Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wicked Deeds on a Winters Night

Book: Wicked Deeds on A Winters Night
Author: Kresley Cole
Grade: A

Wicked Deeds on a Winters Night was definitely a really enjoyable read. This is the latest book in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series and ties with the first one in the series A Hunger Like No Other for me in terms of the romance and the characters.

Her breathless kiss haunts him...

Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed — until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive.

His slow, hot touch is irresistible...

Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It's rumored that no one can tempt Bowen's hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go.

No deed is too wicked for her seduction...

If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul — or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?

What you need to know: This book is the third in the Immortals after Dark series. I would recommend reading the first two. A Hunger Like No Other and No Rest For the Wicked before picking this one up. You might be a little lost if you read this one before NRFTW because Bowen's role in that book ties directly into this one.

There is also a Prequel to AHLNO which has the story of Nikoli, a vampire and Myst, a Valkyrie. That story is apart of the anthology, Playing Hard To Get.

Bowen MacRieve is a Lykae that lost his mate, Mariah, over 200 years ago. He hasn't been able to move on past her to another love because Lykae's only get one mate in life. He enters a competition, The Talisman Hie (An immortal version of Amazing Race), after being told by a Valkyrie soothsayer that The Hie is the way for him to find his mate. Bowen hopes that entering will somehow bring Mariah back to him.

When he gets there he finds out that the grand prize is a key to go back in time and change something from the past. This is a light bulb moment for Bowen because he knows that if he wins the grueling race that he will get the key that can take him back in time to change the outcome of the night that Mariah died and bring her back to the present with him.

Problem is, Bowen is immediately drawn to a fully cloaked witch who has also entered the race.

Mariketa the Awaited is a 23 year old witch who is not yet immortal and though she has great power she is unable to use it properly. She stays fully cloaked due to a prediction that basically said that when her mate finds her he will claim her readily and lock her away from her coven. Mari is very valuable to The House of Witches so to prevent loosing her to this unknown male they make her wear a red cloak at all times outside of her coven.

Mari enters the race to prove to herself and her kind that she is as powerful as she is awaited to be even though she hasn't shown it yet.

Circumstances during the race bring Mari and Bowen together in a heated exchange that not only brings about a kiss between the two but also leaves Mariketa and a few other competitors locked in an ancient Mayan tomb via Bowen. He thinks that Mari must have enchanted him since he was so drawn to her and even kissed her; he hasn't kissed another since his mate died (until Mari). Bowen also traps them in there because he is still intent on winning The Hie, and needs them out of the way. Bowen is also pretty sure that the boulder he uses to trap them within will only slow the other competitors down since Mari led him to believe that her powers were strong enough to move the boulder. Little does Bowen know that Mari and the other competitors, *along with 7 nasty incubi* stay trapped in the cave long after the competition is over.

Angry, Mari curses Bowen taking away his immortality leaving him vulnerable to death. The curse ends up making Bowen loose the Hie competition and his eye, part of his head and oh yeah, his hand too. LOL! And he is unable to regenerate them since he is no longer immortal.

The House of Witches are none to happy about their cherished witch being locked away with half dead incubi for weeks without food or water and Bowen is sent back to get her and the others or else the Lore revolution a.k.a. The Accession will go down.
He also needs to save her in order to get the immortal spell and the enchantment spell he believes Mariketa put on him removed.

And this is where things get deliciously complicated..

The Good: Bowen and Mariketa. I loved each one equally, neither outshines the other. Bowen was a strong hero and Mari was just as strong a heroine. Even with Bowen's history of depression, his reservations about Mari and his utter disdain of witches in general he was still a very sensitive yet sexy hero.

Mariketa was funny, spunky, sassy and lively (Everything I love in a heroine) a good contrast to Bowen's more serious demeanor. She even helped him come out of his shell and joke around with her too. She is just beginning to come into her powers and Bowen seems to be the only being that she is able to use them correctly on, which angers her but also makes her feel powerful. She is not taking Bowen's urge to claim her lightly, especially since she feels like she will just end up being second best to his real life mate. She also doesn't mope around about her problems, instead she does something about them.

There were many laugh out loud moments throughout the book. I literally had to put the book down, laugh, pick it back up and reread the part that was so funny and laugh again. I love it when a writer can make me laugh out loud. Nix the soothsayer Valkyrie was so hilarious. I loved all of her interactions with Bowen and hope that she one day gets a book.

The world that Cole is building is very uncomplicated, unlike many other world builders out there. I think that mastering the essence of world building in paranormal romances is a feat because the authors want to advance the world but still convey a good love story in the process. Cole did that with such ease I didn't even realize that I was retaining the intricacies of her world until after I was done reading.

I love how characters from the previous books still show up in the newer ones and still play a significant role. I find too many times while reading a series that the author seems to forget about the previous characters after their story's are done. Props to Cole for not falling into that trap.

The Bad: There wasn't much bad with this book. I honestly can not pick out a single spot that I wasn't engulfed in the story. Even in the beginning when Bowen and Mariketa aren't completely in each others orbits I was still immersed in the story being told.

The Ugly: Hmm... The evil that Mari and Bowen must face. I was totally upset for Bowen and what he'd been put through for years but it makes for a really unexpected and pleasing twist.

Since I stayed up well into the night aching to see the resolution of Mariketa and Bowen's story I give this book an A.

Click here for excerpt

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