Review: Bound by the Vampire Queen (Vampire Queen series #8) by Joey W. Hill
After being summoned to the Fae realm to present herself to the Unseelie Queen, Lyssa and Jacob start an adventure which will yet again change the fabric of their lives. Nothing is as it seems in Fairy and protecting his Mistress becomes a thing of near impossibility for Jacob, even with his enhanced abilities. Even if they make it out alive, they’ll have to face even more trials at the hands of the dreaded vampire Council. Epic and mesmerizing, Bound by the Vampire Queen boldly follows in the footsteps of its Vampire Queen series predecessors and rewrites all the rules… again.
- Title: Bound by the Vampire Queen
- Series: Vampire Queen #8
- Author: Joey W. Hill
- Prominent Characters: Lyssa, Jacob
- Recommended reader age: 18+
- Sexual content level: heavy, containing explicit language typical of erotica
*** This review contains some spoilers for the first 6 books in the series but none for this one. Read on if you are up-to-date on your Vampire Queen lore! ***
Holy epic adventures, Batman! If this series, particularly the story arc for Lyssa and Jacob, gets any more sensational and dramatic, I think I might have a heart attack. And I swear, Jacob loses his shirt as often as his furry Twilight counterpart… not that I’m complaining.
Fans of Joey Hill’s Vampire Queen series will probably all agree that part of what makes the stories so tantalizing and addicting is the complete and total voluntary submission of the alpha male human servants to their vampire masters. *spoiler for book #2 ahead* When Jacob became a vampire and made Lyssa his third-marked servant to better protect her, the lines between master and servant became a complicated tangle, and I wondered how Ms. Hill was going to be able to bring back that tantalizing submissive element between Jacob and his queen. Well no worries there, because in Bound By the Vampire Queen, we get a much-needed reprieve from the ever-present vicious vampire political games and are treated to a whimsical trek through the Fae home world… where vampires are the rabble and Jacob must once again wear the mantle of true servant to Lyssa. If you thought vampire sexual games were rough, wait til you see what the Unseelie Queen has in store for the pair! Yowza!
Vampire politics aside, there is definitely something to be said for their scandalously voyeuristic menage dinner parties and, despite the fantastical adventures through Fairy, Ms. Hill doesn’t skimp on one of my favorite things about the series: the multi-menage mixed-preference group sex scenes. Oh yeah, I went there. *raises eyebrows* After what feels like *my* adventures in Vampire Queen land, I’ve come to realize that this series resonates so much with me because it has unearthed desires and inclinations I didn’t even realize I had. After a spirited book club discussion about the first book in this series, it became clear that readers with Dom/sub tendencies, or those who enjoy bondage in some form, gravitate to Ms. Hill’s writing, and those whose preferences are staunchly vanilla find themselves very uncomfortable during parts and even unable to finish the books. Reading Joey Hill is as much a journey of self-discovery for us as readers as it is for the characters.
Most of the vampire queen series books are epic in some way, from soul-deep loves to large-scale politics and violence to sweeping unexpected changes to the very fabric of the characters lives, and Bound By The Vampire Queen certainly lives up to that expectation. The Author Mistress knows what her readers need (whether or not *we* know it ourselves!) and she knows how to deliver it in the most heart-breakingly scintillating ways. None of these books are a quick or easy read, and they tend to stick with you long after the last goodbye, but they are some of the most enjoyable and memorable books I’ve ever read. I always look forward to each new Vampire Queen Series book and they rarely disappoint.
The descriptions of the Fae world are vibrant and imaginative, reminicent of the various fantasy tales and works of art in our own history. Lyssa and Jacob’s escapades in the Fae kingdom are like an erotic fairy tale (literally!) with castles of fire and ice, fantastical creatures, and creative nature-inspired bondage only an author as skilled as Ms. Hill could make appealing and arousing. Seeing Jacob and Lyssa as parents to little Kane was a new and precious experience in the whirlwind of politics, lust, and violence of the vampire world. Jacob’s duties in Lyssa’s life may be complicated and ever-changing to meet her needs, but his role as their son’s father is a lovingly tender constant. Tantalizing peeks into Gideon’s trinity bond with Daegan and Anwyn and private servant bonding moments between the brothers fill in some of the gaps and answer a few questions we’ve been dying to know. Seeing Jacob and Gideon together in their element, serving their masters while providing their devoted and highly specialized protection, is worth the read even if you didn’t enjoy the Fae adventures. I want more, more, more! *grin*
The idea of Jacob wearing a “Vampires drool” t-shirt is just plain ironic. Who doesn’t drool when he’s around?
“This isn’t a complaint, mind you, because she looks like a Victoria’s Secret pinup, but why do powerful queens insist on wearing uncomfortable clothes? If I was queen, I’d wear jeans all the time. T-shirts with my favorite logo. Something like “Fairies Rule, Vampires Drool.”
Sticks and stones…
“Heaven forbid he should spit it straight out rather than holding it all in. Constipated fairy.”
“I wouldn’t suggest calling him that.”
Let’s play “Who’s more dangerous?”: Lady Lyssa vs. a furious Fae kelpie lord
“Don’t pass out. You’ll be eaten by sea snakes, and Lyssa will be seriously pissed at you.”
I think we would all agree that the packaging is just fine…
“I dreamed Kane was crying.”
“If he’s crying, then it’s because Mason is telling him about women. How falling in love with one makes you insane.”
Sliding her arms around his neck, she drew him down to her. “I think he’s crying because Jessica is telling him he will turn into a pigheaded package of inevitable testosterone poisoning.”
“You never mentioned having a problem with my testosterone, or its packaging.”
More Gideon & Daegan? Please? I can’t get enough! *grin*
Daegan snorted. “We all seem to have found servants with an incurable streak of disobedience.” He gave Gideon a shove. The hunter grunted.
“Yeah, aren’t you lucky that way?”
“That is not the word I would have chosen.”
“Anytime you want to switch out a pit bull for a f*cking arm poodle, nothing’s stopping you, Mr. Wear-Armani-to-a-Fight. Good thing you didn’t get blood on it.”
“The night is still young.”
If you liked Bound by the Vampire Queen and the rest of the Vampire Queen series…
This section is always hard for me when I review the Vampire Queen series books. To date, it is my favorite series and I have not been able to find another with such a powerhouse combination of passionate, soul-deep love, edgy arousing erotica, and epic adventurous storylines. Ms. Hill is a simply a master of her craft and is in her own league. If I come across any other authors I feel this strongly about (READ: obsessed with), I’ll come back and update this for you guys! Until then, I am open to new suggestions! ;-)
If you’re in the market for a short, steamy vampire read, check out Laura Kaye’s In the Service of the King. An Irish vampire king, a confident and attentive submissive, and an evening full of yummy, insatiable, sexy time… it may be a novella, but it really packs an emotional AND sexual punch. Plus, In the Service of the King is the first in a series of Vampire King stories, so we have plenty more to look forward to. Oh yeah.
All of the Vampire Queen series books, particularly Bound by the Vampire Queen, feel larger-than-life and take you through a terrifyingly deep range of emotions… from lust to love to fear and anger to justifiably bloodthirsty retribution. I do my share of bookmarking in these books (probably more than any other series, period), but the first read through never fails to be an adventure, sometimes harrowing and emotionally charged, but always satisfying and enjoyable in the end. This eighth offering in the series brings some needed emotional closure, old friends revisited, and a bittersweet mid-story twist that will have you gasping in disbelief. Nothing is ever predictable in Ms. Hill’s vampire world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bound by the Vampire Queen is a “Must Read”, but for this one you really should read the other books in the series first… particularly #s 1&2 (The Vampire Queen’s Servant & The Mark of the Vampire Queen), 4 (Beloved Vampire), and 5&6 (Vampire Mistriss & Vampire Trinity), or you’re going to be spending a lot of time trying to process the large cast of existing characters and extensive history. Trust me, it’s way more fun to use that brainpower to focus on what you want Jacob to do to y… erm, what’s happening in the story. *grin*
|Rating: Bound by the Vampire Queen|