Review: Dominion by S.E. Lund


Dominion (Book 1 of The Dominion Series) by S.E. Lund
2012-06-11 (S.E. Lund)

Rating: B-
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Eve Hayden – Adept, Orphan
Hero: Michel de Cernay – Vampire, Ex-Priest
Setting: Massachusetts, USA



In the literary world, particularly in the genre of Paranormal Romance, it isn’t easy to stand out. A romance novel starring a hot vampire as the hero? Been there, read that. A heroine who is seemingly the underdog, unable to keep up with the much older vampire lover? Sounds pretty familiar. Thankfully, that is about all that Dominion has in common with other PNRs.

Dominion opens with Eve Hayden on a mission to get a manuscript, found in her late mother’s possessions, translated. Her desire to find the vampire who murdered her mother, clues to which might be found in the manuscript (which is written in French), leads her to a professor of linguistics at a local university. Or so she thinks. Instead she finds Michel de Cernay, who has been looking for the manuscript, authored by his brother, for many years. When Michel tries to compel Eve to forget their meeting—and fails—that’s when things get interesting. And complicated.

The brothers de Cernay, also known as Michel and Julien, or ‘those hot vampire twins’, were born in the 1200s. Michel a priest, Julien a warrior, the two couldn’t be more different in personality, if not in looks. Both men were turned against their will and, for many years, lived bound to their maker Marguerite. (Who is, quite frankly, a downright bitch.) Through the manuscript, which reads like a journal, we get to know the twins and their back story—which you could almost classify as a tragedy. I really enjoyed this journal/flashback storytelling woven throughout. It worked for me.

I wish a bit more would have been told about Eve and her backstory. It felt like more was revealed about Michel and Julien than Eve. That could be deliberate on the author’s part, as there is quite a bit of mystery wrapped up in Eve’s past. Things she doesn’t even know about herself. What we do know, however, is that Eve is an Adept. Able to sort through vampires minds and experience memories from objects by touch, Eve also has the ability and strength within herself to kill vampires. She’s got some pretty cool powers, I’ve got to say. And the way that she uses and experiences the touch memories was very unique and fun to read.

As an Adept, Eve is expected to work for the SCU as a ‘blood witness’. This is where things got a bit confusing for me. It really isn’t explained in too much detail the relationship between the SCU and the alphabet government agencies we’re used to—other than they often wear fake FBI jackets. I would have liked more clear and concise information on their purpose and how they run things. Also, I have to say, the man in charge (I think?), Ed, is a horrible boss! I just… there were moments I couldn’t help thinking, “Who put this guy in charge?”

Eve’s first task with the SCU is to hunt down a killer called The River Man. The investigation of which is one of my favorite aspects. The way that the kills are shown, how Eve looks for clues, and the way the killer seems to be connected to Eve was well done. When Eve has her first suspect, things kind of take an odd turn. Eve very quickly jumps to conclusions and it left me confused as to whether she was right in her assumptions or not. Also, Ed and Michel’s inability to listen to her, or even hear her out about it, was more than a tad frustrating. It was almost like Michel ‘checks out’ at that point.

I also had a few issues with the pacing. There were a few scene transitions that felt a little jumpy, where it went from one setting to another abruptly. I’m not quite sure… it could simply be the kindle format not showing clear line breaks. There are also many, many lopsided grins from Michel and Julien. Mixing it up with a smirk or a crooked smile would’ve made the twins signature look a bit less distracting. But those are minor grumbles when compared to the whole book.

I look forward to seeing what’s in store for Michel and Eve. In this novel, they are very much ‘feeling each other out’. And, sometimes, said ‘feeling’ can get very hot when they’re in Eve’s bedroom... or her bathroom. I liked the chemistry between them and, right now, would definitely be on Team Michel. I hope in the next book, the dominance and submission aspect of their relationship is delved into deeper. It’s hinted at and talked about in this one, but neither one is actually living it yet. Eve never truly submits to Michel, and Michel never truly forces her to. Something to look forward to!

Dominion is the first self-published offering from Miz Lund and, while it does sometimes feel like a first novel, it is still a solid and well-crafted debut. I only see these characters and this series, as well as the author, getting better and better.

Favorite Quote:

He thrusts inside me, grabbing my hands over my head and he’s kissing my throat, his other hand on my breast, squeezing my nipple and I feel his lust and mine combined so that the waves of pleasure build until I’m gasping, my body arching, my muscles clenching around him.
I’m coming as he thrusts harder and faster and I feel his climax on top of mine, his cheek pressed against mine, grunting with each thrust. it’s as if he’s holding me there, right at the top and not letting me fall. I feel his body spasm as if it’s my own, and it is my own, the pleasure such agony and it goes on and on and I’m completely drowning in it...


We Ask the Author...

Q: Why do you believe readers would enjoy a romantic book affair with Michel de Cernay?

S.E. Lund: Michel is incredibly beautiful and intense and powerful but that intensity and power are softened by a sense of humor and a playful side that he lets show now and then when his guard is down. When his guard is down, he lets people in and inside is passion that he struggles to control but it's so nice - if slightly overwhelming - when he loses control.

He also has a need to dominate that is hot - to me - and he is a bit kinky - although he doesn't show it all to Eve because he's waiting for her to be ready.

He's wise. He's experienced. His lover will be his total focus when he is with her and he's not plotting and planning... He's driven to do good and moral to the core.

Because despite his mission, he wants so much to be with Eve, to make her happy, and she will feel totally loved and possessed and cherished when they are free to be together. That kind of love is intoxicating - at least to me!


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