Pleasure of a Dark Prince
A book that combines a road romance with a hero in pursuit and mixes in an alpha male and a strong, smart heroine is a delight for me. Throw in a whole bunch of steam and some great secondary characters and I’m there all the way. In the seventh installment of her Immortals After Dark series, Pleasure of a Dark Prince, Kresley Cole does all that and more.
Unmatched in archery and known her levelheadedness, Valkyrie Lucia the Huntress has a secret few know. Tricked into marriage with a monster, she chose death over a life lived in a personal hell. Fortunately for her, Regin the Radiant delivered her broken body to the Goddess Skathi to save. However, with life and unparalleled skill, there is a price that Lucia’s more than willing to pay; a pledge of chastity and a role as her husband’s jailor at every Accession. She meets every challenge until she runs head long into a certain persuasive and determined Lykae.
Garreth MacRieve, possessor of an unwanted kingship really belonging to his presumed dead brother, searched a millennium for his fated mate and finds her when he’s not at his best. Unfortunately for him, Lucia’s determination to get rid of him doesn’t change despite the fact that he comes in awfully handy from time to time. When she takes off on a mysterious quest, he follows a step behind the entire way, despite the fact that she makes it more than obvious she doesn’t want him there.
As Lucia’s mission takes her deep into the deadly Amazon, Garreth finds his way to her side and continues to wear down her defenses and, even though she feels he threatens her very identity and freedom, she can’t help but feel his pull. However, she can’t let him hinder her mission or be harmed as a result of it, whereas he wants to keep his mate out of danger by completing the mission for her. While working together, they constantly scheme to keep the other out of harm’s way by keeping them out of the picture altogether.
Kresley Cole writes exceptional characters and Garreth and Lucia are examples of that talent. He is aggressive, keeps coming back despite her actions, and is utterly besotted. She, on the other hand, is strong and principled but has too many secrets. Together, their interactions are humorous, though sometimes frustrating. Secondary characters are present in full force and add to the complexity of the series.
As with other novels in this series, story lines often occur simultaneously and, though there is background information, the reading experience can’t be fully appreciated unless you’ve read the series, especially A Hunger Like No Other. Though told from a different point of view, a few of the scenes in the book felt like too much of a rehash. However, the good outweighs the bad and I enjoyed the exotic Brazilian setting, the tension between the hero and heroine, and Regin’s text messages. Plus, the scene where Garreth first scents Lucia is to die for.
For me, Pleasure of a Dark Prince is a solid addition to the series. I’m hooked and can’t wait to see more of Nix, Regin, and even Lothaire.