Hey, Whatcha readin'?
I had my own reading plans for the Summer, mostly conquering my to-be-read pile (or Mount TBR) for the next few months. That plan was derailed by reading Kresley Cole's A Hunger Like No Other. Well, for one thing I was REALLY trying to get back to some literary fiction reading (there is a huge part of me that feels guilty for CONSTANTLY reading romance). Word bookstore in Brooklyn has a monthly romance book club that I joined earlier during the Summer, and I chose Kresley's book thinking that I wasn't going to like it but I wanted to try something different. Not only did I like it, but as soon as I was finished I was desperate to read another book by her. I visited her website and read an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Macrieve . I found out it was coming out a few short days after I happened upon the excerpt. I tried to resist the urge but as soon as midnight on the 2nd struck, guess who was downloading Macrive to her nook?
Rewinding a bit, I NEVER EVER thought I would like paranormal romance. EVER. Granted, I liked Twilight, but that was the first book series that I read on my nook. Not only that when I first got my nook I had just started my 2 hour daily commute, so devouring those books was pretty easy. That being said I figured reading the series was my first, last and only visit to the land of werewolves and vampires. How (thankfully) wrong I was!!!
I suppose I should read Kresley Coles Immortals After Dark series in order, which I might eventually do. For now I'm content with the first two (completely out of order) books that I've read.
From the first moment I started Macrieve, I was hooked. It began with a really heartwrenching story about how Macrive lost his parents. I knew about Lykae (of which Macrieve is one) from AHLNO. They are werewolves, and the key in this story is the fact that once a Lykae mates they do so for life. The Lykae instinct is to protect their mate at all costs, and if their mate dies then they die too. When Macrieve's mother died his father killed himself.
His mother is killed because of his involvement with a succubus, another being in the IAD world. Succubi (sp?) feed off of their lovers, poisoning them to the point where they die if they don't have sex with the succubi often enough. I'm going into all of these details because they tie in with the entire book and the love story.
The succubus who Macrieve was with was a child molester; she started forcing him to be with her when he was 9. Yuck (to say the very least). He hated himself because his involvement (though unwilling) with a succubus got his mother killed. He hatedall succubus women because of what happened to him as a child.
He meets Chloe, his life long mate, and treats her with so much love and tenderness that you wonder where she has been all of his life. That is until he discovers that she is a succubus. His initial reaction was cringe inducing, but the best part of that is Chloe stood up to him toe to toe. She cursed him out, threw things at him and even stabbed him at one point (remember there is no need to be PC in a world full of immortals). My kind of girl.
Macrieve does everything that he can to express his disgust for Chloe, prompting her to declare that she will never want to sleep with him; she would rather starve. It is a romance novel, so we know how well that works for her. The scene where they first make love is heartbreaking, not for the act itself but for the immediate aftermath. Let's just say if I were Chloe that would have been my first AND LAST time.
The rest of the book is all about the story of how these two completely mismatched people end up falling in love. Macrieve learns a lot more about himself and his ability to love than Chloe she seems to be a much more fully formed person with fewer demons and less to learn about life. Surprising since she is so young without any of the experiences those around her have had. Chloe's biggest struggle was discovering that she was an immortal, which she seemed to work through pretty quickly.
I like Chloe as a heroine much more than I liked Emmaline in AHLNO. Chloe just seemed to be more believeable, while Emmaline went from a punk to a badass chick who killed her father in the span of a few pages. I loved AHLNO but that was not believable at all.
Both books use the I-Hate-Her-But-I-Treat-Her-Bad-Until-I-Realize-I-Love-Her plot device really well. It works for me, even though I don't think either hero has to work hard enough to get back into the heroine's good graces.
Ultimately, I realized that the right paranormal romance works for me. REALLY WELL. My politically incorrect love of old school bodice rippers (no judgement, ok) may be satisfied!
Now I'm SERIOUSLY taking a romance break. After A Hunger Like No Other and Macrieve I read two turkeys back to back. A Lady Never Surrenders and A Rose in the Storm. Blech to both books. My summer reading will continue, of course but I'm going to have to erase the memory of these two books by reading a whole different genre for awhile.