Jane Parker lived the same life, day after day. She hadn't always lived this way but after an accident killed her family and left her in the hospital and rehab for months, she quit her job as a scientist and settled down in a small cabin in a small town in Oklahoma. Between her work and the settlement from the accident, Jane never needs to work again. She no longer has friends stopping by or family.
When a strange package shows up on her doorstep, she's curious as to who sent it and why. Opening it, she finds an old book and an overwhelming desire to read it. As she does, she has visions of a man chained to a wall, visions she remembers from her dreams. Is her imagination working overtime or has she really seen this?
This book will change her life. It's not just a story written in it, it's magical and the magic will draw her to a world she couldn't even imagine.
Jane wakes up in a strange bed and a strange world. There she is thought to be the daughter of the Queen of Hearts, a cruel, evil ruler. And though it is taking a chance, Jane has to find the man chained to the wall who happens to be a vampire.
Nicolai is known as the Dark Seducer and is a prince in another realm. When the Blood Wizard attacked the castle his parents threw spells to protect their children. Nicolai found himself chained at a sex slave auction where he was bought by a princess of Delfina. She stripped him of his memories and began her sexual abuse. In desperate for escape, Nicolai sent out a magical book to bring the one who can save him. He didn't expect a non-magical human! What can she do and does Nicolai really care once she gets him free?
This book is definitely not like any other book I've read recently.
The world developed is complex. There are several realms within it, not counting the human one. Each realm is ruled by some sort of magical creature and not all of them are nice. Delfina is ruled by the Queen of Hearts who terrorizes her subjects and kills them for fun. Even her daughters are not immune to her wrath! There are also cannibalistic ogres, spell throwing witches and shift changers.
The violence that is depicted throughout this story is graphic and gruesome. Nicolai is known for his temper so when he is finally freed, he's going to make sure his captures pay! There is also a fight with ogres where limbs go flying as well as heads rolling. There aren't too many warm fuzzy moments in this action packed story!
And as complex and this world is, it doesn't match how multidimensional the main characters are. Jane has a past that affects her present. She had injuries which impact her abilities to walk, move and to have children. She's studied vampires and such to the point of even being cursed by one. Nicolai has a temper than has wiped out villages. He also has an interesting sexual past. He wants to do what is correct but sometimes his passions overwhelm his intentions.
This story is action packed and fast paced. Seldom does a page go by without something dramatic happening. Whether it's a chase scene or a romantic one, it's griping!
I thoroughly and totally enjoyed this story. I quickly became engrossed with the storyline and loved the characters. I ended up staying up to finish the last little bit and then was disappointed that there wasn't more. Ms. Showalter is a master storyteller and it definitely shows.
If you're willing to step out of the normal paranormal story and try something different, pick this book up. You won't regret it. Though very violent, this book gives a new face to many creatures that we have come to know and love.
This is the first book in a series. Different authors will do each book. I can't wait to read them all especially if they are as good as this first one!
This review copy was received via NetGalley.