From the BLURB:
Can the beast seduce a beauty and make her love him...? A promise of pleasure ...from a brutal warrior determined to protect her. Never far from her bow, Lucia the Huntress is as mysterious as she is beautiful. But the secrets she harbors could destroy her-and those she loves-and every day brings more danger. It isn't safe for her to be with Garreth MacRieve, yet whenever she sees the fierce werewolf with his smoldering eyes, she finds herself surrendering to his kiss. An uncontrollable need ...that can only be sated with her touch. From the shadows, Garreth, prince of the Lykae, has long watched over Lucia, the lovely little Valkyrie who alternately maddens him and inflames his lust. He aches to claim the seductive creature as his own and keep her safe from harm, but first he must convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do that he'll exploit Lucia's greatest weakness-her desire for him.
‘Pleasure of a Dark Prince’ is the latest instalment in Kresley Cole’s ‘Immortals Afetr Dark’ series.
I started out absolutely loving this series. First book, ‘A Hunger Like No Other’, is one of my all-time favourite paranormal romance novels. It tells the story of werewolf king, Lachlain MacRieve, and his discovery of half Valkyrie/vampire mate, Emmaline. Since that first instalment, the series has spanned out to tell the story of other members of Emma’s Valkyrie family and Lachlain’s werewolf clan – and the series now stands at 9 books, with a 10th coming later this year.
I haven’t been as in love with recent books in the series. Books #5 and #6 focused on a new supernatural ‘Lore’ population of vampires and demons – and my interest started to wane. I am happy to say though that my love for this series is once again ignited with book #9, ‘Pleasure of a Dark Prince’.
Part of the reason that I loved this new installment is that it’s set during the timeline of book #1, ‘A Hunger Like No Other’. This new story is told from two new perspectives; Lachlain’s younger brother, Garreth and Emma’s aunt, Lucia the Archer. These characters appeared in book #1, and Ms. Cole did dangle fascinating tidbits - heavily hinting that their story would be told eventually. It has taken Kresley Cole nine books to get around to Garreth and Lucia’s story – but it was worth the wait!
I like that in ‘Dark Prince’ Cole has gone back to the basics of the series. The story once again focuses on the Valkyrie and Lykae (werewolf), and fan-favorite characters make their reappearance. Lachlain and Emmaline are back, as are Nucking Futs Nix (the Valkyrie soothsayer), werewolf Bowen and plenty more.
I especially loved the fact that a good portion of the book takes place at the Valkyrie home base (/sorority house) ‘Val Hall’. The Valkyrie females are a hilarious bunch: they’re all roughly one-thousand-years-old, a little bit wacky but still very contemporary and spout mile-a-minute witticisms and pop-culture references that keep me laughing.
“I hope they’re in town. I want to face them!” Regin stood and brandished one of the two swords that she usually wore in sheaths crisscrossed over her back – in addition to the dagger sheath she customarily wore on her forearm. “I’ll lunch on their balls!”
That was Regin’s new threat: to lunch on enemies’ balls. “Reege, when you threaten males with that, I don’t think it has the result you intend. They think less ‘Lunchables’, more ‘tea bag’.”
The second-half of the novel takes place in the Amazon jungle. Ms. Cole really loves grandiose settings for her novels, she has taken readers from the Scottish Highlands to New Orleans… and she clearly relishes the opportunity to write a more exotic location. There are piranhas, alligators and bloodthirsty natives, and Cole has a lot of fun with her location. She also introduces some interesting new secondary characters, including a drunken riverboat captain called Travis and a she-man called Izabel. I really hope we read these characters again, because Cole has written a very interesting subplot for them and I want to continue with it.
But the best thing about ‘Dark Prince’ is the steamy romance between Garreth and Lucia. These two are at loggerheads with one another – mainly because Garreth is not prepared for such a stubborn female for his mate. There’s real tension between these two, and it equates to some very H-O-T smutty scenes:
Just before he took her clitoris between his lips, he growled. “Come hard for your male,” then he suckled her.
“Ah, gods!” Her thighs fell wide open as she wantonly bucked to his mouth. Lightning flashed like bomb bursts outside. “Oh, yes!” She drew a breath, needing to scream again. But he put his palm over her mouth for her to cry out against.
I loved this book! I thought I was done with this series, but Kresley Cole has reminded me what I first loved about ‘Immortals After Dark’, and she dangles some very enticing future plot lines toward the end of ‘Dark Prince’. This is a steamy, romantic and fantastic paranormal romance read.
BIG thanks to ‘book addict’ Patti for gifting me this copy (and a delicious praline!).
‘Demon from the Dark’ coming 31 August 2010