Devon’s review of Dark Needs at Night’s Edge (Immortals After Dark, Book 4) by Kresley Cole
Paranormal Romance published by Pocket Books 29 Apr 08
I wasn’t going to read this book, to be honest. I had read A Hunger Like No Other and enjoyed it, and No Rest for the Wicked and thought it pretty good. But I had never quite gotten around to Wicked Deeds on a Winters Night. And I’m not a big fan of ghost love stories. No body means no sex, no hugs, no kisses. How’s an author going to make that HEA work? I tend to view them with deep suspicion. But this book was getting good buzz (see Gwen’s review), and it had a crazy hero. I love a tormented hero. Tormented to the point of crazy sounds good. (Let’s not think too deep on what that says about me). So I decided to try it. Good thing for me, because this is my favorite read of the year so far.
Conrad Wroth is a Fallen Vampire. He drinks blood directly from the vein, and so gains the memories of his victims. As he has survived all these years as an assassin/mercenary, he has gained the memories of a lot of unsavory beings. Add to this his own rage and bitterness, and it’s not a pretty picture. Conrad’s at the point where he can’t distinguish between his memories and others’, when his brothers (who he really, really hates) capture him in a last ditch effort to restore some kind of sanity.
They bring him to Elancourt, an abandoned Louisiana estate. For the last eighty plus years it has been the home of Neomi Laress, a ballerina who was murdered in her house in the twenties. The gregarious Neomi has longed for contact, so she can’t help but be intrigued by the strange group that has descended upon the house. She is angered by the rampaging madman damaging her home, but also intrigued. Especially once it seems that maybe he can see her.
Lots of conflict going on here. Conrad is truly damaged, twisted by rage at what he’s become, and also unsure of what’s real. He is also awkwardly charming. As he becomes convinced that Neomi is “real”, he becomes increasingly ashamed of what he has become. And oh, how he tries to be better-healthier, saner, what a woman would want. It’s both heartbreaking and adorable. It was easy to see how Neomi would grow increasing fascinated by him.
I really wasn’t sure if I’d like a ghost heroine, but Neomi totally won me over. Her joie de vivre (heh, considering she’s dead) provides such a contrast to Conrad. She is a woman who was very comfortable in her own skin when she was alive, and she just leaps off the page. I loved the parts where she was checking Conrad out, trying to get him to acknowledge her.
Her non-corporeality is a definite obstacle. But Cole used it to develop the chemistry between them. They spend a lot of time talking and getting to know each other. The fact that they can’t touch just makes it more intense, as their connection grows deeper. Intense! Damn if I wasn’t on eggshells for them to get it on. Absolutely hot.
This book, like Conrad, was very intense. But there are nice flashes of humor from Neomi and the larger world of “The Lore”. The Valkyries, who got on my nerves in other books, were used to great effect, and were around just enough. Ditto Mariketa (I don’t know if I’d have enjoyed a whole book of her). After reading the excerpts of the next book (see here, here and here), I was really looking forward to it. Now I’m positively bursting, so much did I like Cade, his brother and the other demons.
My only quibble was that I found the mechanics of their HEA to be a bit confusing, and at the end, contrived. On the other hand, I wanted them together so bad, I didn’t really care. Dark Needs at Night’s Edge was a completely involving romance, with a compelling hero and heroine, hot tension, plenty of emotion, lots of action and a rich paranormal world filled with vivid characters. A completely satisfying read. I am now an official Kresley Cole fangirl. Thank goodness we only have to wait until June for more.
From the back cover:
A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK…
Neomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers — until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying than Neomi herself.
A VAMPIRE WARRIOR CONSUMED BY MADNESS…
To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth’s brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.
HOW FAR WILL HE GO TO CLAIM HER?
Yet even if Conrad can win Neomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?
Read an excerpt here