“For eternity. Until the end of days. Until the sun falls from the sky.”
Woww. Now that’s how you write a f**king awesome paranormal romance!!!
Smokin’ hot and steamy! Original world-building! Strong characters! Page-turning writing! This book has it all!
“All. Fucking. Mine.” he whispered fiercely.
In this world, vampires always have a chosen concubine (either male or female depending on the preference) in their lives who serve to feed them blood for a few years at a time until they are released from service. In return, they are lavishly looked after for their entire lives and greatly respected among the vampire community. Leah comes from a long line of elite concubines. At the Selection (where vampires get to choose their next concubine), she is selected by Lucian – the absolute most Alpha uber-vampire of them all.
Lucian has been watching Leah for the past 20 years. He marked her as his, waiting for the right time to make her his. But he is fed up with the hand-tying rules of the Vampire Dominion that do not allow for vampires to be sexually involved with their concubines and will stop at nothing to to have every part of her. He risks his life to cheats the rules and make it so that she can be completely his, regardless of how she may feel about it.
Their intense attraction and deep connection to each other is undeniable, but they both have a lot to learn about each other, their worlds before they can completely join their hearts. This is their story.
“I’ve been waiting for you since I knew you existed. But I’ve been waiting for someone like you for five fucking centuries.”
First off, I’ll say that I loved the mythology!! It was very clean and simple – nothing I had to try hard wrap my head around or make any huge leaps of acceptance for. Everything about the world was logical and felt very realistic and was the perfect blend of our world with the supernatural one.
The sexual tension in this book was INTENSE!! *fans self* Seriously smokin’ hot!! There were also a fair number of moments that made me tear up, it has typical amazing KA-style dialogue, (no kidnappings!! lol), and a seriously engaging storyline that just draws right you in!
But let me tell you, this book T.O.Y.E.D with my emotions!! Holy freaking hell! One minute I was intensely angry, then dreamily happy, then swoony, then teary, then furious, then back to happy… For the first 70%, my heart was yo-yoed back and forth between extreme HATE for the super-controlling-asshat-uber-Jerk Lucian and intense, complete and utter LOVE for the possessive-sweet-caring-protective-swoony Lucian.
Major conflicted emotions here! There were so many things that Lucian did that rubbed me waaaay the wrong way and yet still I utterly LOOOOOOOVED the book!
First off, let me start by saying that I. absolutely. ADORED. Leah!!! She is one of my FAV heroines I have ever read! I had SO much respect for her! I felt that everything she did was justified, reasonable, believable, and totally understandable. She never once made me roll my eyes and it was her strength of character that got me through the tougher parts of this book. She was so strong-willed, had so much spirit and sass, she was fiesty and brave and never gave away any piece of herself until she knew without a doubt that she also held Lucian’s heart.
“Are you mine?”
“If you give me you, Lucien, then I promise. I’ll give you me.”
As for Lucian… I should say that now, having finished the book, I LOVE him. Seriously, utterly, swoonily head-over-heels LOVE him! Buuuuut, it wasn’t always so lol…
Is it wrong to want to throttle a ficticional character?!? In the beginning, I found myself intensely furious and frustrated with Lucian. I’d gasp and splutter my way through the chapters with all sorts of “oh. my. god! He did NOT just DO that?!!?!!!” reactions. To say he tested my patience would be a major understatement. I kept going back and forth between melting over something he did and wanting to bitch slap the holy freaking hell out of him!! Major throttling wishes happened! He infuriated me!! He was hypocritical, controlling, manipulative, enraging, and simply the biggest JERK I’ve ever read in a book. It came off that he wanted to break her, to control her, and for her to be his ‘pet’. Needless to say, I had a few issues with all of those. Aaand, that being said, throughout all these feelings, I also couldn’t help but feel seriously intense love for him. You could just tell than underneath all his actions there was a seriously good heart and you just didn’t have the whole picture.
“In fact, when he wasn’t being a jerk, controlling or a pain in the ass, he looked at me…
He looked at me…
Oh hell, he looked at me like I was his life.”
In many of KA’s books, where the heroine ‘fights’ the hero’s advances, I’m usually always rolling my eyes at their antics and mentally telling them to just get over it. But in this book, I was right there with Leah when she said he hated him. But, see, I was also right there with her when she melted for him too… so conflicting!!
“Don’t try me,” Lucian warned in my head.
“Kiss my concubine ass,” I returned in his.
As Lucian began to teach Leah about his world and the more she learns about him, the more she sees his kind-hearted side. He really tried his best to get her to learn about and see the world – hoping that she would learn to embrace it.
The more insight we got into Lucian’s life, and his culture, the more understanding I became of his actions and of his world. As much as I thought his behavior was so freaking NOT ok in many situations, I understood that that was his cultural norm and that within that, he was trying really hard to make things work. Throughout everything, the good and the bad, it was impossible to ignore how strongly he cared for Leah. And when he did swoony thing, my heart just melted into a puddle of goo. But, like Leah, I held out on completely loving him until he finally gained, and more importantly, showed respect for her. Very, very important!
Part of what is conflicting comes because it becomes clear that while Lucian thinks he wants to break her, yet at any sign of her spirit actually breaking or being subdued, he feels strong remorse and wants nothing more than to reverse it… it was as if the whole idea of breaking her was a giant test to see if she was really strong enough NOT to break.
“Love is a blanket that keeps you warm not one that traps and suffocates you.”
And then, at about 70% there is a turning point where a) the cultural bindings that were influencing his actions were broken through, and b) certain things came into the light that explained and changed his behavior. And let me tell you, this was seriously STRONG writing because, I kid you not, within a matter of about 3 pages, I literally forgot ALL of my frustrations and any feeling of hate that I may have had for Lucian. They just disappeared!! Poof! Gone! And after that I had nothing but seriously strong love for him to the point that I’d say he’s one of my favorite book characters – hands down! In league with Bones, Barrons, Wrath, and all the other big swoony PNR uber-Alphas 🙂
This book has a big theme of being able to live while showing your true self – about not having to hide yourself behind an ‘image’. And the more you read about it, the more you understand the depth of the concubine/vampire relationship.
“Concubines understand and accept who we are, what we need and they give us more. Not just blood. A safe harbor where we can be who are are.”
“You live your day-to-day life hiding the essence of who you are; you don’t want to let someone into that life who won’t accept you for that same thing.”
And when it got good and they figured each other out, it was GOOOOOD!! Lucian and Leah were so functional as a couple!! All admitting mistakes, not keeping secrets, opening up to each other, working as a team… just wow. And seriously H.O.T.!!!!! Just non-stop swoony, sexy, funtional perfection!
The ending of the book wraps up this story, but leads right into book 2. There is a Prophecy to by fullfilled and clearly a lot more to the story. I absolutely cannot WAIT for book 2.
If you are a big fan of KA but kind of feel like going back to a PNR, this is a perfect read. If you haven’t yet read KA and you want to try it out, just bear in mind that her heroes do not usually come off as such major jerks as Lucian did in the beginning. This was a bit of an extreme. But as with all KA books (that woman is a freaking genius!!) you can’t help but just melt and fall in love with the hero.
Rating: 5 stars!!!
** THE THREES SERIES **
Paranormal romance (vampires, werewolves etc…)
Series of standalones — recommended to read in order.
Book #1 — UNTIL THE SUN FALLS FROM THE SKY (Lucian & Leah)
Buy for Kindle | Read my Review
Book #2 — WITH EVERYTHING I AM (Callum & Sonia)
Buy for Kindle | Read my Review
BOOK #3 — UNTITLED (Abel & Lilah)
Mariann with Belle's Book Bag says
Such a great review!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!! That is what I love about Kristen Ashley–she has a way with her heroes that makes you hate them and then love them–she is truly gifted!!! I have to add this to my TBR pile–I wasn’t sure about this one until I read your review. I love Kristen Ashley so I should have known it would be a keeper.
Have a great weekend.
Yay! I hope you like it 🙂 I totally know what you mean, it’s pretty hard not to love KA’s heroes. But let’s put it this way, in the first 70% of the book, Lucian makes Tack (Motorcycle Man) look cute and cuddly :p
Love KA’s books, but am not a fan of paranormal, but with your review I might just have to give this series a try!!! Thanks!