Publisher: Gallery Books
Publishing Date: July 2, 2013
Hardcover: 368 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.
Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a tormented immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.
With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth. But once he takes her to his bed, his sensual mate becomes something more than human, evoking his savage past and testing his sanity. On the cusp of the full moon, can he conquer his worst nightmare to save Chloe . . . from himself?
Uilleam MacRieve, one of the hot and hotter lykae twins, has been living with the pain of guilt for the last 900 years. As a boy he was seduced by a succubus and because of what he feels was an act of weakness, he lost his father, his mother and the little sister she carried. His torture at the hands of the humans calling themselves The Order, and his attempted rape by a group of starving succubae have pushed Uilleam to the edge. He has bought his ticket to Hungary where the forest hides the lair of the Frye Dragán, better known as “Where Immortals Go to Die.” His Instinct has gone silent and he feels he has no reason to go on. He is ready to give up, at least until his brother Munro shows up with news that Uilleam has been waiting for…an opportunity for revenge against The Order.
The Commander’s daughter has been captured by the House of Witches and they will auction her off to the highest bidder. Uilleam is determined to purchase her in order to lure the Commander into a trap. It seems that every Lore creature is in attendance, all wanting revenge against The Order, and it is there that he smells Her…his mate. He is frantic to find her before the bidding ends and all the Lore creatures scatter. He becomes even more frantic once he realizes that his mate is the frail human being bid upon…a bid he is losing, and he can’t lose Her. If he can’t win her, he’ll just take her.
She is injured during his rescue and he takes her to the voodoo queen, Loa, to be healed. Loa sees that Uilleam is already enamored by his little mate and asks if there is one thing he would want to change and he responds for her to be immortal.
What Uilleam doesn’t know yet is that Chloe was already changing. She has started her change to immortality due to her Lorean mother. While Uilleam is trying to win her affection, and doing a damn good job of it, he sparks her final transformation and she becomes the one thing that Uilleam despises more than anything else, a succubus.
In an instant, Uilleam’s last chance for happiness has become his ultimate nightmare. He is bound by his now wide-wake Instinct to keep and protect Chloe but the thought of sharing a bed again with a succubus is making him physically ill. As the full moon approaches, the night that a mated lykae mates in a mindless frenzy, he has decide whether to keep his mate or destroy the succubus before she can steal his very soul.
This was another mesmerizing story by Kresley Cole. I will say that I was thoroughly enjoying the story, as well as the new character of Chloe Todd. Chloe is a spitfire who knows exactly what she wants and won’t be held back from whatever she wants and she is enjoying Uilleam’s attempt to win her. She has never paid much attention to men, but Uilleam’s attention and focus is winning her over. She is falling hard for him when her change is triggered and that is where the story goes to hell.
Although Uilleam’s fear/disgust of succubus is understandable, his treatment of Chloe is reprehensible. As I discussed with a friend, he made Lothaire look like a great guy. Even with his brother’s encouragement to give Chloe a chance, that she appears to be nothing like the succubus that Uilleam knew and there was no indication she would change, Uilleam treats her like a pariah, yelling at her and disparaging her while he is having sex with her, since it is her nature that is forcing him to do it. Going so far as to be physically ill after being with her because it is so disgusting to him.
This type of storyline is starting to become her m.o. and although it can make for some interesting stories and definitely adds some contention between the hero and heroine, the level of violence and disgust being fostered between them is increasing with each new story. In A Hunger Like No Other, Lachlain’s mate turns out to be Emma, a half vampire/half valkyrie. Although Lachlain is angry that his mate is a vampire after 200 years of being tortured by vampires, he doesn’t want to hurt her and even contemplates letting her go because he is not sure he can get past that fact, but he tries not to hurt her physically or mentally. When we move forward to Demon from the Dark, again all is going well between Malkom and Carrow (see bath scene – WOW!) until Malkom finds out that Carrow has betrayed him to The Order, and even when he find out why she did it and accepts it, he still holds it against her, treating her with disdain, but it doesn’t reach the level that Kresley is showing in MacRieve by making it physically revolting for Uilleam to touch her.
I hope that this trend does not become the focus of each and every future book in the series. Kresley writes very interesting stories with intriguing characters and I am looking forward to several anticipated stories, and although her hero and heroine are always at odds, hopefully she changes her current style of the increasing scorn being shown by the males.
I am desperately looking forward to the story of Lanthe and Thronos but sadly, with the known backstory of Lanthe being responsible for Thronos’s father’s death as well as Thronos’s deformity, I am already anticipating another story of hate-filled sex. 🙁
It is certainly a well written and intriguing story until we got to the succubus transformation. I hated seeing the vibrant Chloe being treated so badly by Uilleam. I know there isn’t an IAD follower who won’t be picking up a copy MacRieve, but if this was my first read of the series, I wouldn’t understand the draw to the fans.
Received an ARC from the publisher. Thank you.
“So when MacRieve called me a seed-feeder, was that…literal?”
Munro pulled at his collar, as uncomfortable with this as she clearly was. It was like explaining the birds and the bees—to his brother’s mate. “Some say there’s a mystical energy with release, and your species can convert it to a life force.” Could this be any more awkward? “In that case, seed could be just an attractant of sorts, kind of the icing on the…” He trailed off. “Any metaphor I come up with at this point is just going to sound perverted.”
Her cheeks flushed even brighter red. “I get it.”
“Others say, well, that the physical, uh, result is what gets converted.” He coughed into this fist. “I do know it can be from intercourse or oral sex.” Will had once revealed that though Ruelle could feed both ways, she’d never deigned to perform oral sex and had no interest in it herself.
“How often do I have to do that? Months? Weeks?”
“Since you’re young, you’ll need it more often. I’d guess every day. Mayhap every other.”
Her face paled. “That much?” she cried. “What happens if I don’t?”
“For a cambion, I doona rightly know. But for a succubus, the longer she becomes mindless and animalistic with need.” Like the succubae who’d stalked Will, intent on raping him.
Gods, mayhaps this was too much to ask of him.
“Great. Anything else?”
“If you have intercourse with the same male more than three times, you can bind him to you, envenoming him—“
“Like venom out of fangs?” She was aghast.
“No, no, it’s a mystical bond. Once that tie is formed, he’ll sicken without you.” He recalled Will rocking in his bed, covered in sweat. “I understand that it’s like heroin withdrawal, but it never gets better.”
She gave him an incredulous look. “Then why would anyone have sex with a succubus in the first place?”
“You’re bonny. And you can emit chemicals that make males crazed. It’s called strewing.”
“How do I emit them?”
“From what I understand, it comes from your verra breath. It’s scentless, so it’s impossible to detect until the result is felt. Even an unwilling male would find it difficult to resist, if no’ impossible. Mated males are thought to be immune.”
She stopped. “So my new feeding m.o. is to roofie men, then get them hooked on me like heroin, so they’ll keep coming back to the dealer? That’s just messed up.”
He couldn’t disagree. He remained silent, giving her time to work through all the angles.
“I’m going to be dependent on guys, really dependent on them, for the rest of my life?” She looked like she was about to be sick. More to herself she said, “I was making a great living. I had my future planned out.” Another group passed them, casting her hesitant looks. “What are you gawking at?” she snapped.
Munro told her, “News spreads fast around here, I’m afraid.”
“Well, they need to keep their eyes in their heads.”
Before, she’d appeared woeful. With each second that she grew accustomed to all these surprises, her expression grew more mutinous.
Succubae were known to be fawning. They coaxed and beguiled men wherever they went. Chloe looked like she was on the verge of head-butting unsuspecting bystanders.
Munro tilted his head, a flare of hope rising. This female acted like a wee bruiser. She’d made a living as a professional athlete, about the least likely career Munro could imagine for a succubus.
His own innate wariness toward her was fading. Just because she was a halfling succubus didn’t mean she’d be anything like Ruelle.
There was a spark in Chloe’s eyes, a toughness in her demeanor that was so radically different from Munro’s memories of that other creature, so different from any succubae he’d encountered over his long life.
Which meant Munro still believed her a fitting match for Will.
“What about pregnancy?” she asked.
“Full succubae have a few cycles of fertility in a year. I doona know what will happen with you. There’s a soothsayer we can contact to determine more, but it will likely take time.”
“I’m going to wake up, and this will all be a bad dream.” She rubbed her temples. “Is there any upside here?”
“You’re immortal now. You could live forever.”
“Live forever as an out-of-work, roofie-dispensing, drug-dealing skank? If that’s my upside…”