Audrey's Reviews > Lothaire

Lothaire by Kresley Cole
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Jan 13, 12

bookshelves: paranormal-sci-fi-or-otherworldly
Read from January 10 to 12, 2012

FYI, pretty much spoiler-free, I think.

3+/3.5 stars overall. I'll be completely honest; I'm a little underwhelmed. I liked it...for the most part. There were parts I really liked, parts I didn't particularly like, and parts with which I was definitely squeamish/uncomfortable. This is a hard one for me to evaluate because I had been looking forward to it for QUITE some time (uh, check when I originally shelved this book - back in MAY 2011). Much like that feeling you get when you've planned a vacation to see, say, the Eiffel Tower, then after months of waiting, you get there and you're like "oh," I feel the anticipation for this book may have clouded my judgment.

HERE'S WHAT I LIKED

1. World-building! Back story! Introduction of the Dacians (a supposedly fabled but actually real vampire kingdom...that happens to be the subject of KC's spinoff series "Realm of Blood and Mist," arriving this summer)! Seeing other characters with whom I am familiar and of whom I am quite fond (hi, Thad! hi, Nixie!)!
- KC is really good at this. REALLY good at this. We get a lot of information about Lothaire's history, from his early formative years to...YES...his long history and odd frienemies status with Nix. If you're an IAD faithful *raises hand*, you'll also get a little thrill when you spot cameos of other IAD characters.
- Beyond that, we get a lot more of the world-building that makes the IAD world so fun. The biggest aspect of this world-building is the world of the Dacians. The vampire books generally are my least favorite of the IAD world, but KC does a nice job of giving her Dacian vamps individual personalities, whether it be brooding or surly. Mmmm...me likey. I'm curious enough to try out her new series set in that world.

2. The heroine, Elizabeth Ann Peirce (or "Ellie") - I liked her. A lot. Whoever thought to pair up a millenia-old, mortal-hating, filthy-rich, eviler-than-thou vamp with a human hillbilly from Appalachia? KC, that's who. Surprisingly, it worked for me. I had some fears that her character would be too much like the (loathed) trailer trash Tayla from Larissa Ione's Pleasure Unbound, who was so unworthy of Eidolon, but Ellie didn't. Ellie worked for me because she was intelligent, spunky, stood up for herself, and had backbone. And when you're paired up with Lothaire, the Enemy of Old, you need a backbone...or else he'll just rip it out for you. Even faced with her seemingly impossible position (um, from death row prisoner to captive of a vampire who is hell-bent on exterminating you so that he can use your body as the host for an evil ex-goddess? yeah, THAT doesn't sound daunting), she was still trying to scheme and plot her way into besting him. I liked that. It showed determination and grit.

3. Lothaire...as a character. To clarify, NOT as a hero. Yes, this is going to come as a weird one for all of those Lothaire groupies (of whom I still count myself a part), but yeah...he's not hero material. Sorry, folks. I think he's an awesome character with his dry DRY wit, his boundless arrogance, and his unwavering confidence. He had so many one liners that I couldn't keep track of "I should add that as a status update!" moments. He also has a really interesting back story, but yeah...that made him a great character. He didn't work (for me) as a romance hero. For more info thereon, see number 2. of "Here's what didn't work for me" below.

4. Sexytimes. Pretty smokin' hot. Like...hotter than all the other IAD books, I think. And Lothaire when he loses control over his puny mortal (then doesn't want to cop to it) is pretty great. *evil grin*

HERE'S WHAT DIDN'T WORK FOR ME

1. Sexytimes. Yes, this shows up on both lists. Pretty smokin' hot sexytimes, but I just couldn't get past my squeamishness over what felt like questionable consent scenarios. And pretty much all of them fell under that category. I mean...super-powerful vamp who torments his kidnappee meets human captive? The power dynamic just felt SO wrong to me that I couldn't get comfortable with their sexytimes scenes, especially when Lothaire was such an asshole afterwards and any time he was with her otherwise, even if the sexytimes themselves were hot and choreographed nicely. There was just such a weird dynamic overall to the relationship that, even though Ellie tried to do all that she could to best Lothaire, I couldn't shake the feeling that she was doing these things (namely, seducing him) not necessarily of her own free will, but because (a) she was overpowered and had no choice and (b) she had her own endgame in mind.

2. Lothaire...as a romance hero. Yeah, he's alpha. Gamma, even? Yeah, he knows his way around a bedroom (and a settee...and a kitchen counter...etc.). But yeah...he wasn't...romantic. And he didn't protect and cherish Ellie like a vamp should his Bride. Now, I'm usually on board with KC's alpha heroes. Give me a demon with lickable horns who's dragging a reluctant newfound Valkyrie cross-country, and I totally signed up for that. It's not like I expected a reformed Lothaire or anything. He could continue with his badassery, End Game, and death dealing (which he does in this book). I just wanted a little more...outlook adjustment, I suppose? At the very least with respect to his Bride? After he recognizes Ellie as his Bride and subsequently mulls over his really UN-heroic actions towards her, I was rubbing my hands in anticipation of some major groveling. Alas, such did not appear. Some of his actions were thoughtful, which I understand for Lothaire is a MAJOR leap already, but I just couldn't connect with him as a hero. He's fun to watch and a fantastic character, sure, but I didn't really think he was a hero in this case.

3. Saroya possession. *sigh* I was really indifferent towards the first 30% or so of the book. I knew it had something to do with the Saroya possession aspect, but I couldn't pinpoint it at the time. I finally figured out just why this bothered me so much. It was totally TOTALLY an "other woman"/cheating scenario, and what made this one different was you actually got narrative from the OW's POV. *cringe* I'm sure it added to the story in some way what with Lothaire's not knowing who his Bride was, but this part didn't really work for me. I know I know...I'm just a huge wuss when it comes to these evil chicks (I also hated Sabine from Kiss of a Demon King, but at least she could be funny), but nobody said this review was going to be anything but completely subjective.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

This was a really cool addition to the IAD world, and I loved seeing the IAD characters from earlier books. KC has a great imagination, and reading about some of the baddies and their world was a fun ride through less charted territory. However, the romance didn't really blossom as a romance, in my opinion. The inherent skewed relationship between kidnapper and captive just didn't really work to establish a believable connection between the two main characters, especially when one is adamant in his belief that a mere mortal couldn't possibly be his Bride and continues to degrade and insult her at every turn. Sure, I didn't really expect kittens and roses - it's Lothaire, after all - but I did expect...something more. I dunno...let's just say that I've done rereads of almost every other IAD book, but this one...might not be on that rotation as often as I would originally have expected.

I guess what it boils down to is this: I got caught up in this book and kept reading it, but NOT for the romance, which is a strange strange thing to say about a romance novel.

Here's hoping that the Dacians live up to their promise in this summer's Shadow's Claim.


**********

ORIGINAL REVIEW PLACEHOLDER (*sigh*...I was so looking forward to this, too!): I just want to mention that there is an author named M. Lothaire who has written about combinatorics. For those of us obsessive IAD fans, we know that Holly studied, among other things, extremal combinatorics, and Cade (my favorite - <3 him!) had looked up on Holly's laptop..."cluster analysis and extremal combinatorics." Lothaire. Combinatorics. Holly. Cade. CONSPIRACY THEORISTS, UNITE!
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Reading Progress

01/10/2012 page 1
0.0% "I'm sooooooooo torn. I want to start this, but it's almost midnight here...

...

...okay, just a teensy bit of reading. Just a teensy bit - you know, to curb my appetite...

...even though there's a 99.9% chance that this will happen:


*evil grin*" 2 comments
01/10/2012
12.0% "Is it weird that I find it all kinds of sexay when he calls her "mortal?""
01/11/2012
24.0% "Heh. Lothaire, you arrogant bastard. :)"
01/11/2012
45.0% "Wow. Heaping dose of the cray-cray right now." 4 comments
01/11/2012
55.0% "This is getting good, and boy oh boy...this section is foreshadowing some MAJOR groveling from our favorite Enemy of Old. Oh, Lothaire, you'd better not disappoint!"
01/11/2012
63.0% "Yay! Hi, Thad! *waves pinky at him and winks*"
01/11/2012
66.0% "Leo!!!!!!!"
01/12/2012
88.0% "Not really digging the plot twist here. Or, in plain layman terms, plot took a turn for the worse. :-/"
01/12/2012
93.0% "Not totally on board with the turn of events, but boy oh boy...LOVE me some Nixie!" 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 105) (105 new)


message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

hehehe

I like it. We should look out for red flags in Lothaire. He might know the truth about the moon landings.

(What moon landings...?)


Audrey Oh, you mean those moon landings that were filmed from Area 51 by JFK's real assassin???


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

No no, Abraham Lincoln's.

I just want it down for the record that no matter how much fun I poke at this series, Lothaire is my secret boyfriend and he better be getting here soon. Or heads are gonna roll...off the grassy knoll.

Ha! Do you like what I did there? Do ya?

*happy sigh*


Audrey Moss wrote: "Ha! Do you like what I did there? Do ya?"

Oh, Moss, you know I'm your biggest fan! :D

And you can have Lothaire (I'll bet you call him "Larry," eh?) as long as you stay far far away from my Cade.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

April wrote: "goofball"

hehehe

it takes so little to make me happy.

Audrey, right back at ya dude! And yes, you can have Cade -- would you believe that's the only one I haven't read?


Wicked Incognito Now I thought you hated this series Moss?

I love Cade as well. He's such a GOOD bad demon.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh noo. I love most of the IAD books. I hated the one with Sabine, and the one with...Malcolm? I may have that wrong. The attempts at Scottish brogue can make me want to claw my eyeballs out just the teensiest bit but otherwise it's all happiness.

I must read Cade's book.


message 9: by Audrey (last edited Nov 20, 2011 11:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey Cade...and his lickable horns. *rowr!*

Moss, we really ARE twinsies. Rydstrom/Sabine's is the one book I was super disappointed in, as well! I actually really liked Malkom's, but I'm a fan of those big surly types. :)

You should read Cade's book. FOR REALZ.


Traci Can I just say how I lurve you all and am doing a huge happy dance? I'm pretty sure I'm one of the only people in my area completely addicted to the IAD series, so it's nice to see others excited about it (and in love with various men/werewolves/vamps/vaguely Scottish burly things) YAY!


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Audrey wrote: "You should read Cade's book. FOR REALZ. "

Done. I cannot fall behind with the IAD. All must be in readiness for His Smexiness's book.

Have we already had the discussion about how it should have been Lothaire and Nixie? ROBBED.

Traci, yay! IAD love all around!


message 12: by Audrey (last edited Nov 21, 2011 11:23AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey Oh em geeeee, don't get me started on Lix! (like that?? I just thought of that one! Man, I clearly should not be allowed to post after 3AM...)

I think they have smokin' chemistry, especially at the end of Dreams of a Dark Warrior *shiver*. Maybe a Lix combo would be a little too much of the cray-cray, though. I'm trying to reserve judgment because the last time KC brought a "human" and unknown element heroine into the mix was Cade and Holly's book, and um...I <3 that one! KC has previously said that the sexytimes are the steamiest yet, so big ups to this book already!


Traci, we welcome all IAD fawning here. :D


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Audrey wrote: "Oh em geeeee, don't get me started on Lix! (like that?? I just thought of that one! Man, I clearly should not be allowed to post after 3AM...)"

I heart you dude. Blood brothers 4EVA.

Oh yesss, I loved them in Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

You're so wrong, sister of the internets, it would NOT be too much cray-cray, it would be exactly right and Nixie would literally and figuratively kill him in bed. Why, Cole, why. Why do you rob us and make us cry.


Wicked Incognito Now It's not Nucking Futs Nix? AW! Robbed is right. I so expected it to be. I want NIX's story!!! (stomping my foot and pouting!) I thought it would be Lothaire!!!! No FAIR! I hate these new people being dragged into the story. It's too many people to remember.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

No, it's not Nixie. IKR? I think just about every IAD fan in the world was pretty much expecting Lix™ but it's some human chick.

Pleh.


Traci Why does the phrase "puny mortal" keep running thru my head? :D


Audrey I've had a while to get used to the non-Lix-iness of Lothaire, and I'm trying to be optimistic about what KC will give us ravenous IAD fans. Trust the creator, trust the creator... (Cult-like chanting tone intended!) While that TTC chant didn't really work out for BDB, I haven't been disappointed in KC other than Sabine/Rydstrom's book (and that's not because it wasn't well written, but for other reasons), and at book number...8? 10?, that's a pretty good track record. *crosses fingers all will be awesome*

"puny mortal" - ha! It's probably in your head because it's totally something Lothaire would say! Let's hope he doesn't break her with the sexytimes. *wiggles eyebrows*


Audrey April - By the way, I've heard KC has said in interviews that (a) Nix's hero will be her exact opposite (e.g., v. serious) and (b) Nix's book isn't until towards the end of the series (she's quoted as saying "next to last book" at one point). :( on that last point.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

2 more dayyys. *shiver*


Audrey Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Except probably about a week, maybe two, until I get my "on hold" copy from the library. :( I just could not justify the hardback price, plus I like all of my books to be the same size (uhhhh, OCD much?) so I preordered the mass market paperback. At least I'm number 12 in the 80+ long queue. The library ordered 22 copies, so I should be in the first wave. *crosses fingers* Are you getting yours on Tuesday???

Mmmmm...Lothaire. The blurb makes it sound like he has her as his sex slave for a month or something. I wonder if he's taking volunteers...? heh heh


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

ohhh is it not going to be available in electronic format? I am down with electronic formats now, you know.

Dammit, I cannot justify hardback prices either. I was feeling all smug for a minute there.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Wait, what? Your library ordered 22 copies? My library has only just discovered who Nalini Singh is. It's like you live in paradise. Are you god?


Audrey Oh, it's on ebook, too, but I think that's like $12 and keeping in line with the hardback pricing, too. :( And the agency publishers are usually super vigilant about...ahem..."alternative" means of acquiring ebooks.


Audrey Moss wrote: "Wait, what? Your library ordered 22 copies? My library has only just discovered who Nalini Singh is. It's like you live in paradise. Are you god?"

Oh yes, we worship at the altar of cock & vag (and cock & cock, too). ;)


message 25: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 08, 2012 12:22AM) (new)

Audrey wrote: "Oh, it's on ebook, too, but I think that's like $12"

Twelve dollars???? What the? Twelve?

That is outrageous!


Audrey Moss wrote: "Audrey wrote: "Oh, it's on ebook, too, but I think that's like $12"

Twelve dollars???? What the? Twelve?

That is outrageous!"


Yeah, it's "what the figgity fuck????" ridonkulous. O__o ESPECIALLY when it'll drop to the $7.99 price the second the paperback goes on sale. Fascists. Godless Commie bastards.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Audrey wrote: "Oh yes, we worship at the altar of cock & vag (and cock & cock, too). ;) "


Sigh. You are SO lucky. So, SO lucky. Our library has one shelf of M&Bs in LARGE PRINT and segregated from all the other serious books so the icky romance cooties don't get all over the Real Fiction. I cannot even comprehend a library ordering 22 copies of a Kresley Cole book.


Audrey Well, to clarify, it's for all of NYC Public Libraries, so 22 copies throughout the city's system. However, the "on hold" system allows us to request books across the different branches. So, even though the local branch 2 blocks from me might not have it, if it's somewhere in the system, I can reserve it to have it sent to my branch and held for me until I pick it up. Is it not like that with linked branches in NZ?

We have a lot of cock & vag in our catalog, but not much by way of cock & cock.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Audrey wrote: "Moss wrote: "Yeah, it's "what the figgity fuck????" ridonkulous. O__o ESPECIALLY when it'll drop to the $7.99 price the second the paperback goes on sale. Fascists. Godless Commie bastards. "


Oh my god, that is $15.40 in my money. That is unbelievable. Cole isn't that good, man.


message 30: by Audrey (last edited Jan 08, 2012 12:35AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey And... :( for romance cooties. I wish we could change those perceptions. Seems like a public library should have more interest in and respect for a genre that has the widest audience of any fiction genre (at least, here in the US - I assume it's similar in NZ?). We're really lucky in that they've even expanded the ebook catalog so that's also an option now.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Audrey wrote: " Is it not like that with linked branches in NZ?"

Yeah it works the same way here but, uh, that's what I meant: my entire city system of libraries has almost zero romance books (with the exception of the above mentioned M&B delights). It's terrible. We're clearly some embarassing minority that needs to indulge its shameful, unspeakable urges in private. No-one needs to see that kind of thing in a library.


Audrey Moss wrote: "Oh my god, that is $15.40 in my money. That is unbelievable. Cole isn't that good, man."

Yeah, I mean, good on her for getting that hardback "promotion" but major what-the-fuckery to agency pricing of EBOOKS. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.


Audrey I need to head to bed (3:45AM over here), but to be continued: letter writing campaign in support of more expansive selections of romance novels in libraries the world over! I think we could get a really big movement going here... :)


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry, I had to bail suddenly. The very loud thump upstairs was followed by wailing that woke up people in Australia. How do kids know the exact frequency that brains melt at?

Worldwide letter writing campaigns! I love that idea. I've already spoken to several librarians at my library who keep confessing lots of other women have spoken to them about the same thing. So that's awesome, how we're all saying the same thing and yet no-one gives a shit.

Audrey wrote: "Yeah, I mean, good on her for getting that hardback "promotion" but major what-the-fuckery to agency pricing of EBOOKS. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. "

I know, man. I never understood all the agency hate until I got the gizmo. Now I get how the average consumer can be filled with white-hot rage at being held by the metaphorical financial balls. Is it Ridley who has a whole shelf dedicated to books that she'll read after their agency lets them go? That's not a bad approach.


Audrey Moss wrote: "Sorry, I had to bail suddenly. The very loud thump upstairs was followed by wailing that woke up people in Australia. How do kids know the exact frequency that brains melt at?"

No worries! And um...melting braaaaaaaaaains! It's their preparation for the zombie apocalypse, no doubt.

Ridley has a "might buy when agency dies" shelf. It's hilarious and a sad testament to how many books fall victim to the "no way will I spend that much on an ebook" mentality.

And I'm kind of serious about the library letter writing thing. I think if we could draft a petition template for people to use, then 85% of the work would already be done. We'd then just need to advertise it to romance readers and make it available for their use. *nudge nudge* What do you think? I'm serious...I'll get started on a rough draft.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Audrey wrote: "And I'm kind of serious about the library letter writing thing. I think if we could draft a petition template for people to use, then 85% of the work would already be done. We'd then just need to advertise it to romance readers and make it available for their use. *nudge nudge* What do you think? I'm serious...I'll get started on a rough draft."


I'm all for it. I don't have many networks I can distribute it through here, but I can definitely sign it myself and give it to our library. They've probably written me off as the daft witless one who reads those terrible smuty books t so I've got a reputation to maintain now.

Just tell me what you need me to do to help and I'm there.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

PS: Want. this. book. so. bad. Can't. give. in.


message 38: by Audrey (last edited Jan 10, 2012 09:14AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey Me tooooooooooooooooo. I check my library holds DAILY to see if it's come in yet. *bounces up and down in seat* Cookie! Me want cookie!!!

I know we've seen it before, but this gif is really coming in handy.



P.S.: I have no qualms about requesting any number of romances, but what makes me blush a little is to call the library to see if they have a particular book on their shelf. "Hi, um...do you have "To Seduce a Sinner" on your shelf and if so, can you pull it and I'll pick it up at lunch?" Yeahhhhhh...sure doesn't compare to John Doe's doctorate thesis research on some newfound way to fight cancer. *blushes*


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

hehehehe. Cock & vag is totally medical research. Do those librarians know that? No. They do not.


Wicked Incognito Now Ha. I'm reading now beyotches.

Sorry. Couldn't resist. I totally caved on the HB price. Honey Badger don't give a shit. Honey Badger wants Lothaire now.


Traci Moss and Audrey, yes, letter-writing campaign for sure! Actually, I'm a little embarassed that your respective library systems are obviously NOT listening to your requests. Sure, libraries are repositories of information, and yes, librarians are the holders/ushers of such info, but almost every "public" library is also responsible for "leisure" and/or "culture", too. Which means.... cock & vag! There should be a collection/development department, and you ladies need to make sure they know that they need to round out their collection a bit!

Now, having said that, the only thing I can think of that would cause them to not order much romance is, of course, their budget. My own system suffered quite the cuts last year, so we had to make the hard decision to drop Harlequin and Silhouette series lines. Just do not have the money for them anymore. Maybe check into the budget situation, and if that is the case, perhaps get together the library's supportive friends and get some donations added to the collections.

Good luck!


Audrey Wicked - I'm around Chapter 7. It's pretty good!!! I dislike the possession aspect/Saroya POV, though.

Traci and Mossy - my library is pretty good with the cock & vag, but a barren desert wasteland for cock & cock. I think I'll draft a template for people to insert their favored genre to send to their libraries. I'll get to it...but first must finish with our favorite red-eyed vamp. ;)


Traci OMG, I'm now on the list thru work! And I'm only #3!!!!! Which means I will hopefully have it in my hands before February.... altho it would make an awesome Valentine's Day read, wouldn't it?


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Wicked Incognito Now wrote: "Ha. I'm reading now beyotches.

Sorry. Couldn't resist. I totally caved on the HB price. Honey Badger don't give a shit. Honey Badger wants Lothaire now."



Hehehehe

Yeah I think I'm gonna cave too. Audrey's updates are just too tantalizing.

Dammit woman, why do you have to be so interesting?


Audrey Traci wrote: "OMG, I'm now on the list thru work! And I'm only #3!!!!! Which means I will hopefully have it in my hands before February.... altho it would make an awesome Valentine's Day read, wouldn't it?"

Traci, awesome!!! :D


Audrey Moss wrote: "Wicked Incognito Now wrote: "Ha. I'm reading now beyotches.

Sorry. Couldn't resist. I totally caved on the HB price. Honey Badger don't give a shit. Honey Badger wants Lothaire now."


Hehehe..."


Moss and Wicked - to be completely honest, the prologue was great, but the first 30% or so didn't really do it for me and hovered around 2.5-3 star territory *ducks flying fruit from the haters*. HOWEVER, thereafter it gets much much better. Really gobbling it up now, even though some of the cock & vag scenes are intense and make me a little nervous on the consent side.


Wicked Incognito Now Oh yeah. I'm right there with you about the middle and the worrisome consent issues--isn't that true for ALL these books though?

And the end just irritates the living....

*save it for the review, save it...*


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

urrrr

You are both sounding pretty ambivalent about giant parts of this book. Why, Cole, why. Why did you drop the ball? We still have Nixie left to go and everything.


Audrey I'm a little underwhelmed. Worldbuilding/storytelling/introduction of the Dacians = awesome. Romance = not so awesome. Hrm. Gonna review. 3+/3.5 for me, I think.


Wicked Incognito Now Really. I was intrigued by the Dacians as well. Especially Stelian. But the romance? It was so weird. The wild mood swings by each of them was giving me whiplash.


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