Not all Kresley Cole books are created equal. The last three books didn’t wow me like some of the earlier books in the series, but THIS book reminded me of why I love this series so much. Like so many Immortals After Dark readers, I have been anxiously awaiting Thronos and Lanthe’s book since Kiss of a Demon King. Cole does such a great job of planting the seeds of a romance, then stepping back and waiting for our anticipation to grow for their story. Sometimes, the payoff has been less than stellar (like Regin & Aidan/Declan in Dreams of a Dark Warrior.) But other times –like here– she makes the years of waiting worth it.
Longtime readers are already familiar with a bit of the backstory: Lanthe and Thronos were childhood friends, despite the fact that her people and his are sworn enemies. One day, his family discovers hers and kills her parents. Convinced Thronos betrayed her, Lanthe used her Sorceri power of persuasion to force him to jump out of a window without using his wings to save himself. The fall left him broken in some ways that have never healed. Ever since then, he has been hunting her. His people have been targeting her and her sister, sometimes going so far as to kill Sabine, forcing Lanthe to drain her powers bringing her back.
As the story begins, Lanthe and Thronos hate each other, but Thronos can’t stop his hunt for her, because she is his fated mate. He physically cannot be with any other woman and, as a prince, he has a responsibility to continue his bloodline. He has been celibate the 500 years they have been apart, and he needs her every bit as much as he hates her. Now, thanks to the Order, who captured them both in Dreams of a Dark Warrior, he has his chance to capture her once and for all.
Due in part to his damaged wing –and to the carnage going on around them on the island– escape is difficult. They need to rely on Lanthe’s unstable ability to create portals to get them to safety. Unfortunately, she can’t just pop them to familiar place. Over and over, they end up in dangerous worlds where they must rely on one another for survival. As they are forced to spend time together, they learn that what they know of each other isn’t entirely the whole story. But will learning the truth be enough to allow them to explore the buried feelings they share?
I really loved these two characters and the dynamic between them. Thronos kind of has a stick up his ass, but part of that is because his people are so repressed. He is consumed with jealousy and judgement over the fact that Lanthe has lived her life without him. Despite the fact that he said some really stupid things sometimes, I was able to empathize with his situation. He had a lot to learn over the course of the story, and Lanthe was strong enough to insist on the respect she was due. It was a good emotional journey that coincided with some really fast paced action and the stellar world-building that is a hallmark of the series. I love how Cole masterfully intertwines the plot and characters of multiple books together so seamlessly!
The sexual tension and payoff is a win you can take to the bank with every Kresley Cole book. I was on the edge of my seat by the time these two sealed the deal, but every step along the way was built with great anticipation and just enough forward momentum to keep it satisfying. I really enjoyed the virgin hero juxtaposed with a sexually experienced and confident heroine. Hot, hot, hot. My only small gripe is that, at times, I felt like the slut-shaming thread went on a little too long.
In the meantime, we get a little time with Nix –and while it’s only a few pages, it gives us some really good perspective about the hand she has had in every one of these romances. She may be crazy, but she is also brilliant.
I can’t imagine that anyone will be disappointed with this story. Really good stuff.
*ARC Provided by Gallery Books
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Kresley Cole
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books