A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK…
Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers — until she encounters a ruthless
A VAMPIRE WARRIOR CONSUMED BY MADNESS…
To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth’s brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.
HOW FAR WILL HE GO TO CLAIM HER?
Yet even if Conrad can win Néomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?
Erm. Well, we started this buddy read in 2014….and I’ve let it languish. Time to get going on it again. So, here I am catch up with Sarah 😉
I gave this three-stars before, apparently, but I think I was being generous then – because I hated this book for the longest time. The first time I read it, was on a cross-country flight. I had nothing else to read, and nothing else to do for the entirety of the flight. I wasn’t in the mood for it, and felt that way from the moment I opened the book. But what else could I do? I hate sleeping on flights. So, I forced myself to read it. And it was, I think, that forced reading that made me hate it so much. I couldn’t stand anything about the story. Not Conrad, not Néomi, not the love story, nothing. Except maybe Nix. 1-star for Nix, that’s what it should have been previously rated.
I’d tried re-reading it a few times prior to this massive re-read with Sarah, and each time I got bored a couple of pages in and gave up, skipping directly to the next book. Happily, this re-read has improved my opinion quite a lot. I’d give it a solid 3-stars now. It’s still not my favorite of the series, and probably one of my lower-favorites, but it’s good.
Néomi’s an awesome character. Despite the fact that she’s a ghost and has been for eighty-some-odd years, she’s strong. She was always ahead of her time, independent, wealthy, smart, and confident. I think that she’s amazing. I didn’t always love how much she capitulated to Conrad’s angers and rages, but she also forced herself not to value herself as less, too. She took her fate into her own hands, and made herself – just as she had in life. I truly appreciated that about her character.
Conrad, well, he was the biggest problem that I had with the book initially. And don’t get me wrong – all the characters in these books can be assholish, so it’s not just that he was an ass. I do get why he reacted the way he did quite frequently, it makes sense with his history, and his training, and then the madness; a very real thing for him with all his victims’ memories floating around in his head. And I even liked his single-minded approach to setting his goals, and removing the obstacles to those goals from his path. I just never really fell for him. This is probably a hold-over from my first reading (first impressions do stick), so I won’t try to hold it against him too much. The other part of the problem is that the vampires are probably my least favorite part of the Lore in this series. There’s just so many more interesting factions and groups to be with!
I’ve talked about the world, and plot/pacing of these books at length in my previous reviews – and I think I’d just mostly be repeating myself if I extolled about them again here. But I will say that I continue to be awed at the way that Kresley Cole has interwoven all these storylines and characters and plot-lines. It’s truly amazing. There’s a plot here that’s been brewing for a few books already and doesn’t come to fruition for a few books on yet. There are mentions of things happening off page, that we only truly learn about later. This is absolutely my favorite part of this series. It’s so tightly woven and created that I’ve never – in all my years of re-reading it – caught a timeline, or consistency error. And when you’re talking about this many characters and things going on and this long of a series …. that’s impressive.
I can’t wait to go onto the next book, because some of my favorites are coming up.