Author: Kresley Cole
Type: Paranormal Romance
Blurb: Cade of the rage demons 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.
Raised as a human, Holly Ashwin 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.
Why: I'm hooked.
Thoughts: Of all the characters introduced to date in Cole's Immortals After Dark series, Cade appealed the least. Unlike the sexy arrogance or tortured soul found in many of Cole's potential heroes, Caedon sported a childish, petulant attitude. Don't know if it was his casting--little brother to Rydstrom, unable to measure up, or single demon into drink and porn. All I know is that he has always appeared more child than man to me. Not even his lonely roof-top spying of Holly inspired compassion in me.
So was I hesitant to read his book? No. Cole has surprised me with every installment and I expected nothing less here. And, of course, the surprises kicked in the minute I turned page one. Holly's transformation wasn't an earth-shattering twist, but it worked very well to push her and Caedon's romance off of go. Gave the reader one of those "Ahhh, I see how this is going to work" moments.
It also provided for tons of character growth for her. And boatloads of humor. I really enjoyed the clever convergence of Holly's human traits (or ticks) and her 'ancestoral' ones. Seamless, and both heartbreaking and hilarious. And every individual moment--added up to a more collective development of that particular race in Cole's world. Don't know which of these races I enjoy more--the vamps, lykae, demon or valkyre.
Cade's response to learning Holly's true identity--and her purported fate--was another surprise. It provided the first real, whoa-here-it-is conflict for this character. And honestly, like him, I wasn't sure--right up until the end--what choice he would make. I liked that Cole didn't make it a simple matter--she never empowered him with the maturity or experience to devise a superior strategy or tactic. IOW, she didn't turn him into a mastermind--she left him in character, just grappling his way through shit and yeah, in some instances, taking immature advantage of Holly and/or circumstances. Like I said, he's always been more child than man IMO. And in keeping with that, Cole somehow managed to make him more real, more believable. And ultimately, a great hero.
Overall, I loved it as much as I have the others. Easily.
And speaking of a great hero? The teaser for Rydstrom's story? Jaw-dropping. Can't wait.