Erik is a vampire lord and he drinks from bags of donated blood to keep that hunger sated. When Erik tastes his mate’s blood, he only finds out that the boy is named Lucas and he just turned thirteen. Erik thinks they have plenty of time to get to know each other, but Lucas’s father shows up at the castle with Lucas the next day. Erik immediately despises the man and the way he treats Lucas, and agrees to take Lucas in. And when he learns that the father has been abusing his children, he offers a home to all seven of Lucas’s sisters. Erik immediately sets about doing what he can to raise the children, and for a long time, though he loves Lucas, he doesn’t see the man he’s become.
When Lucas turns 18 he thinks he finally will be able to have his mate. But a miscommunication has Lucas running to a friend and thinking that Erik will never see him as anything more than a child. Erik and Lucas finally have the conversation that has been lacking, and they agree to take their relationship to the next level, as well as start planning their matehood celebration.
This story takes place in the future by the dates, but there is basically a feudal society at work. Erik is lord of the land, having taken over from his uncle with the older man passed, and it seems that vampires are the ruling class, with humans as their subjects. The world building wasn’t super clear and defined here, and consequently it took a little bit for me to get into the groove of the way things work. While I appreciated that there wasn’t a big info dump of information about how things operated, I would have liked a bit more explanation in the first chapter that would have helped me understand things a bit more.
I liked Erik and Lucas a lot. Their romance was a sweet and easy one, with some bumps and miscommunications along the way, and that absolutely worked here. I really liked that the miscommunications didn’t go on for too long, and that these guys were quick to discuss their issues and were good about really listening to each other. What I liked here was that the distinction was made that fated mates means instant lust, but it does not mean love. And I really could feel the love between them. Even though I would have liked to spend a little more time with them as they were falling in love, this part worked, and I adored these guys together.
There were some interesting quirks about vampires in the story, like the way their eyes changed color and for what reason. But I didn’t really feel the vampire-ness about Erik. Yes, there was some blood drinking and superhuman strength, and the eye thing, but basically, everything else just made him seem like a regular guy. A benevolent, big hearted, fair ruler, but a guy nonetheless. So this part feel short for me of what I expect out of paranormal stories. Just because you tell me a character drinks blood and has fangs, that’s not enough for me to wholly believe he’s a vampire.
So, yeah, I had some quibbles with the story, but I still enjoyed it enough to say that if fated mates are your thing, then put this one on your list. It’s the first of series and the author sets up another pair for a future book. I’m definitely interested enough to pick up the next one and see where it goes.