Reviewed by Vicki
SERIES REVIEW: Paranormal Nobles
AUTHOR: S.J. Frost
PUBLISHER: MLR Press
BOOK ONE TITLE: Vampire Prince
LENGTH: 145 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 27th, 2015
Three years ago, Sebastian Beaumont, was starving and struggling on the streets. An offer for safety and shelter was nothing but the lies of a vampire. Since then, he’s been trapped, surrendering his blood and body as a blood slave to vampires, all for the hope of gaining one more day of life and maybe, someday, his freedom.
Having crossed more than three hundred years of life, Valentin Wyndham, is a prince among vampires. Memories of betrayal still haunt him and love isn’t something he seeks. When his need for blood becomes too strong, he breaks his usual habits and visits a blood house. Though he tries to resist, he can’t help but be captivated by the beautiful Sebastian.
Unable to deny the intensity between them, Valentin frees Sebastian from the blood house, but danger follows them both from those who don’t want to let Sebastian go.
What a great story! I needed some vampire love….
This story starts out pretty dark, as we learn about poor Sebastian. He is a blood slave, living in a… well, whore house would be the best term. The home and it’s inhabitants are owned by an asshole of a vampire named Wesley, a total wimpy name for a horrible person. The “donors” are forced to sign a contract, and in exchange for shelter, food, and clothing, are given to vampires to feed from and fuck. There is little control over what happens with the vampires and the donors, violence goes on nightly, and some donors don’t last long. Sebastian has been there three years and is pretty sure he won’t last much longer. He is strong and stubborn, but is gradually giving up.
Then we have Valentin, the vampire half of our couple. Valentin is smooth and cool, a vampire Prince, a title meaning he has lived at least 300 years. He and his cousin Basil, and their demon friend Sal, share a recently purchased home not too far from Savannah Georgia. Vampires need to feed every few days, and Valentin has gone a bit too long, and decides to visit a blood house instead of hunting for himself, even though he despises the places. He is not at all impressed by the outside of he blood house, and the inside is even worse. He’s about to give up when he sees a very pretty human.
Sebastian is quite amazed by his latest vampire client. He wants to talk and get to know him. Asks his opinion, and wants to please him. Then almost rejects him, which would lead to punishment from the horrid Wesley. The two do end up fucking and Valentin feeds, but Sebastian is surprised to discover he enjoys himself. Unfortunately he has to return to his normal routine once Valentin leaves. Only he returns the next night! Bearing pizza and soda, which Sebastian hasn’t had in three years. But Valentin has seen something in the human that he likes and covets.
So in some ways this story is predictable. Valentin rescues Sebastian from the blood house, as you expect him to do. We have the usual lack of communication between the two main characters that leads to a bit of drama. And of course we haven’t seen the last of Wesley even after Sebastian has been rescued. There is more that was expected, but I’ll leave that to you to discover…
But even with not really being surprised about the plot, I was pleasantly surprised about how much I liked this book. What I really liked was the connection between the characters. Not just between Valentin and Sebastian, that’s expected since they are the love interests, but the connection between Basil, Sal, and Valentin. These guys have been together a long time and have built up trust and love, even though it’s never been physical love between them. Then Basil and Sal totally accept this young human in their household and in their lives. It’s another great example of making your own family. Well, technically Valentin and Basil are family, but only cousins. Sal has a great little familiar that is also part of the family, and causes his own bit of drama in the swimming pool! I loved Beezy…. So yah, the plot was not surprising, but the characters made it work. There is also a fair amount of humor and teasing that goes on, and I loved that! Then the big thing that all goes down in some ways did surprise me. The outcome was expected, but how it played out was unexpected and cool. The hero’s of the day were not who I thought they’d be!
The writing was good on this one, S.J. Frost is a new author for me, and that’s always a bit of a risk. The humor is always a fine line with me, sometimes I find it over done and cheesy, but not this time. It was just enough to be fun, but not too much. The sex scenes were very well written, hot and plentiful. The plot was predictable until the big thing, then I was surprised. The characters were very well done for what is not the longest story, they were nicely fleshed out, having some good history. There was distinction between the “voices” of the characters, and I could easily tell who was who in a conversation. There was some good world building going on, the vampires are just a little different in this book and I liked that a lot. We also get some history of them as well, and learn the vampire hierarchy. I love to see the differences between vampire mythology in books, and this worked very well.
I will say there were more typos that I would expect with a book from a publisher. Extra words seemed to be the big thing.
I’m quite happy I grabbed this book for review and I’m looking forward to Demon Duke!
BOOK TWO TITLE: Demon Duke
LENGTH: 240 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 27th, 2016
A month ago, Calvin Blackwood found himself in the company of vampires, having been hired to use his talent as a witch to summon a demon. That demon ended up saving his life. In the time since, he hasn’t been able to forget about Sal. He knows entering a deal with a demon is dangerous, but to save his brother, binding himself to the beautiful demon might be worth the risk.
Sal is a duke among demons. An immortal being, more powerful than a vampire, but who has one admitted weakness, a fondness for humans. When Calvin offers to make a deal, he’s hesitant, but can’t deny his need to be closer to him. He also knows if he doesn’t help him, Calvin will summon another demon, and he knows all too well the treachery of his own kind.
Desire and trust builds between Calvin and Sal. Their relationship grows, but so does a hidden threat, and it might take power greater than a demon duke to save them. It might take that of a witch.
I love Sal! And I’m happy to see he met his match with Calvin! Sal is the demon we met in the first book. He’s been around a long time, loves hanging out with Valentin and Basil, even though he has his own castle in the demon realm. He likes the warmth and emotions of humans, and I think he’s pretty bored as well. He’s part of the big thing that happens in the first book, as is Calvin.
Calvin is a human with some issues… his brother Nathan is dying, and Calvin is desperate to help him. Calvin is a witch, and ended up involved in a bad thing with vampires, that lead him to summoning a demon named Sallos. As part of this bad thing, he saw Sallos in his full demon glory, and liked it. He’s also learned that demons can heal humans, if you are willing to pay a price. He’s decided he’s willing to pay the price, and not having a way to reach Sal, he summons him again. Of course Sal, being the smart demon that he is, doesn’t stay contained for long, but he is more than willing to negotiate with the little human…. But it all goes to shit when Nathan, the sick brother gets involved. Nathan is a churchy dude and has no intention of letting a demon from hell help him, and he’s already got issues with Calvin being a witch. Some holy water is used, Sal gets pissed, and off we go….
Obviously the two work it out, this is a romance novel afterall! They do connect, fuck like bunnies, and a great story happens! There’s quite a bit going on with this book, Sal has some issues in the demon realm that he has to deal with, which eventually affect the humans in the story. We have the issue with Nathan being sick as well. Calvin also gets drawn in to the scheme Basil has going to open a blood house of his own, which of course involves everybody in the whole book. Beezle, Sal’s entity/pet is around often as well. So lots goes on, involving the whole group of them, plus some new demon’s mixed up with Sal’s issue.
It all comes to head in a very dramatic fashion! Again, like the last book, this one was fairly predictable. The cause of the drama with the demons was interesting and wasn’t actually the predictable part, but how the relationship between Sal and Calvin was. We are told what the solution will be, so there is no surprise there. But I still really enjoyed it! It was really all about the characters for me, the ones we know from Vampire Prince certainly, but I loved Calvin as well. He was a great addition to the mix. The other couple of demons we meet were fun, and big thing that happens was thwarted by an unexpected source, which I loved. And maybe gives a hint at the next couple? Ok, so PARTS were predictable, and some parts weren’t!
This book was a little longer than the last one, so there was even more time to get to know everyone. And for some more creativity in the world. This time it’s with demons who have a whole long history with wars and drama…. that Sal seems to have been in the middle of. I loved the visits to his castle in the demon realm, and I loved that his drama affected everyone. Even though I could see what was coming, I enjoyed the story as we got there!
Just like the last book, I liked the writing, the dialogue was clear, the banter was fun, and the sex was HOT! There were a few typos in this one as well, I just find that so annoying with a big publisher like MLR. But it didn’t distract me too much from the book, I still loved it!
I totally enjoyed this one, and I will be keeping an eye our for more books!
OVERALL REVIEW: This was a fun couple of books! I am always leery when I take books from a new to me author, you never know what you are going to get. But these were very good! I liked the vampire and demon mythology S.J. developed with some new rules to her world. I liked the relationships between her main characters, but also her side characters. The writing was very good, even though there were several typos. The sex scenes were well written, sensual and fun. There was enough sex to keep it interesting, but not so much it was repetitive. I think they were a mix of predictability and surprise for me, I could see what was coming several times, but then was surprised by a few of the details.
I’m happy I read these, they were a good combination of vampy and fluffy! I look forward to more in this series!