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Volatile:  The Empress and the Executioner by Jeanie Johnson

Otherworldly Series, Book 1

Beautiful Trouble Publishing

Vampire, I/R

ISBN: 978-1-936271-05-4

Reviewed by Patrice F.



Astarla Hart is a warrior vampire and the only female Scout in the history of the Vampire Nation.  Long hours are spent on scouting jobs for The Society, the elders and leaders of the vampire race.  This means Star has little time for fun and romance. Only one man has ever tempted her into yielding her heart, Lukas Montague, Commander of the Locke Brotherhood.

The Locke Brotherhood is the Justice, the executioners and punishment for vampires who have gone rogue.   All vampires, no matter their status, answer to Lord de Vires, absolute ruler of the Vampire Nation.  

Astarla’s and Lukas’ destiny are intertwined; their decisions will affect the future.  Danger lurks everywhere and it will take all of their skills, cunning and the force of their love to help them to survive each challenge and every obstacle.

Although the setting and characters are part of the preternatural world, The Empress and the Executioner is written in the distinct flavor I have come to associate with Jeanie Johnson in terms of character development, tone and narrative.   My largest complaint is the constant repetition of words and phrases, i.e. “baby vamp” that proved a bit distracting.

Sadly, I failed to connect with Astarla and Lukas.  They are beautiful, tough and sexy, which fall short as distinguishing characteristics.  The sex is what I’ve come to expect in Ms. Johnson’s stories, molten and hot enough to melt molding.  Action abounds but the descriptions are rushed and chopped off at the end of each scene.  Sometimes I felt like I missed something.  The constant shifts in perspective started to wear on me after awhile.  The third person jumps would occur in the same scene, which affected continuity and progress of the story.  That’s not to say there weren’t any enjoyable moments or characters.  The most intriguing individual was Lord de Vires.  His secret and back story kept me glued to the pages each time he made an entrance.  I’d say he’s earned his own prequel.


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