Published: Amanda J. Greene on November, 2010
Pages and Form: 294 pages / E-Book
Series: Rulers of Darkness Book #1
Amazon: Buy / $3.44 (Kindle) ( EU price, click to see US price )
Barnes and Noble: Buy / $0.99 (Nook)
Excerpt: See below Rating
Amazing debut by Amanda J. Greene! Paranormal Romance readers will find a new vampire to swoon over, Dorian Vlakhos, the King of the Mylonas Clan!
1814. Victoria and her little sister Margaret arrive in London after their mother died of illness and their father took his own life after losing his wife. They are homeless and penniless, and in the mercy of their Aunt who despises Victoria and her mother - which is why she has her own terms for their stay, Margaret will stay with her and Victoria has one month to find a husband before she is kicked out of her aunt's home. If these terms are not met Victoria will never see her sister again. Assigning her friends help she enters the balls of London society to snare a wealthy man with a title to keep her sister with her and manage to provide for them.
In the London society Dorian Vlakhos is known as the Prince, but he is not a womanizing aristocrat that his reputation paints him as, but a Vampire King, and he has his eyes set on the stunningly gorgeous Victoria, who is doing her very best to avoid the scandal that follows Prince Vlakhos and gain a respectable marriage, and rights to her sister. She cannot afford to fall for Prince Vlakhos, which is why as much frustration and anger as he makes her feel she is doomed by the other feelings he stirs within her. One sweet stolen kiss though makes it clear to Victoria she cannot spend any more time with the Prince and his openly forward courting her into his bed.
Not all is well back home with Dorian's Clan and hate and war spills even to the streets of London and now that Dorian's attention is on Victoria - so is the Hunter's.
Wonderful book! Ah, I can't quite explain it, it's the suppressed women of 1800's and mixed with Vampires, Hunters and seduction it is a potent mix that makes you want to devour the book at one go. There is a delicious amount of sexual tension, hate, aggravation and attraction with Victoria and Dorian, and it keeps boiling over to the readers. In an age where appearances are everything and keeping your composure is critical a lot sure bubbles under the surface.
I loved the character of Victoria, she's strong and capable, but not in the 21st century girl in 1800's London kind of way, but strong within her limits in the society she lives in. She also warm and has a little spitfire attitude when it comes to Dorian which is so enjoyable to read. As is Dorian who grew on me immediately, he's over confident, cocky and possessive in the best possible way, he's the kind of vampire you dream at night, little wicked, sexy as hell and one who doesn't take no for an answer and keeps circling you until you give into his charm.
Can't wait till February 2012 when Greene releases the second book in the Rulers of Darkness series Caressed by Night!
Women smiled at him, fluttered their lashes, and even winked at him as he made his way through the room. Some were even bolder. They pressed against him and quickly whispered their names and addresses in his ear. It was the same everywhere he went. Even when he had been human, women would beg for him to take them to his bed.
Ever since it got out that Lady Tillman had paid him a strictly social visit, he was now the talk of the ton. He had been interested in renting one of her properties to stable his horses and, naturally, the bored, twisted minds of the aristocracy would have to distort it into an afternoon tryst. Whoever had spread the gossip must have completely forgotten that Lady Tillman had entered and departed his home in the presence of her full-grown nephew, who had taken over her financial affairs since the passing of her husband.
There was no possible way he could not deny that he had taken lovers within the last month but he preferred his own kind. Humans could be so fragile. His few tumbles had been with vampires and those very talented gypsy women.
Dorian shook hands with a few of the men and exchanged pleasant words with a few of the more respectable ladies before he dashed outside. He took in a deep breath of the fresh night air and spared a glance up at the moon. The sky was not as clear as it was back home and he found it irritating. The one thing that had ever given him peace was the brilliant shine of the moon.
“It isn't as clear as the country.”
“The sky. It is clearer in the country,” Victoria said as she stepped from the shadows of the trees.
The man turned to face her and she gasped as if she had been struck. He was tall, taller than any man she had ever seen, muscled and thick. Strands of deep brown hair fell across his angelic yet masculine face, her fingers twitched with the desire to brush them away from his magnificent eyes. Those fathoms of blue were like the sea after a tremendous storm, piercing, penetrating, and exotic. His jaw was straight and square, his lips thin and alluring. He was absolutely beautiful, in a dangerous, very masculine way.
“Yes.” Dorian’s delicious lips turned up in a smile.
His husky voice moved over her skin like a caress, her entire body was aflame as his smoldering gaze that roamed over her, leaving nothing untouched.
Dorian was swept away by this young woman's beauty. She looked like an ancient goddess. Her nearly black hair sat in tight ringlets atop her head. He could see every detail of her face in the moonlight. Her deep, green eyes framed with long, flirting lashes, her slim nose, perfectly molded cheekbones, and lush lips that would tempt any man. His eyes slowly moved down the length of her bare neck, over her slender shoulders, and paused for the briefest of moments on her full breasts then continued their journey across her waist and hips, all the way down to the hem of her gown.
Victoria shook her head trying to remember why it was she had come outside. She commanded herself to think and forced the thick, sensual haze from her mind. She turned her eyes back to the man and found that his had never once left her. The way he studied her was beginning to grow irksome and she had the sudden desire to slap that satisfied smirk off his face.
“I do believe you are staring, sir.”
“I am,” he said, his smile widening. And he wasn't finished. He looked her over once more, much to Victoria's aggravation. “Do you belong to anyone?” he asked.
“I don’t believe that is any of your business.”
“Ah, no one?” he said, his interest rising.
“That is not what I said.”
“And why is it that such a beautiful woman belongs to no one?”
“I'm not married or engaged,” she stated then snapped her mouth shut. She should not have given this seductive man that information. In his hands the knowledge could be dangerous.
“I concluded that, but surely your parents…”
Victoria tilted her chin up. “My parents have recently passed away.”
“I'm sorry,” he apologized, his smile gone.
“Why should you be? You didn't know them,” she stated, fighting the tears that threatened to fall. Now was not the time to cry, not in front of him, even if she had the desperate desire to feel his strong arms around her.
“The little kitten has claws,” Dorian said intrigued. “I like that.”
She laughed. It was a warm sound that made him want to kiss those rich lips of hers.
“You are trying to make me blush, but it won't work. I’ve dealt with men like you before.”
It was Dorian's turn to laugh now. She had never dealt with anyone like him. He was no ordinary man. He was a vampire king.
“Men like me, kitten?” he asked when he had finally gained control of his laughter.
“Yes,” she said with a nod, her irritation growing. He had laughed at her. Did he think she was a young naïve chit who knew nothing of men and their ways?
“You are the rakish type whose only talent is seducing innocent girls.”
“That is not my only talent. Although I must admit,” his smile turned devilish, “it is one of my favorites.” He took a step forward. “Tell me your name, sweetheart,” his voice was bewitching, smooth, and elegant.
Her name? Her name? Her mind was a whirlwind of sinful images, tender caresses, and feather light kisses. Her name? How could she have forgotten her name?
Dorian chuckled at her confusion. She looked so sweet, her emerald eyes glazed over with passion. Her lips parted and moist, and he took another step.
“Please, a name, my lady,” he begged, moving closer.
"My name?” she asked herself. “I–My–” She shook her head, clearing it of its sinful haze and announced, at long last, “Victoria Kingston.”
“Victoria,” he repeated with a nod. “A gorgeous name, it suits you well.” Another step, now they stood a breath apart. He could feel the heat from her body; her rapid heartbeat was music to his ears. This woman was a treat and it appeared that he would no longer need to amuse himself with gypsies and vampire whores. His policy was to not bed women who were members of fickle court life but he was more than willing to make an exception for this girl. She was a delicacy and everyone deserved a little indulgence once in a while.
Victoria backed away; she could not allow herself to be so close to him. He was a libertine and she could not afford to be seduced.
She cleared her throat and opened her mouth to speak, but before she could say a word, he announced, “I am Dorian Vlakhos.”
Her eyes flew wide. This was the man about whom Lady Wisten had warned her. This was the prince who had caused such a stir. Now she understood why the women were fawning over him. He was everything he was said to be, a devilishly handsome man with who had seduction on his mind and she was out on the terrace alone with the rake. He could ruin her. He could tarnish her good name. Panic began to flutter in her belly.
“Well, Your Royal Highness–”
“Call me Dorian.”
“Your Royal Highness–”
“It’s much less of a mouthful to say.”
“As you please,” he said with a shrug.
“Your Royal Highness,” she snapped. “I really must be getting back to
the party. My friend is waiting.” She moved to step around him, but he caught her arm and pulled her back.
Victoria sighed in exasperation. “Prince Dorian, I have no desire to become another one of your conquests for this season.”
“I just want us to become better acquainted,” Dorian stated. “And we will,” he added with a raised brow.
“No,” she declared, yanking her arm back. “We won't.” She turned on her heel and stormed back into the house.
Dorian watched her with a smile on his face. He could not remember the last time he had smiled and this girl had him smiling like a fool. He fought the urge to go after her, pull her back outside, and into the shadows where he could make good his promise.
Victoria Kingston was going to be a tough skirt to catch, but he was not a man who backed down from such a challenge, especially not when the reward was so sweet.