Author: Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Won from Shelbie @ Time Turners
After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him. Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents -- until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae -- and their notorious dark desires -- ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?
How is it that I have waited this long to read anything by Kresley Cole?? Total. Epic.#readerfail (yes I did just hash tag in a blog post...twitter has ruined me). I apologize to Ms. Cole, and she should know that I am now scrambling to find the entire Immortals After Dark series. ALL of them....and assuming that I like the rest of the series as much as I liked the first book, I will be searching out all and any other books in her repertoire. I really need to stop adding to my TBR pile...it's massively scary. If I actually had copies of all the books I want to read, they would probably fill up a small cathedral or something. But we're not here to cry about how many books I need to read, we're here to talk about hot Scottish men!
Oh Lochlain...poor wounded and tormented Lachlain...The poor mans been tortured for over a hundred years and all I wanted to do is comfort him...come on you guys, you have to love the tortured hero! Especially if he is a particularly attractive and muscled Scotsman who has an adorable accent, is the werewolf kind, and has riches up the yin yang. I wasn't such a big fan of him at first, because of the arrogant and biased way he treated Emmaline just because she was a vampire. His prejudices, however justified, almost led to horrible things happening to the couple and I am just glad that he was able to get over it in time for everything to work out in the end. I really like the idea of a soul mate. Call me a romantic, but I love the idea that there is your one true love waiting out there for you somewhere, and all you have to do is find them. That Lachlain has waited so long for Emma totally increases the swoon-worthyness of their courtship.
I really liked Emmaline. At the tender age of 70, she is the youngest Valkyrie and the only vampire girl. (she's a halfsie obviously) Her aunts have tried to keep her existence secret but it seems like someone found out because now people are hunting her left and right. I liked that she was so nice and innocent. She really grew as a person throughout the book without losing the almost childlike caring and appreciation she has for the world. I felt like she was the perfect counterpart to Lachlain, whose time in the vampire prison has almost driven him mad. Holy crap the ending is amazing for Emma! You find out a ton about her history, she finally accepts Lachlain, and she really comes into her own in the battlefield. Loved it! Though I could have used an even longer fight scene. Those are my absolute favorites!
I totally ADORED the Valkyrie aunts. They were overprotective in a cute compassionate way, and you can tell that they are one big, screaming, loving, fighting family. True, they can be cold and ruthless, but after a while you see that they are just tough freaking harpies by nature and that they are just trying to protect their own. It was cool to see them just hanging out with popcorn, watching movies, and being "normal", yet they are centuries old beings of war and destruction that eat and produce lightning. They were pretty original. I have never read anything about Valkyries so I have nothing to base my ideas off of, but I thought they were really cool. I also liked the originality of the wraiths and ghouls, so I look forward to hearing more side stories about them.
Occasionally, I did feel like I had missed something when it came to the history of all the different sects and races of the Lore, horde, etc. Right from the first page there are references to the different castes and about the Lore in general that I didn't understand. I was confused enough to have to go double check that HLNO was the first book in the series. It was, so I struggled a bit through the initial descriptions and names of the different Valkyries, vamps, weres, wraiths, etc. You kind of just have to jump in and hope that everything gets clearer as you go along...which it does for the most part. Still, I wish there was more of a definite description of the races, the members of each race, and the interactions and alliances between everyone. Though I suppose that will all come in time and I will just have to keep reading...which I am happy to do :)
The love scenes were so freaking hot! I loved how Lachlain and Emma's relationship developed. She was super sweet and innocent, and he was this almost insane, demanding, amazing warrior god and it was really great seeing them interact. The alternating viewpoints really helped you identify with everyone involved because you could see all underlying emotions and the reasons behind their decisions and could tell that everyone was dealing with a lot. When Emma and Lachlain FINALLY get it on, it is a freaking life changing event man. It wasn't super (and grossly) descriptive like a lot of Paranormal Romances, which I really liked. It was a really great scene and now I am fully invested in Emma/Lachlain. You can just feel their connection and more importantly, their friendship.