saying this) I was disappointed. This book had all the hot sex you'd expect from a Showalter story, but for me, it was missing something substantial. I couldn't connect with it; I couldn't feel what the characters were feeling.

The premise of the series is this: An evil sorcerer has killed the king and queen of the magical world of Elden. But before they died, the sovereigns used their last bits of power to reach out to their four children. The king instilled in them a burning need for vengeance; while the queen wished them away to safety. Each of the four gets his or her own book, penned by a different author. Showalter's book features the eldest prince, Nicolai.

When his mother's magic whisked him away from the castle, he was in the middle of a sexual conquest... And with the strange way the magic worked, he reappeared as a sex slave. Some evil witch princesses bought him and had his memory erased. He doesn't remember who he is, but his need for revenge still burns in him and on some level, he knows he is more than a slave.

Using magic, Nicolai summons a human named Jane to free him. (The how and why of this are revealed over the course of the book.) Jane appears in the visage of one of the princesses and together, they flee from the royal court. The two are instantly attracted to each other. It's one of those "mine-at-first-sight" things. I'm not usually bothered by the whole alpha-male "mine" mentality, but here, it went on and on.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Vampires September 10, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lord of the Vampires is the first book in the Royal House of Shadows series. The series consists of 4 books written by 4 different PNR/UF authors. I haven't read any of Showalters books (I know. Shock!) but I've heard nothing but great things about Showalter's Lord of the Underworld series. I was excited when I saw that book 1 of the Royal House of Shadows was written by her.

Nicolai is enslaved by witches and used as their sex slave. His memories have been scrubbed but somehow he magically conjures Jane to appear in his world, Delfina, and rescue him. Jane is recovering from a bad car accident that left her body battered and broken. As a scientist, she is used to researching the unknown. When a sexy man starts appearing in her dreams and a mysterious book shows up at her doorstep, Jane thinks it is her overactive imagination. Until she goes to bed and wakes up in a room that is not her own and in a land that she is not familiar with.

Lord of the Vampires got off to a rocky start for me. I felt like we were dumped in the middle of the story with not much background info. I felt that there were many missing pieces that we were never given to put the puzzle of the story together. Jane is a scientist and is aware of other-wordly creatures. She has experimented on them as part of her research. That explains a little of why she wasn't afraid of Nicolai and the fact that she ended up in a magical land but I found her too accepting of every situation that she was put in. I'm fine with a heroine that can roll with the punches but Jane was too accommodating and questioned very little.

Nicolai wants his memory back and is willing to use Jane in order to achieve that goal. He has no qualms using her until he realizes how much he is attracted to her and that she is his.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Showalter fan hugely dissapointed September 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a loyal fan of Ms. Showalter and I really wanted to like this one and the series it begins. I still think she is incredibly talented, and will continue to buy her books the minute they come out, but this one was terrible. Poor plot development, no connection to the fairy tale it was supposedly based on, nearly none of Showalter's trademark humor, weak dialogue, and, worst of all, minimal character development. So incredibly disappointing. Hopefully this one was bad because she put all of her effort into The Darkest Surrender, coming out later this month.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DNF :( September 6, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter is book one in the Royal House of Shadows series by Gena Showalter, Jill Monroe, Jessica Andersen and Nalini Singh.

Sadly today's Review is going to be a short one and with many "sadly" in it, because it's my first DNF review since I started my blog.

I was very excited when I learn about this series, not just some great authors but two of my favorite authors (Gena Showalter and Nalini Singh) were getting together to write these books. I also loved the paranormal-fairy tale idea they were going to be based on.

Happy is an understatement of how I felt when I got my hands on Lord of the Vampires, but sadly this emotion didn't last for long. After couple of pages into the book I was a little bit disappointed and confused I couldn't believe this book was written by Mrs. Showalter, it didn't feel like her at all.
I love Mrs. Showalter writing style and books, one of my all time favorite series (Lords of the Underworld) is written by her. So I really was expecting to love or at least like this book; it NEVER crossed my mind the possibility that I might DNF it.

I was talking with some people on Twitter about this book and my decision to DNF it, they asked me what was it that it didn't work for me. My answer was the same one I will give you.

First and foremost I couldn't connect with the main characters, I didn't like neither hero nor heroine. Hero was supposed to be an alpha male but I felt he was just an animalistic brute. Heroine is supposed to be a very smart woman but I never felt it, she feels rather dumb. Their relationship is one of those "mine at first sight" but apart from that I didn't feel any real connection between them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved reading the stories about the Princes of Elden
I loved reading the stories about the Princes of Elden. I especially loved Micah in "Lord of the Abyss" and Liliana. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cookie Oates
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by Julia A. Sharples
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I read this because I've read books from this author before but this is definitely not her best work. It just never grabbed/enthralled me. A little on the ridiculous/stupid side. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lexi 007
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes a happy ending. I've read everything Gena Showalter has written. She definitely tells a good story. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
Yet another winner , weaving new realms with another set of exciting new character's, look forward to the next installment.
Published 6 months ago by Jasmine Donnelly
3.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Vampires
This book is the first of a set of four, written by four different authors. It started with a single idea - rewrite fairytales with a mystical twist. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
I really looked forward to reading this but found Ms sHowalter book to be disjointed and you could not tell what fairy tale this was supposed to be based on. Read more
Published 7 months ago by book fan
5.0 out of 5 stars LO TO READ
Published 10 months ago by maria l martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I felt like it pulled you into the storyline and wanting more. The only thing was that I wanted more at the end as well. Read more
Published 12 months ago by christina lawrence
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More About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of the White Rabbit Chronicles, Otherworld Assassins, Angels of the Dark, Lords of the Underworld, and several of other young adult and adult romance series. She has written over thirty novels and novellas. Her books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazine, and have been translated in multiple languages.

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