Kresley Cole did it again! She made me forget I had a life outside her book. I forgot to cook, clean and I barely slept while I was reading this book. It was just that good. Actually, I have to tell you a secret. I stopped reading a book by my favorite author because the book was dragging to read this book because I love Kresley’s writing so much.
I loved Jo, the leading lady of the book. Well, she wasn’t really what people call a ‘lady’. She was too tough and rough for that title but she had a big heart and believed in true love. She stuck up for people who others thought were the dregs of society like prostitutes. She was the Big-Bad-Ugly to the pimps and gang leaders and she kept them in line anywhere she lived. I thought that was great.
There is nothing sweet and innocent about Jo…or any of Kresley Cole’s female characters for that matter…and I love it because virtuous goody-two-shoes always make me snore. I liked that she had no qualms about stealing, using her body or kicking ass to get what she wanted. It just made her more lovable.
Jo’s earliest memory is of her waking up with her infant brother in her arms. She couldn’t remember anything before that moment but she knew he had to be her brother because she was too young to be his mother. She and he lived on the streets and she took care of him the best she could by stealing and finding shelter where she could. At least until she angered a local gang leader and he unloaded his gun into her head. She woke up in the morgue and thought she was a ghost but realized she was something more than just a ghost so she went after the gangster who killed her. She killed him and when his blood inadvertently sprayed in her mouth, it made her stronger. She realized that she had to live on blood to survive but she had no idea if she was a vampire or a ghost.
When she went to go get her brother from the lady who was taking care of him, Mrs. B, they freaked because they thought she was a ghost so she decided to leave her brother with Mrs. B so he could have a better life but she always planned on going back to get him. She kept up with his life through the years via the internet and social media even though Jo was illiterate. She used voice to text to navigate the computer.
She’s living in New Orleans when she first sees Rune, the leading male of the book. He’s having sex with four nymphs in a courtyard. By this time in her life, she has seen other non-humans or paranormal beings other than herself and she knows Rune has to be something other than human so she plans to keep an eye on him.
Rune is part of an elite group of warriors called the Morior. He has been ordered to kill the oldest living Valkyrie, the soothsayer Nix. We all know Nix from previous books in the series and have come to love this insane genius. She has a pet bat who she talks to and carries around with her. She sees the future and is somehow masterminding the Accession. An Accession happens every five hundred or so years in the Lore (paranormal realm and beings). It is when all factions of Lore from fey, shifter, vampires, demons and whatever fight each other. It is also a time when people of the Lore find their mates. But this Accession is different because Nix is steering events and making allies with unlikely beings and factions. It is unknown why she is doing it but I think it is to cause a war or one giant battle to crop the length of the Accession. It has given her some powerful enemies and Rune is one of them.
Rune is probably the best archer known to the Lore but he is best known for his prowess with the ladies. He uses his sexual allure as a weapon and way to get information about his targets. He was a former sex slave and actually does not get much satisfaction from his exploits with the females. His blood and saliva are poisonous so he has never been able to kiss anyone unless he aims to kill them. His species of dark fey is rare so he has lost all hope of ever finding a mate that his blood or saliva won’t kill but he is okay with that.
Jo sees her brother, Thad, for the first time in many years walking down the road with Nix and he is all grown up. Then she sees Rune on a rooftop aiming his bow at them. She thinks his target is Thad so she tackles Rune which makes him lose his chance to kill Nix. From there, Nix plays games with Jo and Rune, making them think she has Thad captive and sending them all over the world to find her. I think, Nix knows they belong together and is forcing them to realize it too. I think Nix is a matchmaker and the mastermind behind this Accession.
There was one point in the book where I wanted to slap Rune and my heart broke for Jo but I can’t go into details or it would spoil a good part of the book.
This book also introduces new characters from the Morior warriors and it gives us glimpses at previous characters. The book was over too soon and just made me want more of this series.