What do you do if some random guy appears out of nowhere and pounces on you, drags you of to a hotel and then demands that you guide him to his palace in the next country. If that’s not enough, he attends to his expensive tastes by burning the money from your credit cars and and tries to do stuff of sexual nature with you.
Meet Emmaline ‘Emma’ Troy, a half vampire & half valkyrie. Her mother, a stunning valkyrie died when Emma was a baby. After turning 70 ( which is young for an immortal? ), she leaves her valkyrie coven and embarks on a quest to find out her vampire dad’s identity.
Meanwhile Lachalain MacRieve, the king of the Lykae clan has been imprisoned & tortured for an agonizing 150 years at the hands of the ruthless vampire king Demestriu. The gruesome pain inflicted on him causes him to die everyday only to be revived again by his immortality. After scenting his destined mate, he manages to escape the fiery catacombs, maiming his leg in the process.
But oof ! Fate had different plans for him. Lachlain is horrified to find his mate Emma, a vampire. (He doesn’t realise that she’s half valkyrie too) As tradition, the lykaes and vampires do not mix. They were enemies, are enemies and will always be enemies. Moreover, Emma’s weakness and fear disgusts him.
Anyway, he still tags along. After all, He’s waited 1200 years for his true mate and plans to confirm it. He demands that Emma help him reach his home in Scotland after which he’ll let her go. Of course we know that is an outright lie, for he plans to keep her for a long long time.
The only reason Emma’s willing to put up with Lachalain is because she is in danger of being discovered. After Demestriu’s accession to the vampire throne, all female vampires were slaughtered making Emma the last female left. Her halfling status requires her to be more vigilant. Staying with the intimidating Lachlain assures her temporary protection.
Kresley Cole has done an amazing job of weaving her characters. Each character has a unique personality, their emotions changing rapidly making the story more interesting at every turn.
Emma is everything opposite to what a vampire should be. She’s gentle and has not even hurt a fly. She has never killed for food and drinks only from blood banks. All the more reason, why I should like her, indirectly she’s vegetarian. ( Vegans have my respect )
Due to her upbringing and mix species, she has always felt like an outsider. In the beginning of the story , one usually perceives her as a weak coward who cowers in fear at every threat. But she grows throughout the story and learns to fight for herself. In spite of the sexual tension , she does not succumb to lust. She stands up fore self and refusing to be taken advantaged of by a stranger.
And yes ! She’s a virgin ! That’s not very common for the current generation for Emma is a 70 years old with an ethereal drop-dead gorgeous face.
Lahclain-Lachlain-Lachlain : Considering the fact, that he’s been tortured and locked up for a century, you’d expect the typical brooding hero who needs the warmth of a heroine to awake his broken soul. SKIP THAT CRAP ! Our hero, is quick to let go of his past and move on.
He’s intelligent but the way modern day gadgets especially telephones initially scares the wits out of him, cracks me up! Did I mention his outdated accent ? Realistic. But I think I’d better give him a ‘ speak modern english DVD ‘ as a wedding gift.
To Emma’s chagrin, he’s possessive and overwhelming too. Lachlain assumes that Emma is a ‘blood sucking leech’ and dominates and bosses her at every go. Yet his infuriated mind seems to soothe in her presence. Every now and then I felt like slapping him and giving him a lecture on “free will”.
So when Lachlain realises that he’s been totally wrong and that Emma isn’t the predator, I literally did the ‘ IN YOUR FACE ‘ dance in my bedroom ! Score 100 points for Emma when she kicks and dislocates Lachlain’s jaw.
He softens up as the story progresses and realises that he’s the one at folly and ought to adapt to improve their relationship. When Lachlain realises that Emma is his torturer’s Demestriu’s daughter, he doesn’t scream or burst into rage. By then, his love for Emma allows him to think rationally & act like a mature adult.
Kresley Cole has built a fantastic world, brilliant world building, every character has a role to play in the future books. Inspite of the colourful additions, you don’t get confused. I really cared for each one of them.
What’s better than a bunch of loyal and kick-ass valkyrie aunts who enjoy gaming on their xbox & munching on electricity every weekend. They love Emma and fiercely protect her . My favourite is Regina the Radiant. She’s one crazy gal whose sarcastic wit got me hooked with her story in Book 11. And Nix the soothsayer, she’s supposed to act wise and regal, but hey ! She wakes up from her nap after her sisters have almost died fighting a horde of bloodthirsty vampires & complains that she just missed the drama!
Take Annika : Emma’s foster mother. She reminds me of Lauriana Baristani from C.L.Wilson’s Tairen Soul series. Both mother’s want the best for their daughters, but they both are too stubborn to overcome any prejudices and acknowledge change. I often felt like shaking some sense into her.
Lucia & Garreth (Lachlain’s brother) : So Lachlain isn’t the only one to find a mate. It is funny how Garreth saves Lucia, only to be later captured by her and held ransom. I’m looking forward to reading their book.
Demestriu– This is probably the forest time I actually pity the villain. He’s one of those hormonally imbalanced and messed up people. He knows good from bad but is addicted to evil. He’s mad and confused but is happy to embrace death. But it rather hurt to know that Demestriu always knew about his daughter Emma’s existence but didn’t bother too search for her cause of rumours of her weakness.
This book taught me to never underestimate one’s ability.
The events pace perfectly however I felt that Emma & Lachlain’s relationship progressed too fast. Just 2 weeks, and they are heads over heels with each other ? It’s amazing how quickly Emma overlooked Lachlain’s misgiving but seriously, his initial nature would piss any normal human being off. ‘ Of course, we’re not talking about humans here. ‘ But still 2 weeks was too quick. I was hoping they’d understand each other over a long period. For what I have learnt, any strong relationship requires time and patience. And the fact that he hardly gives Emma her space is quite a reason for divorce nowadays.
The book highlights that politics whether among humans or mythical creatures, its all the same. Friends and foes trying to overthrow you to gain ultimate power.
This is a paranormal romance with a perfect blend of different cultures with couple of action-packed scenes. It reminded me of G.A. Aiken’s Dragon Kin Series.
I understood this book without reading book1 and then directly skipped to book 11 about Regina & book 12 about Lothaire . ( He has a minor appearance in this books & is definitely WICKED PERSONIFIED ) The best part is that everything is crafted so well that you needn’t read the books in order, it just flows.