Title: Dreams of a Dark Warrior
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark, #11
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Date Published: February 15th, 2011
Source: Purchased (Amazon)
He vowed he’d come for her…
Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memories of his past lives-only an endless yearning.
She awaits his return…
When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals, unaware that he belongs to their world.
To sate a desire more powerful than death…
Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle the memories of the passion they once shared-even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?
Before I begin my review on this spectacular addition to the Immortals After Dark series, I’d like to first commemorate the coming out of book #11 by listing the top 11 reasons why Kresley Cole is the ultimate bad-ass writer:
- Action scenes that keep you holding your breath and turning the page. Complete with lines such as “Rock out with your cocks out!” and “That all you got, muthafuckas?”.
- She does sexual tension…flawlessly. the perfect amount without completely sating her readers. It’s almost painful, but it’s so damn good!
- Strong, sexy, immortal men who are lacking for NOTHING, especially not in the pants vicinity. Oh and did I mention that they’d do anything for their women? Take a bullet for them? Check. Give her thousands of orgasms in one sitting? Check. Present her with heads from the men he’s killed for her? Doubly Check.
- Two words: Overlapping. Plots. She doesn’t dumb-down her readers, she rewards those of us who take the time to read the series in order by giving us more than meets the eye. She also doesn’t repeat the same thing over and over again. She gives us the benefit of the doubt that perhaps we might remember a thing or two from the previous books. Do we remember what a Vampire is? A Valkyrie? How about the Lore? Umm…yes! We don’t need a repeat for twenty pages like some authors would do. Thank you Kresley for NOT wasting our time in this way.
- She knows humor — at least my sick depraved brand of it. Any woman who can throw a South Park joke into a paranormal romance and pull it off is my kind of lady.
- Her plots always manage to be completely unique, not only from other paranormal romance novels — but from the other books in the series. I always find myself surprised by SOMETHING or more than one somethings within each book. I can never quite predict how the ending will come about — no matter how much of a smart ass I am, which I assure you is quite a big one.
- Heroines you not only DON’T want to kick in the face…but that you actually could see yourself going out for drinks with.
- She creates a world that you actually feel apart of while reading. Not only that, but that world morphs and evolves, and a bigger picture forms the more books you read (via overlapping plots — see #4).
- Nucking Futs Nix. Need I say more? I’m sorry if you don’t, but I freakin’ love that girl, she’s like, fantastically insane and I cannot resist her allure. “Whose mummy’s wittle echolocator? That’s right–you are!”
- I can’t freakin’ put them down. I swear to you I try, but it’s like a drug to me. I’m an addict. As soon as I pick the book up I know all is lost. I cannot sleep, I cannot eat, I cannot talk to anyone until I have read said book and then regretted reading it so damn fast that I wish I had the next book in the series already in my hands!! GRRR! It’s a never-ending vicious cycle.
- Last but, definitely not least. She has managed to create 11 books in this series already and not once…not freakin’ once have I been bored by a single one of them. Not once have I dreaded picking up her books. In fact, every time I get a new book in this series, it always manages to magically appear in my hands — transcending those books that are due back at the library and I’ve already renewed too many times, or those books that I’ve been absolutely aching to read, and even the other new books from gasp my other favorites series that I love almost as much. Her books are truly the bees-freakin-knees, and are the cocaine to my crack whore.
Now, onto my review for this book. Before I start, I may have some spoilers here and there, but never fear, I will hide them all behind the spoiler tag for those who haven’t read the book yet…
Wow! I’ve been looking forward to Regin and Aidan’s story since…geez…book numero three in this series when the curse was first mentioned! That’s a long time to wait. However, when I was first going into this book, I was leery as well. Like many of you, I wasn’t too much of fan of Chase in the previous books because of the obvious torture he’s put Regin, and other Loreans through. Reincarnation of Aidan or not, I wasn’t sure how Kresley would manage to get me to like this man after everything he’s done. Well, she didn’t manage to make me like him…she managed to make me love him!
I’m not going to get into too much because I don’t want to give anything away. But, Chase/Aidan’s character changes so much and evolves so much throughout this book that you cannot help but feel for him and love him by the end of it. He’s been through so much and he’s such a real character. It’s also just so romantic that Aidan transcends all possibilities to be with Regin again and again within her lifetime.
Regin, as well, makes some changes in this book. Not so much changes, actually, but her character is more revealed than in previous books when she’s been in the background. She may have seemed the carefree, silly Valkyrie in the past, but her inner workings are open in this one and we begin to understand her better.
I also have a lot more respect for her for knowing that she is always faithful to Aidan, only ever being with his reincarnations. It’s romantic.
The story itself was quite a journey. This is obviously the longest book in the series so far — at a whopping 512 pages. But, it goes by far too quickly, I assure you. Part of that story is a background on how Regin and Aidan met in the first place, which I really appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed reading about.
Now, one thing that kind of bugs me is this:
In the end, Chase remains Chase and his body isn’t taken over by Aidan like in the previous reincarnations, but he retains Aidan’s memories. Regin is happy about this because she loves Chase, but could never find herself to love Aidan. I don’t understand or agree with this. Aidan has always fought to get to her and she does love him, just in a different way than Chase maybe. But, to me, this was a little dissatisfying. As much as I love Chase, I wish this would have been done in a different way because it left me really mourning Aidan’s spirit since he is essentially gone and apparently Regin never loved him after all these years? This was the biggest thing I didn’t like about this story.
Overall though, I loved this story. It was so fantastic and I’m amazed at Kresley all over again. I’m also intrigued by the next book being about Loth. Although I don’t like him sometimes, he is a mystery and I’m curious about him.
I’m also curious about what was going on with him and Nix at the end there? It almost seemed like dare-I-say, sexual tension? Although I think that I could actually see him and Nix together, I can’t imagine her book coming next with him. Who knows though.
My final thought is this (another spoiler, sorry!):
What was up with the epilogue? It almost sounded like a wrap up to the series or something. She (being Kresley), has never given us an epilogue that far into the future of her characters — to where they have kids. Is Regin not coming back? It was just confusing in its purpose.
Sorry for all the spoilers, but I’m curious about what others who have read the book already think about those things. For those who haven’t read, I urge you to drop everything and read it now! So good! For those who haven’t read anything in this series yet, what are you waiting for? This is like THE best paranormal romance series out there!
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