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Monday, July 16, 2012

Lothaire by Kresley Cole

Lothaire by Kresley Cole
Publisher: Gallery Books, A division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (468 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum


Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown by offering up the soul of his lovely new captive, Elizabeth Peirce. Yet the young human soon tempts him beyond reason.


Ellie Peirce’s life was a living hell—even before an evil immortal abducted her. Though he plans to sacrifice her, the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, she surrenders her body, while vowing to protect her heart.


In one month, Lothaire must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will he succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?

This book should be called “How to Fall in Love with the Bad Guy Everyone Loves to Hate” because that is what this amazing and nail biting romance story is all about. As much of a loathsome, power hungry, arrogant and cruel man Lothaire has been in all the previous books in the series, this time the love story is epic because it ends up redeeming a character that was thought to be irredeemable. The almost insane vampire falls head over fangs for a woman possessed. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Believe me, it is.

One thing that surprised me the most was how romantic and sweet Lothaire ended up being, which is saying a lot because all the other tales in the series were all romantic to one degree or another. However, I found them to be dark and sort of mired in violence so reading them hasn’t been a comfortable experience, especially the last few. That’s why, when I picked up Lothaire I was a bit wary because I had gotten to know how vicious and deprived of a moral compass his character had been and I was sure that there’d be even more violence and darkness in the book. Ms. Cole could have knocked me over with a feather. Despite the blood thirsty nature of Lothaire and the initial villain, Soroya, the book wasn’t nearly as dark and depressing as it could have been. In fact, it was full of warped humor, funny dialogue between Lothaire and Elizabeth and amazing loving, once they got to that point.

The story is told in Lothaire’s point of view and Elizabeth’s. My favorite is the hero’s because finally I got to understand what formed him, drove him, warped him and tortured him. In a few cases the torture was literal. Poor guy, he really was misunderstood. The thing of it is, he preferred that, fostered it and made everybody around him miserable because it was a form of power and protection. You can’t be hurt if you had no heart or sentiments to injure. And that’s why I loved Elizabeth. She eventually got through his shields and the hero had his world turned upside down. He tried to remain as he was but the heroine, just be being herself, twisted him up in knots. It was the absolute best reading experience because she frustrated him, fascinated him and turned him into a mass of raging hormones. It was fun!

Lothaire might not be the enemy in this book but he has plenty of threats to deal with. Soroya was a scary and demented character. When she got her comeuppance from a very unexpected source, it was a freaky scene. The bargaining chip worries me. If that person is truly as evil as depicted, the Lore has a new worry and I’m almost afraid to contemplate what that will mean to the characters I’ve come to know and love throughout the series. I wish I could talk about this openly with other readers because the possibilities are mind boggling. Then again, it might be Ms. Cole being clever and introducing a new story thread to breathe new life into the series. If so, she succeeded. The one major hint that excited me was Lothaire’s decision to help Phenix. The author has mentioned the subject quite a few times in past books but this is the first time that it sounds like a decision has been made. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The relationship between Lothaire and Elizabeth is contentious. She likes to talk, he doesn’t. She wants to understand, he doesn’t feel the need to explain himself. He commands, she butts heads. He expects her to turn her back on her past, and she fights to keep it and grab for more. There is so much internal angst and yet the author handled it so well, it was entertaining and fascinating. I especially got a kick out of the scenes with the sword, the head, the heart and the finger and the ornery dog. How they make this story great has to be read to be understood. It was awesome. I was equally horrified and snorting with shocked humor. Ms. Cole’s characters sure know how to make a statement. Oh, I forgot the Mothman. I’m still giggling over that line.

Most surprising was Elizabeth’s family. What a wonderful addition to the cast of characters and their role is integral in solidifying the hero and heroine’s relationship into one that will endure, much to Lothaire’s consternation. In fact, the epilogue filled me with glee. Ms. Cole injected very human demands and expectations into the royal mix and created an optimistic, delightful and extremely satisfying happy ever after that even now has me grinning ear to ear.

Lothaire is the best of The Immortals After Dark series. This is a book I can brag to all my friends about with utter confidence that I’m recommending a story that will keep them on the edge of their seat. There is so much going on and each chapter reveals new hooks that simply astound and amaze. Whether it be the twisted nature of the villain, the revelations of Lothaire’s young life or the convoluted path of true love for Elizabeth and the hero, the author succeeded in surprising me at every turn and made me want to read more, more, more! I’m exceedingly happy that I read this novel and any fan of this series has something to look forward to when they pick up their own copy. I firmly believe that this can be considered a standalone read, but reading about the characters that came before and Lothaire’s role in them would greatly enhance the sheer pleasure of seeing the villain turned hero as he did in this book. I’m a happy reader.