The Royal House of Shadows is a series of four books with Gena Showalter, Jill Monroe, Jessica Andersen, and Nalini Singh each taking on one of the stories. The stories take place a world where vampires, blood magic, shape-shifters and Berserkers all exist together, with each story written as a modern twist on favorite fairy tales. From Alice in Wonderland, to Goldilocks and the Three Bears, to Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast, they explore alpha males in all their (sexy) glory as four royal siblings finally discover the power of true love.
The First in the series, Lord of the Vampires, takes on Alice in Wonderland. Jane is an intelligent scientist who has recently been in a car accident and has lost it all. Her family, her will to live, her will to date, her will to do more than exist – except in her dreams where she always sees her mysterious sexy Vampire, Nickoli. Or is it a dream? One morning she finds a book on her porch written by her mystery man asking for her to come save him. Upon reading the book, she is transported through the metaphorical “rabbit hole” and is drawn into Nickoli’s world. Once in Delfina, the land of the Queen of Hearts, all is not what it seems for either Nicolai or Jane and fate still has not played its hand. Nicolai is a sex slave in the kingdom and has no idea of how he got there since his memory and magical powers have been taken from him. Nor does he fully remember who Jane is or why he knew to summon her. Only that he used his magic to do so and she is to be his savior. His one and only desire has been for vengeance. That’s all he has wanted in this land where time moves slower then normal - vengeance against his current captors and vengeance against the Blood Sorcerer of the neighboring land of Elden. Although as for the later he doesn’t know why he would care what goes on in Elden. And Jane is the key...but exploiting her would mean dooming the only mortal he has ever craved. And since seeing her in person the word “crave” doesn’t begin to cover his feelings.
Paradox Theory – unless she had come here before and returned home to a time before they’d met and her dreams were echoes of what was to be how would he have known to summon her? Will they ever find out? Why don’t they remember more of each other? And how will the other person take learning about what they can remember? Is Vengeance worth more then love? Fate. There cannot be light without shadows. Through battles and hard won trust the couple finds their way. They both learn that if they had not gone through dark times and uncertainties that they would not triumph in the end.
Although this story in loosely based on Alice in Wonderland or rather inspired by, it is uniquely it’s own story. The twist on the classic adds a nice backdrop for the story but the adventure was unique and fresh. Nickoli is an ever-evolving character making the adventure rich and exciting. His latent powers emerge as he breaks free from all the physical and mental cages that have been placed on him making him a truly mesmerizing male. And he is all male, with the occasional reverting back to “Alpha” mode when Jane’s in danger which is both sexy and somewhat comical with his almost Yoda style of speech. All in all this is a fun ride. The world is rich of textures and characters and a nice start to the series. The next characters are built up nicely and it will be nice to learn about them and see how the series involves. I give this one four double-dipped chocolate covered strawberries!