Monday, April 18, 2011

Vampire Sheikh by Nina Bruhns

Vampire Sheikh (Harlequin Nocturne, #105)Vampire Sheikh by Nina Bruhns

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can I admit now that I am a sucker for sheikh books? How about a vampire sheikh? Technically, he’s a demigod high priest of an ancient Egyptian cult. He has a long name, but it’s easier to call him Seth, so I shall. Seth is all powerful, gorgeous, and very sexy. But he has a weakness. He needs blood, at least once a year to survive. The Haliday sisters have caused him no small amount of trouble. First of all, his promised blood sacrifice ran off with his best friend, and she was the middle sister. Now, the eldest sister, Josslyn, has arrived at the temple door, confronting him and demanding her sisters back. The light bulb goes off in Seth’s head. Why not take this sister as his blood sacrifice? She’s annoying and she needs to be silenced anyway. He can use her for blood (and maybe some hot sex as well), and make her a slave or follower in his cult. Joss believes that Seth will set her sisters free if she willingly provides the blood that this strangely gorgeous vampire dude needs, so she hands herself over. Trust me, that’s not as bad as it sounds.

This was one steamy story. The sexual tension was off the charts between Seth and Joss.

The bite of a vampire is one incredibly potent aphrodisiac that leads to lots of bliss for Joss. But Joss also discovers that she likes spending time with this immortal man who’s lived 50 centuries and has many tales to tell about the ancient Egyptians. Not only is he gorgeous and a great lover, but he’s kind of lonely and he's very erudite and filled with long-lost knowledge, appealing to this woman who spent most of her formative years in Egypt and loves it like her native land.

The magic part was interesting and Nina Bruhns enraptured me with the spells and the supernatural aspects of Seth’s world. I especially loved when Seth would shapeshift into an enormous black lion and take Joss on a ride across the midnight desert. I must admit that Egyptian mythology makes my head spin. It’s so complex, so I was a bit lost with those aspects. However, this story screamed unique and different, a departure from your standard vampire tale.

I also liked that there were two romances for the price of one in this book, both playing a huge role in the overall story. Seth’s adoptive sister Nephtys agreed to be the consort of Seth’s sworn enemy to save her brother. He’s also the man who stole her virginity and sexually enslaved her for many years. She loves him, although he’s used to playing the ‘bad guy’. Nephtys is torn between her loyalty to her brother, and her love for his sworn enemy. Ray is the demigod high priest of the opposing cult to Seth. His god is the god of light, whereas Seth serves the god of the dark and the chaos. Yet, it’s not as cut and dried as it seemed. Light doesn’t translate to good, and dark doesn’t translate to evil. They are just opposing forces, but not necessarily incongruent. Can Nephtys find a way to sow seeds of peace between her brother and her destined lover? Loving both men doesn’t have to mean betraying one or the other, or does it?

Admittedly, with the hyperbolic descriptions of how powerful both demigods were, and the otherworldly elements, the concept seems a bit silly at times, but the execution turned out pretty well. Certainly, it was different from the usual paranormal offerings, which is a plus. The romance was believable; and I quite liked the family aspects, with Joss and her sisters and parents, and how dedicated Seth was to his followers and friends. Even Ray, who was seemingly the big bad, also had his soft spots, particularly for Nephtys. All in all, Vampire Sheikh was a good read.

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1 comment:

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