My Lord by L.B. Shimaira

althea's review against another edition

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My Lord follows Meya, who is taken from her bedchambers and sold by slavers to work as the chambermaid for Lord Deminas. She has seen first hand his cruelty, and soon learns just how brutal he can really be to those who cross him. However, he is also strangely kind to, and protective of, her, going as far to punish those who hurt her. Even as he drinks her blood, he is always sure never to drink too much, and to quickly heal the cuts he makes. But as servants start going missing and a new guest arrives in the castle, Meya starts to fear for her life, as she also starts to fall in love.

From the synopsis alone, I was already hooked on the book, and I definitely was not disappointed! The book starts off as quite a slow burn, slowly introducing you to the gloomy surroundings of Tristanja and getting to know the various characters, but as soon as you hit the 50% mark is when things really start ramping up and the horror element of the book really kicks in! You get lulled into almost a false sense of security as you follow Meya in her daily tasks as the Lord’s chambermaid but as the stakes start getting higher and threats start becoming more and more real, the book leaves you on the edge of your seat, dying to know what’s happened next.

I would say that this book is a great mix of character-driven and plot-driven. We see a lot of growth in Meya’s character, from a scared, yet feisty young woman as she is captured by slavers, as she develops into someone a lot more confident and sure of herself. We see her selfless tendencies quite prominently throughout the book, as she offers to take on the punishment of someone that she barely knows and who wrongs her, and (without spoiling anything) it’s interesting to see how that part of her personality develops as the story continues, particularly at the end of the book. Lord Deminas is, as you’d imagine of a brutal, ruthless Lord, quite a terrifying character at times, but he never forces Maya, or any woman for that matter, into doing anything sexual that she does not wish to do – even going as far as to capture and torture the man who raped Meya at the start of the story and always asking her for consent. In many of the sex scenes, Meya is always told that if she is not comfortable with anything she is free to stop whenever she wishes, which I think was an absolutely crucial addition to the book. Another character I enjoyed was, of course, Nina – another of Lord Deminas’ slaves who becomes quick friends and confidants with Meya. She is extremely strong and kind-hearted and I, again, loved her growth throughout the story, and I’m excited to see whatever a potential sequel has in store for her.

As I mentioned, the story deals with some more difficult topics. Meya is raped at the start of the book, so please do proceed with caution, though it is all off screen and rape is continuously, explicitly opposed throughout the novel. There are also scenes of gore, torture, cannibalism and several scenes where BDSM is involved – so please do read at your discretion. However, if you do pick up this book, and I highly recommend that you do, this book is the perfect queer gothic horror that’ll keep you on your toes if you want the spooky season to last that little bit longer!

Thanks to BProudPR for an eARC copy for the Release Tour!

arndtezra's review against another edition

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Deliciously dark and full of characters with strength, this erotic gothic book with vampirism and cannibalism satisfied my kink craving.

booksthatburn's review against another edition

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dark mysterious reflective tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


*I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review of this book. 

MY LORD follows Meya, a slave, drawn to her master, the Lord, but her every interaction with him pushes her to find new edges to her boundaries… and her kinks.

The characters (specifically but not only Meya and The Lord) are keenly aware of the massively skewed power dynamics in any interaction with The Lord, their master and owner. Consent around sex is emphasized, but it’s in a general framework of the impossibility of consent by a slave towards their master. I think it’s handled well overall, and the tension is used to heighten some scenes, but the characters keep making sure that there is explicit consent for sex acts. As far as anything non-sexual goes, however, the power imbalance comes back in full force in a way that fits the Lord as a character. Meya is also involved with another servant. I like their relationship and Nina is a good complement to her, as a partner and an accomplice in the castle.

There’s a recurring theme where characters are horrified at the possibility of being a “harlot” if their fortunes had gone a bit differently. It’s implied that, due to the ongoing war, anyone in such a position would have been forced into it and so it’s not a choice between sex work and other work, but rather between constant rape and employment by a lord who has hired them for other things (but could demand sex from them at any time). The setting isn’t modern and so it would feel out of place for the characters to even use terms like “sex work”, but it was a bit frustrating to read. Eventually they generally stop thinking of sex work as a negative thing, but not until that’s undeniably what they’re doing themselves.

The plot is focused on the day to day as Meya works for the Lord and grows closer to one of her fellow servants. It’s increasingly erotic as more and more of Meya’s duties revolve around the Lord, and she gets more comfortable with intimacy, then with sex. I like how it solves the “are vampires cannibals” question by having them need to ingest both human flesh and blood. Unless I missed an extremely brief mention, the word vampire doesn’t actually appear, but that’s clearly what’s being evoked. 

I enjoyed this and I’m definitely interested in more stories with these characters. 

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jyvurentropy's review against another edition

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I first read this book on wattpad, while this author was still querying. I was so ecstatic to hear she found a publisher for it! Woot! That wattpad to published pipeline!

This is such a unique and dark, twisty story. Part horror part romance. What other book has cannibalism and erotic bathtimes? The strange contrast was something I couldn't get enough of.

Shimaira is a truly talented author and deserves all of her success <3