Friday, July 23, 2010

"Pleasure of a Dark Prince" by Kresley Cole

Cole is now up to Book 7 in her Immortals After Dark series, and I suppose it's a lucky number for her. There's nothing really new here, but then again, if it ain't broke, don't fix it - right? The usual sort of plot awaits the reader of this book, but damned if you won't find yourself turning the page for more, and more, and more....

Lucia the Huntress is the heroine of our story. She's one of the Valkyrie, having made a deal with a goddess long ago for her archery abilities. She's the best archer on the planet, having agreed to stay celibate in exchange for her life; she's also struck with excruciating pain any time she misses a shot.

Garreth MacRieve, aka "the dark prince", is our grumpy Scottish lykae hero. While playing rugby, he catches the scent of his mate, and starts to chase after her. Of course, that woman is Lucia - the one woman who cannot be with him under any circumstances for fear of losing her goddess-given gift (and possibly her life). It's going to take all the Scot's cunning and manly wiles to woo her to his bed.

And what good is an old-fashioned wooing without the elements of danger and deception? After the two would-be mates meet, we fast-forward an entire year with the Ascension quickly nearing (a sort of supernatural free-for-all, with a few winners and lots of losers). Lucia must keep Crom Cruach, the Broken Bloody One, from escaping his prison and wreaking havoc on humans. She needs MacRieve's help to locate the prison this time around, but she also needs him to stay away when the actual fight ensues; turns out old BBO can infect others to make them kill the ones they love they most, and by this time, of course Garreth and Lucia love each other, even if they won't admit it. Why is Lucia immune? Well, it turns out that she's BBOs wife...

It's the usual cast of characters from Cresley, especially the Valkyries. I was happy as always to see Nix, the crazy but adorable seer of the bunch. Someday she's going to get her own story, and that's the one I'm really waiting for! The plot isn't bad, the action is well-written, and the romance - well, the romance may be the only thing that I had a problem with. I loved MacRieve, but Lucia was a bit too "I am woman, hear me roar" for me. I don't want the damsel in distress who can't do anything for herself, but there is such a thing as protesting too much, and Lucia protested in spades. Also, the sex scenes started off nicely, but by the end of the book I found myself skimming over them, never a good sign. I'm not sure if there were too many of them or if the writing took a nose-dive; judge for yourself.

Look for Book 8 in this series, "Demon from the Dark", late next month (August 2010).

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