Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pleasure of a Dark Prince was my pleasure!

Anyone who follows our reviews here at the Guilty Indulgence Book Club knows that I am the realist in the group. So while I enjoy paranormal series, I absolutely doubt any real substance behind the story except Kresley Cole has come the closest to making me second guess my common-day assumptions. Every now and again, I find myself looking at someone twice wondering… just wondering… could they be? Is it really impossible for them to exist? After all, every creature or being that was thought to be mythical isn’t – not in Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, that is. They all secretly exist alongside humans and enjoy the gift of immortality. There are hundreds of different kinds: from Vampires to Lykae, from Furies to Shifters, from the Fey to Valkyries. (taken from
Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series is amazing. The world is multi-faceted, well-designed with familiarity and yet magical elements. While each book has a unique focus on a different couple from the lore, one by one they add to the dimensions of Cole’s world (which did I mention is amazing?). Pleasure of a Dark Prince, the ninth release in the series, is one of my favorites with the Cole’s world becoming one of my favorite romantic novel settings.
I have been waiting for Garreth and Lucia’s love story since they were first introduced in A Hunger Like No Other and nearly sang when this book was released. While reading the Immortals After Dark (IAD) series, I’ve totally fallen for the brooding, dark and luscious Scottish wolves. Their true alpha, possessive nature curls my toes. And Lucia’s strength is the perfect match for Garreth. After all, a strong hero needs a strong heroine.
For those of you behind on your IAD world knowledge, Garreth MacRieve is a Lykae named the “Dark Prince” because he is second in line to the throne after his brother Lachlain and is known for leading a wild life. This book takes us back to A Hunger Like No Other when their love story first began... As Garreth plays rugby, Lucia walks by oblivious to him but when he scents her, he knows instantly that she is his mate. Battered and filthy from rugby he catches up with her, wanting only one thing - to claim his mate. This is not a good way to start a relationship.
Historically, Lykae and Valkyrie don’t get along but things go even worse for these two, primarily because of Lucia’s history. Years and years ago, Lucia was tricked into marrying Cruach, an evil god. To save her life, she made a pact with the goddess Skathi who offered her freedom from Cruach and perfect archery skills for as long as she remains celibate; the one other caveat is that each time she misses her target, she experiences terrible pain. And now the time has come again that Lucia must fight Cruach to make sure he stays in his prison but to defeat him once and for all, she has been hunting for a dieumort which is the only weapon that can kill a god. She has no time for Garreth as she heads off on a journey to finally put her history behind her.
Lucia is part Valkerie. And I absolutely love the Valkyrie with all their spirit, humor and strength. The Valkyries lack modesty, love shiny things and are absolutely eccentric which makes them such entertaining characters. Lucia is so stubborn, totally attracted to Garreth but she refuses to tell Garreth why she can’t submit to him even though they both know they are mates. She tries to deny her attraction to him but, being a Lykae, he can pick up the scent of her arousal. When she melts into his kisses, he knows she wants him just as much as he wants her. But he becomes so frustrated with her as she keeps constantly pushing him away. So when Garreth learns she is committed to keeping her promise to kill Cruach before she’ll allow herself to enjoy a mate, Garreth decides to help.
Remember I said that Garreth is a Lykae and as such, once he finds his mate he is driven to claim her. Everything he does in trying to go slowly for Lucia, give her time and not push is against his nature. This endears him to me – what a sweetie! His honor, protectiveness and loyalty to Lucia are charming to say the least. Like any man, and especially being a Lykae, Garreth pushes Lucia to give herself to him even though she continues to deny him. He fights off his wolf who wants nothing more than to claim her, doing everything to keep a safe distance from his mate until she is ready. If only he knew the complete truth, he may be a bit more patient – maybe. Regardless Garreth is a totally yummy alpha with a splash of sweet stuff.
Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, Book 7)Here’s my one contention with the plot and it comes at the end when everything happens too easily. It just seems like everything fell too fluidly into place with her finding the dieumort and absolving herself from her vow of abstinence. I wanted the happily ever after, don’t get me wrong, I was just expecting a more intense resolution. There is a sweet twist after the not-so-big battle that ties up the story nicely and left me smiling at the end.

With a dash of humor, entertaining characters (forgot to mention that Regin and Nix had cameos), hot almost-sex and quick action, Pleasure of a Dark Prince is a fantastic book and has reaffirmed my belief that Kresley Cole is one of the best at paranormal romance... that's 5 plump red & juicy chocolate-covered strawberries. Yum!
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