A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, Book 1)
This is the official Book#1 in the “Immortals After Dark” series. The series has been recommended to me over and over, and I was very happy to receive it for Christmas.
While I enjoyed quite a few parts of book #1, overall, I’d say it was just “okay”. I didn’t connect to the characters much. The heroine (Emma) went from a childlike innocence to hard-headed and irritating. While most of these stories evolve where the heroine inevitably becomes stronger, Emma’s personal growth transition was so quick that it didn’t seem natural. Her hunky alpha male (Lachlain) was great in some ways, however, I found myself cringing at many of his demands, from his insistence in keeping her against her will (for fear she’d never come back to him if he let her out of his sight) to his sexual advances, despite her resistance.
“You would hurt me that way?”
“Without a second thought.” His lips curled. His gaze seemed intent on her face, but his eyes were still vacant. “And that’s just the beginning of the things I’ll do to you, vampire.”
Eventually he sees the error of his ways, but really, it’s too late to have regrets once the monstrous acts are committed. Never fear, he never *quite* reaches that level.
Her Valkyrie aunts were all over the place, and I couldn’t ever fully comprehend what they were doing, who was getting mad, who was plotting or who was happily accepting Emma’s fate. I’m wondering if the short story preceding this one would have given me a better understanding into their family history, allowing me to like them more in this one.
So basically the story goes like this. Lachlain (a Lykae/werewolf) was held prisoner and tortured for centuries by the vampires. Realizing (smelling) that his “mate” was in the city where he was being held captive, he gnaws his way out of his chains, and escapes. While he doesn’t know who she is, he has been waiting for her forever, and refuses to risk the chance of losing her forever by remaining imprisoned.
Half mad from being tortured, he lacks the proper social skills of today’s society. Desperate to finally have her, he pretty much demands that his woman heed him, causing her much confusion and panic.
He pointed a shaking hand at her. “You,” he growled.
She jerked glances over both of her shoulders looking for the unfortunate you he was addressing. Her. Holy shite, this madman had settled on her.
Thinking she is being stalked by a raving lunatic she runs (exciting him more)! He chases, catches and essentially kidnaps her. Unfortunately for her/him?, she is half vampire (his most hated enemy), and he cannot fathom how to handle his need for her as his mate, and his hatred of her kind.
He’d waited a millennium for a helpless parasite.
The story evolves from one of mistrust and resentment (on both sides) to one of acceptance and bonding. While his brusque mannerisms rub her the wrong way, his alpha male sex appeal and eventual sweetness (she seems to tame him) make up for all his archaic ideologies (you know…rubbing her the right way ) tee hee!
He rolled over in his sleep, tucking her into his side. He put his knee over her to pull her close and then crooked his arm around her head. Protectively. All around her. Better. Maybe just surrender.
“Mine,” he growled softly. “Missed you.”
Yes. Apparently she’d missed him, too.
They trick each other, lie to each other, barter with each other, resist each other and come together so many times, one wonders how a relationship with such a rocky start could ever possibly work. While they struggle with their acceptance of each other’s differences, they also need to contend with their family’s expectations of the “ideal” mate (which neither of them conform to). Emma, half vampire, half fae (and enemy of the Lykae) would become queen of his Lykae clan, and she would essentially be bringing a “dog” into the family. Fun times…fun times…
And of course, the important battles, not just of wits, but of strength as enemies stalk them for purposes that eventually explain both of their pasts.
We also get a little glimpse into the characters and potential romantic interests to come in the series, and I hear the next few books are fantastic. So I’m very anxious to get to know them all better. BTW… Some of the covers for the books are just gorgeous. Too bad I don’t get those covers with my e-books!