Razr – Demonica #11.8 – 1001 Dark Nights – Larissa Ione

I love the covers of these 1001 Dark Nights books. They always have the most brilliant colors yet it is mostly words with just a few pictures which are usually in the zeroes of the 1001. I give kudos to the graphic artist who designs these covers.

This is Larissa Ione’s fourth novella in the 1001 Dark Nights series. The 1001 Dark Nights series is a collection of paranormal and contemporary romance stories by various authors. I only follow a few of the authors so I haven’t read that many of them. I have noticed, however, that Larissa works with a lot of other authors on different projects like the Rising Storm series which is a long story written by various authors and Blood Red Kiss which is a book that has stories by Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole, two authors in my top ten favorites along with Larissa Ione of course.

We, the reader, have met Razr before in the last book of the Demonica series, Z although he remained a mystery. He is an angel who was kicked out of Heaven, along with two other angels, for making the huge mistake of losing the Enoch Gems during a battle against demons. His wings were bound and he also must endure beatings at irregular intervals. He carries his own whip and hands it to the nearest person when the glyph on his hand starts to glow. If he isn’t whipped right away, he experiences excruciating pain. In order to get back into Heaven, he has to find the Enoch Gems but he works in the underworld in Sheoul-gra for Azagoth aka the Grim Reaper so he doesn’t have a lot of time to go look. He’s in luck though because Azagoth decided to give him time off to locate the gems. Razr can’t wait to kill whoever was responsible for stealing the gems.

Jedda is a Gem Elf who, along with her two sisters, stole the gems from Razr while he and his team were busy fighting demons. She and her sisters can sense gems and felt the powerful jewels so they stole them from their human keepers. Each one of her sisters absorbed the power of the gems so that their life forces are dependent on the gems and then hid the physical gems. Jedda hid hers in Scotland with dhampires guarding it. Her gem just happens to be Razr’s gem, the one he has to get back in order to get back into Heaven.

Razr found the dhampires who were guarding his gem but they told him without its current owner, they had no way to access it. That led him to Jedda.

Jedda lives in the human realm and works as a specialist with gems. She was at what she thought was a gem conference when Razr found her but she soon found out it was a trap. A fallen angel named Shrike used some evil power from some evil demon or deity that he worshipped to put a spell on Jedda. She will weaken and eventually die if she doesn’t hand over the gem and a crystal horn that Shrike needs for some evil purpose.

Razr agrees to help her only because he needs the gem himself but he also has an unexplainable attraction to Jedda. He wants to believe that she just acquired the gem from a gem dealer or collector after the initial theft but he isn’t so sure. He has no clue that giving up the gem’s power will kill her.

This was a quick and enjoyable read. I always like Larissa Ione’s characters because she makes both the females and males baddass…no innocent little miss perfects in her books. I look forward to her next book. I wonder who it will be about.

The Chosen – Black Dagger Brotherhood #15 – J.R. Ward

This is the kind of book that makes you forget to eat, sleep or do anything other than curl up and read. Did you know that you can pee and read at the same time? All things are possible with a book like this.

I have been waiting for Layla and Xcor’s story since they first met each other. It really is a tragic story and with J.R. Ward, you never know if it will end happily or rip your heart out like what happened with Trez and Selena where Selena died or like Assail and Sola where she moved away.

In previous books, Layla met Xcor when one of his fighters took her to feed him her blood. Yes, they are vampires who get nourishment off the opposite sex. Layla believed the fighter was part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood because he was in their compound once and the brothers had her feed him. She was clueless at first. She immediately connected with Xcor despite his cleft palette or hare lip as they called it and when she found out that she had done wrong, she did confess it to the Brotherhood but she still felt a connection to him. Later, Xcor coerced her to see him but was always a gentleman with her and she became enamored with him. He broke it off between them though.

Layla is a Chosen which means she was born and raised in what the race of vampires calls Sanctuary which is a sort of heaven. She served the mother of the race and was trained to be an ehros, in the art of sex to please the Prime Male and reproduce along with many other Chosen, but the Prime Male chose to mate one female and freed all of the Chosen. Layla was left with no job and had an empty spot in her life so when her time of needing came, the fertile time of a female of their race where they either have to have sex or be heavily drugged to withstand the pain of the needing, she and one of the males of the Brotherhood agreed to have sex and have a child.

The entire time she was meeting Xcor in secret, she was pregnant and he accepted it.

Xcor had been captured by the Black Dagger Brotherhood but was badly injured when they took him down so they kept him alive by machines in order to interrogate him. He woke up and knew that he was going to be executed and knew that he would never give up his men so he would probably be tortured.

I really give a lot of details about the story without giving out spoilers but I can say, I was hating Quinn in this book. He acted like a straight-up hateful dickwad in this book. I was also a little worried about Vishous and his state of mind.

The series also may have a new enemy to deal with soon. I think that will be interesting although I hope it isn’t a repeat of when Lash was the enemy. We’ll see.

Gosh, I wish I could say more because there was a lot of exciting new developments and things that happened. I guess you will just have to read the book.

 

Feversong – Fever #9 – Karen Marie Moning

The first half of this book drove me bonkers! You know those movies where things are fragmented and you don’t know if the scene is a memory or something that is happening in the present or those scenes when that wonky whooshing sound comes on as scenes flash by? That is how I felt. It wasn’t just the fragmented thing that bothered me though. It was the pages and pages of introspection that I skipped over because that kind of thing bores me to tears. I almost didn’t want to continue reading but I had read that this was the finale to the series and really wanted to know what happened to certain characters like Dani/Jada, Christian and Dageus so I trudged on. Luckily, the second half of the book was much better and reminded me why I love this series.

If you aren’t familiar with this series it is about a young woman named MacKayla who goes to Dublin to get answers to why her sister was murdered. She discovers she can see things others cannot like Fae creatures living amongst the humans without them knowing. She sees their true features. She meets other women just like her who are called sidhe-seers. They are able to see Fae creatures in their true form. Each has their individual talents but Mac seems to be a little more powerful than any of the rest. To make things worse, she is being stalked by something called the Sinsar Dubh which in the beginning was an evil book but as the series goes on we learn that the Sinsar Dubh is more than just a book. It somehow burrowed its way into Mac and continuously taunts her and tries to use her for its evil goals.

She met a man named Jericho Barrons who is the man of my dreams. He’s powerful, mysterious and is a man of few words. She knows what Barrons really is. He is part of a group called The Nine who are a lot like him but he seems to be their leader. She and Barrons become an item. They don’t seem to be the most romantic couple but you can tell that they would die for each other. The way Karen Marie Moning writes it, is superb and it is hard to describe their relationship since it developed over the course of the series.

MacKayla isn’t the only protagonist of this series. There is also a sidhe-seer named Dani who has super speed and strength who stars in these books. Dani starts out as a vibrant 14-year-old but gets lost in something called the silvers and over a period of just a few months comes out again as an adult because time moves different in the silvers. Dani then became known as Jada, a cool and calculated young woman who made me miss Dani very much.

The wall between the two worlds of the Fae and humans collapses and Fae start trying to take over the world but Mac, Dani and a bunch of other characters fight against it.

At the end of the last book, the Sinsar Dubh possessed Mac so this book starts off with the point of view of the Sinsar Dubh and switches to other character’s points of view throughout the book. Mac is stuck somewhere in a dark within her own body. She has time to reflect A LOT on what she did wrong and how she might be able to overcome the Sinsar Dubh.

Meanwhile, there are other threats to the world. There are black holes that are hovering above the ground all over the Earth. They suck in anything near and become larger. The fear is that if one of them touches the ground, it will suck in the Earth and the whole universe and life will cease to exist anywhere except other realms and worlds that can be reached through the Silvers.

I am glad I continued to read on instead of giving up on this book because it ended up being a great and emotional end to the series.

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.