Every town has its history and skeletons, but Silent Bend, Mississippi’s are darker than most. Ruled from the shadows by the House—the immortal Born and their aging, enslaved Bitten—everyone knows not to go out after dark and that the police will never look into crimes involving blood.
Alivia Ryan didn’t know the man who claims to be her father through a will even existed until she inherits the Conrath plantation. Instead of the sleepy house she expects, she finds a mansion and a staff who look at her with fear in their eyes.
Ian Ward tried to kill Alivia the first time they met, and then insisted he train her to defend herself against the House, who he claims will try to manipulate and take her in for their own political reasons. And the growing attraction between them will threaten their lives—Ian is a sworn enemy of the House.
In Silent Bend, people disappear, the threat of a demented King and the legend of his resurrecting Queen hang over everyone’s heads, and proving loyalty means far more than blood. You’d better watch who you trust in this town
House of Royals is the first book in Keary Taylor’s new House of Royals series. In this book, we are introduced to a world of vampires that is both familiar and different than the vampires we have all known and loved. In a very short time Alivia learns, not only who her father is, but that she has inherited so much more than his unseemly amounts of money, mansion, and staff. She has also inherited an immortal life, more potential enemies than she could have imagined, and a neglected royal legacy.
As is the case with most books that are the first in a series, we are lead down a path of discovering and learning about the new world in which the story is based. Unlike so many of these books, however, it never feels stagnant. Each piece of the new world that we learn about draws the reader in further. As I was absorbing every detail of these new vampires, their history, and their traditions, I was more and more engrossed in the book. When I arrived at the climax, I was shocked that I was so near the end of the book, as I was so intensely involved that I could barely believe that I was nearly finished reading.
Each character in House of Royals was incredibly distinct, from almost the first moment they appeared on the page I felt like I knew them. While we were never given a personality rundown (thank goodness!) there were enough cues, in the form of reactions and body language, that I felt very well acquainted with the major players, and most of the minor ones too.
Alivia Ryan was everything that I love in a heroine. She was strong and independent, a little cynical, and determined to do right by herself. I absolutely loved how defiant she was, even in the face of great danger. She was sure of her next step and willing to risk everything to do what she thought was right. Even in moments where she may have been scared, she was far stronger than most would be.
Ian Ward didn’t have the most auspicious introduction, but it was quite a memorable one. He was quite happy to start off on the wrong foot with Alivia and remain on that foot. As the story progressed, his initial transgressions were most definitely forgiven and forgotten. He was wonderfully selfless and protective to a fault. I was in love with the way that he cared for the people he loved. Ian Ward may have been a tiny bit vengeful, but he was far more loveable.
Keary Taylor is a wordsmith who has yet to disappoint me. Her writing in this book is, as ever, spot on and completely sets the tone of the story. As the world around her characters changes, there is an almost palpable change in the atmosphere of the book. At the beginning of the book, the words are tinged with nervous energy and a hint of excitement and by the end there is an ominous cloud that seems to blanket each syllable written. I have a deep love for authors who are able to give me that sense of aura when I’m reading. Ms. Taylor will continue to be one of those authors who I continually return to with no second guessing. The quality of books that she puts out continues to exceed my expectations, and I don’t see that ever changing.
Keary Taylor grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night. She is the author of THE EDEN TRILOGY, the FALL OF ANGELS trilogy, and WHAT I DIDN’T SAY. To learn more about Keary and her writing process, please visit www.KearyTaylor.com.