Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vampire Mistress (Vampire Queen Book 5) by Joey W. Hill


I chose not to read Vampire Mistress when it first came out because I was aware that Vampire Mistress would give us the first half of a story that would be completed in Vampire Trinity. I waited for Vampire Trinity to come out, so I could read the entire story once I started it.

Unfortunately, I'm not attached enough to these characters that I feel the need to read Vampire Trinity right away. I have an ARC of Venom that arrived this morning, and I'm going to read it, and possibly a few other books, before I begin Vampire Trinity.

Some of Joey W. Hill's books work for me in just about every way possible (Rough Canvas, for instance). Others just don't. And there were some word choices this time that jolted me out of the story, things like "not ungently", where I have to do the math and remember that a double negative cancels itself out so she saying it was done gently. This showed up several times in the form of "not un_____ly", and each time it annoyed me and pulled me out of the story.

Here's the blurb, then I'll talk about what worked for me and what did not.

Sometimes desire can work three ways...

In May 2010, Joey W. Hill returns to the dark and seductive landscape of her Vampire Queen novels as a desperate woman finds herself trapped between the desires of two men, each with his own mission of the night.

Gideon Green is a hardcore vampire hunter. But in the past year, his only family, his little brother, became a vampire queen’s servant – and then a vampire himself, giving Gideon a different view of the vampire world. Since Gideon’s sole purpose for over a decade has been killing vampires, the violence that has scarred his soul now haunts his conscience.

Then he crosses paths with a sexy BDSM night club owner, Mistress Anwyn. Their connection is immediate and intense, but she has a silent partner--the vampire Daegan Rei. When Anwyn is viciously attacked and turned by a rogue vampire, Gideon and Daegan join to protect her through a dangerous transition. As the bonds between the three of them draw tighter, Gideon faces an unbelievable truth...that the path to meaning in his life may be found in surrendering to the desires and needs of two vampires.

I think I'm going to start off here by talking about the writing elements:

The pacing was terrible. Way more telling than showing, and so much contemplation and inward searching I was tempted to start glossing over those paragraphs. I think there was possibly more contemplation and psych type stuff than there was action or dialogue. One of Ms. Hills strengths is her ability to show emotions, and have her characters deal with a whole lot of crap and then come out okay on the other side. But it wasn't there for me with Vampire Mistress. Based on the reviews on Amazon I think I'm in the minority, but... there it is. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it, and there were times I almost set it aside to read something else.

The dialogue was good, no problems with that. Like I said, it was the inner searching stuff that had problems, and there was just so much of it. But prose was... a bit too wordy at times. I know authors are supposed to really describe everything, and give us all five senses as much as they can. But some of the descriptions were overdone for me.

Character development, for Joey W. Hill, wasn't all that good. I usually fall in love with her characters, and I did not. I like them, but not enough to feel the need to pick up the next book right now. For another author I would have said character development was okay but not great.

World-building is pretty consistent with other books in this series, and it's well done.

The plot was, well, it was predictable. It's a good plot, and a nice way to have a BDSM menage with a male Dom, female switch, and male sub/slave. The characters are strong, each with their own issues to deal with (of course), and they mesh nicely with the story.

I feel like I've talked only about what I didn't like, so I'll point out what I did like: the world building, the conflict expressed between vampire and the vampire's humanity, the camaraderie that Gideon and Daegan find when they begin to find the things they have in common instead of focusing on their differences. I loved that the first time this really happens, for something other than Anwyn, was when they were talking about weapons.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: Yes, though not all of the bondage is done with a BDSM purpose. We see the promise of some discipline towards the end, but until that scene it's not really a part of the story. I'm wavering between a 1 and 2, but I think it's a  2 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: Yes, but it's complicated. And the submission isn't given (for most of the story) because the person wants to submit, but because... well, I don't want to give spoilers, but he submits (or rather, believes he submits) for reasons other than that of a man who wants to submit, so I can't give it a 3. The Dominance is certainly there, but the submission parts need some work. 2 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: Not really.  0 of 3
  • Extra Point: No
I'm going to have to give Vampire Mistress a 7 of 10. I plan to read Vampire Trinity at some point, and I hope that it makes me feel better about Vampire Mistress than I feel at this time.

There are a couple of really nice (i.e. hot) scenes, but overall the Heat Level is only a 2 of 5 for me.  All in all, I was really looking forward to Gideon's story, and I find myself disappointed by what I've read of it so far. I have been such a fan of Joey W. Hill that it pains me to give a bad review, but I've gotta be honest. So...
  • Book Rating:Vampire Mistress: 7 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 4 of 10
  • Heat Level: 2 of 5

    1. The Vampire Queen's Servant
    2. The Mark of the Vampire Queen
    3. A Vampire's Claim
    4. Beloved Vampire
    5. Vampire Mistress
    6. Vampire Trinity


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