on July 31, 2014 :
Invictus was first published in 2003, years before FSoG and whatever other book uses the word "mundanes" for non-magical people.
Invictus Cross is not a vampire.
aka Lani Aames
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on July 19, 2014 :
Smashwords is having its semi-annual Winter/Summer sale right now, and I downloaded a ton of free books from the site. INVICTUS was just one of many. I was particularly excited for this one; I'm a sucker for vampire romance novels, you know.
Unfortunately, INVICTUS was awful. First off, it's not at all original. The vampires come from the Laurell K. Hamilton/Anne Rice school of vampires--leather pants, expensive boots, long hair... penchant for BDSM sex. The vampire in the book is the titular Invictus. He has a crush on the "non-magicakal mundane", Serena Blackstone. Mundanes, hmm? Who does that remind you of?
Serena is a librarian who works in Castle Strange, the vampire castle where Invictus lives. Her friend gave her a magical robe that makes her look naked when her true love sees her. Obviously, the robe looks completely transparent when Invictus lays eyes on her, and he immediately gets a boner.
He decides to punish her for wearing see-through clothing by spanking her. At first Serena is disappointed, because she hoped her true love would wine and dine her, and Invictus seems intent on bringing her pain and humiliation. But Invictus continues his assault even when Serena makes it clear she is not interested, and guess what--she ends up enjoying it after all. Of course, the dialogue during this segment could have been ripped from FSoG, what with the whole "you will obey me in all things", blah blah blah. It wasn't particularly sexy so much as disturbing...
Here's the thing, BDSM is supposed to be consensual. I was kind of annoyed that Invictus forced this relationship on Serena, especially since he's a vampire with magic powers so obviously their relationship is even more unequal than it would be otherwise. And to make matters worse there isn't any real vampire stuff going on in this book. Invictus doesn't drink blood or kill anyone in this book. INVICTUS might as well be a run-of-the-mill reclusive billionaire/slash/sex-pervert story.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)