Series: Immortals After Dark #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Simon & Schuster on 17 March 2011
Reading Challenges: 2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Lachlain MacRieve, Lycan warrior king has been imprisoned in the Parisian catacombs for 150 years give or take. One night he sniffs his mate and amputates his own leg in his desperation to get to her. Emmaline spots him and sensibly does a runner. When he finally catches her, he tries to sexually assault her. I’m afraid that things pretty much went downhill from there.
Emmaline is very timid and insecure despite being half vampire and half Valkyrie. She braved the big bad world at the tender age of 70 because she wanted to find out more about her vampire father. I’m not sure how she managed to remain as naive as she had given the wild antics of her Valkyrie aunts. She undergoes quite a transformation throughout the novel as she endures Lachlain’s advances and ends up doing something that no one else was able to pull off.
A number of things bothered me about this novel but most of them boiled down to Lachlain’s treatment of Emmaline. Not only does he molest, assault and steal from her, he seemed to think he had the right to do it because she is a vampire, even though he admits she doesn’t act like the no good flea-ridden varmints that imprisoned and tortured him. I don’t like the idea that someone’s race gives you carte blanche to abuse them, no matter the genre. The story veered very close to rape quite a few times and only just avoided it because Emmaline changed her mind and stopped screaming for him to leave her alone. One, two three…Stockholm syndrome! This plot device was used a number of times throughout the novel and I found it exceedingly unpleasant as the more he sexually assaulted her, the more she started to fall in love with him. Yes, Lachlain is an ancient Lycae so has different values to contemporary society. His behaviour though is reprehensible even by his standards as a Mate is someone who is supposed to be cherished, not abused. At one point he actually popped the vessels in her eyeball when he was “accidentally” strangling her. I don’t care that she healed because she was immortal. It was wrong and letting her shop online doesn’t make up for it.
Cole expands her world significantly and I can’t help but feel that it got too big, too quickly. I wish she had kept the character pool smaller so she could round out the characters she had and deepen our understanding of the world she had created. Having just read the first book in the series, I noticed that quite a few of the explanatory sections were lifted from this one (or vice versa).
I can’t recommend this book to anyone who has been in an abusive relationship or knows someone who has gone through it as it seems to glorify this sort of behaviour. If you like your heroes to secrete testosterone from every pore and don’t mind if they treat their women badly because it’s fiction, then you will probably enjoy the book a lot more than me.