I enjoyed this collection, which came as a bit of a surprise -- I don't usually like revenge-fic. Either the original slight was heinous enough that it makes it hard to see the two together, or it was something petty that has me rolling my eyes about how that really wasn't worth holding a grudge for millennia for.
The premise that kicks off the first story worked -- it was bad, but not terrible. I did have a slight flinch at the casual brutality, almost unreasonable response from Aldric at the beginning, but he does warm up after a while.
Blackstream's prose is poetic and a pleasure to read. The twists and turns in the plot were hinted at, but not telegraphed, making the story enjoyable whilst still keeping some suspense over how things play out. The depth of emotion and breadth of it that she explores was lovely.
That said, I did wish that the "love" aspect of the stories had been touched upon a bit more. It seemed that, with all the careful layering and detailing everything else received, that it might have had a bit more time to shine.
The stories flow into one another, each linking back and paving the path to more. They can be read as standalones, but I truly enjoyed how they seamlessly merged into a whole.
If you haven't had the pleasure of reading Jennifer Blackstream yet, I'd suggest picking this series up.
BURNED - Aldric’s hunger for revenge on the sun goddess Saule is unequaled. When the Queen of the Unseelie invites him to her court and reveals a naked Saule bound in silver chains, the vampire finally realizes that revenge is a dish best served hot . . .
MASTERED - The Queen of the Unseelie follows a whim to experience pleasure on the other side of the paddle. Now all she needs in a vampire or two strong enough to give her the true submissive experience she desires . . .
BITTEN - Valkyrine isn’t at all surprised when her mother, the sun goddess Saule, sends two vampires to try and undo the curse they laid on her. But the formerly meek daughter of a deity likes her new powers and has no intention of giving them up. A wild chase through the forest is exciting enough when the pursuers are vampires. When they are also former lovers, the excitement gets decidedly more interesting . . .
CONVERTED - Aldric’s first attempt at revenge failed, but he hasn’t given up. Though the sun goddess holds him prisoner, he still has allies beyond the veil. He will summon the Queen of the Unseelie, all his vampire lieutenants, and even the god of darkness himself if he has to. For even more disturbing than his first failed revenge is the way his hands ache to take the sun goddess back into his arms. The sun goddess means to reawaken the love he once felt for her. And even the coldest vengeance will eventually melt under the heat of the sun.