Review: Rise of the Fallen (All the King’s Men #1) by Donya Lynne
Abandoned by the male he thought was his mate, Micah, one of the vampire nation’s oldest and most powerful vampires, falls into a suicidal spiral of depression, neglect, and self-inflicted violence. When ex-military exotic dancer Samantha stumbles on a ghastly scene where a gang of men is brutally beating a downed man, she bravely pulls her own gun to save him. It turns out the beating was a favor, the victim isn’t a human man at all, and Sam has just made herself and her unlikely charge a prime target of the vampire race’s long-standing enemies… the Drecks. Apostle and his fellow shape-shifters won’t be satisfied with anything less than Sam’s death and Micah’s complete ruin, and the heat is on to protect Samantha from Apostle while she heals Micah’s body and soul through their heart-breakingly intimate connection. Rise of the Fallen is a GraveTells “must read”!
- Title: Rise of the Fallen
- Series: All the King’s Men book #1
- Author: Donya Lynne
- Prominent Characters: Micah, Samantha, Trace
- Recommended Reader Age: 16+
- Genre(s): Paranormal romance
- Sexual Content Level: moderate-to-heavy, steamy
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Hot. Badass. Vampire. That’s Micah, our sexy, brooding, complicated hero. Not only is he powerful, one of the oldest of his kind, he’s got a good heart and his needs run deep. His character is beautifully crafted by Ms. Lynne; where as he could easily have come across as selfish and violently overindulgent, a turn-off to be sure, each chapter brings surprises and I loved watching his personality bloom.
His mate, Samantha, is on the run from an abusive husband and working as a very successful stripper at a local joint. She’s ex-army, so she knows her way around the business end of a weapon, and she’s kind and sharp-witted. Sometimes it’s hard to like the heroines paired with our favorite (usually damaged) heroes, but I was Team Samantha all the way. The connection between Micah and Sam is quick and dirty, and they have some smoking hot sex! I love that Ms. Lynne doesn’t shy away from putting several open-door love scenes back to back… there’s no wondering what happens “after” as the door is slammed shut on the reader. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed knife foreplay before, but yowza! Well done!
There are also hints of BDSM and some m/m in the coming books and I found myself both not wanting to finish reading, I enjoyed the story so much, AND wanting to race to the next book in the series to get my fix….
Which brings me to the mysterious, endearingly vulnerable yet lethal vampire warrior called Trace. Is there anything sexier than a gorgeous, powerful man submitting to another strong male? Needing to be confined and feel the bite of pain? If you’re a fan of Vishous from the BDB, Traceon is going to be just your style. He’s the self-appointed guardian to one of the most lethal of the AKM enforcers and protects Micah as if he already serves him. Drool much?
Speaking of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the vampires in All the King’s Men are pretty similar: they can’t abide sunlight, they must drink blood to survive, some of them have special abilities (like teleportation), they bond strongly with their mates, and they’re practically walking arsenals with lethal fighting skills. Micah is one of the older vamps, so he’s a pro with both his knives and his guns, and meeting a woman who knows how to handle his weapons (ah, no pun intended! :p) is a real turn on.
The secondary characters all stand out and practically beg for their own books. Its been a long time since a series has snagged my attention as thoroughly as the Black Dagger Brotherhood did, but All the King’s Men has that distractingly addictive potential and this first story in the series holds nothing back.
“I need you and your friends to grant me one favor.”
Apostle tilted his head with suspicious curiosity. “Killing you isn’t enough?” When Micah only stared back at him, he sighed. “Fine. What?”
“I want you to beat the living shit out of me before you kill me. You got me?”
One eyebrow cocked on Apostle’s face as his mouth quirked into a satisfied smirk. “No problem.”
Never get between a vampire and his mate!
If they made a move on Sam, he’d fuck up their world so righteously the galaxy would shift from the gravitational pull of his wrath.
That’s totally cheating, Micah!
God, the man – vampire – whatever – was sexy. He walked with a swagger most men would kill for, confident with a hint of vulnerability that drew eyes to him like he was moving art. He was the type who could put fear into his enemies or make a woman swoon just by crossing the room.
“Thank you,” he said.
“I didn’t say anything.”
Guns, knives, tactics… all in a day’s foreplay.
He had already retrieved his knives from the floor and now secured them to his hips. Taking out his Sig, he checked the cartridge and slapped it back in place.
“A Sig? Really?” Sam scoffed.
“Yeah, yeah, I saw your Beretta, female. Don’t dis my Sig. He’s sensitive.”
So, Micah, what IS the difference between a Dom and a top?
“A dominant requires submission, a top doesn’t. As a top,” he slowly stepped toward her as if he was hunting her, “I provide physical stimulation without requiring you to submit.” He reached around and slapped her ass. Hard. “See, if you didn’t like my slapping you as a top, you can stop me, or basically top me from the bottom. But if I was dom’ing you, I wouldn’t allow you to do that. I would have control and your complete submission. Do you understand?”
Her ass stung in the most erotic way where he had spanked her. “I think so. Topping and bottoming allows for give and take between the two, but between a dominant and a submissive, one gives and one takes. There is no give and take.”
He grinned mischievously. “Very good. You’ve just completed your first lesson.”
The air smoldered between them. “I look forward to the next one.”
“So do I.”
If you liked…
If you’re coming off a Black Dagger Brotherhood binge and are looking for a series similar enough to satisfy your craving but strong enough to stand on its own, All the King’s Men is the one you’ve been searching for and Rise of the Fallen is the book to start with! You might also like the Dark Protectors (starting with Fated by Rebecca Zanetti, our 2012 Series of the Year) and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters (starting with either Fantasy Lover or Night Pleasures). Both series have the same style of alpha male warrior vampires and multistory plot lines, and are incredibly addicting.
Alluring and compelling, Rise of the Fallen is rich in story depth and likeable, flawed characters… men you can seriously get addicted to reading more about. Read at your own risk, because you just might find yourself wanting your very own Micah (and Trace)!
Rating: Rise of the Fallen
Review copy purchased by reviewer