7 Rated Books Book Reviews

Book Review: Dark Desires After Dusk

Title: Dark Desires After Dusk
Author: Kresley Cole

Review number: 57
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Stand Alone/ Series: Book 5 of Immortal After Dark Series – I think this series should be read in order for a better understanding of overall plot
Summary: A seductive beauty he cannever have, yet can’t resist…
Cadeon Woede will stop at nothing to atone for the one wrong that will haunt him forever. But once he secures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, Cade finds that the woman he thought he could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.
A tormented warrior sheshould fear, but can’t deny…
Raised as a human, Holly never knew that some frightening legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the demon’s wicked touch.
Surrender to dark desires…
Yet just when he earns Holly’s trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can sate his wildest needs — and claim his heart?

What I am going to say not only goes against the wave of reviewers who loved this book but also breaks my heart since I am a die-hard fan of Kresley Cole’s Immortal After Dark series , but this was my least favorite so far. And I had such high hopes for this story. I mean, how could I not: Cadeon Woede is a handsome rage demon with a chip on his shoulder – the need to atone for the mistake that has cost his brother’s throne 900 years ago. We first met him a few books back participating in the Hie – a supernatural race around the globe for the high prize: a key to turn back time. Cadeon and his brother Rydstrom wanted the key so that they could go back and regain Rydstrom’s throne. They lost the race, but the search for weapon that could kill the usurper still guides them – and in Dark Desires, a chance of getting The One Sword that will slay their enemy Omort, is to be given to them but at a very high cost to Cade.

You see, Cade just found his Mate, Holly. He can never have her because she is human and humans could never survive mating with a rage demon. Holly is a Maths university teacher/researcher who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – she has compulsions to perform tasks such as cleaning a spotless house twice a day, always arranging objects in groups of three – as any OCD sufferer she has the fear of losing herself and the repetitive routine is a relief for her. She also has a long-term boyfriend, Tim, whom she hopes to marry someday. Even though she has never had anything more than a few chaste kisses with the man because she is afraid of hurting him. Turns out, Holly is very strong.

Cade found her one year before and he has stalked her ever since: learning about her, protecting her – it’s pretty much a self punishment for him.

Then, right at the start they learn that Holly is not only half-Valkyrie but also has a GREAT!WOMB!VESSEL! and is the price Orgot is asking to hand over the One Sword to kill their enemy. The Vessel is a woman who makes an appearance at every Accession – the upcoming battle that happens every 500 years where all factions of the Lore fight each other – and who is fated to bear a child of either ultimate good or ultimate evil, depending on who the father is. So, Cade’s mission is to take Holly to Ogrot and the prospect of losing his mate after searching for 900 years is as unbearable as the thought of not regaining Rydstrom’s throne and atoning himself.

The book begins and we jump right into action – it opens with Holly being taken by a cast of demons who want to mate with her (all of them) and all hell breaks lose – her Valkyrie part comes into play and the woman simply slays every single one of them in a mix of fury and fear. She is terrified of what she has done, of what is happening to her but all is not over. Cade gets to her in time to get her out of there before vampires kill her, thinking she is already carrying an Evil Demon Baby. They must now flee several factions of the Lore than want to kill her, whilst chasing clues around the globe to get to the place where Ogrot is hiding. Conveniently Rydstrom who was supposed to be with them is taken prisoner by Ogrot’s sister and is out of the picture. They are soon visited by Valkyrie Nix – the soothsayer – who, get this, is Holly’s aunt and who tells her a bit about the Lore and hands over some history books so that she can catch up. As an all-knowing being Nix knows what Cade must do, but believes he won’t have the courage to do so and goes along with the lie Cade has been telling to a very gullible Holly – that he is taking her to a wizard that will revert the immortality progress so that Holly can go back to being just human – the thing she wants the most: not to lose herself.

On the way there, they get to know each other, sexual tension galore, Holly gets to learn about the Lore and about Cade and Cade gets to spend time with his mate before he has to leave her forever. Together they form an alliance and Cade teaches Holly Very Important Things such as how to fight her enemies and how to watch porn.

What’s not to like? Well for starters, the relationship, the thing I most look forward to in these books didn’t feel very real to me. As much as I loved Cade and had high hopes for his book, the heroine did nothing for me: it was a similar feeling to No Rest For The Wicked where I loved the heroine but couldn’t stand the hero. Even though there were good moments, I didn’t fall in love with the main couple as much as I loved Bowen (I heart Bowen) and Mariketa and Conrad and Neomi. I believe the fact that they were so compartmentalized – by their own choice, both having attended the Scarlet O’Hara school of “I will think about this tomorrow” and hiding deep inside everything and anything that they didn’t want to deal with, that when the time came to finally become wholes and accept all of their own personalities or question their choices, ie. The Grand Finale, it felt rushed and if fell flat.

Since the main couple didn’t rock my boat , those small nagging details and inconsistencies that I can and will overlook under special circumstances but which I couldn’t this time just didn’t let me enjoy the book very much.

Like for example, the fact that Holly knew nothing about sex – I am not just talking about being a virgin, I am talking about being ignorant about all things sexual, even though she was in a two years steady relationship with Tim. The fact that Tim turned out to be a sleazy ball was also something that made me roll my eyes – talk about a missed opportunity to bring some adult angst to Holly in actually having to make a thoughtful decision on who to choose. A major coup out. It felt contrived and convenient.

Or the fact that even though there are several, many different casts of demons, all of them can speak the way too generic Demonic – a bit more of creativity here would have been more than welcomed. Or the small detail that Holly’s Valkyrie mother had her with a human engineer even though it is hinted throughout the book that Valkyries can not and should not have sex with non supernatural beings.

I am no expert but it was hard to believe that a person who has OCD, a serious psychiatric problem which causes social and occupational impairment and who went cold turkey off her pills would be able to function at all so quickly much less going on a binge sexing with a rage demon whilst learning how to fight enemies. Does the fact that she is half-Valkryie accounts for such rapid recovery? Probably. So, am I nitpicking? Most definitely. But it did make me raise my eye-brows so high it almost touched my hair line so there you go.

Most of all I am really not partial to the GREAT!WOMB!VESSEL! plot line especially since The Vessel and its appearance at every Accession has never ever been mentioned before in any of the previous books. It would have been nice to have a hint here and there that we should have been on the lookout.

So what was good then? The cameos from the Valkryrie people, the bar scene where Holly meets other members of the Lore , the continuing storyline of the Accession and the machinations by Nix The Proto Valkryrie-the woman is the master puppeteer of this story and I just really want to see where this is all going and why she is doing what she is doing.

Even with all the complaints above I still devoured the book – the story has a nice flow and a good balance between the romance and the developing plot with a few good fight scenes, some very scorching hot sex and some funny banter between Cade and Holly.

An indispensable installment in this series – just not as riveting as the previous two, in my opinion.

Notable quotes/Part: the whole scene at the bar where Cadeon must get one of the clues to find Ogrot. Holly says the bar reminds her of the Tatooine bar scene from the Star Wars. Cade is meeting at the back Imatra who is trying to seduce him whilst Holly is having fun with the demons. The whole scene is very entertaining.
It also has a shout out to the fact that females of the Lore are kick-asses and how the men must respect them. Imatra had been trying to steal a kiss from Cade and Holly walks in. Cade:

“Ah, fuck. Now I’ve done it. His fated female had seen him kissing another. He’d never heard of this happening to a male of his kind. Because no one was this stupid.”

Additional thoughts: What comes next? Could it be Rydstrom’s story? There was a good teaser at the end of the book….
Verdict: Definitely not the best installment so far – a lot of inconsistencies and a couple that did not rock my world. Still, indispensable if you like this series.
Rating: If this was a stand alone I would give it a 6, good. But because this is part of a series I love so much, I am giving it a 7.
Reading next: The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

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  • Andrew Clarke
    June 5, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Ana, I get lost in stories too.I found I had to write my own. It would be a great privilege to me if you would consider reading “Outcasts Of Skagaray” and giving your opinion. For a preview, to see what you think, go to http://www.threeswans.com.au and check the sample chapters. You might not have time, but if you did your opinion would be valued. I liked your review of “Dark Desires After Dusk”. My blog is http://threeswans.blogspot.com if you feel like visiting. Best wishes.

  • Katie(babs)
    June 6, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Ah Ana, I felt the same way about Wicked Deeds on a Winter Night. I couldn’t even finish that book!
    Cade cracked me up especially how he loved to smell Holly’s hair. I also like where Holly got drunk. But I have to admit Holly being so naive about sex was a bit tiresome. But I like how she grew into a stronger woman than she was at the beginning.
    Much like the BDB crack, Cole has me hooked till her next story.

  • meljean brook
    June 6, 2008 at 6:59 am

    I just lurved Cade 😀 Usually I’m not a big fan of a Vessel/Super Womb, either, but somehow this ended up being my favorite book in the series so far (with the novella and Kaderin’s book behind it).

    A 6 or 7 is good! I thought it would be much worse than that after your comment at my blog. That’s the thing about Cole, though — even if a characters/characters don’t hit the right notes, she can still write like crazy. She’s entertaining, even if the rest doesn’t work.

    I have nothing else to add, except that my cat is currently mauling my daughter’s My Little Pony.

  • Ana
    June 6, 2008 at 7:25 am

    Katie, I know you didn’t like Wicked Deeds but that is my favourite so far LOL.

    Meljean, you are right. Even if I didn’t like the romance , she can still make me turn the pages at an incredible speed *g*. A 6 or 7 are indeed good but since I gave an 8 to both Wicked Deeds and Dark Needs it feels like such a let down – an 8 for me is a super rate and going down from that to a 6 made me sad because I wanted to love this as I am a super fan of the series. And I have seen A reviews everywhere!

    Oh noes, not the Little Pony!

  • Thea
    June 6, 2008 at 7:26 am

    *laughs evilly in the background* Come over to the Dark Side, Ana!


    You had me at OCD.

    Wonderful, funny but honest review 🙂

  • Katie(babs)
    June 6, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Ana out love affair is over. *sniff sniff*

  • Ana
    June 6, 2008 at 7:32 am

    What? Noooooo? But but but WHY? *pouts*

    We will always have Sully, Hugh and Rain……..

  • Katie(babs)
    June 6, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Adrian, Colin, Michael, Roarke… Rehv?

  • Ana
    June 6, 2008 at 7:55 am

    how can we ever be over when we have him between us?

    I never read of the crack, so I can’t say about Rehv. *runs*

  • Katie(babs)
    June 6, 2008 at 8:01 am

    I can’t quit you if we have Roake betwen us!!
    Not on the crack yet? That means Rehv is still all mine! In Ward’s latest release, Rehv has a special thing called a barb. What a barb you ask? Let’s just say no kittne or rabbit will be safe from him.

  • Ana
    June 6, 2008 at 8:23 am

    A barb? The mind boggles.

  • Katie(babs)
    June 7, 2008 at 8:01 am

    …thinking of Cade’s lovely horns. 😀

  • ciaralira
    June 7, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Now I’m really the last person to read this one. There are just sooo many books. I hate Terribly Naive Heroines. I just want to hit them over the head and throw them overboard. Terribly Naive is terribly close to Too Stupid to Live.

    does anyone else think that Bowen changed between the first book and his book?

    I love this series. 🙂

  • Jill D.
    June 8, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    A 7 is still really good in my mind! Hey, every book can’t be the best ever! I haven’t read this book yet because I want to savor it slooowwwly! It will be too long between books now that this one was released.

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