Hello again. This time it's the turn of Kresley Cole's fantastic Immortals After Dark Series. Technically A Hunger Like No Other is book 2 of this series, however since I haven't read the anthology that contains book 1 I'll have to start with book 2.
Title: A Hunger Like No Other
Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Pocket Star Books
Release Date: September 2007
Series: Immortals After Dark Series, Book #2
Source: My personal copy
From Kresley Cole's website:
After enduring years of torture from the vampire Horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.
Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents--until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae--and their notorious dark desire--ebb as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.
Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be...?
Ok, first off despite this technically being book 2 in the series you really can't tell. It can be read as a stand alone book like I did and it won't make any difference. In fact I had no idea there even was a book before this one until I looked it up. This is something I quite liked about this, and it seems that the entire series is a bit like that, subtle interlinking of characters and plots in the different books but not enough to effect the story as a whole if you don't know the previous books.
The storyline for A Hunger Like No Other in short is that Lachlain (aka leader of the lykae/werewolves) has been captured by the Horde (Vampire clan) and chained beneath the streets of Paris, doomed to be burnt alive every minute of every day. His immortality makes this an eternal torment as despite his massive strength, the pain of the fire weakens him to the point he cannot escape but not so much that it kills him. Lachlain's torment seems ensured to last forever....that is until he catches the scent of his one true mate on the surface. The woman meant for him and him alone. Having waited over 1000 years for his mate Lachlain is not going to let her escape now. As her scent fades Lachlain, in desperation, pulls himself free of his chains, but before he gets his strength back to follow her, she's vanished. But Lachlain will not rest until he finds his woman...
Emmaline Troy is a half Vampire half Valkyrie searching Paris for information about the lives of her parents when she's confronted by a man who claims that she's his mate. The tall, muscular and ridiculously gorgeous stranger then insists she come with him to Scotland where they will live with his clan. The stranger introduces himself as Lachlain, king of the Lykae. However when Lachlain learns of Emma's vampire heritage he goes mad and attacks her, blaming her and her kind for the century and a half of torture he'd just escaped from. Dismissing her as not his real mate Lachlain is determined to drag her to Scotland and sort this all out. Timid little Emma is terrified of this man who attacks and brutally handles her. But despite all this Emma can't help but be attracted to him, nor him to her. Lachlain refuses to believe a Vampire is his mate and does not treat Emma gently, denying that she is the one for him, yet he is still drawn to her, all the time questioning whether fate could really have given him Emma as a mate....
The first part of the book is basically the journey to Scotland, where Lachlain is still denying Emma, and he attacks her several times, something I did not like about this book. Although the journey to Scotland is important to the development and the readers understanding of both Lachlain and Emma, I personally feel it dragged a bit. However after Emma is attacked by Vampires and the couple reach Scotland, the book vastly improved. Emma gets to prove she's not some meek woman when she's challenged by another lykae and Lachlain works on his temper and relationship with Emma and as a relationship blossoms I started to love the couple for all their faults. And the interaction between Lachlain and Emma's Valkyrie aunt's is just hilarious, especially Nix who is just awesome.
By the end of the book I was completely sold on the series, and went and bought the next one. So despite the problems I had with the beginning of the book I would still recommend it to anyone. Overall it's a pretty good read, you just have to persevere through the beginning, but the end is definitely worth it.