Gillian Key: The Hateread – Key to Conflict, Chapter 29

Before we get back to the thrilling non-action, I have an offer of relief!

My publisher is offering my book, The Wicked Instead, and Tiger Gray‘s book, No Deadly Thingfor free this week! You can download the Kindle .mobi version or Nook ePub version (or both, ain’t nobody stopping you) from the links above. These books were written separately but are in a shared world, and even better, THEY’RE NOT GILLIAN KEY.

For more info on both, check out my Twisted Tree Universe page.


Now, brace yourselves, because it’s back to our favorite heroine.

The first words of this chapter are:

The darkly handsome Vampire surveyed his prey with eyes of glacial pale green, crystalline and icy.

For a second I thought this was Aleksei, since he and Tanis are the only “darkly handsome vampires” we’ve met thus far, and I wondered when his eyes turned green. But then I realized she meant Dracula. Holy shit, are we finally getting to meet him?

Apparently Gillian and Kimber (oh, there’s Kimber) are both trussed up “like a Christmas goose.”

roasted christmas goose with stuffing
Does she have herbs in her ass, too?

Blah blah blah, Dracula wants Aleksei out of the way. Apparently Aleksei is “powerful enough to challenge him for control.” We’ve seen no indication of this, since Aleksei has done nothing but panic and flutter around or six months, but okay. Dracula is actually kind of clever in that he

had made sure Aleksei was at all times surrounded by those who could dampen his powers. Some of the Dark Fey had been allied to the voldevode and had blanketed Aleksei’s lands with spells to ensure that he did not come to full power while Dracula was indisposed.

If only I knew what the fuck this actually means. For one, does anybody remember what the fuck voldevode means? I sure don’t and I can’t be arsed to find out. Second, did the fey just now do this or has Aleksei been bound by these spells for a long time? How is Dracula indisposed, exactly?

i dunno

Blah blah blah, Dracula fey whatever, oh, apparently Aleksei has been bound all this time and “[his] world suddenly began to hum with ancient magic once again.”


Osiris pops in like the Voice of the author God to inform Aleksei that yes indeedy, he’s more powerful. Tanis conveniently pops in too, to tell Aleksei he’s in England.

Tanis was near death. The fact that he had managed contact with Aleksei, via the newfound powers, was nothing short of miraculous.

deus ex machina

Aleksei decides to run off to England to fetch Tanis and Gillian. He talks to Sekhmet and Anubis, and they decide that yes, Gillian is very brave and yes, they’re proud of her and yes, she needs saving now. Sekhmet and Anubis note privately that the no-touchy timeframe of one year between Gillian and Aleksei is over now.

Wait, what? Gillian dicked around Aleksei’s place for only six months. How has it been another six months since she fucked off with Pavel? Did the stupid plane to Finland hit a gap in the space-time continuum?


Fade out to Trocar and Pavel hanging in the hotel room. Gillian, Kimber, and apparently Luis are missing. Pavel is cranky about his loincloth being small even though presumably he could fucking change if he wanted to. Pavel is jelly because Trocar likes Kimber, but no worries, he isn’t banging her anymore. Pavel can apparently track Gillian and Kimber, so, for whatever completely bizarre reason, they leave the hotel with Pavel still looking like that Ancient Roman porn extra on a leash.

And then, for some other incomprehensible reason, we’re given a treatise on Dracula, meaning the legends surrounding Vlad Tepes. Blah blah he’s really bad yo. Oh, apparently the whiplash-worthy switch in topic is meant to indicate a scene change.


Dracula is apparently hanging out with Oscar Gray, aka Oscar Wilde. Oh Jesus fuck. Just in case you’ve never read Dorian Gray, there’s a nice summary right there for you, too, along with some pointless description of Oscar’s character and his general usefulness.

And now we’re going to meet someone else? We get lots of “he so pretty and deadly” description but no name. Let’s pile some more shit into this book and call it tension!

Gillian and Kimber wake up to find Mr. Nameless creeping on them. He and Gillian have a “hey who are you, I’m Nameless Creepy Guy, fuck off Nameless Creepy Guy” exchange that is seriously not even worth reading.




The vampire is Jack the Ripper.

eyeroll cersei lannister

Gillian is her usual sparkling self and taunts him because she’s a complete fucking idiot. Kimber helpfully points that out because everyone in this book is smarter than the protagonist. Fuck.


Another very short chapter, but as I’m working on another blog post, I’ll leave it here for today. Wow, what a shitshow. I feel like a hypocrite, since I kind of have celebrity supernaturals (though significantly more obscure on the whole), but I hate the way celebrity vampires are used here, mostly because it’s so trite. Hurr durr, Jack the Ripper is a vampire hurr. The more this book wears on, the more gimicky it becomes, as if it weren’t horrendously gimicky to begin with. This book cannot end soon enough. I might have to go find a copy at Half Price Books or something so I can rip it apart and feed it to my cat.

Mr. Big hates this book too.

Chapters 27-28 here. Chapter 30 here.


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