Review: Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

Garreth MacRieve is the Prince of the Lykae--reluctantly leading the werewolves since the disappearance of his brother over a century ago. He stumbles upon his fated mate, Lucia, during an immortal rugby match and is determined to protect and claim her. Not any easy task given who the fates have chosen.

Our Valkyrie heroine, Lucia, is unwilling to be mated to anyone, even though she is attracted to Garreth. And she does have a few good reasons for her resistance. Known as The Archer in the Lore, she is bound by a vow of chastity made to the goddess Skathi. If she breaks her vow, her extraordinary archery skills will be rescinded. And it's not only her vow that keeps her from accepting Garreth. Darker secrets she's sworn to take to her grave are an even bigger obstacle to their happily ever after.

I've had some complaints in the past that Kresley Cole's books were becoming a little unbalanced with the ratio of sex scenes to plot.  I can honestly say that's not the case with Pleasure of a Dark Prince. Despite the numerous intimate encounters, the sexual tension is intense throughout much of the novel--with the intimacy developing at a much slower pace. And the scenes that ARE present are used to advance the plot. The writing is just as hot--maybe more so--but it didn't seem to take the place of the honest to goodness romance and adventure that Cole's books normally excel at.

As with most of the Immortals After Dark series, this book takes place concurrently with the others in the series. It's a little (or a lot) confusing to try to keep track of the time line, so I've given up trying. Luckily, these books work fine as stand alone novels.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved that Lucia led Garreth on a merry chase while he strove to protect AND claim her. I loved that he learned from the mistakes of his family and was incredibly patient in his pursuit.  He chases her for over a year, despite all kinds of tricks and traps Lucia launches against him. Even when he catches her, he respects (as well as he is able) her requests for intimacy without full sex--something that challenged both his cultural and biological heritage.

I liked Lucia as well. She's never truly malicious. She doesn't kill Garreth when she has the chance. She recognizes how patient he has been. There were times I wanted to smack her for her lack of trust and communication skills, but understood why she felt the way she did.

Nix makes her standard appearance as the slightly mad Valkyrie soothsayer. She seemed a bit more lucid this time around. Which I found refreshing. Don't get me wrong--I love Nix. But she's a tough character to get a handle on. And sometimes seems just a tad too airheaded instead of just vague.

The scorching sexual tension, fantastic characters, and complex plot make this my favorite Immortals After Dark book yet.

My Grade: A

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