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==Immortals After Dark==
Pleasures of a Dark Prince is book seven in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark Series. Usually at this point in a review I would be giving you lots of background information but with this book there really isn't any need. You don't need to have read any of the previous books in order to follow this story. This series is a paranormal romance series set in our own world. The premise of the series is that there are groups of immortals who are referred to as the Lore, the Lore remain hidden from humans. Every five hundred years the Accession takes place, this is basically a huge war where all the different law creatures take sides and fight and kill each other. The Accession is taking place at the time of these books. One of the things that I think is great about this series is that Cole includes a glossary at the beginning of each book so if you haven't read them before or you want to look something up you can just check at the beginning of the book. I think it's much better than trying to explain everything in the book which I find can sometimes interfere with a good narrative.
Regarding the chronology this book actually overlaps with the first book in the series. I was quite confused at first because in the first book Lachlain, the King of the Lykae escapes from the vampires and takes his crown back from his younger brother Garreth and at the beginning of this book Garreth is still King. It's been a while since I read the first book so I was very confused at the first part of this book. Some fans of the books may remember that in the first book when Lachlain is in the home of the Valkyrie he finds that his brother Garreth is also being held prisoner there. I had completely forgotten about that and if I'm completely honest didn't care enough to think about it because I disliked the first book so much. However, when we got to that point in this book it all came flooding back and it was only then that I remembered that the main characters in this book had featured in earlier books. For those of you who are fans of the book but like me haven't read A Hunger Like No Other for some time you may want to reread the parts with Garreth and Lucia just to refresh your memory.
If you do want to read the rest of this series the books should be read in the following order:
A Hunger Like No Other
No Rest for the Wicked
Wicked Deeds on a Winters Night
Dark Needs at Nights Edge
Dark Desires After Dusk
Kiss of a Demon King
Deep Kiss of Winter (written with Gena Showalter)
Pleasures of a Dark Prince
There is also a novella in Playing Easy to Get, this is supposed to be the first story in the series.
This book tells the story of Garreth and Lucia the Archer. Garreth is the Prince of the Lykae (or King at the beginning of the book). Lucia is a Valkyrie and the best archer in the world. She never misses her target. What most people don't know is that Lucia's talent was gifted to her by a Goddess in return for her celibacy. As a young Valkyrie Lucia was fooled by an evil God who tricked her into marrying him. It was only after she was married that she realised how cruel he was and she managed to escape with the help of her sister. In order to survive she made a deal with a Goddess who gave her the ability to always hit her target with her arrow in return for celibacy and being her husbands jailer. Every five hundred years at the Accession Lucia must return to her husband to re-imprison him.
The Accession is coming again and this time Lucia is determined it will be her husbands last. This time she intends to kill him. Garreth complicates things when he realises that Lucia is his mate and he will stop at nothing to get her. Lucia knows that if she gives in and is no longer celibate she will lose her ability and with the Accession coming she can't afford to do that. But Garreth will stop at nothing to get her. Lucia embarks on a quest to find the arrow that can kill a God and Garreth proves that he would follow her to the ends of the earth if that's what it takes to have her.
I ordered this book without bothering to read the synopsis. It doesn't matter what Kresley Cole releases in this series, I'm going to read it. Although I didn't like the first book in the series I have enjoyed every book since so ordering the next book in the series is automatic for me now. When the book arrived and I read that it was another Lykae/Valkyrie story I was disappointed. So far in the series before this book we've had one Valkyrie/Lykae story, one Valkyrie/ Vampire story (well two, but I didn't read one of them), one Lykae/Witch story and one Demon/Valkyrie book. If I'm completely honest I'm bored of reading about the Lykae and Valkyrie when there are so many other Lore creatures that we still know so little about. I wouldn't mind so much except it makes the books so similar. It seems that all Lykae act in exactly the same way when mated. So I was a bit disappointed when this book arrived and although I still had high expectations I wasn't expecting anything new or original.
Although the characters in this book did have distinct personalities and weren't just copies of earlier characters I was right in thinking that there would be similarities. At times during this book I could just as easily have been reading about Bowen or Lachlain, Lykae characters from previous books. Lucia reacted in a similar way to other Valkyrie in earlier books...she runs away. To be honest I was hoping for perhaps a new take on the Valkyrie and Lykae thing but the romance in this book was more like an amalgamation of a couple of the earlier books and I didn't find that there was anything particularly original between Lucia and Garreth. The plots in all of the books are different but somehow the romances still follow very similar lines. There are a few books in the series that stand out completely from the others but this book wasn't one of them.
Putting aside the lack of originality this book was okay but it felt very much like a filler book. In terms of its place within the overall series I thought it was quite important and a few things were thrown in that I think have huge significance for the plot of this series but the story itself didn't deliver anything special. The romance between Garreth and Lucia felt to me more like an after thought, like Cole had to have something to introduce the next part of the series so she just threw in Lucia and Garreth which makes no sense at all because clearly their story has been planned since the very first book but it read like a filler book. Most of what happens outside of the relationship between Garreth and Lucia (and their immediate plot) seems like it will have more significance later in the series which is why I think this book felt like a filler novel.
I thought that the idea behind the book was really good but it wasn't delivered particularly well. It was enjoyable enough but Cole failed to build up any tension and although there were many times when I thought that I should be feeling tense or scared there were only a handful of times that I actually did. That really sums up the whole book for me, it was enjoyable but not particularly enthralling and I didn't really feel emotionally involved. Usually when I read Cole's books I become really absorbed in them, I find it hard to put them down and I feel a real connection with the characters. That just wasn't the case with this book at all. There were a few times when Cole managed to evoke some strong emotions in me but this didn't happen often. I liked the characters well enough and they were reasonably well developed, although not to the extent that many of her other characters were, but I didn't feel like I connected with them and there was a severe lack of empathy on my part.
I read this book with a kind of detachment. It gave me a couple of hours of entertainment but I was left feeling disappointed. I can usually lose myself in a Kresley Cole book completely. I've rated a couple of her books less than four stars but even those books had me completely immersed in the plot, this one didn't and that's the real disappointment for me. However, although this book disappointed me I did enjoy it and it has left me desperate for the next book. There were just so many interesting things in this book that I assume will be explored in more depth in later books and I can't wait to see what happens with them.
Although this book was a disappointment to me it's still a good book and compared to other books in this genre it's definitely worth a read. I recommend the series more than I recommend this book. If you're going to read a Kresley Cole book then save this one until you're well and truly hooked on the series. I would recommend starting with book 2 in the series, No Rest for the Wicked because I thought the first book was awful (hero sexually assaults heroine, need I say more?). If you do happen to have a copy of this book then it's worth reading even if you're not familiar with the series, just keep in mind that this book is Cole at her weakest, which is still pretty good!
(I just realised I gave this two stars instead of three! Sorry!)