If you’ve missed the Immortals After Dark series, it’s about time you get caught up on Kresley Cole’s marvelous series featuring Lorekind folks — the ones you’ve only heard of in urban myths, for she gets better with each instalment!
In Wicked Deeds on Winter’s Night, Bowen, that reclusive, and of course wolfishly handsome, Lykae gets his come-uppance in the form of the petite dynamo Mariketa the Awaited, whose coven of witches may not approve of his wicked designs to make Mari his mate. Now, having met Bowen in the series debut, I’d been rooting for him to get over his lonesome existence and find himself a soulmate to match his stubbornness and high-handedness.
In Mari, he found a spitfire slip of a girl (she’s 23 to his several centuries … talk about cradle snatching!) who dared to stand up to him, claws, fangs and all, without compromising on her principles. Bowe has a hard internal struggle to overcome. First of all, he’s got an innate abhorrence of anything remotely resembling witchcraft or magic, he distrusted witches and was at first very resistant to the idea that Mari could be the lost half of his soul. Even when he eventually accepted and grew to like the idea of courting her for his mate, he made some stipulations about her practicing her craft, which inadvertently is stunting her personal growth and eventually led to resentment and much conflict.
Of course, there was a big villain lurking round the corner waiting for a chance to destroy what chances at happiness they have. But I love how Cole wound out the chemistry and sizzling tension between the two star-crossed lovers. She can be such a tease at this, but the build-up leads to an explosive confrontation and acceptance that I notice is becoming her hallmark plot point, so you kind of began to look forward to it. You know all that thrust and parry is going to end up in a most marvelous conclusion, which is why one can’t help but keep turning the pages. I stayed up the night just to finish reading because I can’t bear to wait until the next day to witness the conclusion, and it was every bit as mushy and warm as a traditional romance. Good to the last page!
The third Scottish novel by Marsha Canham I’ve read after Pride of Lions and Blood of Roses, Midnight Honour offers up a speculation of Angus Moy, the MacIntosh clan chieftain’s pivotal role in the civil war between England and Scotland. Before the first chapter was finished, Ms Canham has already succeeded in wringing out more tears from my eyes at the anguish, hurt and secret feelings the hero/heroine were suffering than the previous two books.
She really made you feel for Colonel Anne and Angus. The love between them is so strong and yet they must each make their own stands in this war which tears families asunder and test their loyalties most mightily. I’ve always have a soft spot for Highlander heroes, so of course my belief in Angus’ integrity is absolute. I kept telling myself that he must have a strong compelling reason for siding with the enemy, and not until the battle’s over and he has successfully retrieved Anne from her British jailers that you realize the extent of his sacrifice. The humiliation, snide remarks and uncalled for insults were all for a very valid cause, details of which I shan’t divulge here so it won’t spoil the story for those who have yet to pick up this brilliantly written book.
I felt so vindicated on Angus’ behalf, even though the price he paid was heavy. Canham stuck to true accounts of the war so the horrific and shocking atrocities visited upon the Scottish had me in tears. If there is ever a battle that will from hereon be solemnly remembered, this is one that will long haunt me for the needless bloodshed and unwarranted and inhumane torture as well as the utter lack of honour, compassion and forgiveness displayed by Cumberlands Army.
So, if you’re looking for a good piece of historical fiction with heavy romance angles, this book is the perfect escape to a bloodied yet bleakly hopeful past. A definite KEEPER on my shelf.