Lord of the Vampires 4-in-1: An Anthology

Lord of the Vampires 4-in-1: An Anthology

by Gena Showalter

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459212466
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 08/30/2011
Series: Royal House of Shadows , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 171,726
File size: 688 KB

About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

Read an Excerpt

"I need you, Jane."

Frowning, Jane Parker placed the note on her kitchen countertop. She studied the scarred, leather-bound book resting inside an unadorned box, surrounded by a sea of black velvet. A few minutes ago, she'd returned from her five-mile jog. This package had been waiting on her porch.

There'd been no return address. No explanation as to why the thing had been left for her, and no hint as to who "I" was. Or why Jane was needed. Why would anyone need her? She was twenty-seven years old and had only recently regained the use of her legs. She had no family, no friends, no job. Not anymore. Her little cabin in Smallest Town Ever, Oklahoma, was secluded, barely a blip in the neighboring expanse of lush green trees and wide-open, blue sky.

She should have tossed the thing. Of course, curiosity far outweighed caution. As always.

She carefully lifted the book. At the moment of contact, she saw her hands covered in blood and gasped, dropping the heavy tome on the counter. But when she lifted her hands to the light, they were scrubbed clean, her nails neat and painted a pretty morning rose.

You have an overactive imagination, and too much oxygen pumping through your veins from the run. That's all.

Cold hard logic—her best and only friend.

The book's binding creaked as she opened to the middle, where a tattered pink ribbon rested. The scent of dust and musk wafted up, layered with something else. Something…mouthwatering and slightly familiar. Her frowned deepened.

She shifted in her seat, a twinge of pain shooting through her legs, and sniffed. Oh, yes. Her mouth definitely watered as she caught the slightest trace of sandalwood. Goose bumps broke out over her skin, her senses tingling, her blood heating. How embarrassing. And, okay, how interesting. Since the car accident that ruined her life eleven months ago, she had experienced arousal only at night, in her dreams. To react like this in daylight, because of a book…odd.

She didn't allow herself to ponder why. There wasn't an answer that would satisfy her. Instead, she concentrated on the pages in front of her. They were yellowed and brittle, delicate. And beaded with blood? Small dots of dried crimson marred the edges.

Gently she brushed her fingertips along the handwritten text, her gaze catching on several words. Chains. Vampire. Belonged. Soul. More goose bumps, more tingling.

Some blushing.

Her eyes narrowed. At last the sandalwood cologne made sense. For the past few months, she'd dreamed of a vampire male in chains and woken to the fragrance clinging to her skin. And yes, he's the one who had aroused her. She'd told no one. So, how had anyone known to give her this.journal?

She'd worked in quantum physics for years, as well as what was considered fringe science, sometimes studying creatures of "myth" and "legend." She'd conducted controlled interviews with actual blood drinkers and even dissected the corpses brought to her lab.

She knew that vampires, shape-shifters and other creatures of the night existed, even though her coworkers on the quantum physics side of the equation had not been privy to the truth. So, maybe someone had found out and this was a simple joke. Maybe her dreams had no connection. Except, forever had seemed to pass since she'd had any contact with those coworkers. And besides, who would do such a thing? None of them had cared enough about her to do anything.

Let this go, Parker. Before it's too late.

The command from her self-preservation instincts made no sense. Too late for what?

Her instincts offered no reply. Well, the scientist in her needed to know what was going on.

Jane cleared her throat. "I'm reading a few passages, and that's that." She'd been alone since leaving the hospital several months ago, and sometimes the sound of her voice was better than silence. "'Chains circled the vampire's neck, wrists and ankles. Because his shirt and pants had been stripped away, and a loincloth was his only apparel, there was nothing to protect his already savaged skin. The links cut him deeply, to the bone, before healing—and slicing open again. He did not care. What was pain when your will, your very soul, no longer belonged to you?'"

She pressed her lips together as a wave of dizziness crashed through her. A moment passed, then another, her heartbeat speeding up and hammering wildly against her ribs.

Raw images tore through her. This man—this vampire—bound, helpless. Hungry. His lush lips were pulled taut, his teeth sharp, white. He was surprisingly tanned, temptingly muscled, with dark, mussed hair and a face so eerily beautiful he would haunt her nighttime fantasies for years to come.

What she'd just read, she'd already seen. Many times. How? She didn't know. What she did know was that in her dreams, she felt compassion for this man, even anger. And yet, there was always that low simmer of arousal in the background. Now, the arousal took center stage.

The more she breathed, the more the sandalwood scent clung to her, and the more her reality altered, as if this, her home, was nothing more than a mirage. As if the vampire's cage was real. As if she needed to stand up and walk—no, run—until she reached him. Anything to be with him, now and forever.

Okay. Enough of that. She slapped the book closed, even though so many questions were left dangling, and strode away.

Such a strong reaction coupled with her dreams utterly nixed the idea of a joke. Not that she'd placed much hope in that direction. However, the remaining possibilities upset her, and she refused to contemplate them.

She showered, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans and ate a nutritious breakfast. Unbidden, she found her gaze returning to the leather binding, over and over again. She wondered if the enslaved vampire were real—and okay. If she could help him. A few times, she even opened to the middle of the book before she realized she'd moved. Always she darted off before the story could snare her.

And perhaps that's why the stupid thing had been given to her. To hook her, to send her racing back to work. Well, she didn't need to work. Money was not a problem for her. More than that, she no longer loved the sciences. Why would she? There was never a solution, only more problems.

Because when one puzzle piece slid into place, there were always twenty more needed. And in the end, nothing you did, nothing that had been solved or unraveled, would save the ones you loved. There would always be some dumb guy throwing back a few cold ones at the local bar, getting into his car and hitting yours. Or something equally tragic.

Life was random.

Jane craved monotony.

But when midnight rolled around, her mind still hadn't settled in regards to the vampire. Giving up, she returned to the kitchen, grabbed the book and stalked to bed. Just a few more passages, damn it, then she'd start craving monotony again.

Jane's oversize T-shirt bunched at her waist as she propped the book on her upraised legs, opened to the middle of the story, where the bookmark was still set, and returned her attention to the pages. For several seconds, the words appeared to be written in a language she did not understand. Then, a blink later, they were written in English again.

O-kay. Very weird, and surely—hopefully—an I-just-need-sleep mistake on her part.

She found her place. "'They called him Nicolai.'" Nicolai. A strong, luscious name. The syllables rolled through her mind, a caress. Her nipples beaded, aching for a hot, wet kiss, and every inch of her skin flushed. She thought back. She'd never interviewed a vampire named Nicolai, and the one in her dream had never spoken to her. He had never acknowledged her in any way. "'He did not know his past or if he had a future. He knew only his present. His hated, torturous present. He was a slave, locked away like an animal.'"

Just like before, a wave of dizziness slammed through her. This time, Jane pressed on, even as her chest constricted. "'He was kept clean and oiled. Always. Just in case Princess Laila had need of him in her bed. And the princess did have need of him. Often. Her cruel, twisted desires left him beaten and bruised. Not that he ever accepted defeat. The man was wild, nearly uncontrollable, and so filled with hate anyone who looked at him saw their death in his eyes.'"

The dizziness intensified. Hell, so did the desire. To tame a man like that, to have all of his vigor focused on you, pounding into you…his participation willing… Jane shivered.

Lose the ADD, Parker. She cleared her throat. "'He was hard, merciless. A warrior at heart. A man used to absolute control. At least, he thought he was. Even with his lack of memory, he was patently aware that every order directed his way scraped his nerves raw.'"

Another shiver rocked her. She grit her teeth. He needed her compassion, not her desire. He's that real to you? Yeah, he was. "'At least he would have a few days' reprieve,'" she read on, "'forgotten by one and all. The entire palace was frothing over Princess Odette's return from the grave and—'"

The rest of the page was blank. "And what?" Jane flipped to the next, but quickly realized the story had ended on an unfinished cliff-hanger. Great.

Thankfully—or not—she discovered more writing toward the end and blinked, shook her head. The words didn't change. "'You, Jane Parker,'" she recited hollowly. "'You are Odette. Come to me, I command you. Save me, I beg you. Please, Jane. I need you.'"

Her name was in the book. How was her name in the book? And written by the same hand as the rest? On the same aged, stained pages, with the same smudged ink?

I need you.

Her attention returned to the part directed to her. She reread "You are Odette" until the urge to scream was at last overshadowed by curiosity. Her mind swirled. There were so many paths to take with this. Forged, genuine, dream, reality.

Come to me.

Save me.


I command you.

Something inside her responded to that command more than anything else in the book. The urge to run— here, there, anywhere—beat through her. As long as she found him, saved him, nothing else mattered. And she could save him, just as soon as she reached him.

I. Command. You.

Yes. She wanted to obey. So damn badly. She felt as if an invisible cord had been wound around her neck, and was now tugging at her.

Trembling, Jane closed the book. She wasn't searching for anyone. Not tonight. She needed to regroup. In the morning, after a few coffee IVs, her head would be clear and she could reason this out. She hoped.

After placing the tome on her nightstand, she flopped into her bed and closed her eyes, trying to force her brain to quiet. An unsuccessful endeavor. If Nicolai's story was true, he was as trapped by those chains as surely as she had once been trapped by her body's infirmities.

The compassion grew…spread…

While he was kept in a cage, she had been bound to a hospital bed, her bones broken, her muscles torn, her mind hazed by medication, all because a drunk driver had slammed into her car. And while she had been— was—tormented by the loss of her family, since her mother, father and sister had been in the car with her, Nicolai was tormented by a sadistic woman's unwanted touch. She felt a wave of regret, a crackle of fury.

I need you.

Jane inhaled deeply, exhaled slowly and shifted to her side, clutching her pillow close. As close as she suddenly wanted to clutch Nicolai, to comfort him. To be with him. Uh, not going there. She didn't know the man. Therefore, she wasn't going to imagine sleeping with him.

But that's exactly what she did. His plight was forgotten as she imagined him climbing on top of her, his silver eyes bright with desire, his pupils blown. His lips were plump and red from kissing her entire body, still moist with her flavor. She licked at him, tasting him, tasting herself, eager for anything and everything he would give her.

He growled his approval, flashing his fangs.

His big, muscled body surrounded her, his skin hot, little beads of sweat forming, causing them to rub and glide together, straining toward release. God, he felt good. So damn good. Long and thick. A perfect fit, stretching her just right. Rocking, rocking, faster and faster, taking her to the edge of sensation before slowing… slowing…tormenting.

She clawed at him, her nails scouring his back. He groaned. She raised her knees, squeezing his hips. Yes. Yes, more. Faster, faster still. Never enough, almost enough. More, please more.

Nicolai's tongue thrust into her mouth, rolling with hers before he bit down, drawing blood, sucking. A sharp sting, and then, finally, oh, God, finally, she tumbled over.

Ripples of satisfaction swept through her entire body, little stars winking behind her eyes. Her inner muscles clenched and unclenched, liquid heat pooling between her legs. She rode the tide for endless seconds, minutes, before sagging against the mattress, boneless, unable to catch her breath.

An orgasm, she mused dazedly. A freaking orgasm from a fantasy man, and she hadn't even needed to touch herself.

"Nicolai…mine…" she whispered, and she was smiling as she at last drifted off to sleep.

Customer Reviews

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Lord of the Vampires Lord of the Vampires\The Darkest Angel\The Amazon's Curse\The Darkest Prison 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
jt850 More than 1 year ago
I read this after reading Gena's series the lords of the underworld, I wasn't disapointed I loved it and I have recommended to my friend who got me involved with the paranormal romances. I have already pre-ordered the newest book to be released soon. I can't wait
kopsahl More than 1 year ago
The Blood Sorcerer on his quest to rule Elden slaughter's the ruling family but what he didn't count on was the power of a parents love. Using his last breath, the king filled his children with an unbreakable need for vengeance and the queen uses her power to send them all away to different kingdoms with one link to the Royal House of Elden, a timepiece. In the first installment of the Royal House of Shadows we are introduced to Nicolai, the Dark Seducer and crown prince. He has been kept in a cage and has been the toy for the witches Princess Odette and Princess Laila and used as much magic as possible to try to bring his salvation over. Nicolai has no idea who he is, only that he will have his vengeance on his tormentors. Jane Parker has just recently learned to walk after a horrific car accident that claimed her parents and ruined her life. Jane hasn't felt arousal in over eleven months and worries that she never will. She discovers a leather-bound book resting on her doorstep and her inquisitive nature leads her to opening the mysterious book. After reading aloud from the text she is transported into Nicolai's world. A world that isn't foreign to her. Jane knows all about vampires and other realms. She has worked in the fringe science area and has studied these creatures of "myth" and "legend." She will also find out that this isn't the first time she has been here. Together Jane and Nicolai are unstoppable; working together to figure out the puzzle of who they both are and whether they can co-exist in the same realm. Jane's character is strong and intellectual. She may not have magic like Nicolai but she does have heart. The mere fact that she feels something when she is around Nicolai proves that she is not dead. Nicolai is all about the vengeance but something about Jane leads him to claim her as "his" and protect her. Lord of the Vampires is a sexy thrilling read leaving you breathless at times. There were moments that I was confused because of Nicolai's teleporting abilities. We are also introduced to a few other members of the family as Nicolai's memory returns and he flashes back to his childhood. Fantastic read for paranormal romance readers.
chance More than 1 year ago
Gena Showalter's work is always a must read for me, so I was thrilled to see that some of her anthologized pieces were being offered as a collection, and that within that collection would also be the first story in a new series. ~~~~~ The titular piece in this collection, The Lord of the Vampires, is the start of the new Royal House of Shadows Series. This tale focuses on Nicolai, a vampire prince being held captive in another world, and Jane, a researcher struggling to recover from a life-changing car accident that killed the rest of her family. Nicolai is the oldest of four siblings (Breena, Dayn, and Micah) whose parents were killed by the Blood Sorcerer. The dying king and queen used the last of their magic to send their children away before the sorcerer could get to them, but their attempt to protect Nicolai wasn't fully successful. After being transported away, he was captured and taken as a sex slave to the Princesses Odette and Laila; the women stole his memories and kept him caged. When the story opens, Nicolai is searching for a way to free himself from captivity. He and Jane meet in their dreams, and eventually he uses his magic to bring her to his world. Together, they free Nicolai from his captors and fight to stay safe in a world filled with ogres, enchantments, and dark magic. As Nicolai works to keep Jane by his side, he must also recover his stolen memories in order to find his way back to his family's kingdom. ~~~~~ While the conclusion of this story feels a little abrupt-the couple gets their HEA, but it's quite clear that there's much more to come in the series-it was a great start and made me anxious to read the next segment. ~~~~~ As for the other stories in this collection, they've all been published elsewhere but it's nice to have them together. "The Darkest Angel" and "The Darkest Prison" are part of the Lords of the Underworld series, and "The Amazon's Curse" takes place within the Atlantis series. A particular favorite of mine is "The Darkest Angel", which features the archangel Lysander and the harpy Bianka, but they're all great reads.
crystaldotson on LibraryThing 24 days ago
This was the first book by Gena Showalter that I have read, But I have to say, I Loved it, I immediately fell into the book and connected with the characters, it didn't drag on, it was steamy and lustful.Jane is connected with a slave who is chained and beaten, he summons her to help him, she awakes in his world as a princess, she soon finds that his magic has made all these things happen, as they escape and go through the forest, Jane begins to unravel what is going on,Nicolai, is a prince, and a vampire and his memory has been erased,Jane knows that she urns for his touch, to always be with him, but the other princess Laila, has other plans for them both.I Loved this book, I hated to see it end, and would love to see a part 2 come out about Jane and Nicolai.
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Keep_It_Kinky More than 1 year ago
Every story in this book is amazing! Gena Showalter is the best at paranormal and sexual tension and keeping you guessing. A must have for lord of the underworld lovers as well.
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SonyaP More than 1 year ago
I finished my last Anita Blake Book, looking for another thrill and was recommend to Gena Showalter. Can I say she doesn't disappoint! I loved this bundle so much I ordered the whole series the next day. The Lords stories are not only intriguing you find yourself hoping and rooting them on! Great work! My only disappointment was I just finished her last book available, and have to wait for the next!
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Bunlvsdiverdown More than 1 year ago
Love love love Gina Showalter Great writer great stories, I'm addicted
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swantu More than 1 year ago
I love Gena Showalter. This book had a few stories they were a bit short but good.
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LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Time tripping, dimension hopping adventures are in store for readers as they embark on another journey of amazing romance and sensual delights from the creative mind of Ms. Showalter. There's a vampire in trouble, a land in siege, a corrupt and deviant royal house, and a simple woman with a brilliant brain who has to accomplish the impossible - free the vampire, trust him that he won't kill her, and somehow heal him. That's a lot to ask a regular human woman and yet, there's that thrum of sensual interest, a yearning and the heart of a lioness inside that won't let the heroine, Jane, back down. It's her journey that I found most interesting because she goes through the most change. She has so much to lose and more than she could imagine to gain. The part I liked best about her personality was that she's not just book smart. Some braniacs are fine in an office but completely fall apart in dealing with other people in real life situations. Not so, Jane. In fact, Ms. Showalter created a very unique character. She's been through her own brand of torture in her young life and it was a great emotional hook. I also liked how the author took that tragedy and made it into a strength. One the heroine could emotionally heal from and the hero could respect. The hero, Nicolai, is a mixed bag of tortured hero fun. He's got it all. If he knew about Murphy's Law, he would have hunted Murphy down and had him run through with a sword. The poor guy has one indignity after another heaped upon him. Nothing goes right and his life is an existence of never ending nightmares. No matter that he can't remember anything, he is smart, cunning and hyper-focused on his goal - escape and kill .someone. He's just not sure who. From certain descriptions in scenes when he loses his temper, he's going to be incredibly effective with his vengeance. I can't wait to see that happen. And, despite all that the twisted and ugly princess tried to do and did to Nicolai, he has this inner core of goodness and light that can't be corrupted. The only one that can tap into it is Jane. The heroine inspires a healthy dose of lust too which made for some spicy and entertaining reading. I adore how Ms. Showalter writes those scenes. They're so vivid and fun. The conflict is clear. The dialogue is often funny between Nicolai and Jane, many times insightful or endearing and definitely a compliment to the characters. The drama and suspense is well balanced without getting too dark and depressing. It was well done enough that I didn't have the need to bite all my nails because of stress. Some chocolate was good though. Princess Laila and her mother were whack jobs. Great villains who seemed unstoppable, they were darkness and sadism personified. How fulfilling it was when there was finally a confrontation between Nicolai and Jane and those pains in the neck. Even better, answers were revealed. The author was very sneaky in how she wove hints and revelations throughout. It took awhile before she allowed me to have the full picture of just how much the hero had lost and how motivational it was to find out he could reclaim most of it back. There's a price to be paid, obviously, but he's man enough to see it through, especially with Jane by his side. Read the Full Review at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
SuzieJG More than 1 year ago
Awesome book. Love Gena showalter.
RBtWBC More than 1 year ago
Nicolai was known as 'The Dark Seducer' until that fateful day when he was swept from his bed, and the arms of his current lover, and into the role of sex slave for the vile princesses of the kingdom of Delfina. Now, without his memory, magick or his timepiece, Nicolai's only hope of escape is the mysterious woman who appears in his cell, unseen to all others but him. Summoning her to this magical realm, he must earn Jane's trust to gain her assistance and then escape the evil clutches of the jealous princess. But the lands that surround the castle are just as dangerous; can Jane and Nicolai make it past lusty ogres, fearsome guards and the powerful magick that the princess Laila wields? Or will they have to give up one another in order to save each other? Fast moving and action packed, Gena Showalter immerses you into a world of magick and fairytales; with paranormal creatures, time-travel and alternate dimensions, in this first novel in the Royal House of Shadows series. And being Gena Showlater; a sexy alpha male, strong female, page scorching sex scenes sprinkled with witty humor. She puts her own little twist on the fairy tale classic Alice in Wonderland with our heroine, Jane Parker, falling into a different realm instead of the rabbit hole but time is still an issue. Damn that rabbit and his time piece! LoL With detailed and imaginative world building, the foundation for the rest of the series is set up here. As Lord of the Vampires begins, the story flows somewhat choppy and it was difficult to become engaged in it at first because facts about these two main characters, Jane and Nicolai, are slowly revealed one little piece at a time so we are missing a lot of background information at the start. But as the story progresses we find out that the characters have had their memories messed with and we are learning the important details right along with them. This short novel starts right off with the action though and doesn't let up until the very end, keeping you on the edge of your seat the entire time. There is an irrefutable chemistry between Jane and Nicolai that develops instantly, which may seem somewhat unbelievable at first but not to worry; this is not the first time these two have met. Nicolai was instantly intriguing and downright sexy with his fierce protectiveness towards Jane and his possessiveness. The world alpha in the dictionary should literally have Nicolai under it. With a tendency to go all caveman, when he growls the word "mine" you will get naughty shivers all along your body! Jane herself starts of as a regular, everyday, human. She could be you or me, but she is one strong and determined woman that I admired and connected with. Together these two are hot hot hot, despite several interruptions and a few horny ogres. The memory and time-travel aspect of the story was bit hard to follow and the ending belt abrupt but there were a few surprising twists and over all this was a unique tale that I really enjoyed, I can't wait to see what else is in store for this series with the collaboration of these four awesome authors.
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