Dark Skye – Immortals After Dark #15 – Kresley Cole

I don’t know which character I liked more in this book, Melanthe or Thronos. They were so different from each other but each was just as flawed…and I like flawed characters. I get sick of reading about heroic and ethical males and perfect virginal females who always want to do the right thing. Why do authors do that?

Melanthe is carefree hedonist while Thronos is a stickler for rules and order. While Melanthe enjoys wine, micro-minis and gold, Thronos believes in never imbibing, covering all body parts and living humbly. Okay, I think I like the Sorceri ways better than the Vrekener’s because the Vrekeners are way too extreme like Puritans but the Sorceri do get a little carried away with their fun and games.

Sorceri and Vrekeners are natural enemies. Vrekeners hunt and kill Sorceri who they think are evil and break the rules. There are a lot of evil Sorceri. They use their scythe-like weapons to drain the Sorceri of their powers and then kill them and take their children to their hidden Skye Territories to foster them.

Lanthe and Thronos met when Lanthe was nine and Thronos just a few years older in a field near her home. Lanthe’s parents were too busy doing sorcery and adoring their gold to pay attention to Lanthe or her older sister, Sabine, to notice that she had befriended a Vrekener. They were so neglectful that they forgot to provide food or clothing for their children so Lanthe had to go into the field below to eat dandelions and find berries. That is what she was doing when Thronos flew over.

Thronos instantly knew that Lanthe was his fated mate and they became best friends, albeit secret friends. He would take her flying with him and he taught her how to swim. They had a great time for four months…until tragedy struck.

One night, Sabine woke Lanthe and told her Vrekeners were in their home. They went to her parent’s room to warn them but it was too late. They had been beheaded by Throno’s father, the leader of the Vrekeners. Sabine used her sorcery power, weaving an illusion for the Vrekener’s worst nightmare. Sabine could read minds so she knew exactly what they feared. The leader fell to his knees and started scratching at his eyes. Sabine grabbed his scythe and chopped his head off along with a few others. Another Vrekener grabbed Sabine from behind and slit her throat. Thronos was in the room too and because Lanthe thought he had betrayed her by telling his father about them, she told him to jump from the window and not use his wings to save himself. Lanthe’s power was the power of persuasion. She could command anyone to do anything and they had to do it. She commanded her sister to live and she did even though she had lost too much blood. Lanthe and Sabine ran and never looked back.

Thronos had not been locked into his immortality yet so he was crippled for life. They said he wouldn’t walk or fly again but he did.

For 500 years, he pursued Lanthe to make her his mate but she always got away. She went on with her life, living it to the fullest which made him bitter…especially when she slept with other men. He couldn’t understand why she ran from him but accepted other lovers.

What Thronos didn’t know was that Lanthe and Sabine were being pursued by a wayward faction of Vrekeners out to kill them and any other Sorceri. In fact, a few times, they had killed Sabine but Lanthe commanded her to come back to life and she did. Once, one had dropped Sabine from the sky so Lanthe had to scoop up her brains and other time Sabine drowned after being thrown into a raging river. Lanthe believed Thronos had sent them after her.

In this book, Thronos abducts Lanthe while they are both escaping a mortal facility that imprisoned immortals and tortured them. As you can guess, he was a little bitter. He was able to overpower her because she still had the torque around her neck that kept her powers in check while his torque had been unlocked. Immortals are usually unable to hurt their mates without feeling pain themselves, if not physically then mentally. In many species, if one dies, the other follows soon afterwards. But Thronos wanted revenge for all the years he suffered while he thought Lanthe was living it up without him.

We know from previous books that Lanthe’s life was not always so wonderful.What Thronos and others saw was not the exact truth of things although Lanthe and Sabine liked for people to believe it to keep up their kickass reputations. In the Lore, any weakness will be used against you so keeping up appearances of being strong is key to staying alive. Thronos saw Lanthe and Sabine living in her brother Omort’s evil court, doing evil things and enjoying it all. They left and did evil deeds for Omort and returned to him. What was really happening was that Omort had total control of them. He made them drink a poison which would kill them if they didn’t return to get the antidote. But Lanthe did subscribe to the notion about living to the fullest degree and finding happiness where you could while you had the chance instead of wallowing in self-pity so she did find pleasure where she could and did have lovers. After all, Sorceri don’t have fated mates.

Thronos was not kind to Lanthe during their journey. He called her “harlot” and berated her for how he thought she lived her life with all her sins or what he called “offendments”. She just laughed at his stuffy ways and did not feel shame at all. She let him believe what he wanted about her. I laughed so hard at one part in the book where she told him he should have written to her instead of stalking her. He tells her, “What should I have written? Dear Harlot, rumor has it that you are very happy with your new life in Rothkalina with your beloved brother Omort. I hear that you have all the gold you could ever want, and I know how much you always enjoyed a good blood orgy. Well done, Melanthe! By the way, would you like to meet for a rational discussion about our future?”

Instead of denying it, she said, “Well, I did have a lot of gold.”

Do not strangle her!

This was an excellent book, filled with adventure and sexually frustrated characters. I related to these characters so much and wanted them to end up together even though odds were way against them.

This book didn’t have a lot of background plots going on except showing a little about what was going on with Nix, the soothsayer who seems to be manipulating all of the events in this series but I can’t say anything here lest it ruin the book.

After the epilogue of the last book, I thought this book would have been about Munro, a Lykae and twin brother to the protagonist of the previous book but instead, Kresley Cole skipped to Lanthe and Throno’s story. That epilogue indicated that the there is a greater threat coming to the Lore than just the war between the Vertas and the Pravus. Vertas being the good guys and Pravus being the evil guys.

I’m off to read the next book in the series.

MacRieve – Immortals After Dark #14 – Kresley Cole

Uilleam MacRieve, a Lykae, was molested by an evil Succubus named Ruelle as a child from the time he was 9 years old to the age of 13 when his mother and father discovered it. Ruelle had made Uilleam believe she was his mate but said it had to be a secret because Lykae hated Succubae and would want to kill her. He was too young to realize this was the tactic of a predator. When Uilleam’s parents discovered this awful secret, they ran off into the woods to find Ruelle. His mother reached the cottage first and was beheaded by a young vampire who Ruelle was also molesting. His father killed both Ruelle and the vampire but could not live without his mate so he killed himself the very next night, leaving Uilleam and his twin brother, Munro, orphaned.

They have hated Succubae ever since.

We have briefly met Uilleam and Munro in previous books. The creatures of the Lore call them “Hot and Hotter” and we knew that Uilleam had been imprisoned along with a lot of other characters of the series in a facility run by a human run secret organization called The Order run by a human named Commander Webb. A lot of the books in this series have been focused around this facility and timeline. Most of the books run concurrently so we, the reader, see some of the same scenes from different points of view and we know things that the main characters do not know. In previous books, we read that Uilleam was captured and vivisected. We also read about a scene where he was being chased by five Succubae when the prison started falling apart due to an evil sorceress.

In this book, we learn that Uilleam was set up to be captured by The Order by Nix, the soothsayer who seems to be manipulating everything to fall in place for the Vertas (the good guys of the Lore) to win the Accession. The Accession is a war between the Vertas and the Pravus that occurs every five to six hundred years in the Lore. Nix has been known to say, “Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.” Right before The Order nabbed Uilleam, Nix told him, “You need to rebreak that bone. It didn’t set right.” She was referring to what happened with Ruelle and how he had dealt with things since then. He hated Succubae, wouldn’t have sex with any female more than once and when he did have sex, he could only do it if he let his beast take over.

Every creature in the Lore seems to be motivated by either sex or power. The characters in this book are no different, in fact, one of their lives depends on sex.

Chloe is all about soccer. She plays for a professional team in Seattle and has dreams of being in the Olympics but she has been experiencing odd things recently. She can hear things that she shouldn’t be able to hear and all her other senses are just as acute. She is playing in a championship game when she hears her father take a call from way up in the stands. She wonders what could be so important during her championship game that he has to take a call since he is a computer tech guy. Couldn’t it wait? But then she hears the strangest conversation ever which she knows she shouldn’t even be able to hear. She can hear the man on the other end of the phone call her father “Commander” and they are talking about capturing a Lykae. She thinks she is going crazy until later when she tells her dad about it and he doesn’t seem surprised. He tells her that he had hoped this wouldn’t happen to her but he would talk to her about it when he got back into town because he has to go out of town for a couple of weeks. He hands her a huge book and tells her to read it while he is gone.

The book is about something called the Lore and about all the creatures in it. There was a piece of paper in it with his handwritten notes about the creatures which he called “detrus” and how he needed to eliminate them from the world.

A couple weeks later, she hears a sound in her dad’s study. A horned demon stood there. She ran but fell into an abyss when she opened the front door of her house. Witches had caught her and were going to auction her off as the daughter of Commander Webb. She learned that the Lore was real and her father was infamous for capturing, torturing and killing them and everyone wanted revenge on him. Creatures were lining up to bid on Chloe because they thought that she would lead them to Webb.

Uilleam and Munro went to the auction and Uilleam’s instinct immediately told him that Chloe was his mate. Munro knew too. The Pravus pooled their resources together and won the bid but Uilleam turned into his beast and chased after them. He beat them and took her to the Lykae compound in Louisiana where a wall with mystical protection kept anyone else from entering.

He was sweet to Chloe and they got along wonderfully. He didn’t know how he would ever actually have sex with her since she was human and he had his weird sex hang up where he could only have rough sex in one position while his beast took over but he did manage to make out with her…orally…once. The second time, she reciprocated but he freaked out when he saw she had turned into a Succubus.

He almost threw her out to the Pravus creatures waiting outside the wall but his beast wouldn’t allow it. He told her that her kind were evil and preyed on men and children. When he took her on top of the wall, they saw two Succubae females who didn’t look evil to Chloe so she wanted to go with them to learn of her kind and to get away from Uilleam or MacRieve as he liked everyone else but Munro to call him. He wouldn’t allow her to go with them but didn’t want her either. Well, he did want her but he blamed it on her Succubus charms and tricks which she was not using. She didn’t even know how to use them.

I wanted to kick him in his huevos rancheros for the way he treated Chloe and the things he said to her. But I loved Chloe. She did not let him get to her. He thought she would turn into Ruelle who was all about her looks and tricks. Ruelle was weak and used it to get her way. Not Chloe! She borrowed some sports clothes from two of the younger clan members and decided to become their athletic director. When MacRieve would do something rude, she would call him a dick or asshole or ignore him. The clan seemed to adore her. Her motto when she got hurt was “rub some dirt on it”.

She tried to prove that she could still be human by eating food instead of having sex to get her energy but she started getting sick after a few days and not healing from injuries. Succubae have to have seed from male ejaculation to thrive. If they don’t, they start to starve and they start emitting something called strew which attracts unmated males to them and drives them crazy until they are fighting to have sex with her. MacRieve got worried about this so he had the witches make a talisman bracelet for her to hide her from the Lore and took her to Scotland to where he had grown up. He had the witches put in a little extra spell, a contraception spell without telling Chloe. He knew he had to have sex with her to help her live. He had to have her as his mate yet he treated her like crap.

How could these two ever live like this forever when one hated the other.

It was hard watching MacRieve’s hatred toward Chloe for something that wasn’t her fault and even though I had read this book before, I wasn’t sure how it would end between them. I have forgotten a lot about the individual couples in this series because it has been so long since I have read these books. I read each book as they come out but I also have read hundreds of other books too so details get lost in the chaos of my brain. I should point out, though, that this series is one of my favorites of all time and only the second series that I have ever wanted to re-read. Even though I forget some details, I remember the main plot of the series.

There wasn’t a lot of background plots going on in this book until the Epilogue but I can’t say anything more without spoiling it for anyone who wants to read this series.

This is one of those must-read series if you are into Paranormal Romance.

Shadow’s Claim – Immortals After Dark #13 – Kresley Cole

It’s crazy how I can re-read a book and hardly remember anything that was in it. I’m re-reading the Immortals After Dark series and, for the most part, I remember the main plot of each book and I know what happens in future books so I sometimes have an advantage over someone who is reading the book for the first time but I barely remembered the contents of this book. I mean, I vaguely remember the characters and some of the events but most of it was like reading it for the first time. Maybe It was because, while this book was good, there are others in the series that stuck out in my mind more.

We, the reader, briefly met Trehan Daciano in the last book of the series, Lothaire. He is one of the five cousins who had claim to the throne of Dacia but they had decided to give it to Lothaire to break a curse that Lothaire’s mother had put on the Dacian family thousands of years before that said they would fight each other until Lothaire was rightly put on the throne. This book’s timeline runs concurrently with Lothaire as do a lot of the other books in the series.

In the last book, we knew that something was up with Trehan. Lothaire suspected he had a Bride but didn’t know why he didn’t have his Bride with him so while I was reading this book, I kept wondering when the two books would meet up to the point where Trehan was unhappy and living back in Dacia.

Trehan is the tracker and assassin for Dacia which is a hidden kingdom from the rest of the world. Sometimes, Dacians will invite outsiders into the kingdom but once you are there, you can never leave. Leave it to me to start singing “Hotel California’ when I read this. His younger cousin had invited a Death Demon named Caspion into the kingdom but Caspion left back to his own kingdom of Rune. Now, it is Trehan’s job to track down Caspion and kill him.

Trehan uses a scrying crystal which he has hanging from his neck to find people. He just needs picture their face and he can trace to them or close to them. When he traces to Rune, he gets distracted for some reason by a lantern up in one of the spires of the castle. Trehan never gets distracted. He’s calm, cool and never lets emotions rule him.

Bettina is half Death Demon and half Sorceress and the princess of Rune. Her parents died when she was a small child and her godfather, Raum, rules the country until she is married which is soon. Raum and her godmother, the queen of the Sorceri, have decided to marry her off by hosting a huge tournament that anyone from the Lore can enter. Anyone includes disgusting creatures such as Cerrunos who have snake bodies, Puss Demons who have to wear rubber boots to catch their leaking puss and one huge froglike creature named Goürlav whose blood creates dangerous creatures called night terrors. Each drop of his blood creates one of these nightmarish creatures. Bettina decides that she will prevent the tournament by seducing her best friend Caspion who she has been in love with since forever. If she is no longer a virgin, the tournament cannot start but once the tournament does start and the creatures sign the contract in blood, it will be too late because she would be stoned to death if she lost her virginity.

She tells Caspion what she is planning but he wants nothing to do with it. Almost every species of demons has a fated mate and they wait hundreds of years to meet their fated mate so if Caspion devirginized Bettina, he would have to marry her and he would always wonder about his fated mate. He also tells her that the Prince of Shadows, the Dacian assassin, would kill him soon anyway because he had left Dacia and no one escapes the assassin.

Caspion is a notorious womanizer and humps just about any female he can yet he has no interest in Bettina because he thinks of her as a sister. It hurts her feelings but she tells him she will leave her lantern on just in case he changes his mind.

Trehan’s curiosity got the better of him so he traced up to the spire and watched Bettina while she slept. His heart started beating, something it hadn’t done in a thousand years. When a vampire reaches immortality, his heart stops beating and all his sexual desires and functions cease until he finds his Bride. He had found his Bride. The lantern went out but he could still see her with his vampire eyesight. Bettina woke up and knew someone was in the room and thought it was Cas. She was drunk from drinking with him earlier and her eyesight was little better than a human’s so she started making out with Trehan.

Trehan thought she could see him and she must know she was his bride so he was elated that she was making out with him but just before he was about to have sex with her, he found out that she thought he was someone else…his target.

Trehan decides to enter the competition which means he can never go back to his kingdom. Dacians have to stay in the mist and shadows and never reveal themselves. Trehan entered as the Prince of Shadows but did not reveal where he was from but he still gave up his home for a chance to win Bettina’s hand. All the other creatures were more interested in being king of Rune more than having Bettina as their wife.

Caspion entered the tournament at the last minute, having an unselfish moment…or maybe trying to live a little longer since all contestants are safe from anyone else during the tournament which means Trehan cannot kill him while entered in the tournament.

But neither Caspion nor Trehan have a chance against Goürlav who can’t be killed because one blood drop could cause a catastrophe. He is also super fast and super strong. The tournament will last for over a week but if Caspion or Trehan gets paired with Goürlav, they will be killed unless one of them figures out a way to kill him.

It was interesting to watch Bettina’s personality develop and get stronger as she became more confident. She had been attacked while she was in the mortal world at the beginning of the book by Vrekeners, creatures that hunt and kill Sorceri. They had taken her power from her and then beat and tortured her until every bone in her body was broken but just as they were going to kill her, she was summoned to Rune by her godfather which traces her automatically to the castle or wherever her summoning medallion is at. It took months to heal and she lived in fear that the Vrekeners would find her again. I liked how Trehan helped her with her fear.

There was also a couple of developing future stories going on in the background of this story. In a previous book, a Vrekener abducted another Sorceress named Melanthe. Both Bettina’s godmother, Morgana, and Melanthe’s sister were searching for her in this book. Also, a Lykae named Munro was seeking revenge against some evil warlocks for doing evil things to Lykae. I believe his story or his twin brother’s story is next.

So, I am off to read that book. See you when I come up for air next.

Lothaire – Immortals After Dark #12 – Kresley Cole

The Lore – Immortal creatures from folklore such as vampires, Lykae, Valkyrie, ghouls, demons, Centaurs and so on. The more human looking creatures live right alongside humans without ever revealing themselves.

The Accession – A war that occurs every 500 to 600 years where factions pick sides and alliances. It is a sort of population control for the Lore since a lot of creatures will die but also it is when a lot of creatures find their mates.

Pravus – an army of evil creatures all over the Lore made up of Horde Vampires, evil sorcerers, snakelike creatures called Cerunnos and more

Vertas – an army of not evil but not so innocent immortals made up of Valkyrie, Lykae, Witches, Fae and some vampires.

 

This is the book that I have waited for since Lothaire’s first appearance in this series which I believe was in book #2, A Hunger Like No Other. At first, we just had brief glimpses of him doing odd things like tracing in during a fight and just watching instead of helping his fellow evil vampires but we got to know him better as the series progressed. Lothaire often helped out his enemies out of an impossible situation for an open-ended vow to help him at a later date but then later, we would find out that Lothaire often had carefully manufactured the entire situation in the first place. Evil yet brilliant!

We got to know him better in the last few books where he followed one couple down the Amazon and swooped in at the last moment to break a finger off La Dorada to get to a golden ring, causing the tomb that she was in to implode and almost kill the couple. Then he was imprisoned along with a lot of other Lore creatures in a facility on a mystically concealed island run by the Order, a human run operation intent on studying, torturing and destroying all immortals. The facility was impossible to escape but Lothaire always seem to know something no one else seemed to know and he was right. La Dorada came for the ring, somehow bypassing all the security measures. She magically unlocked all the torques for the Pravus but not for the Vertas and not for Lothaire who she wanted to kill. Two evil sorceresses broke out and helped others break out and then chaos ensued with Pravus and Vertas killing their human captors and the Vertas trying to escape without dying since they still had the torques around their necks which blocked their powers so they were weak compared to the Pravus who were taking this opportunity to kill any Vertas they could find.

Lothaire managed to knock La Dorada down a huge crevice in the earth and ended up making a temporary truce with a ragtag team made up of a Valkyrie, two Beserkers, a half-vampire half-phantom teenager and a dark fae. But Lothaire no longer had the ring. The commander of the Order took it off the island as La Dorada showed up. We, the readers, learned that Lothaire, The Enemy of Old was not always lucid because he had drunk so much blood from so many victims that he saw their memories and it all got to be too much at times. He always is ten steps ahead of everyone else except for Nix, the soothsaying Valkyrie. Although he betrayed the group at one point, he ended up saving them in the end. Of course, he did this all for his own Endgame not out of the goodness of his heart. Yet, I fell in love with him.

In this book, he has found his Bride. Vampires have one true mate who they call their Bride. Horde Vampires like Lothaire grow up with a beating heart until it stops in their late twenties or early thirties. They also stop being able to have sex. It just won’t work until their Bride comes along and their heart starts beating again. It is called blooding. He had found his Bride before he had been captured or even stole the ring. He needed the ring for a specific reason. You see, his Bride is an ancient evil goddess of death and destruction named Saroya who was cursed by her sister to inhabit the body of mortals. Her godhood was taken away and she has traveled from one body to the next. She possesses the person and most of the time, the human recedes into the background and lets Saroya rule but this new human who she has possessed is too strong and fights Saroya. Saroya can only surface when her host is sleeping or weakened.

Lothaire had been foretold by his seer that a young hillbilly girl was his Bride but she was only fourteen at the time. He kept an eye on her here and there but refused to believe she was his Bride was human, a species he loathed. Since his heart never beat when he spied on her, it made his belief stronger. But then one night, he came upon her at an altar surrounded by blood and gore from her recent killing of humans. He was instantly blooded. Saroya instantly knew she was his Bride and used it to her advantage because she knew that a vampire needs relieve himself sexually when he is blooded or he will go crazy. She made him vow to the Lore that he would expel the human soul from the body and make her immortal before she let him lick the blood from her while he relieved himself. She told him she couldn’t have sex with him because he might hurt her weak human body.

Elizabeth Pierce aka Ellie was possessed by Saroya when she was eighteen years old. Before then she had a poor but happy life. She lived in the Appalachian Mountains in a trailer with her mom and toddler brother. Her father had died in a coal mine collapse. She had big plans to go to college, marry and have two children but Saroya ruined her life. Whenever Ellie went to sleep she would wake up to carnage. Saroya loved to kill people just to kill them. Her family figured out that she was possessed so they called for an exorcism but it went terribly wrong with Saroya killing all the decans trying to help her. Her mama had called the cops because she was so desperate and Elizabeth decided to end the nightmare by blazing out with her daddy’s rifle…suicide by cop. She did but Lothaire showed up and blocked the bullets. She thought he was a demon. He told her that he was going to allow the police to take her to jail where she would be safe and where she couldn’t hurt Saroya while he searched for a way to make her immortal. He told her he would come for her in about two years.

Five years later, Elizabeth lay on a table awaiting execution. She had not fought her fate legally and just wanted to rid the world of Saroya but once again, Lothaire showed up and traced her away to his New York apartment. He had just escaped the island. He was furious that she had tried to get herself killed again. He told her that he would kill her mother and brother if she ever tried to kill herself again.

Lothaire treated Elizabeth poorly by always berating her and telling her how superior he and Saroya were to her. Saroya only surfaced long enough for Lothaire to buy her tons of clothes and jewels and then she told him that if he had needs to use Elizabeth not her. Lothaire hated that he found himself drawn to Elizabeth and Elizabeth was just as frustrated that she was attracted to a vampire who wanted to extinguish her soul. At one point, she asked him how he knows that Saroya and not is his Bride. Lothaire told her that fate would not be so cruel to him.

I got a kick out of Elizabeth’s personality. She did not care that she was a hillbilly and she knew Lothaire could not hurt her so she pushed his buttons constantly. I loved it. Lothaire was not used to anyone challenging him ever.

Lothaire kept trying to locate the ring which would grant him wishes for his Endgame which was to make Saroya into a vampire and to win his two thrones to which he was the heir.

This was one of those books that you read where you only put it down because you have to do something like sleep or go to the bathroom. I wanted to get to the end yet I didn’t want it to end. Luckily, there is more to the series so it really doesn’t end here.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior – Immortals After Dark #11 – Kresley Cole

What a scrumptious read! My favorite so far. Do I say that about each one of these books in this series? I guess they just keep getting better as the story gets deeper and more complex. What is crazy is that I have already read this series once before and although I remember the basic story, I have forgotten details and even the endings of some of the books but because I recall enough of the plot, it makes it all the more exciting to me.

A lot of these books run concurrently alongside the other books so we sometimes know a lot more than what the characters know. For example, in this book Regin, the female protagonist, worries about her half-sister Lucia but Lucia’s book was #9 in the series so we know what happened to her already but since this book is happening along the same time period as Lucia’s story, Regin has no idea what is happening.

Regin the Radiant is a Valkyrie whose skin glows. We have gotten to know Regin through previous books. She is the prankster of the group and loves to kill vampires and bad demons. She’s been known to make demons eat strange things like hubcaps just for kicks. Her best friend and half-sister is Lucia. They spend a lot of time looking for ways to kill an evil god who wakes every Accession. He is intent on abducting Lucia for his own and triggering the end of the world. The Accession is a war that happens every 500 to 600 years in the Lore where factions take sides, alliances are made and a lot creatures from the Lore find their mates. It is meant as a sort of population control since many will die.

Over a thousand years ago, Regin met a Beserker named Aidan the Fierce who fell in love with Regin. He vowed to earn Ohalla and marry her. The god Woden bestows Ohalla on a warrior who fights for him after he has won 200 battles but Aidan couldn’t wait so he had sex with Regin before he became immortal. A vampire killed him just afterwards but he promised to return and find Regin. He has returned over and over again but gets killed directly after they make love. Regin is expecting him again soon.

Declan Chase hates immortals, all of them. He and his parents were tortured by a nest of Neoptera, some of the most dangerous and evil immortals of them all, when he was just 17 years old. He found his brother in the kitchen with his throat slit and after days of torture, his parents didn’t make it but Declan was saved by a man named Webb who told him about the Lore which he called miscreations or miscreats who needed exterminated out of this world. Webb ran something called The Order which captures, studies, tortures and kills immortals and inducted Declan into it. Now, Declan runs a facility on an island where he captures and imprisons immortals of all kinds and studies them.

What Declan doesn’t know is that he is a reincarnation of Aidan the Fierce. He has always been stronger and faster than a mere mortal and started using heroin to calm himself when he was about 14 years old. He still has the doctor at the facility make up a blend with an opiate to control his symptoms. The medicine keeps him numb and emotionless.

But when he captures Regin, he starts to feel something for her and he hates it. He doubles up on his meds and starts running twice as far on the island but nothing stops him from thinking about her. He even tortures her with an IV full of poisonous liquid but feels sick as he is doing it. He has never felt anything for an immortal before.

Regin, of course, knows he is Aidan and tries to convince him of this but he thinks she is just messing with him. Regin knows that if she kisses him, he will remember his past lives and then he will die shortly afterwards but can she do it? He did torture her after all.

The tension between these two was palpable. Kresley Cole writes the story so well that I felt it while I was reading and my emotions ran from hating Declan to feeling sorry for him to cheering him on and hoping he could change and maybe get the girl…if he lived.

There was a lot more happening in this book than the romance/hatefest going on between Regin and Declan. There were other prisoners, some who we have met before in previous books like Carrow and Malkum Slaine who were the stars of the last book and some who were just being introduced in this book like Regin’s cellmates, Natalya the dark fey and Thad, a 17-year-old who-knows-what who just looked like a normal kid. Then there is Brandr, a Beserker who earned Ohalla because he promised Aidan while he was dying that he would always watch over Regin. Lothaire, The Enemy of Old and a powerful vampire, is also a prisoner in the facility. We get to know a lot more about him who I am loving more and more even though he is evil.

Speaking of Lothaire, that is the title of the next book so gotta go read. Bye!

Demon from the Dark – Immortals After Dark #10 – Kresley Cole

Malkum Slaine, a demon, had a hard life living on Oblivion, a hell realm, where he was born to a whore who sold him to the vampires as a blood and sex slave when he was a child. Later, he killed his master and started killing every vampire he could. He became known to the prince, Kallen, who sought him out to serve in his army and the two became best friends until a jealous soldier named Ronath betrayed them and they were captured by vampires. The viceroy of the vampires along with an evil sorcerer turned them into Scârbă, a cross between a demon and a vampire, then threw them into a cell and starved them until Kallen gave in and bit Malkum. Malkum promptly killed him.

Carrow is a rare three-caste witch. Whatever that means. She has been abducted by the Order which is run by mortals who have captured many creatures from the Lore including the infamous vampire Lothaire who we have seen glimpses of in previous books and in the last book he stole a ring off of La Dorada, an evil being who makes a creepy appearance in this book. Others from the Lore are also there. Uilleam MacRieve, twin to Munro and cousin to the King of the Lykae is there. Melanthe, a sorceress, who we have also briefly met before shares a cell with Carrow. They often see Regin the Radiant, a Valkyrie, getting dragged by their cell. The overseer, Declan Chase, of the prison seems to have some sort of sick fascination with Regin and tortures her a lot.

Chase takes Carrow into the lab and tells her she has to go into Oblivion and bring back Malkum so they can study him. When she refuses, he brings in her seven-year old cousin Ruby in and threatens to hurt her. They tell her that they already killed Ruby’s mother. Carrow agrees to go.

Even though I have already read this book once, I had a hard time putting it down. I mean, it has been a while since I have read it and I have probably read hundreds of books afterwards so I forgot all the details and even what exactly happened in the end. The developing romance between the main characters was interesting but I think the background story is what really attracts me to this series. There are a lot of characters and stories developing and it keeps readers wondering what will happen next.

I highly recommend this series to anyone interested in paranormal romance.

 

Pleasures of a Dark Prince – Immortals After Dark #9 – Kresley Cole

Lucia is a Valkyrie and Skathi warrior which means she vowed to live a life of purity to the Goddess Skathi in order to be an expert archer. Lucia rarely misses her target but when she does, she experiences agonizing pain.

 

Skathi saved her from a life of unimaginable horror. Well, actually, her sister Regin saved her and then took her to the Goddess Skathi. Lucia was tricked by a gorgeous man into marrying him just to find out he wasn’t a gorgeous man but a deformed evil monster named Crom Cruach who wanted to breed with her and take over the world or rather cause an Apocalypse by infecting humans who would then kill the ones they loved the most. Lucia spent nine horrifying days with Crom Cruach and when she couldn’t take it any longer, jumped from his cave high up on a mountaintop to the sea below. She didn’t expect to live but her twelve-year-old sister Regin found her broken body and took it to Skathi.

 

Lucia and Regin are the only ones who know about Crom Cruach and spend most of their time looking for a dieumort, a weapon that will kill a god. Crom Cruach sleeps for hundreds of years but wakes every five hundred or so years and he’s about to awaken again. Lucia knows because she has started having nightmares and they will only get more frequent as the time approaches his awakening.

 

Lucia and Regin have heard of a golden arrow, a dieumort, so they set off to find it but things are made more difficult by a Lykae named Garreth MacRieve determined to make Lucia his own. He follows them across the world but Lucia and Regin don’t make it easy for him. They are brutal in the things they do to stop him like shooting arrows into him and unloosing the logs from an eighteen-wheeler to roll on top of him. In the end, Regin was sent home and Garreth caught up to Lucia. She’ll need all her strength to resist him to keep her Skathi archery skills so she can kill Crom Cruach when he awakens.

 

I enjoyed this book but I think it is one of my least favorite from the series, not because the characters were lacking but the background story-building wasn’t as busy as most of the other books in this series have been. Lothaire, the mysterious vampire, was in this book but not much more until the epilogue. Don’t get me wrong, this was an outstanding book. Everything Kresley Cole writes is exceptional but it was just my least favorite of the series so far. From here, the series explodes. There won’t be a moment of dullness from here on out.