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.