In the Service of the King by Laura Kaye

Like any selfworthy Malaysian say….. “I cannot brain this!!”

I’ve considered reading this after noticing people saying the first book is way better than second book. Its my fault to succumb to it that I get it and read this piece of…. Let’s just say, the book disappointed me so much that I almost… scream in agony offline. I do online of course, because everything is exaggerated online.

I retract my word on these nocturne line, as much as I try find good novella stories to pass the time, harlequin novels still have its moment where it crushes my mellowed expectation to oblivion. I would dare say a lot of novella and anthologies from Ellora’s Cave’s publication is way better than these… fake PNR.

In The Service of The King is a cringe worthy story about a young girl who is younger than me who is still a virgin and gone through the entire course to become a vampire blood bag aka Proffered. On her 21st birthday, she was offered to the king of vampire, Kael for a bloodletting ritual. So overcome with her beauty, he messed up hugely by not compelling her to not feel pain while he drain her vessel into a goblet and then he succumbed and kiss her that made her swoon and then push her away. Before she could run away in shame, he call her back and thus seduce her even more that they somehow mated in vampiric way. This is evidently the blurb but with my usual sarcasm in place.

Despite my obvious critical review on “Seduced by the Vampire King”, I actually like it. The conflict is actually commendable although it have its flaws. This book on the other hand lack conflict in any form. I do notice people labelling the book as erotica instead of normal harlequin type romance because of the steamy uncensored love scenes, this book is undeniably a Harlequin book masquerading as paranormal erotica. There are some words that you can never find in other harlequin books but just because you make your character crude, doesn’t mean the crudeness is good. Its not. My eyes glaze all over the descriptive passages that associate with too much body fluid narration and inner conflict about how attractive is the person is.

One of the most stark weakness of the book was the lack of plot; which is really about when these two met in a blood ritual, someone messed up and snap, happily ever after. It started fine with an emo vampire king refusing to consider having a mate since his previous mate and son were killed in a raid by Daimon (err.. Soul Stealer) that he intend on using his offering because of her blood and unwittingly fall in love at the first sight. There’s barely any dialogues between the characters instead of them kissing and clawing at each other and with the girl acting so love lorn that she unwittingly married to him in a flash after instant lust they have. Kael was exactly the type of character that have female tendencies. He was attracted to her, he approves of everything including her repetitive stance on being a virgin (frankly, this story is set in the modern world and can we just agree that virginity is a cool thing but not when its kept just to offer some form of favor to someone) and for no reason, he was so unpredictable that even the POV written that discuss his tumult over the whole mating idea was senseless. Shayla  was a carbon copy of Mary Sue that I scratch my head at the stark differences between Kate in book 2. Kate have her facepalm moment but she did hold a gun at a vampire while being drained by a vampire king. She’s tough initially which is commendable. Shayla is a passing thing in the book which I don’t resonates too.

I would decided to quit the rest of the book series but since I’ve read the second book and find it moderately fascinating, I’m giving this book series another chance when the third book had published. If you’re curious about the series, skip this book. There’s nothing new to it besides being marketable as a vampire fiction.


Seduced by the Vampire King by Laura Kaye

I’ve encountered the title several days ago and seeing I had fun reads with harlequin paranormal lines without being too darn sarcastic about cheap harlequin books so I look the nocturne-line up and frankly, I like the base of the story which wasn’t disappointing and it is quite a non-facepalming read.

Seduced by the Vampire King is a really short story about Nikolai the vampire king who was injured by a dead-blood-stained bullet in a gunfight and was bleeding to death in some alley in the Russian city. Kate who is an American student (naturally) were walking in the middle of the night and was drawn to the dying Nikolai who drink her blood to survive. She was from a family that served vampire warriors so naturally she know the implication of saving a vampire and etc so although the vampire were draining her, she was calm with the whole situation and interestingly, shoved a gun at unknown vampire in a possessive and protective act. She was thrown in the jail while the injured king swept away to infirmary. Once awaken, the vampire was enraged and then was confused with the attraction he had for the human and suspected she’s his mate whom he think he’s not deserving at all because he’s still mourning about the deaths of his brothers at arm and proceed to seduce the human girl, be indifferent and then seduce her again.

Basically thats the storyline the blurb was telling you, essentially, its really is a good reading experience if you’re bored as hell.  The story progressed well but there’s also a feeling that the length is not helping with the characterization and eventual plot. Kate was supposed to be a Proffered (sounded so much like a proofreader) who is a virginal bride for these vampires and she flew to Russia to escaped her family’s plan. Along the way, her story stunted to give way to angst-ridden vampire king. I would read the first book to get the whole world building but I am very certain its much better read than some vampire novels I’ve read in agony. If a Harlequin novel is way better than your lengthy novels, there’s definitely something wrong there.

From the author’s perspective, although the descriptive location scenes were brief, the settings was somehow familiar to her so it doesn’t sound awkward like when I was reading Shadow and Bone which was a russian-based YA fantasy (I was starting the book, so probably it will get better or something). The story is rushed but I do have a feeling Laura Kaye can do normal novels than  this. So she’s definitely one of the authors to be in the watch-list. Some authors who does basic paranormal romance novels can actually get better at general fiction, so like it or not, you can’t always depend on Best Sellers Lists. (I seldom look up to popular novels anyway)

As for Harlequin books itself, I swear I won’t fall into the contemporary books again. I’d admit, all of the books in romance section are repetitive but I do get tired with emo male characters who was being a bastard 90% of the book for meaningless reason and then magically he expressed their love and happily ever afters. What I like was, guns, blood and some violence in the mix and I’m a happy reader.