My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
Title: A Duel with the Vampire Lord (Married to Magic, #3)
Author: Elise Kova
Format: ebook (KU)
Publication Date: 8/17/22
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Series
On the night of the blood moon, the Vampire Lord must die.
Floriane’s position as the forge maiden of Hunter’s Hamlet is one of reverence, for it is her skill that arms and protects the vampire hunters. She knows her place and is a faithful servant to the Master Hunter and her community… until the night of the blood moon. Until her brother is dying at the hands of the Vampire Lord Ruvan.
Wanting to defend her home at all costs, Floriane fights the vampire lord, ready to give her life if it means taking his. But Ruvan doesn’t want to take her life… he wants her.
Kidnapped and brought to the vampire castle, Floriane is now blood sworn to the vampire lord. She is bound in mind and body to her worst enemy. But Ruvan isn’t the fiend she thought he was. She learns the truth of the vampires: They are not mindless monsters, but a proud people, twisted and tortured by an ancient curse.
Ruvan believes that Floriane might be the key to ending his people’s suffering. All Floriane wants is to defend her home. Loyalties are tested and the lines between truth and lie, hate and passion, are blurred.
When her dagger is at his chest, will she be able to take the heart of the man who has claimed hers?
Content Warning: violence, self harm
I’ve read all the other books in this series and this one has to be my least favorite, yet my most highly anticipated, so my expectations were high because – vampires! I love vampires. Let’s see what did and didn’t work for me:
+ I love that Floriane is a smithy. She’s got a stubborn personality to match but I feel like that matches for someone who takes molten metal and shapes it into what they want. I thought she matched up with Ruvan wonderfully since he is a powerful vampire lord. There was a lot of action fighting vampires and Floriane really held up her own!
+ Once again I like that it connects to the other stories within this series even though it’s a standalone. The secondary characters are great too – we get a good sense of the Vampir people, their history and the curse that binds them.
+ I like that this is an enemies to lovers romance where they really are enemies and are conflicted about it. Vampires and humans have been killing one another for ages and I love that they are trying to break the curse so maybe the killing can stop. But Ruvan and Floriane really have to work through generational teachings about one another, they have to break this wheel of fear and hate. I’m glad it didn’t go away just because they started having feelings for one another. When they finally admit their love, it’s sweet and touching.
~ I felt like there was a lot of info-dumping in this one, and it is 536 pages where the others were in the mid 300’s or a little bit over. There is a while mystery about the curse and finding the source and how to break it was quite interesting but like I said – a bit of info dumping at times.
~ Because this is a vampire and human couple I wanted heat, but this slow burn was way too slow for me. It was a little too tame for me. Ruvan is this frightening vampire lord on the outside but a cinnamon roll on the inside, which is cute, but I wanted more spice between them. There is a lot of confusion about their feelings, and some back and forth because of their enemies to lovers status.
Tropes: breaking curses, sacrifice, enemies to lovers, slow burn, found family
Spice Level: 🌶🌶
Why you should read it:
- you love a sweet, slow burn vampire and human love story
- it’s a great addition to the Married to Magic series
- lots of action, story kept me guessing about the mystery of the curse
Why you might not want to read it:
- wanted more heat between Ruvan and Floriane, because I expect my vampire stories to be a bit spicy lol but this one is a sweet slow burn
I think overall this story was entertaining and I did think Ruvan and Floriane’s romance is sweet. It was a little bit too much of a slow burn for me though because I like my vampire stories with lots of spice. I did love how Floriane was a female forger and she really did keep up with the vampires (with the help of some elixir, but still!). If you love the books in the Married to Magic series, you will enjoy this one as well! I look forward to reading the next one.
Here are other books by this author that I have reviewed on this blog and/or books I have read but never reviewed: