Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole

Book Description:
Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers - until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying than Néomi herself.  

To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth's brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.  

Yet even if Conrad can win Néomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him? 

I loved this story, which was very different from the previous Immortals After Dark books.  Here in Book 4, we have killer vampire, Conrad Wroth, who has been a vampire assassin for centuries and is now going insane because of this whole mess that's inside him from killing so many people over the past several centuries.  He is the biggest, baddest, craziest vampire around - and he's out to kill his brothers because they turned him into a vampire in the first place! His brothers succeed in capturing him (not an easy task) and chain him up in an old abandoned plantation house near New Orleans (a familiar locale for this series) where they hope they can cure him of his insanity before he kills them!  

While chained to his bed, in and out of consciousness, Conrad becomes aware of a ghost, Néomi, the former owner of the manor and now a phantom who is able to communicate with him.  A well known ballet dancer from the roaring twenties, Néomi was murdered on the night of her big party in the same house.  Her jealous ex-fiance brutally stabbed her and she's been alone as a ghost ever since - without being able to leave or communicate or touch anyone - until Conrad.   This ghostly scenario reminded me a tiny bit of Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.  Néomi is fascinated to finally have someone to talk to - and he's this big, luscious specimen of a man - well, okay a vampire, but a manly vampire! A virgin vampire too!

It was a great and compelling story which I read it one day.  Over the course of several weeks, Néomi is able to help Conrad regain his sanity and the two gradually fall in lust love.  Of course, she is beautiful and he is gorgeous (as all these immortals are) but she is incorporeal, he can't touch her - hold her, kiss her.  And boy, does he want to!  The sexual build up was great as was the chemistry between this unlikely couple.  It's a bit difficult, if you get my drift - though they manage to do some creative things to overcome this basic problem.  Still, its not enough, Néomi wants to have sex (who wouldn't?) and a body!  Some nearby witches from the same coven we've gotten to know in the last book in the series are able to cast a spell to give her a body, but there's a catch - it's temporary.  Néomi doesn't know for how long it will last before she gets killed somehow.  She won't tell Conrad the truth of how she became incorporeal, she wants to just have this chance to be with him with no sadness hanging over their heads.  Of course, she knows and it's tearing her apart, but he's oblivious and is loving her, wants to marry her.  She is his lifelong mate as far as he's concerned - the whole nine yards - he's been blooded (it's what they call it for vampires when they've found their soul mates).  Yes he has no idea it's all going to come crashing down on the two of them any minute. Néomi puts him off and won't agree to marry him because of the uncertainty and he wonders why...  there's something she's keeping from him...

I kept wondering how were they going to solve the problem of keeping her alive. For everything does come crashing down eventually.   It kept me reading and I couldn't put it down.  At first I wasn't crazy about Conrad, for good reason since he was so crazy and a monster.  But, he changes completely over the course of the book, once he's solved his sanity problem (at a cost!) and forgives his brothers. Néomi was also hard to gauge at first too, she's so different since she's a ghost, but I grew to really like her and her background and dilemma!  They made a great pair and I wanted them to be together and have their happy ending!  It was good to see some old characters from the previous books too, it's a cool world that the author has created for this series and this is a great addition to it as well!  This is a good one!


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