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Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

September 10, 2010
Cover of "Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immo...

Cover via Amazon

I think I’m in love. I fall for Kresley Cole’s Lykae heroes every time. I love that they yearn to find life-mates. I love that they’re always tall, gorgeous male specimens. I love their protective streak and their single-minded “She will be mine”-ness. In fact, like Lucia, I have a thing for jealous alpha males. Sigh.

But, um, I’m not sure how to say this…Well…I hate the way they talk. Because all Lykae seem to come from Scotland, they all speak with a thick brogue. Which means that when they’re talking to one another, the dialogue reads like this:

“I need to follow Lousha.”

“Aye, o’ course you must go after her. But maybe you could leave after my wedding?”

“I canna.” Garreth took a swig. “No’ unless you need me. To help you…acclimate.”

Just, FYI, I deleted some of the extraneous internal dialogue from this passage. Anyway, I don’t mind the “wees” and the “lasses” so much as the dropped consonants. Every time I see them, I want to shout, “It’s not, you idiot!” And the “ayes”. God save me from the “ayes”. But that’s just nitpicky niggly stuff and I can mostly ignore it. Because Kresley Cole is wonderful.

Pleasure of a Dark Prince is the seventh book in the Immortals After Dark series. I have to confess that I have not read all of them. This is mostly because I started the second book (No Rest for the Wicked) and was almost immediately bored by Sebastian and Kaderin’s story. The result was that I did not finish that book, but went straight to Bowen’s  (Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night). I keep telling myself to try another book with a vampire hero, that maybe Sebastian was an aberration, but I haven’t yet. Am I wrong? Let me know.

Pleasure of a Dark Prince has the same time line as A Hunger Like No Other, but it tells the events of Emma and Lachlain’s story from the perspective of Lucia (Emma’s aunt) and Garreth (Lachlain’s brother). When Pleasure of a Dark Prince begins, everyone who is familiar with the series knows what’s going to happen. Garreth will recognize Lucia as his mate and she will disappear. What we get to learn this time is why Lucia runs away, why she refuses to become Garreth’s mate.

I liked that Lucia’s reasons for rejected Garreth are layered, even though they are based on one simple fact. If she sleeps with Garreth, she will lose her ability as an unparalleled archer. It is her skill as an archer that is supposed to save her from a long-ago enemy. But it’s more than that; being Lucia the Archer has been Lucia’s identity for so long that she fears that she’ll be nothing without it. And being Garreth’s mate is not a substitute she is willing to accept.

So, to explain a little of the plot: Long ago, Lucia made a vow of chastity to a goddess in exchange for her extraordinary ability with a bow and arrow. When Garreth comes along, he is the first male to challenge that vow. The two are instantaneously attracted to one another. For Garreth, that means one thing only: he has to claim Lucia and mark her as his own and he has to do it yesterday. It drives him crazy every time she denies him. He can’t understand how she can be attracted to him and still say “no.” This is the set-up for the first part of the novel: Garreth talks big about seducing Lucia and Lucia talks big about not wanting him.

Finally, with the help of Nucking Futs Nix (a recurring character who will [yea!] someday have her own novel), Garreth tracks Lucia down as she’s boarded a boat for the far reaches of the Amazon Basin. Lucia is forced to accept Garreth’s help because it turns out he’s the only person ever to return from her ultimate destination (and live). Lucia lets Garreth know a part of the secret she’s keeping, but not everything. She knows that if she tells Garreth everything, he will take control out of her hands and solve the problem for her. But the secret that Lucia’s keeping is big and she knows that hers is a task that no one else can complete.

One of the things that I love most about Kresley Cole’s books is that, while her heroes are alpha males, her heroines are not cowering females. They are strong, opinionated, funny and smart. They don’t let their men walk all over them. Though Lucia likes that Garreth has an over-protective streak, that doesn’t mean she is willing to let him take control of her life or fight her battles for her. It’s heroines like Cole’s that make the alpha male really work.

I did love this book. It didn’t give me the same delicious afterglow as A Hunger Like No Other, but I did look forward to getting back to reading it and I was always reluctant to put it down. There was one thing that kept Pleasure of a Dark Prince from 6 Point Status, however. That is, I felt that Lucia was able to get out of her deal with Skathi (the goddess) much too easily. I was too pat, too easy. I confess I was disappointed. I thought Cole’s solution would be more clever than it was.

I should add that Kresley Cole did really setting this particular fan up for wanting to read the next books in the series. I can’t wait to see what Lothaire is up to. And what the deal is with Regin and Carrow. Also, it was nice to catch up with old characters. And, yea!, a baby for Lachlain and Emma (maybe).

I want to end this post with a question. Does anyone know of any other books featuring Valkyrie? The only other place I’ve seen them show up is in Carrie Jones’ Captivate. I’d like to see some other authors interpretations of this mythical group, so please, please let me know if you can make any recommendations.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2010 7:56 am

    Ironically, I had a completely opposite reaction to Cole’s series. (At some point, I must write a blog post detailing my thoughts on Cole’s series.)

    I loved the Kade/Sebastian story. It was the first book I read in IAD series and got me totally hooked. Even though I’m not a fan, generally, of vampire books. But something about Sebastian just really got to me. (I like hot nerds and he struck me as a nerd.)

    Not as into the Lykae stories. Bowen, Garreth, etc… they are all a little too alpha-male for my taste.

    The other vampire books are a bit odd… two of them are just novellas/short stories. One is a short story about how one brother hooks up with a Valkyrie and I must confess that I’ve never read it. (Not too into short stories.) And the novella about the ice maiden was too short and covered too much of what we already knew. The book about Conrad and the ghost is not well liked by most people. I thought it was just OK.

    Out of all the books, my favorite is actually “Kiss of the Demon King”. I just adored Sabine and loved that she was such a flawed character. Rydstrom – again – had the nerdy little thing going on.

    • rubylavender permalink
      September 20, 2010 6:42 pm

      I think we may have found an important difference in our reading preferences. I’m a total sucker for an alpha hero. It was Linda Howard (Queen of Alpha Heroes) that got me stuck on Romance in the first place. I really want to read Kiss of the Demon King but one of the things that I’m trying to do (to get my blog going) is read new-ish stuff. I’ve only begun to realize how much this sucks over the last weekend. Oh, well, we’ll see how long I last. Especially since I’ve got Susan Sizemore and Gena Showalter’s series (I gave in and looked it up. The plural is the same.) to catch up on.
      I’m trying to focus on being grateful that I have books I want to read. It’s awful when I run out of them and I’m always afraid a dry spell will never end though (obviously) they do. Thanks for coming back. I can’t wait to check out your blog.

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