Disclaimer: I am in gushing mode, which means I have lots of clunky metaphors and a bit of unwise hyperbole. Don't hold it against this book or its auDisclaimer: I am in gushing mode, which means I have lots of clunky metaphors and a bit of unwise hyperbole. Don't hold it against this book or its author. It's all me!
I make no apologies for my deep love of this series. It rocks. This series is premium when it comes to paranormal romance. Hands down. With Demon from the Dark, I felt that intense love grow like a rose bush on Miracle Gro fertilizer.
Ms. Cole has written a flawless book here. She wrote a hot, hot romance with two characters that I loved, flaws and all. She also had me believing that these people could fall in love with each other, even though they couldn’t speak the same language initially. I didn’t expect to be such a huge fan of Carrow when I met the party girl witch in Dark Desires After Dusk. But I do love her. It took me about five minutes into reading this to think, “I like her a lot.” Actually, the scene at the end of Pleasure of a Dark Prince had me feeling positively towards her. Now, I have to think she’s my favorite heroine in this series. Sorry Sabine!
A huge theme of this story is feeling abandoned/rejected/unwanted, like no one in the world truly loves you and accepts you. For Malkom, this was illustrated in a much more violent, heartbreaking manner. Malkom made my heart bleed. I could understand why he was such a violent, untrusting person who felt that being alone was the best option for him. I won’t go into all he suffered because I feel that this book needs to be read. You have to get to know Malkom the best way, by reading his story. But suffice it to say, no kid should go through what Malkom did. I so wanted him to have a beloved wife and a family. I wanted him to have that with Carrow and Ruby. Oh man, I just loved him. I was glad that Carrow ends up proving that she loves him and is worthy of being his fated mate.
In the case of Carrow, she finds herself in an untenable situation, and she is going to have betray the male that she falls deeply in love with. Normally, I would be raring at the bit, foaming at the mouth at what she did, because I hate deception. In this case, I could understand her dilemma. She ends up becoming the adoptive mother of an orphaned daughter of a friend murdered by Carrow’s human enemies. The thing about it was, Carrow acted like a parent. Parents have to make tough decisions. Their primary responsibility is to care for their children. She was over a barrel, and I respect that she stayed true and did what she had to with the intent to protect Ruby. And this decision almost cost her true love, putting her in that same situation of having love and affection denied to her, as she suffered as a materially privileged, but emotionally-starved young girl.
This situation shows what a masterful writer Kresley Cole is. She takes a scenario where you’re like, “This can’t end well,” and keeps you glued to the pages as she proves that it can, and has you enjoying the ride so much, you feel desolate when the book is over. That was this book (and all her books) in a nutshell. Also, did I mention, this woman knows how to write hot, hot, hot, really hot romance. For me, this was the hottest of her books. I think part of that was because I felt the intense pull that Carrow has on Malkom, and vice versa. They were like two powerful magnets exerting forces of attraction on each other (and pulling the reader along because the energy is so powerful). Ms. Cole manages to use every amorous moment to build the steam up until it’s about to explode and turn the book into a fireball. I really needed a fan as I read this book, and not just because Oblivion is like Yuma, Arizona with the thermostat turned up several degrees.
I honestly can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book. Well, except that I wanted to find out what happens to some of the other Loreans who got abducted by the Order. I am gnawing on my knuckles to find out what happens between Melanthe and Thronos, and I really want to know more about Declan and Regin. Good thing I am reading Dreams of a Dark Warrior next month.
Kresley Cole, you kick paranormal romance butt and take names. You and the WARDen usually go neck and neck for this reader, but this book puts you in first place now. I’m not just being flattering when I say that my life is so much richer since I started reading your books. I have so much love for the Immortals After Dark series! (Off to fondle my copy and add it to my bookcase with my other beloved IAD books). ...more
Very good and very gritty. Gin is absolutely lethal. Killing someone is just a job to her. Not that she kills just anyone, but if you're on her radarVery good and very gritty. Gin is absolutely lethal. Killing someone is just a job to her. Not that she kills just anyone, but if you're on her radar for death, you get dead very quickly. I found her character very credible. I won't deny that I sort of have a fascination with fiction stories about assassins. This is a good one. Estep builds a three-dimensional character here with Gin. She's not evil, but she's not a a saintly person either. How can you be when you kill people for a living?
That's where the grays come in. If you knew what some of the folks she's killed have done, then you might not count it as such a loss. Ashland is a place full of dark souls, you see. The whole place is corrupt to varying degrees, except for Donovan Caine. He truly is the only honest man in this place. So imagine the dilemma when they discover an attraction between them. Between the cold-hearted (but warm-pantsed) assassin and the straight arrow cop. Yeah, that makes for quite a conflict.
If you like magic noir, definitely check this book out. If you like bad*ss women who know how to get the dirty jobs done, definitely check this out. If you have a problem with women who are a bit callous about sex, you might have a problem with Gin. I'm not big on that trait in a heroine (or a hero for that matter). I did like how she does the pursuing when it comes to Donovan. That was kind of cute. And she can be a bit of a bully when she wants to. I can understand why her character is that way, having lost her family and lived on the streets. It's made her into a hard woman, one who doesn't let anyone make a victim out of her. For all that, she does have a sense of honor. At least someone does in this place. As for Caine, he was a bit self-righteous at times. I totally respect his sense of honor, but I think he needs to open his mind a little and ask the whys instead of just blindly following. I find it hard to believe he was completely oblivious to the corruption in his police department. I think he was just willfully ignoring it. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit and vice versa. If his partner was doing that horrible stuff, why didn't he have a clue? I like that Gin didn't try to defend herself to him. Why should she? She was true to herself, and he had to accept her or leave her. Either way. I like that he can't put her into a box and forget about her either. Too bad Gin can't get this cop out of her mind either. That relationship is fraught with issues.
The magic was cool. I liked the concept of elementals, and how many folks in Ashland had elemental magic. I liked the use of runes to identify people, and how it was used to seal magic, if you will. The vampires felt sort of extraneous, but maybe that's because I'm jaded with vampires being in every single urban fantasy series!
Overall, this was a very good book. Gin is a very lethal, fascinating character. I didn't like everything about her, but I liked a lot. I loved that she was so bad*ss and capable. She does a lot of the saving, but she also works together with others, so there was balance in that. Donovan is an interesting love interest. It should be entertaining to see where things go with that angel. I also liked the foodie aspects (being a big foodie myself), and the glimpses of Southern life and society. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy enjoy dark, gritty urban fantasy, and tough female leads. I will definitely continue this series!
Thanks for recommending this book off my tbr pile, Suzi!...more
Thanks so much for writing this book, Ms. Michelle. Finally a Silhouette Nocturne that delivers on the action, the world-building, and the romance toThanks so much for writing this book, Ms. Michelle. Finally a Silhouette Nocturne that delivers on the action, the world-building, and the romance to an equal level. If you don't like high octane, action-driven romance, do not read this book. The first 1/4 of the book felt very much like a action/horror/science fiction movie, yet with a very sexy hero, and a heroine who was way out of her depth. I was loving it. It had me thinking of The Terminator, Underworld, and Blade all rolled into one. Maybe a little bit of Blade Runner and Ultraviolet, too. There are some great scenes that really bring these movies to mind in a very visually-stylistic way.
Jachin is a serious bad-ass. This is established from the first scene. I was like, "Aw, yeah." He really reminded me of Blade (except cuter than Wesley Snipes and looking nothing like him or Blade), but the aspects of him being a hard as nails, kickass, hunter-assassin who happened to be a vampire. He is sexy as all get out, and initially has a bit of an attitude (I like my heroes a little grumpy). But I could understand why. He got kicked out by his brethren, was on the run from various people and vampires who wanted him dead, and spent most of his time in a state of borderline starvation for sustenance from blood. Human blood had become poisonous, so he had to take jobs as an assassin to be able to afford to buy specially-processed blood from a scientist to stay alive. I think Ms. Michelle did a great job writing Jachin. There are nuances that sort of reminded me of other paranormal heroes, but at the same time, Jachin really had a unique feel for me. He was one of those heroes you can drool over, but really respect for being tough as nails. I'm as much an action-adventure fan as I am a romance fan, so I love when I can find characters that fill both shoes equally well.
Ariel is not the kickbutt kind of heroine. She's more of a damsel in distress. That's okay. The kicking butt and taking names kind of heroine is great, but it gets stale when every book has that sort of heroine. Initially she was bugging me with her intolerance towards Jachin. But then I had to put myself in her shoes. Shouldn't she hate vampires, since her family was brutally wiped out by them? Shouldn't she be wary and desirous to escape from those who inspired fear in her? She didn't know Jachin, so how could she instantly bond to him and trust him. So, I came to the realization that Ariel is authentic in her initial reactions to Jachin. She is soft and sweet, but she has a fortitude that comes through, considering what she is put through in this book. Talking about beat up and bashed around. Good thing Jachin's saliva is healing. And he's more than willing to lick all her wounds healed, and he discovers her blood is not poisonous like other humans in the process. Ariel comes to play a very pivotal role in this book, and I like that she comes to the conclusion that she has a responsibility in the world that Jachin inhabits, and embraces him and this role. I came to like her very much.
The worldbuilding was intriguing and involving. It is set in the future, which is clear through the technology available. I like how Ms. Michelle established this withough committing the info-dump writing sin. There are enough elements of a futuristic setting to be appreciated, but not so out there that it's distracting.
In this series, vampires were genetically engineered by humans. As with any toy, humans tired of the vamps, and decided to wipe them out. The vampires, called Sanguinas or scions, rebelled and started hunting the humans. But over the years, the humans' blood became poisonous, and the scions had to go into hiding.
The Sanguinas actually created the werewolves, called Lupredas, to hunt for them and to play part in their ancient rituals. Over time, the Lupredas and the Sanguinas became mortal enemies. This part reminded me of Underworld. In this book, the Lupredas play a minor role, although Landon, a Lupreda, is a sometimes ally to Jachin.
There is a bit of inter-breed politics related to Jachin's being ousted from the Sanguinas, and the prophecy that Ariel unwittingly reveals in her book that she wrote about vampires as a sort of therapy. Hearing that Ariel wrote this book about the prophecy is the impetus that causes Jachin to kidnap her to take her back to the Sanguinas leader as his mate to fulfill the prophecy. They are on the run from Sanguinas who want to get her there first, and also from human vampire hunters, called Garroters. The politics part is good for fans of the vampire society type storylines prominent in movies like Blade, the tv show, Kindred: The Embrace, and the Underworld films. But it doesn't drag the storyline down, as this book stays pretty action and romance-oriented.
Which brings me to the romance. You feel the heat between Jachin and Ariel build over time, but in a compelling way, practically from their first scene together. This book has some steamy love scenes that have you turning the pages, but all the interactions between Jachin and Ariel help to show the connection and the chemistry between the pair. It's not long before you're hope that Ariel will start to see Jachin in a different light, and that Jachin will realize that she belongs with him instead of Braeden.
I don't want to give that much away, so I won't prolong this review, but I definitely want to say that book left me completely satisfied. It has great romance, sexy and fiery love scenes, awesome action, and fantastic, creative worldbuilding. I'm definitely a new fan of Patrice Michelle, and I can't wait to read the next books in the series. I'm excited to see if she wrote stories for Mira, Jachin's sweet sister, and Landon. Thanks to my sister for recommending this book. She is very particular about books, so I pay attention when she really likes one (and she's the one that got me into paranormals, which I owe my eternal gratitude to her for doing). I'm glad I did read this book. And I am happy that I found another Silhouette Nocturne that I really, really liked. This might be my second favorite (Enemy Lover by Bonnie Vanak is my all time favorite although this book has better action scenes).
I'd give this book 4.5/5.0 stars. Check it out if you're a fan of paranormal romance!