Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night by Kresley Cole

Book Description:
Her breathless kiss haunts him...

Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed -- until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive.

His slow, hot touch is irresistible...

Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It's rumored that no one can tempt Bowen's hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go.

This was pretty good, but not as good as I thought it would be. Several people had told me it was one of the best in this Immortals After Dark Series, but it took a long time for it to get going and have Mari (the heroine) finally realize Bowe (our werewolf hero) was for her. I wound up feeling kind of meh about the whole plot and hero and heroine.

We pick up in this book where the last book in the series, No Rest for the Wicked, left off.  Bowen MacRieve is a Lykae werewolf who is taking part in the great Hie, a scavenger hunt for immortals.  The big prize (as we know from the last book) is a key to go back into the past and change it.  He lost the love of his life - his mate - way back when and wants to change what happened to her and bring her back to life.  A Lykae only has one mate in his lifetime (which is forever) so this is pretty important to him.  But, when he meets Mari, lust overcomes him - this is something unusual for him - almost as if she's his mate.  But how can that be?  His mate died - thanks to him, long ago.

Mari is a young witch who hasn't quite learned all of her powers yet.  The prophecies foretell that she is destined for greatness one day, but at the present moment, that's not happening.  Her spells have a way of backfiring and she has a disconcerting tendency to blow things up.  She's also a bit rebellious.  She and Bowe meet in a dark cave searching for these particular ceremonial headdresses for the Hie.  He grabs the prize and seals her in the cave with a few other immortals on the Hie.  He figures she's a witch, she can get them out - but he's wrong.  They languish there for weeks and weeks.  Mari is still mortal, she's hasn't turned yet and nearly dies and goes through quite a bit of misery.  It seems the whole immortal world is furious with Bowe and he has to go back and rescue her.  It's not as easy as it sounds though, for Mari stuck him with a curse so that any wounds he incurs will not heal.  While trying to win the Hie he has really messed himself up!  He is hurt in all kinds of horrible ways, but he treks back to the South American jungle where he left Mari and her cohorts and manages to rescue her.

From there the book follows them all through the jungle which seemed to take an eternity to get through. The endless time in the cave and then the plodding through the jungle became tiresome and I wanted the book to move on!  Bowen convinces the other immortals (who don't like him for obvious reasons since he sealed them in a cave for weeks) to allow Mari to be his "mate" while on the road.  She undoes her spell on him so he's healed and in exchange, he takes care of her and protects from the various South American warlords and criminals they come up against while trying to make it back to civilization.  The book turns into a sort of road trip between Mari and Bowe as they get to know and fall for one another.  Not an easy task for he despises witches and she despises werewolves.  Still, they have a strong lust for one another and I liked the way they dealt with it ;)  The second half of the book picks up once Mari is out of the cave, but I never quite got the feeling they were really connected and meant for one another in a meaningful way.  She's prickly and hard to like - a real deal breaker for me.  I just can't love a book when the heroine is annoying.  Bowe is okay, but I much preferred his cousin from the first in the series, A Hunger Like No Other, which was by far the better book of the two.  Bowe is fierce and has his one goal to get his mate back.  By the end of the book, when all is revealed, I felt sorry for him, even though it's a happy ending.  I sympathized with him, although I didn't feel overly sympathetic towards Mari - she has a lot of growing up to do.  There's not a lot of tenderness or soul searching moments between them.  Their relationship lacked emotion - the sex was good - but not a lot of passion and romance.  He works on her and tries to woo her and it works up to a point.  Something always seemed to spoil things just as it was starting to get good - I could have done without the constant "not again!" moments!

One other thing - I don't quite understand why this is called Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night, since most of this book takes place in the jungles of South America and sultry, humid Louisiana!  Bowe is from Scotland and they spend time there, but not enough to merit the title of the book!  He likes the winter but that's about it!

Overall I liked this book, but the previous books in the series were much more compelling.  We'll see how I feel about the rest, for I intend to carry on.  I like this fantasy "immortals" world that exists in Kresley Cole's books and am curious to see who the next book is about. 



Joanne said...

Let's give this a try and see if comments work....

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Ta-da - yes!

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