How does Kresley Cole do it?
I should have hated this book but again, Cole pulls it off.
CindyBlurb: Carrow the _____(crumb, can't remember her moniker) is a witch who has been kidnapped and pulled into a super secret, super hidden jail run by mortals who are gathering all sorts of lore creatures to dissect and learn about. Carrow can't use her powers (usually powered by happiness) because of a collar around her neck. Turns out all the lore are helpless with this thingamajiggi round their necks good or evil, allies or warring factions.
Carrow is normally a 'whatever' kind of woman and doesn't really sweat the small stuff. Until the small stuff comes in a package of Ruby, her 7 year old cousin whose mother was just killed. The Order (as these new baddies are called) what something from Carrow and in return they will release her and Ruby from the jail.
What do they want?
They want Carrow to go to hell.
At least, I think I have that right. Basically another plane of existence that is hell like with drought, famine, fire and demons. There are a ton of new creatures also but vampires are also part of the landscape.
What is Carrow retrieving from hell? A Vemon - a creature that are only rumoured to exist by the lore but are believed to be mythical. But hey, whatever, Carrow needs to get the hell out of Dodge so to the hell plane it is. And the Order will turn off the collar do-hicky so she can use her powers. Woohoo. Except how much joy can there be in hell? Yeah.
The Vemon Malkom meanwhile was created by an Evil and has lived in isolation for much of his existence. He is a demon and vampire and believes he is an abomination to all. He has been betrayed by every single person he has ever met (yep, includes mommy) and killed his best friend in a fit of rage and betrayal. Malkom is way beyond acting even remotely human has become more of a Neanderthal over the past 400 years.
What's the only thing that's going to save Carrow from a gory death? She's Malkom's mate and he scents her as she approaches.
And the chase is ON.
Lord, there is so much I want to explain about the story and stuff but wow, it's just really involved and yet so simple.
So where did I have problems? Pretty much the first half of the book. Could I put the book down? No.
Explaination to follow - so hang on!
My problem head on was Malkom. He's 7 feet tall, got horns and sounds like a huge mother. In fact, I couldn't get this image out of my head.
Sorry, I find this guy freaky and not even remotely attractive. In fact, you need to add more hunch to his back and no wings.
This image fought along side an image of a seriously huge body builder - trust me, I was trying to find him attractive and even though I like leaner heroes I could at least work with a overbuilt man-like being.
None of my mental images were helped by the early interactions with Carrow. He's brutish and animalistic in the extreme and about rapes her the first time he catches her. Hell, he breaks her wrist in his enthusiasm. Yeah, not winning any 'ooohhh, you're so hot' kind of awards.
Carrow bolts and who can blame her. He follows. He catches and brings her back to his lair.
The good news is Carrow understands the things that neither of them can communicate because they don't speak each others language. Carrow knows only stupid stuff in Demonish and the Demon despises English so taught himself to forget all he learned. I guess 300 years is good enough to forget something you want nothing to do with.
For me there was definitely a vibe of Carrow being so much more intelligent than Malkom and I'm not sure she isn't even now.
Malkom became more of a character I could understand once he showed he had a logical side buried under all that brute strength but boy, he really had to concentrate to get there.
So why did I like this book?
I'm not sure I know but the last half was awesome.
I understand the allure of Beauty and Beast like stories but when the beast has very simplistic views of how things will be, I'm not so enamoured. Malkom did prove he could be logical but his beast side won out on more than one occasion. In the end, it was Carrow and even Ruby who made the book great. Seeing fleeting images of love stories coming and those that had already happened were also a great boon.
And since I'm not great with words, just know that after reading this story I want to read the few books I have in the series that I haven't read. Thankfully I can't find them at the moment so I can't gorge on them all at once and then have the great book blues.
Still, I may need to dig one out for next week.
B- (I have to say I would probably re-read this book as it was sexy as hell once my brain stopped trying to beat me up with the image above)
Edited: I found the three books I haven't read in this series and I'm fighting with myself not to grab them all up and gobble them down.