The Vampire King (The Kings #1) by Heather Killough-Walden


The Vampire King

It was immediate for Roman. In three thousand years, he’d never lost control of his emotions, or his heart. But the moment he laid eyes on Evelynne Farrow, he knew she was the woman who haunted his dreams. And everything changed.

Everything.

Evie Farrow has always loved a good vampire romance. In fact, she makes a living writing them. While sitting in a coffee shop and working on her next mega-hot book, Evie is approached by a tall, dark, and handsome man who could have been pulled directly from one of her novels.

Unbeknownst to her, Roman D’Angelo is exactly what he appears to be – a vampire, and not just any vampire, but the king of vampires.

Unfortunately, while Roman is both ancient and invulnerable, Evie is flesh and blood. Just as Roman decides that he and Evie have a date with destiny, for reasons of their own, an ancient god and a homicidal vampire take an equally strong interest in her. To make things more complicated, there’s something very special about Evie. Something not quite human.

Can Roman fight off the incredible forces that would have Evie as their own long enough to win her heart, or will destiny betray him, and destroy everything he has ever dreamed of?

“Lalura had told him about her vision. Thirteen kings on a chess board – and thirteen queens….” addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16 Angela_s PonderingsTAG

The Vampire King was my introduction to Killough-Walden’s writing. The first time I read it, I immediately purchased The Big Bad Wolf Romance Compilation so I could get the background on the werewolves and the series that this book spun-off from. That’s how much I enjoyed the author’s writing – I immediately committed myself to almost one thousand more pages of her writing. I will admit that at the time, I was reading paranormal romances because the sex tends to be hotter due to the mating drive most supernatural creatures possess. And while Killough-Walden can write some seriously hot sex scenes, they are used judiciously as that author focuses on the character development and a storyline usually filled with action and suspense as the forces of good and evil battle it out. The Vampire King is all this and more.

 

Although I read it prior to the Big Bad Wolf series, we first meet Roman D’Angelo in The Spell (I’m almost positive) and he remains a mystery in The Hunt as the author brought that series to a close, while laying the foundation for The Kings series. But it was the sample of The Vampire King and the way in which the Prologue sets the stage for the action that had me finally giving in and buying the book. We actually meet Evie first as she seems to be nearing the end of her ability to hold out against being kidnapped and attacked repeatedly by another vampire who is out for revenge against Roman. Even as I reread the Prologue, I couldn’t help admire Evie’s fortitude in the face of so many changes in such a short time and her refusal to give in to end her suffering. Despite the fact that only a few weeks pass in the book, Killough-Walden crafts her characters and storyline so well that time seems irrelevant. It doesn’t feel as though Evie and Roman have just met. Their comfort and ease with one another served to solidify Roman’s belief that Evie was made for him and meant to be his queen. Although they don’t consummate their relationship until well into the book, there is plenty of attraction between the pair and it just makes their mating that much hotter. But because the author seems to like her characters to earn their happily ever after, there are forces working against the pair that threaten their very lives.

 

One of the things I think the author does well is striking a balance between the couple of interest – Roman and Evie – while introducing the reader to the world of The Kings and laying the groundwork for future books in the series. At no point did I feel as though another of the kings was usurping Roman and Evie as the focus; the book is clearly about their developing relationship. Rather the author works Thane and Jason into the action in such a way that you get to know a bit about the men as they help Roman track down the traitor in their midst. Fans of the BBW series will be excited to know that the major players are still involved in The Kings series, with several having prominent roles in The Vampire King. Because of this fans get to catch up with what’s going on with the werewolves and the threat all supernaturals face from the recently reorganized hunters – and I cannot wait to see how that thread plays out over the series. I absolutely loved that I got the opportunity to reread The Vampire King and enjoyed watching Roman and Evie’s story play out all over again. I’m off to read The Phantom King now.

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