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Kiss of a Demon King – Immortals After Dark #8 – Kresley Cole

I am re-reading this series and it is just as exciting this time as it was when I first read it but now I know to pay attention to certain things that I didn’t realize were important to the storyline the first time around. This series is about the Lore which is exactly what it sounds like, a bunch of creatures from folklore and myth like Valkyries, Vampires, Lykae, Nymphs and Demons. It is an ongoing story but each book can be read as a stand-alone even though I think a lot of the story would be lost on someone who just picked up a book from the middle of this series.

This book followed Rydstrom and Sabine.

Rydstrom is a Rage Demon who lost his kingdom to an evil Sorcerer named Omort the Deathless. He has been trying to get his kingdom back for hundreds of years and he may have found a way. Omort’s brother, Groot the Metallurgist, has made a sword that will kill Omort but is demanding the Vessel in trade. The Vessel is a female from the Lore who will have a child who will either be good or evil. There is a Vessel in every Accession which is a war that happens about every 500 years in the Lore. Not all Vessels make it to have a child because factions of the Lore will be vying for her either to breed with her or kill her. But that story played out in the last book. Rydstrom’s brother was sent to Groot’s stronghold with the Vessel who happened to be his fated female.

In the last book, Rydstrom was racing to meet his brother, Cadeon, to make sure he would he actually traded the Vessel to Groot who happens to be just as evil as Omort but Rydstrom wants his crown back. We know he gets imprisoned by Sabine, the Queen of Illusions who happens to be another sibling of Omort and working with him. We, the readers, just didn’t get all the details from the last book.

This book starts out telling the story of Sabine and her sister Melanthe or Lanthe when they were little. Their mother and father were Sorceri who worked evil magick according to some beings called Vrekeners, winged beings who police the Sorceri and execute them if they are doing evil. Apparently, Sabine and Lanthe’s parents were evil because one night, the Vrekeners came and killed their parents and were going to either take the girls or kill them. Sabine took a sword and cut one of their heads off. Lanthe, who had the power to command people, told them to fight each other and to a boy Vrekener who was with them, she told to jump out of the tower window without using his wings to save himself. They escaped but for thousands of years, the Vrekeners have been after them. The boy lived and has spent his life trying to capture them.

Omort offered a safe haven for them. For some reason, the Vrekeners cannot follow them into Rothkalina, the realm that used to be Rydstrom’s kingdom but is now ruled by Omort, but Omort has an unnatural attraction to Sabine and wants her for himself. The only reason he hasn’t forced himself on her is because of a prophecy that says Sabine is Rydstrom’s fated mate. Her child will open the secrets of the the Well of Souls which is in the castle.

Sabine captures Rydstrom and tries to seduce him into vow to marry her because that is the only way her child would be recognized as the heir to Rothkalina but Rydstrom is having none of it. Well, that isn’t entirely true. He is attracted to her and his body knows she is his fated mate but his heart and his mind think she is evil.

Rydstrom is known for always being honest and it is said that a lie has never left his lips so when he finally vows to her in Demonish, which she does not speak or understand, that he will get revenge on her, she believes that he vowed to marry her.

Sabine was so selfish and into herself but I couldn’t help but like her. I could tell by the way that she loved her sister and was loyal to her that she had to have some kind of redeemable quality.

Rydstrom was your typical holier than thou hero whose only goal was to get him kingdom back which I thought was pretty selfish because he expected his brother to give up his female so Rydstrom could be happy.

What I like most about these books is the ongoing storyline and all the background stories that are going on at the same time. There are characters who I want to get to know better like Lothaire the Enemy of Old, a vampire who seems to be evil but helps the good guys once in a while…for a price…to serve some hidden agenda. He’s up to something.  Then there are the twin Lykae who keep showing up, Munro and Uilleam aka hot and hotter. And, of course, there is Nix the Ever Knowing, the soothsayer who seems to be manipulating everything from behind the scenes. They call her Nucking Futs Nix because she is barely lucid most of the time because she has so much going on in her mind.

I love this series. The characters are far from perfect which makes them that much more lovable to me and the storyline is just getting more complex and more interesting. This is one of those series that I’ll never get enough of.

I’ve already started reading the next book.

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Deep Kiss of Winter (Untouchable) – Immortals After Dark – Kresley Cole

This book had two stories in it. One by Kresley Cole and one by Gena Showalter. This summary is about the Kresley Cole story.

Daniela is part Valkyrie and part Icere. The Icere are Fey who need to keep cold so they live in a place called Iceguard where there is plenty of ice and snow to go around. For two thousand years, King Sigmund has been sending out assassins to kill Danii because she is the rightful heir to the kingdom. He stole the crown from her mother.

Murdoch Wroth is a Forbearer Vampire which means he does not drink blood from the source ever. Previous books in the series have featured all three of his brothers but we have only had brief glimpses of Murdoch. We know he is in the Forbearer army under Kristoff who wars with the Horde Vampires, born vampires who drink from the flesh and usually kill their victims which makes them mad because they get the memories of each victim. Too many memories in their heads make them crazy.

Murdoch comes upon Danii when she is running from Icere assassins in the French Quarter in New Orleans. He helps her fight them off and during the fight, he becomes blooded. Blooding is when a Vampire meets his Bride, the one female who makes their heart beats and brings back their sexual desires. Vampires are impotent and have no sexual desires until the meet their Bride.

Danii was shot full of arrows laced with a poison that heats her body to the point where she could die so Murdoch quickly traces her to a mill outside New Orleans where he sometimes stays and puts her into a bath. He traces to a gas station and steals ice to put over her to cool her down. He put on gloves and pulled out all of the arrows.

Unlike his brothers or any other Vampire who meets their Bride, he is not happy. He does not think he has to be a slave to his desires or to a female just because fate says so. He watched his father slowly wither after the death of his mother and never wants to be like that. Plus, he can never even touch Daniela. This is a nightmare to him.

Danii secretly wants romance and to be touched but only one of her kind could touch her and that is not an option. Murdoch gave her hope when he and she shared a sexual moment but then he doused those hopes by telling her that all he could do with his Bride is freeze and he told her to go.

Even though he had spurned her, she agrees to help him when he asks her to help him find and evil Vampire named Ivo. When she overheats, he traces her to his hunting lodge in Siberia which is perfect for Danii. He lets her stay there to hide from the Icere while he goes back to find Ivo and to serve under Kristoff.

Murdoch is hot and cold throughout this book. He wants Danii but he is afraid of being like his father and he gets frustrated that he can only touch her with gloves and never make love to her. They decide to give their relationship a try but Murdoch made it difficult with his fears and frustrations.

The cold in Siberia is transforming Danii into a stronger person and it changes her visage. Her hair has turned white and she is turning icier. She has decorated the entire lodge in ice and has begun to carve strange symbols into the ice. She is compelled more and more to carve and it worries Murdoch but as long as it makes her happy, he won’t interfere.

I have to say that there were some weird sexual moments in this book. I had a hard time thinking sexy thoughts because everything was so cold. Brrrrr!

As always, Nix the Ever Knowing is manipulating things from behind the scenes. I can’t say what without spoiling the story but she was definitely manipulating things to go her way for the Accession which is a war that happens every 500 or so years in the Lore where factions go against each other and one faction will come out on top to be more powerful than the rest…or something like that.

There were also background stories and hints for things to come. There was a mention that Kristoff dispatched some of his soldiers to look for the Dacia, a hidden group of vampires. I missed that the first time I read this series, not knowing that it was important. There was also mention of Lothaire the Enemy of Old but it was brief. We have heard of him a few times so far in this series and know that he is dangerous or powerful but we know nothing else about him.

I’ve already started reading the next book in the series.

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Dark Desires After Dusk – Immortals After Dark #6 – Kresley Cole

Cadeon Woede has been keeping tabs on a woman who he knows in his soul to be his fated female but she is forbidden to him because he is a Rage Demon and she is a human. He can’t seem to keep away so he watches her from afar…the rooftops of nearby buildings and such.

Holly Ashwyn teaches at Tulane University in New Orleans. She has her life planned out and everything is on a schedule. She has severe OCD and does not like change at all.

Cadeon has carried the guilt of losing his brother’s crown for nine hundred years. His brother, Rydstrom, never lets him forget it either. Cadeon had been raised away from brother, as royals often are, so when Rydstrom called on him to come to the castle to be there while he went to fight a vampire threat, Cadeon ignored him. Unfortunately, an evil sorcerer, Omort the Deathless, took over the castle while Rydstrom was away. He blamed Cadeon for not being there to protect the castle. Cadeon has been trying to make up for it ever since and has vowed to get Rydstrom’s kingdom back for him no matter what it takes.

When Holly is kidnapped by a demon cult, Cadeon goes after them. Rydstrom calls him while he is driving like hell through town to find Holly and tells him that he has found a way to defeat Omort. Omort’s brother has forged a sword that will kill Omort but he asking for the Vessel, a female from the Lore who will have a child who will either be good or evil but will be powerful beyond belief. Omort was a child from a Vessel. Rydstrom orders Cadeon to find the Vessel and take her to Groot in exchange for the sword. Cadeon gets a bad feeling.

Holly had woken up on a stone slab in some sort of cathedral with what looked like men in robes and costume horns. Her glasses were missing so she couldn’t be sure but one thing she was sure of was that they were chanting and one of them was about to rape her. Lightning started flashing outside above the glass dome above her she shrieked so loud the glass cracked. Lightning hit her in the chest but it didn’t kill her. It invigorated her. She grew claws and fangs and went into a fury.

Cadeon finds Holly crouched naked in a corner with twelve dead demons around her. She had killed them all. Holly had transformed into a Valkyrie. He knows that she must have a human father and a Valkyrie mother since Valkyrie are always female. She’s confused but they don’t have time for explanations because more demons are after them and vampires start shooting at them. He runs with Holly and they barely escape.

Holly is the Vessel.

All factions of the Lore will be after her either to use her for breeding or to kill her. Cadeon explains to her what she is and what is happening to her. When she asks why he is helping her, he tells her he is a mercenary hired to do hard jobs, which is true but he doesn’t tell her why or that he may end up having to betray her. How will he ever give up his fated female to an evil sorcerer?

I had a hard time liking Holly at first because she was so prudish and judgmental. It drove me insane but I also had a hard time with Cadeon who seemed more like a horny teenager than an ancient demon. It bothered me that he kept trying to get in Holly’s pants when he knew he was going to betray her in the end. But as Holly began to open up a little more, I started to like her more. I still called Cadeon, “Cad” though.

As always, Nix the Ever Knowing was manipulating events to help her in the Accession. The Accession is a war between factions of the Lore that happens every 500 years or so. Nix is trying to get allies and she seems to be a romantic at heart.

The only background story that I saw going on was about Rydstrom being kidnapped by Sabine, the Queen of Illusions and Omort and Groot’s sister. She kidnapped him to try to have his offspring who would be the heir to his kingdom but the only way for that to happen would be if she was his fated female. That would such for Rydstrom since she is Omort’s puppet and evil.

I am eager to start the next book which I already have in my e-reader since I have read this series before but I have not been able to sit down and read it yet. I still keep being amazed about how much I have forgotten and it’s like reading it for the first time again.

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Dark Needs at Night’s Edge – Immortals After Dark #5 – Kresley Cole

This is a heart-rending story about two beings who may never be able to be together. Néomi Laress has been a ghost ever since her crazed ex-fiancé murdered her and then himself at a party celebrating one of her ballet performances. She rambles around Elancourt, her beloved home, day after day…year after year. The highlight of her day is reading the daily newspaper that the last tenant must have forgotten to cancel.

Then four vampire brothers move in. One of them is in chains. He is violent and out of his mind and he is the first person who has seen her in over eighty years. Too bad he thinks she is another one of his hallucinations.

Conrad Wroth has spent the last three hundred years killing for hire and running from an ancient order of vampire slayers which he used to be part of before he was forced by his two oldest brothers to be a vampire himself. He drains the blood from his victims which gives him their memories which has made him confused and quite mad.

Néomi’s presence seems to calm Conrad and make his mind clear. He begins to think she is his fated Bride but since she is a ghost, there is no way to know for sure. Brides are the one female who can make a vampire’s heart beat again and give them back their sexual feelings that they lost when they became a vampire. Conrad vows to find a way to make her corporeal.

This brings about another problem. Conrad has been marked by a Dream Demon who has cursed him and will hurt anyone he cares about. The curse is his dream will become his nightmare. Up until he met Néomi, that hasn’t been a problem. His dream is that Néomi become corporeal but his nightmare is that she dies again.

I liked Conrad more than any of the protagonists in the previous books of this series. I have a thing for tortured heroes but it was also because the other males were too overbearing and kind of raperish. All they wanted to do was have sex with their females and would almost force themselves on them. It creeped me out. Conrad was an angry muffin but didn’t try to force himself on Néomi…not that he could with him being impotent and her being incorporeal but I don’t think he would have been like that in any case.

One of the things I love about this series is that Kresley Cole is always setting up the future story or plot which is getting more and more complex. There are a lot of background characters and stories going on in every book and it is getting harder to keep track of it all but I take a lot of notes. That is why it takes me a while to read a book. As always, Nix the Ever Knowing is manipulating things to go her way in the Accession, an immortal war that occurs every five to six hundred years in the Lore where factions will choose sides and seek power to be on top of the food chain. I think she is a romantic at heart too but the couples she brings together also serve a purpose to her to bring her allies. In this book, she is the one who suggested Elancourt to Conrad’s brothers to keep Conrad prisoner while they tried to get rid of his bloodlust. She also told Rydstrom and Cadeon how to find Conrad…sort of. They are looking for Conrad because he killed a demon who knows how to defeat the warlock who took Rydstrom’s crown. Conrad would have that demon’s memories somewhere in his mind. Nix also is working some strange deal with Rydstrom regarding Cadeon behind Cadeon’s back. We’ll have to wait for Rydstrom or Cadeon’s book to find out.

It is sad that I cannot remember all the details of these books. I’ve read the series before but because I read a ton of books in between each release, I forget a lot. But reading these books one after the other keeps it all together and helps me remember things better. But re-reading this series is just like reading it for the first time except I know how some things end and I can pay more attention to details that I may have not thought important the first time around.

Now, I’m off to read the next book which I already have in my e-reader. This is saving me so much money because I don’t have to buy anything.

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Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night – Immortals After Dark #4 – Kresley Cole

Bowen MacRieve was briefly introduced in the second book of the series, A Hunger Like No Other. We, the readers, learned that he was the cousin of Lachlain MacRieve, the king of the Lykae. He lost his mate over a century ago when she ran from him on the full moon and she died. In the last book, No Rest for the Wicked, he was one of the competitors in the Hie, a contest for immortals similar to the Amazing Race but more brutal and bloody. Bowen was ruthless in the game but I found myself feeling bad for him at times because I knew that he was fighting to get the one thing that could bring his mate, Mariah, back but some of the things that happened to him were his own fault for being so ruthless.

This book begins in one of his first competitions of the Hie. A lot of the books in this series run concurrent with the other books. We get a lot more details on what happened to Bowen because he is the protagonist in this book. Bowen chose to go for the prize of a Mayan headdress in the Guatemalan Jungle which would get him a fair amount of points in the contest He was in a giant tomb or temple along with a few other creatures from the Lore. He ended up behind the witch, Mariketa the Awaited. Bowen absolutely hates witches because an evil witch had played a horrible trick on his father. His father had wished that he could be the strongest of his brothers. She killed them all which made him the strongest. For this reason and more, he does not trust witches at all.

He and Mariketa are in the lead to get the headdress but come across a small tunnel where they must crawl through to get to the prize. Mariketa wears a red cloak to hide herself from the world. She also uses a glamour over herself to disguise her appearance because of a prophesy that foretells of a creature locking her away because he believes she is his mate. Of course, she and a handful of others know this is why she wears the cloak. Bowen has to crawl behind her and gets frustrated because the cloak is slowing her down so he reaches beneath her body and cuts off the cloak. Then he tells her there is a scorpion in her hair and tosses it in front of her which freaks her out so she backs up against him which makes him get aroused.

They end up in a room at the end of the tunnel and they make out. This pisses Bowen off because he thinks she has enchanted him. It is the only thing that makes sense to him since he has always been true to his mate and he is in this contest for the prize, Thrane’s Key, which will allow him to go back in time and save his mate from dying. Bowen snatches up the talisman and puts it up to his heart. It disappears and goes to the Riora, the goddess who is sponsoring the Hie. He then races to get out of the tomb. Mariketa isn’t too far behind but he reaches the portcullis first and closes it, sealing her and the other competitors into the tomb. Before Bowen closes the portcullis all the way, Mariketa threw a curse at him that would make it impossible for him to regenerate without coming back and getting her so she could reverse the spell.

What Bowen doesn’t know is that Mariketa has not yet frozen into her immortality. She is in transition but she is mortal. He saw the other competitors before he sealed them in and believes they will all be able to get out sooner than later but he will still have a head start to get to the next event. He did not know that Rydstrom and Cade, the two Rage Demons no longer had their ability to teleport due to some punishment for something they did long ago. He figured they would get everyone out of the tomb.

Mariketa is stuck in the tomb with Rydstrom and Cade who are brothers and three elves. They ask her why she can’t just use her magick to open the door and she tells them the truth. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred times when she uses her magick, she blows things up and that is when her magick works at all. If she tries to use her magick, the whole tomb might explode. The spell she used on Bowen was a simple spell that even a baby witch could accomplish. One of the elves starts reading the markings over the portcullis where they notice ominous looking scratches dug deep into the rock. It says that this tomb has been the prison of some evil ancient incubi for 11,000 years. And the incubi are still there.

The incubi, who used to be beautiful, are now hideous creatures with rotting skin. They fly over the competitors and aim right for Mariketa. The others try to fight them off but one of the incubi grabbed Mariketa by the ankle and flew up to their nest a hundred feet above, knocking her head against the side of the tomb as they went. Mariketa is scared to death of heights so when the others tell her to jump down and they will catch her, she just can’t bring herself to do it. She spends the next two weeks in the nest of the incubi where they forced her to drink their blood and eat things she couldn’t identify. She becomes weak and can barely function to stay alive.

Meanwhile, Bowen goes on in the competition. He gets minor injuries that won’t heal and realizes that Mariketa’s curse worked. He goes up against Kaderin the Coldhearted and ends up landing on a mine which blew off one of his eyes and part of his forehead. A rusted piece of metal went through his ribcage and he won’t heal but he keeps on with the competition. He ends up in the final against Sebastian Wroth. Sebastian’s Bride had just died in the fiery pit below so he needed the prize as bad as Bowen but the only way to get to the tunnel where the final prize lay, was to have Sebastian trace him there. Sebastian’s arm was stuck under a boulder so Bowen agreed to lift the boulder if Sebastian would trace him to the tunnel. Sebastian traced him but grabbed the prize first. Bowen used his whip to stop try to get the prize from Sebastian but Sebastian cut off Bowen’s hand and traced away, effectively winning the contest and stranding Bowen for two weeks. This all happened in the last book so I’m not giving anything away.

When Bowen is rescued, he learns from Nix, the Valkyrie soothsayer, that a lot of people want his head for stranding Mariketa, the Rage Demons and the elves in a tomb where only Bowen knows the location. Riora knows it but she won’t be heard from for another 250 years when she hosts the next Hie. Nix tells him that Mariketa is not doing well because she is mortal and has been without food and water for three weeks.

One of the reasons Bowen entered the Hie was because Nix told him that through the Hie, he would have his mate. He asks her why he didn’t get his mate. She tells him he will. She also tells him that he was ensorcelled and that Mariketa would remove that from him. He believes she is talking about the curse Mariketa put on him and the spell that she enchanted him with to believe that she is his mate. She tells him that he has until the full moon to retrieve Mariketa and have her call to tell her coven that she is okay or the factions will go to war and take his head.

Bowen barely gets to the tomb in time to save Mariketa. She’s barely breathing when he gets to her but when she hears his voice, she gets some sort of adrenaline rush to try to kill him. She floats up and pushes him against the outside of the tomb and would have killed him if Rydstrom wouldn’t have interfered. She does, however, annihilate the tomb, killing the incubi inside. Then she loses consciousness again. They all run uphill when trees and rocks start sliding towards the tomb. The tomb held so much power that it created a vacuum when it blew up, sucking everything into the void.

This is where they start a long journey to get out of the jungle. They must avoid the two warring groups of guerilla soldiers in the area and try to get Mariketa to safety.

Mariketa takes the curse from Bowen and he heals immediately. But he still wants her to lift the enchantment spell that makes him believe she is his mate but Mariketa doesn’t believe she enchanted him. She can’t say for sure because her magick is wonky but she is pretty sure she did not enchant him.

Rydstrom asks Bowen if he’s sure that Mariketa isn’t his mate, maybe she has been reincarnated. Bowen takes this into consideration. He strikes up a bargain with Mariketa that in exchange for his protection and the comforts he can offer, (he had gone back to her wrecked vehicle and got her suitcase full of clean clothes and toiletries) she would allow him to treat her as he would his mate. She agreed as long as there was no sex. Oh, and she couldn’t use magick.

There were so many things that seemed off about certain things happening to Bowen and to Mariketa that they just seemed to ignore or not get like when Mariketa saw a reflection in a pool that handed her an apple and told her to take a bite. Then it told her that she is the Queen of Reflections and could use mirrors to help her with her magick. I kept thinking that something was up with this especially since she seemed to have a little addiction to using her compact mirror. Then there was Bowen’s mate, Mariah. Bowen’s memories of her are of a spoiled Fey princess who didn’t like that he was a Lykae or his personality. It struck me as odd and I kept wondering if a witch had made him think Mariah was his mate or maybe that Mariah was a witch.

I wanted to shake Bowen half the time for how stubborn he was but I liked him at the same time. I loved Mariketa. She made me laugh quite a few times.

Nix confirmed that the Accession has begun. The Accession occurs every five hundred to six hundred years in the Lore. It is a war between factions where allies will be chosen and enemies will rise up to fight for power. Power of what? I have no clue except for to be on top of the food chain in the Lore.

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

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No Rest for the Wicked – Immortals After Dark #3 – Kresley Cole

Because of Kaderin’s hesitation to kill a vampire on the battlefield a thousand years ago, she lost her two sisters. They were born triplets, a rarity amongst Valkyrie. She felt sorry for him but he turned around and purposely found her sisters on the battlefield and killed them with an evil smile. Since then, she has hated vampires and goes out of her way to kill them.

The pain and guilt of losing her sisters was unbearable so she prayed to whatever god was listing to take it away and one of them listened. She’s been known as Kaderin the Coldhearted ever since.

A thousand years later, she’s sent out to kill a lone vampire in Estonia. She finds herself, for the second time in her life, hesitating to kill a vampire. This vampire seems to want to die and she tells herself that the reason she doesn’t want to kill him is because it would make him suffer to let him live but the truth is she is drawn to him.

Sebastian Wroth has lived a bleak life for three hundred years. He was turned into a vampire against his will by his brothers because he was dying from a wound he received while defending his home from raiders. Subsequently, he never talked to his brothers again. He lives alone and doesn’t have any friends. He won’t kill himself but he wouldn’t put up a fight if someone wanted to kill him.

When a beautiful assassin comes to kill him, he’s willing to let her except his heart starts beating and his libido returns. He hasn’t had sexual desires since he was turned. He wants her like he has never wanted anyone in his life. She is his Bride, the one female made specifically for him.

To Kaderin’s horror, she ends up making out with Sebastian but she stopped it before it went too far and ran out of his castle as fast as she could…into the sun so he couldn’t follow her.

Every two-hundred and fifty years, Kaderin competes in the Hie, a competition similar to the Amazing Race but much more bloody. She has won it the last five times. This year, the prize is something that she wants more than anything before it, Thrane’s Key. This key allows a person to go back into time and change something without completely dismantling the future’s timeline and events. She can use it twice but she only needs it once to go back and get her sisters.

Kaderin arrives at the Hie and checks out her competition. There’s no one there who she considers too much of a challenge except for Cindey, the nymph but she knows she can easily beat her in the later rounds of the game. She’s not too worried until she sees a new competitor, a Lykae named Bowen MacRieve who everyone knows lost his mate a century or so ago and who will do anything to get her back. His strength alone could be a serious challenge. This will be the first time a Lykae has ever entered the Hie.

Then Kaderin sees Sebastian in a shadowy corner. She wonders how he could have found her since this place is secret, not on a map and she knows no one in the Lore would tell a vampire where it was because vampires are deplored and shunned by the Lore. Plus, vampires can only trace to places they have been before and she is sure that he has never been there before.

Sebastian can’t stop thinking about his Bride. He doesn’t know who or what she is thanks to the Lore not ever sharing any information with vampires. He knows that he can only trace, something close to teleporting, to places he has been before but he is a man of science so he wonders if he can trace to a place then why couldn’t he trace to a person. He tries it and it works. He finds himself in what looks like a temple full of beings from the Lore. He traces around and figures out that it is for some sort of competition. He decides to enter it and win the prize for his Bride.

The rules of the Hie are that the contestants will receive a list of items or talisman with assigned point values to choose from to compete for in various parts of the world. The first person who gets the prize will hold the prize over their heart and it will disappear, going to the Riora, the goddess who hosts the Hie. Competitors can just about do anything to insure they get their prize except kill another competitor outright until the final event then all bets are off.

Kaderin thinks Sebastian entered the event so she cannot kill him but he reminds her that she really does not want to kill him. She also is unnerved that after a thousand years, her gift as she calls it, is failing her. She feels emotions around him and it is throwing her off her game.

Sebastian saves Kaderin in several events but Kaderin is bullheaded and continues to loathe him though she also has the hots for him. I was glad when Sebastian started playing the game by using the prizes to try to win her heart.

There are a lot of background stories going on in this book but one stood out. Bowen the Lykae got torn up in this book. I felt so bad for him but at the same time, he was ruthless so he kind of deserved a lot of it. He was said to have trapped or imprisoned some of the other competitors. One of them was the witch Mariketa the Awaited who cursed him to be unable to regenerate when he locked her up. He was pretty much falling apart by the end of the book. It was sad but he kept right on going.

In every book, more characters are introduced but the star of the series seems to be Nix or Nucking Futs Nix as most call her because she is a soothsayer who sometimes seems lost in all the information she carries around…so much so that the things she says seem to be nonsense but I think everything she says and does is for a reason. She’s crazy but crazy like a fox. I absolutely adore her character.

Re-reading this series has just reminded me of how much I enjoyed it the first time around. I have forgotten so much but re-reading the story gives me another perspective because I know to expect certain things and I pick up on subtle clues that I missed the first time around. It’s crazy how much I look forward to reading each book.

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A Hunger Like No Other – Immortals After Dark #2 – Kresley Cole

I have been wanting to re-read this series for quite a while but after reading Blood Red Kiss, a book with stories from three different authors including Kresley Cole’s first book from Immortals After Dark, I decided to procrastinate no longer.

It never ceases to amaze me how much I have forgotten when I re-read a series. Well…Okay, I admit that I have not re-read many books, let alone, entire series. I’ve only re-read one series so far, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series, but I was surprised while reading each book about what I forgot and missed.

This series follows the creatures of the Lore. The Lore is just what it sounds like, the hidden world of creatures from folklore and myth. They live hidden amongst humans and in different realms. Every 500 or so years, the Accession happens which is a war between factions of the Lore for ultimate supremacy.

This book was about Emmaline Troy who is part vampire and part Valkyrie. Her mother died of sorrow after she and Emmaline’s father broke up. Emmaline was raised by her aunts who hid her from the vampires for some reason. She has no clue who her father is but she is curious to find out who he is so she sets off for the first time by herself in her 70 years and goes to Paris where she knew her father and mother had lived together before she was born. I probably should point out that Emmaline looks like she is in her early twenties.

She has been sheltered all her life and thought of as meek too nice and unskilled. Her aunts are hardcore Valkyries who love to kill vampires who they think are the scourge of the earth. In fact, most of the Lore thinks of vampires as leeches so they shun them. It hasn’t been very good for Emmaline’s self-image.

Lachlain MacRieve is the leader of the Lykae Clan. He has been chained below the city of Paris in catacombs for one hundred and fifty years being tortured by an eternal flame. He dies just to be revived again over and over. He was imprisoned by the king of the Horde vampires, Demestriu and his right hand man Ivo the Cruel.

Lykae have predestined mates and sometimes, they wait centuries for them. When Lachlain senses his mate is right above him in the city, he fights his chains before the fire starts again and weakens him. He ends up amputating the bottom part of a leg in order to free himself and spends the next week regenerating it enough to be able to search for her. When he finds her, he is horrified to find out she is a vampire.

Lachlain takes Emmaline hostage because he has just come from being tortured by vampires and he has rage issues. Plus, she is his mate and even though she is a vampire, he doesn’t want to lose her. I had a lot of problems with Lachlain’s handling of Emma throughout this book but I had to keep reminding myself that they aren’t human. They have to appear to behave similar to humans to fit into the world but that is where the similarity ends. They, at least the Lykae, are still animalistic by nature. At first, he needed her because he was unfamiliar with the world and its new technology but Lykaes learn and adapt fast. He also needed her credit card to get him back to his castle and clan in Scotland before the full moon. He knows that the vampires are rich so she can afford it.

He has no clue that Emma is part Valkyrie and her aunts will kill him when they get their hands on him.

Meanwhile, vampires are looking for something and have been stalking Valkyrie around the world. Emmaline’s aunts think they could be looking for Emmaline because she may be the last living female vampire. Demestriu had the others killed but no one knows why.

Kresley Cole did an incredible job of developing the romance between Emma and Lachlain. I went from wanting to castrate him to feeling a little sorry for him.

The development of the ongoing story is also incredible. The first time around, I missed a lot of the little nuances and subtle details that seem like they aren’t important to the story but (because I know what happens later) actually are something that will tie into the future story. I have started a list of the weird things that Nix says because she is a soothsayer. She’s nuttier than a Filbert tree at harvest time but she knows a lot more than people think and I believe she has set up a multi-dimensional chessboard and is setting up the game pieces in her favor.

This book was just as enjoyable to read the second time as it was the first time.