Monday, March 22, 2010

Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

Lucia is a Valkyrie known as the Huntress. A Warrior who follows the Goddess Skathi, and who wears the bow of her goddess and has near-mythical archery skills. Lucia was given these things back when she was young, and dying in Skathi's temple, dragged there by her sister Regin after an unnamed tragedy. The goddess healed her when Lucia promised that she would take on all the attributes of the Skathians, the followers of the Goddess, which included to be forever chaste and celibate and pure. There are some additional drawbacks to Lucia's skill- if she actually misses her target, she feels incredible pain- also inflicted on her by the goddess, who fears that there is darkness inside Lucia.

Fast-forward to today, and Lucia is part of the Lore, creatures out of myth and legend who live alongside humans in the human world but hide who and what they are from the humans. She is chasing a pair of goblins, and they flee to a football game being fought between the Lykae, and their Prince, Garreth MacRieve, and demons. Garreth catches sight of Lucia and immediately falls for her- he knows she is meant to be his mate.

Garreth has his own problems to deal with. For a long time, he was King of his people, due to the disappearance of his brother, Lachlain, and probable death. Garreth decided to move the clan from Scotland to elsewhere, and chose America, due to a lack of vampires here. He's been lucky with lots of whiskey, song and free-flowing women, and he's tired of easy conquests who come after him simply because he's the King of the Lykae. He wants someone who will give him a bit of a challenge. Little does he know how soon he will come to rue that remark.

Because Lucia is certainly attracted to him, but she can't have any kind of sex with him without losing her archery skills. And with the Dark God Cromm Cruach about to rise once more in the world, she has to keep her skills- because she is the only one who can kill him.

But when their encounter turns sexy, and she allows him to taste her, he's thoroughly entranced, and won't give up chasing her. Knowing she can't, or won't, have penetrative sex, he still wants her and hounds her for more, even when he is captured by her fellow Valkyries at Val Hall, and she can't resist him either, even though she's certain she isn't his mate.

But when they both end up in Brazil on a strange boat, looking for the Rio Labyrinto along with a drunken captain, a group of scientists each looking for their own particular "holy grail" and another strange Lorean who won't divulge who or what he is or why he is there, things are going to get hot between them.

Lucia is on the trail of a Dieumort, a weapon that can permanently kill a god, to release the torment of Cromm Cruach from her life. As he gets closer and closer to rising, Lucia starts having more horrible nightmares. But can Garreth claim his mate, find out her terrible secret of why she is having nightmares and why she became a Skathian, *and* survive the horrors of the Rio Labyrinto without dying? And if they can do that, can they also survive the rising of Cromm Cruach?

I really enjoyed this book. The feelings and the passion between Lucia and Garreth are explosive, and their lovemaking scenes are very, very hot. But I like the way they interact in the scenes where they aren't going at it hot and heavy- he respects her archery skill, and even if she despises Lykae as brutal animals, she also thinks he is very, very hot.

One of the better parts of this book is the setting for most of it- the Amazon. Cole describes it in such real and immediate terms that it becomes a character in and of itself- beautiful, vast, uknowable, and able to kill in seconds. The River and jungle of the Amazon become something to be fought against and something to triumph over.

We are also introduced to a character as strange as some of the Loreans, but who is human, just... very strange. Where their Abilities come from their race, this character's come from a curse- which cannot be undone. It made for an interesting twist and mystery.

I liked this book a lot, and I am interested in reading more about the Loreans. I am hoping to read more about the good vampires next, but I'd read just about anything from Kresley Cole. Highly recommended.

No comments: