Lucia the Huntress is a 1500 year old valkyrie, most likely the greatest archer in the world. And she is cursed so that any time her arrow misses, she...moreLucia the Huntress is a 1500 year old valkyrie, most likely the greatest archer in the world. And she is cursed so that any time her arrow misses, she will be crippled by intense pain. Every 500 years Lucia has to put down a hideous g-d, who would otherwise escape and bring apocalyptic distruction upon the world. So far she has done her duty, but the god is growing stronger, and Lucia needs to find a dieumort - a rare god-killing weapon - in order to destroy him completely.
Garreth MacRieve is Lykae prince, forced to reluctantly assume the throne 100 years ago after the disappearance of his elder brother Lachlain. When Lucia ventures onto the Lykae compound to take out a couple of cupids, Garreth recognises her as his mate. Unfortunately as much as Lucia finds herself attracted to Garreth, she will not give up her vow of chastity which is the source of her magical archery skills. She's also not willing to reveal all of her secrets to Garreth, especially not the most tragic one of all. So she flees from him and concentrates on finding the dieumort and slaying the god. And Garreth follows her; determined to help her, and to have her.
Because the majority of the books in this series overlap in timeframe, the first 50 pages of the book contain plot from the previous 8 books, and is sort of rehashed and spliced together to fit Garreth and Lucia's points of view. I found this a little bit rushed and awkward, although I am still impressed at Kresley Cole's skill at juggling so many timelines and slotting all the plot pieces together. It's impressive, it's just nowhere near as slick as pulp fiction!
Lucia and Garreth did not work so well as a couple, in my opinion. Although Lucia instantly 'clicked' with Garreth, she had serious trust issues. She was determined to keep so many things secret, whereas if she had just told him WHY she couldn't sleep with him, he probably wouldn't have pushed so hard. I suppose 1500 years of never being romantically involved with a man probably gave her a bit of a complex... but her issues really were annoying me after a while. Garreth on the other hand was rather fixated on getting into her pants, but then thats Lykae for you. On the whole they were just an awkward couple for me.
I really think this series is getting a little bit too cheesy for my liking. Or more likely, it was cheesy all along and I'm just becoming more picky. And I'm not sure there are many characters left that I truly want to know the stories of. So its not going to be high priority for me. BUT I hate to leave a series unfinished, so I most likely will be carrying on with it, just not expecting anything amazing out it.(less)
Over a thousand years ago, the first Konstantine Varinski, a Russian warlord, made a deal with the devil - Which involved the breaking of a religious...moreOver a thousand years ago, the first Konstantine Varinski, a Russian warlord, made a deal with the devil - Which involved the breaking of a religious icon into 4 parts, scattered and hidden around the world. Since then the entire varinski line has produced only sons, and exerted their power over the local area in various ways, commonly being reputable assassins for hire. All of them are long-lived, fast-healing and are able to shapeshift into a predatory animal.
The current day Konstantine Varinski was just as brutal as his namesakes, until he met a young gypsy girl, fell in love, and fled to America, changing his surname to Wilder. Now he has 3 grown sons, goodlooking and single sons of course.. (and miraculously also a daughter). Then the gypsy mother utters a pretty scary prophecy.. that 4 of Konstantine Wilder's sons must each bring a piece of the broken icon back together, or rather not the sons themselves, but the women who love them. In order to break the curse, and save their father from certain death. Of course you can bet the original Varinski family back in Russia, has not forgotten them, and probably has their own version of the prophecy to work for.
Jasha Wilder, is the eldest son, and currently running the hugely successful family wine business. Anne Smith works as Jasha's executive assistant, her defining features seem to be that she's unusually tall, an extremely hard worker, introverted, and secretly in love with her boss. Oh, and she has a dark secretive past to do with nuns.. Anne uses a recent wine deal as an excuse to personally turn up to Jasha's house one day, (his phallic shaped house, apparently), and on discovering he is out moves all her clothes into his bedroom (as you do).. and then goes downstairs to find a giant wolf in the house.. guess who?
The backstory to this series is certainly interesting, all though it does fit a certain UF pattern, 4 sons in one prophecy all to find their fated ladies, its a very smooth set up for 4 separate books. Although son number 4 remains a complete mystery at this point! Thats certainly something I want the answer to.
When Anne turned up at Jasha's house, I was ready to be severely disappointed, Anne came across as quite the psychotic stalker woman.. I mean who the hell moves their clothes into their bosses bedroom while hes out? It really didn't sound like the perfect romantic beginning, especially considering Jasha had never even considered her in a non-professional capacity before. I was so expecting this to end up my crap shelf at that point, and yet, by the 100 pages mark, I was absolutely truly hooked!
I think primarily it must be Christina Dodd's writing skill that makes the entire book work. The cliche PNR series setup and the awkward beginning aside, I truly enjoyed it, so yet, there is certainly something to be said for Dodd's writing. And I don't just mean the fluff-scenes (although they were pretty epic it has to be said). In any other book I'd say Jasha and Anne wouldn't have worked as a couple, he was ridiculously domineering, she was a psychotic stalker, and I'm still not convinced he was truly in love with her, and yet Dodd managed to smush them together in a ridiculously convoluted way.
It's going to be one of those series that I hate to love, and can't help but read the entirety of. Guilty pleasure extreme.
Note: some sex scenes border on/could be considered Non-consensual, so if thats an issue for you, consider yourself warned. and I can confirm there is a similar situation in book 2. (less)