Review: Vampire Prince by S.J. Frost

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Vampire Prince cover

For three years Sebastian Beaumont has fought against his imprisonment as a sex/blood slave in a vampire brothel but now he feels like dying.  Abducted after he was thrown up by his parents for being gay, Sebastian longs for freedom, his music, and to see the sun again but has seen his hopes fade over time and the years of abuse.  When a new vampire buys his services, Sebastian has no idea that his future is about to change.

Prince Valentin Wyndham has just arrived in Savannah, Georgia, from his home in Europe. A quick need for blood sends him to a nearby blood house and a timely replenishment. But the blood slave Valentin chooses offers so much more than Valentin expected.

A prince by age, Valentin’s far different from any vampire Sebastian has served.  Their one night is full of surprising passion and something more, a deep connection that forms between them that neither expected.  Valentin has been burned before by a human but Sebastian is different and he wants Sebastian for himself, no matter the cost.

Giving a blood slave his freedom is dangerous, as Valentin knows.  But he wants Sebastian by his side and will do whatever it takes to make that possible.

Vampire Prince is the beginning of a new vampire series by S.J. Frost and it looks to be a marvelous one.  Frost lays out her universe almost immediately with the vampire hierarchy and the hidden blood houses that service vampires. We see it all from the “legal, well-maintained houses” whose humans are contracted and well taken care of to the disreputable establishments,like the one that owns Sebastian. These are dark, barred prisons,seedy, run down and smelling of death and despair. They disregard all legalities, vampire and human, to obtain their slaves.  The hopelessness and abuse of the blood slaves like Sebastian translate beautifully in the descriptions and dialog between Sebastian and House Master Wesley in the beginning chapters.  The stage is set for the arrival of Prince Valentin and we are not disappointed.

S.J. Frost lays out her cast for much of the series here.  We get Valentin, and Sebastian, true.  But also Basil, Valentin’s best friend and cousin who happens to be a fellow vampire. Basil is a great character that’s so much fun no matter what scene he’s in.  Basil is the voice of reason and a great deal of snark! A demon named Sal and his pet Beezle, both of whom are quite adorable and charming as well, close out the main group or family here.  They manage to steal away every scene they’re in. There is even an old boyfriend of sorts, Malcolm, who I am sure we will see more of in the future stories.  That is a lot of characters to juggle in one story, but S.J. Frost handles the job well.  These are not brief character introductions but beings that are important not only to the plot but to the household the author is establishing as the base of operations for her series.

I have to admit demon Sal and Beezle became early favorites.  Between the red hair and blue eyes of the form Sal prefers and Beezle who likes to be carried like a shih tzu  but can become the size of a dinosaur, their charming company is one the reader looks forward to whenever they pop up in the plot, whether its to quip about relationships or dive into action.  I really couldn’t get enough of them.  Or Basil as well.

But the heart of this story is Valentin and Sebastian. I love Sebastian.  He is strong and vulnerable, loyal and intelligent and of course, so very beautiful.  And while we have seen this persona before, in Frost’s Sebastian this type of character comes to life as someone we want to see succeed and find love.  Sebastian asks us to invest our emotions in him and we do.  And as Sebastian is in dire need of a knight in shining armor, Frost gives him one in Valentin, a valiant protector who arrives in a Jaguar instead of a horse.

Valentin is a prince no less, an odd mixture of old world sensibilities and New World beliefs. Valentin finds the idea of wearing blue jeans abhorent but sees humans not just as food but as people worthy of so much more, including his respect.  He is the hero that Sebastian needs desperately and the scenes that will give readers the most satisfaction is where he comes to the rescue time and again.  True Valentin seems more Prince Charming to me than age old vampire.  But the dark grittiness of other vampire heroes really has no place here.  Valentin is a vampire looking for love and a final companion. And now he has one in Sebastian.  And their chemistry together is red hot, and oh, so sexy!

But not all the villains are slain and not all the story threads tied up.  Valentin and Sebastian are just starting out on their relationship and Sebastian is adjusting to freedom and his new life.  Basil, and Sal are in need of romance. What on earth does Frost have in store for these scene stealers?  I can’t wait to find out. And then there is a character who redeemed himself, ok just a little, and I expect to see him again as well.  And Beezle?  Is there a mate out there for Beezle too?  It’s with gleeful joy that I anticipate the answers that Frost will deliver in the coming stories.

I really enjoyed this story. Equal parts romp, romance and drama, Vampire Prince, is a wonderful start to a new series.  I giggled, sighed and even sniffed a time or two.  And now I can’t wait for more.  Vampire Prince is a must read for all lovers of romance, vampires and especially vampire romance.

Cover design by Fiona Jayde.  Sexy cover, just perfect for the story.

 

Book Details:

ebook, 218 pages
Published March 7th 2014 by Ellora’s Cave
original titleVampire Prince
ISBN 1419948601 (ISBN13: 9781419948602)
edition languageEnglish
url http://www.ellorascave.com/vampire-prince.html
charactersSebastian Beaumont, Valentin Wyndham
settingSavannah, Georgia (United States)