Lady Elyssa Amaterasu Yamato Wentworth is a thousand-year-old vampire in need of a new servant - now more than ever as she's suffering the signs of a mysterious ailment that threatens to consume her. As a gift she's been given Jacob, an extraordinary physical specimen, but all wrong when it comes to being...used. A total alpha male, he's not accustomed to submitting to any woman's wishes.
Lyssa soon learns that that really binds Jacob to her are not her sensual midnight hungers, but something far more provocative. It stirs her blood, renews her life, and awakens her soul like only true love can. And the passion between Lyssa and Jacob is about to yield something else unexpected - a shared history that reaches back through the centuries and is fated to challenge their destiny like nothing ever will again...
Joey W. Hill is a very unique author. She can turn the simple evolution of a couple's relationship into an epic romance, baffling the reader with the scope of this ability within the confines of three to four hundred pages. Hill is an author to be savored and dedication of time is necessary in order to appreciate her artistry.
Lady Elyssa Amaterasu Yamato Wentworth is a vampire queen not only by birth but also by the shear force of her personality. A thousand years has given Lyssa plenty of time to loose countless human servants, beloved each for their uniqueness and collectively for their submission, and also the loss of one controlling and perhaps crazed vampire husband. These years have also wrought a strange affliction upon Lyssa that forces moments of intense weakness. It's during one of these bouts that Lyssa decides to take home a potential new servant, Jacob.
Jacob, former vampire hunter and circus performer extraordinaire, has spent one man's dying months at perfecting his ability to serve and protect Lady Lyssa. Thomas, a monk and Lyssa's former servant, gifts Jacob to Lyssa by letter, provoking the queen's loneliness after a year of self enforced celibacy. She can no more resist the Renaissance man standing before her in nothing but skin tight hose, any more than she can fight the irrational need to bind him to her for centuries to come.
Combined with a supreme predatory nature and her status as Queen, Lyssa finds extraordinary sexual satisfaction by the willing submission of her servants. But, unlike those who've served before, Jacob is not a practitioner of sexual submission nor does he fully grasp the extent of submission required by a vampire. Having dabbled only in soft bondage, Jacob's inner alpha has always directed him where he needed to go in terms of a woman's pleasure. The cries and physical reactions of a woman in his arms determined where his hands and other appendages needed to go to ensure her pleasure. Being commanded what to do and punished for disobedience is a concept unknown to him. Yet, despite Jacob's need to control the situation, Lyssa's demands provokes a powerful response from him that he's never experienced before. But with his explosive desire for Lyssa also comes panic. Not that he doesn't trust his lady, but he's never been invaded so thoroughly nor so immediately by a woman before.
The rules governing the relationship between vampire and servant are ancient in their existence. It's a completely one sided affair giving the power exclusively to the vampire. At the whim of the vampire, a servant is given a total of three marks. One that is basically a tracker, resembling a mental GPS. The second allows the vampire to invade the very mind of it's servant. Again this is one sided. While the vampire can view the thoughts, emotions, fears, the past, and present of their servant's mind, the vampire may choose at it's leisure to invite the servant within the confines of it's own mind. The third and final mark links the servant to a vampire's immortality and thereby prolonging the humans life by three to four times what is normal.
Lyssa can't help but be intrigued by Jacob. While a willing submissive is her preference, Jacob's arrogance and subsequent disobedience, springs forth a tidal wave of lust and yearning for him. Although he's a man who claims to be unable to woo a woman by words, Lyssa can't deny the emotions he ignites within her with his cunning wit, dry humor, and above all his words of devotion to her and his need to not only be her protector, but her beloved companion as well. Impulsively and much to Lyssa's early chagrin, she gifts Jacob with the first two marks, yet she promises him that third will never be given for purely unselfish reasons.
I've come to see that unlike most romance authors, Hill enjoys writing about tortured heroines verses tortured heroes. Unlike Hill's 'Ice Queen' - Marguerite, who was horrifically tortured, Lyssa's vulnerability and thus my connection to her plight, was difficult to uncover. As a reader, my preferences crave a dominant hero verses a dominant heroine, so that alone counts against Lyssa. I'm also attributing it towards her being a vampire and with that is the supreme ability to crush Jacob on a whim. Plus, Lyssa has lived for a thousand years thereby having plenty of time to cultivate and perfect her controlled facade. Even Jacob states that anyone else would be hard pressed to observe the subtle nuances in her expressions, signaling her displeasure or approval. Honestly, it's not until Jacob plunges into Lyssa's mind that I could finally understand her motivations and what a revelation did they ultimately prove to be. I finally saw Lyssa as human. She's a woman who is capable of remorse which was definitely something I needed to see in order to move past some of her bad treatment of Jacob. And when Lyssa begins to acknowledge the blurred lines between vampire and servant, she realizes that she craves spending time with Jacob. The sexual desire is still there but she's surprised at even her mundane cravings of him like sitting on the couch and watching television. It's at this time, when she finally reaches out for Jacob, that her vulnerability steps out from behind her shields and I simply could no longer resist her.
Jacob, on the other hand, was very easy to connect with. He truly cares for his lady but he was also very human. I bonded with his thought processes and how even he at times questioned Lyssa's behavior and on more than one occasion, thinks he's taken the wrong path. But true to his Irish heritage, he's equally stubborn as he is motivated to belong to Lyssa, heart and soul. Simply put, Jacob is genuinely a good guy with a big heart. His compulsion to be chivalrous to all woman was very enduring.
'The Vampire Queen's Servant' is very reminiscent of Hill's Ellora's Cave contemporaries despite it's paranormal attributes. This novel puts Jacob and Lyssa's relationship center stage which is unique, IMO, in today's paranormal genre which features a lot of action and fight sequences with the romance taking a backseat. However, I don't think that the novel is for everyone. Because Lyssa's vulnerability and humanity doesn't really come out until more than halfway through the novel combined with her brutal treatment of Jacob, some people might give up on Lyssa early on and may decide to not continue reading.
The BDSM in 'The Vampire Queen's Servant' is not extreme yet the novel definitely deserves it's "erotic" label. You can expect some sharing of sexual partners and some interesting devices to enhance sexual pleasure, but I in no way found the novel to be 'uncomfortable'. Just the opposite in fact. There is a scene where Lyssa hosts a dinner for three vampires and their human servants. The scene is intensely erotic with Jacob performing sexual acts with two other woman, all at the command of Mistress Lyssa. To me it's like Joey W. Hill orchestrates this elaborate masterpiece with numerous people engaging in sexual acts on a stage. Each performs a solo with the others supporting in the background. Then they all come together in a resounding climax that leaves you breathless.
The close of 'The Vampire Queen's Servant' in no way signals the end for Jacob and Lyssa. Their story could not be contained within the confines of one book alone and is followed by it's sequel - 'The Mark of The Vampire Queen'. I think this was Lyssa's doing. You can't say no to a queen.
Again, Hill's novels are not fast reads by any means. She forces you to slow down and savor her words rather than speed through. Jacob and Lyssa's relationship is very complex and it takes time to uncover the inner workings of their hearts especially when one person is guarding their heart so well. I admit that I struggled with the novel in the beginning but about midway through, it really started to flow and the characters washed through my mind like so much silk.
WARNING: Read At Your Own Risk!
So, there is one particular scene that had me wondering "Is that thing really real!". Lyssa places upon Jacob's penis a piece of jewelry that I've fondly dubbed 'The BDSM Pleasure Contraption'. Basically it's a ring that slides down the stalk of the penis by a couple of inches. Extending toward the tip are chains that attached to a cap. Attached to the cap is a two and half inch rod that is inserted into the urethra. It pushes into the urethra like a tack with the cap resembling the head of the pin. Of course, in 'The Vampire Queen's Servant' the basic chains are interlaced with uncut stones.
The validity of this contraption has been been put to the test and verified by Joey W. Hill with accompanying proof. Click the following link to get an eye full. If your expecting a male model, sorry to disappoint you. This link only shows the jewelry. Enjoy!
Interested in 'The Vampire Queen's Servant? Visit Joey W. Hill for more details.
Curious about Joey W. Hill's novels? Check out my reviews of 'Ice Queen', 'Mirror of My Soul', and 'A Mermaid's Kiss'.
Jacob and Lyssa's story continues with 'The Mark of The Vampire Queen'
'A Vampire's Claim' Third Installation in the Vampire Queen Series
Features Lady Daniela and Dev