Ever since I stumbled into Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series last year, I'd been hooked.
It started with Lothaire, and after devouring that book for a day, I bought and read everything she'd printed for the series in a week.
I usually prefer my romance contemporary—not a lot of paranormal ones appeal to me.
The world of the Lore and all the creatures in it though, are both so surreal yet real at the same time. We're talking millenia-old beings with incredible powers in a secret supernatural world that has woven so neatly with humanity. As a mere human reading the many books, I couldn't help feeling like I really drew the short straw on species selection. LOL!
The characters are often larger than life—the males are guaranteed Alphas, even those who are vulnerable and scarred.
With every book, you're guaranteed your fix of dominant, brooding yet endearing males who infuriate and seduce you at the same time. If you don't like the headstrong types, this may not be for you. But if you find out-of-this-world gorgeous, arrogant, physically powerful males irresistible, especially as they fight their demons to love and protect the female who'd captured their hearts, you must read every book from this series.
You. Simply. Must.
And the books are not just about the males. The females of the Lore and those who somehow become entangled in it, are mostly fierce and feisty. The female leads have strong personalities and always give it as good as they've got. Even the supporting female characters (who are going to get book of their own later in the series because it's unimaginable that they wouldn't), are so well-developed and present in the interwoven plots that their every appearance in the story adds to the experience—and amusement.
Seriously. Nucking Futs Nix, anyone?
Anyway, before I get too sidetracked from an actual review, the point I'm trying to make is—the Immortals After Dark series is pure genius.
It's highly erotic, captivatingly fantastical, and so much fun. It's got the complete formula. And no, it's not all romp and roar—the characters will catch you off guard with how well-developed and relatable they are—even if they have a few hundred or thousands of years ahead of you.
This story has some parallelisms with Lachlain and Emmaline's story but this has a unique conflict of its own.
Will, short for Uilleam, is half of the MacRieve twins—Hot and Hotter (although they are not fond of this nickname).
A childhood trauma marred him young with tragedy, shame, and an obsessive aversion that eventually leads him down a dark, desperate path.
Having been abducted and vivisected (rib-cracking, organ-mincing procedure) by the Order, was the last straw.
Chloe is an adorable yet ambitious soccer star full of attitude about to burst right into the Olympic scene. She's got everything going for her except one thing—her ancestry.
No one else could've possibly been made more unfortunate by the fact that one can't choose one's family. Either side of her parentage has made her a loathed target by the Loreans.
Just as MacRieve was about to go off the edge, the alluring possibility of vengeance brings his fate smack to that of Chloe's.
The fun begins.
The start of their romance is full of sweetness but just as things start to turn around for the both of them, a discovery rips them apart.
Chloe's fortitude through every ordeal she goes through, from the moment she unwittingly gets thrown into the world of Loreans to the emotional betrayal she finds with the only man she feels safe with, is admirable. Many times throughout the book, I kept wanting to pat her on the shoulder and tell her she's a champ. She's been beaten down so many times—especially by the two men she'd trusted to care for her—but she unfailingly pulls herself together to fight and have faith, even with very little to encourage her in that direction. I loved her little mantra: Rub some dirt on it. Some of her trials required a lot more dirt that normally required but the girl kept going.
As for MacRieve—it was a difficult, heart-wrenching struggle to sympathize with his pain after the childhood tragedy that screwed him up, and to want to smack him in the head for failing to see everything he's got to gain if he could only look past his own misdirected hatred. You want to grieve the boy he'd been who was lost that night his life changed forever, and yet you couldn't help but simultaneously adore and admonish the broken beast of a man he'd become. You wonder how he'd ever possibly get over his obstacles in loving Chloe but the fierceness of his love proves to be capable of just about anything in the end.
It's a beautiful book.
As always with any of Cole's IAD books, it's wrought with sexual tension, emotional intensity, a nearly savage struggle to possess and protect, and of course, that sense of impending doom when every stroke of fate in the Lore eventually leads to what I would imagine as one explosive Accession.
MacRieve is a thoroughly intense and enjoyable read and I can't wait for more.
Munro, his twin, looks like he's next.
"All she knew was that if she had to feed—she furtively gazed over at MacRieve—she'd do anything possible to avoid a Big Mac." - love the pun here; laughed so hard.