Kiss of the Rose: The Tudor Vampire Chronicles
by Kate Pearce
Paperback: 320 pages
Available: August 3, 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Book received from: Penguin
Desperate to defeat King Richard III and gain the crown, Henry Tudor made a pact with the Druids binding him and his heirs to the Druids’ struggle against vampires. Ever since, the Llewellyns, a vampire- slaying family, have been in the king’s employ. Now Henry VIII reigns, and his father’s bargain has been almost forgotten-until bloodless corpses turn up in the king’s bedchamber. To save the king, Vampire hunter Rosalind Llewellyn must form an uneasy alliance with Druid slayer Sir Christopher Ellis. But soon, Rosalind must face an unthinkable truth: that her sworn enemy may be her soulmate…
Reviewed by: Amy
The old saying goes, “never judge a book by it’s cover,” but, alas, this Tudor’s lover did months ago. I could not wait to get my hands on Kate Pearce’s new release, Kiss of the Rose, the first story of The Tudor Vampire Chronicles. I had all kinds of expectations after seeing the luscious couple on the cover, especially after recently finishing HBO’s series finale of The Tudors. (I lusted myself into oblivion with the likes of Henry Cavill and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.) So with cover and concept at hand I went in full throttle, wanting to adore this story. While this story did not fire me up like a shirtless JRM’s King Henry did, I do think it has potential to hopefully become a stellar series.
Henry VIII is now King of England and an ancient vampire is out to destroy him. The King is unaware of an agreement that his father made years ago with the Druids. This agreement united both himself and his decedents with the Druids to destroy Vampires. The King discovers the agreement after Lady Rosalind Llewellyn, Vampire slayer and Druid, arrives at court to provide proof in a letter written to Henry from his deceased father. The letter confirms the vow that was made and Rosalind explains that she has been sent to protect him from the rogue Vampire that is killing members of Court. Rosalind is fiercely loyal to her family’s calling as a Vampire slayer. It’s something she has trained for her whole life.
Rosalind is accompanied to Court by her longtime friend and trainer, Rhys Williams. Rhys no longer sees Rosalind as a fighter, but as a woman who he has grown to have deep feelings for and who he hopes will eventually become his wife. Rosalind is a strong, feisty, independent woman who has always thought of marriage as unappealing. And while Rosalind sees that Rhys’s feelings for her have changed, she only views him as a dear friend and questions if she could ever feel more. Upon arriving at Court, Rosalind and Rhys soon find that there is an addition to King Henry’s protectors, Druid slayer and Vampire protector, Sir Christopher Ellis. From the first meeting, both Christopher and Rosalind feel an attraction between them, but know that they are sworn enemies and therefore the idea of being anything else is a moot point. The Vampire Council determines that the threat against the King is unusual and declares a prophecy that both Christopher and Rosalind are to join together to overthrow the rogue Vampire. Both Rhys and Christopher battle for Rosalind’s heart while trying to form “a truce” in order to arrange a plan on how to destroy the rogue Vampire before it reaches the King.
While I like the concept of a Vampire after the King, the so called vampire appeared more like a speedy ghost. There was reference to the smell of blood, dead corpses but never a vampire caught in the act of draining a victim. And while the plot had an interesting twist on the paranormal it still felt like it was dragging at times. I believe this could have been prevented had the author incorporated more of the historical aspect of the story to balance the dominating paranormal tone. I was disappointed the time period was only a surface addition to the overall story with little reference to the history of the Tudor dynasty. Also, any of my friends will confirm I am a serious cheese lover; feta, gouda, cheddar, etc, but not when it comes to dialogue between lovers. And I have to attest there were quite a few cheesy moments in the love scenes. The ending leaves you unresolved with the trio’s relationship and the prophecy unfulfilled which leads into the second novel, Blood of the Rose. Overall, I do believe the series has potential and hope that Ms. Pearce will add more of the Tudor history in the books to obtain an overall balance. In the meantime I will return to my King Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) on HBO and lust on!
Are you suggesting that I would merrily swive any man who asked me?
I’m not suggesting anything other than perhaps we should scratch this itch before it becomes bothersome.
She stared pointedly at the black codpiece that covered his groin. I suggest you scratch it yourself. I’m sure you are more than capable.
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