I picked up a copy of Steele’s Salvation (by Leeah Taylor) as an Amazon freebie.
Hi, I’m Lilith Boudreaux and I am a super magnet for trouble.
New regent to my mother’s coven? I’m the girl.
Secretly more than meets the eye? Yep, that’s me.
The Vampire Conclaves long awaited Queen? Crap… that’s trouble.
I came home to take my mother’s place as regent to the Blood Crescent coven following her death. How hard can it be to smile, nod, and lead the witches of Rivercrest?
Should be easy, right?
If easy is finding out I’m also mate and Queen to the Greystone brothers—the most powerful vampires in Rivercrest—then this will be a piece of cake. There’s just a teensy little law forbidding me, a witch, from consorting with vampires. Oh, and it’s punishable by death.
The secrets I keep will suffocate me.
The pressure to be something I’m not will crush me.
My sanity hangs by a string.
And my only salvation may very well be my demise —Steele Greystone.
OK, look, I’m going to go ahead and acknowledge that I know some things that I hate in a book are the same that others will love (and vice versa). But I don’t feel like giving this fact a lot of space in my review. So, I’m going to go ahead and write my review in the declarative, with the overarching caveat that it’s my opinion. I know others will feel differently, and that’s ok. No one needs to come argue with me if they love the very things I hate. You do you, Boo.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. Honestly, for the first 1/3 or so, I thought I was going to love it. The blurb starts with, “I came home to take my mother’s place as regent to the Blood Crescent coven following her death. How hard can it be to…lead the witches of Rivercrest?” I was down for it.
Let me now give you a quote from the last paragraph of the book. (And, yeah, obviously, it’s going to be a spoiler.) “I came as the Blood Crescent coven’s Regent, only to become the vampire Conclave’s queen but really, I became a mate, wife, and mother.” Let me just pry my eyeballs out of the back of my skull from where I rolled them so damned hard.
Let me also lay this out. I was promised a woman large and in charge, with power and authority in her own right. What I was given was yet another patriarchal fairytale of a woman who would rather give up all of her own power, authority, ambition, and success in order to play second fiddle to her man (men, in this case). Because obviously, being someone else’s wife and mother is going to bring her more satisfaction and joy than setting and achieving goals of her own.
And let me be really clear. It’s not being a wife or having children that are at issue here. It’s the fact that women in such books always have to give up everything else. The message is very clear about how wrong she is for wanting anything else. Under her man, bearing his children was the only true and proper place for her all along. She just needed whatever obstacle the plot provides her to overcome in order to learn this truth. That’s the lesson of such plots.
Why must women always give up their own lives to find happiness with men? Why, exactly, can’t women be socially powerful and have a family/children? I mean, men get to do it. All. The. Time. In fact, all three of her mates do it in this very book. What’s more, they not only get their family and keep their power, they gain by virtue of tying themselves to a queen. (And let’s be clear, she is their queen. The importance of the role is tied to them, not the administrative duties or social position.) Have women really not had enough of this exact same message yet? I know I’m beyond sick of it.
I am not only just exhausted with being endlessly force-fed the idea that the only true place for a woman (the only place she can really find happiness) is popping babies out at the behest of men, but I just find the lack of imagination almost insulting. This story has been written and written and written and written and written and written. And frankly, it doesn’t even make a lot of sense to me in the why-choose genre. If I wanted to bask in stereotypically traditional family gender roles, I sure as hell wouldn’t be picking up a polyamorous vampire romance book. Get out of here with that shit.
I’ll grant that the writing is fine, the dialogue especially. But the editing does start to deteriorate past the halfway mark. And I very much appreciated that, since we got the men’s internal dialogue, we were privy to a lot of their fears and vulnerabilities.
I guess if you like this book will come down to if you like this sort of plot. I just really, really don’t. And I feel like this book promised me so much more, only to then serve up the least imaginative drivel Western (misogynistic) society has to offer.