Oh lord. Where do I even begin with this review? I’m so conflicted. I feel like I should be writing two reviews; one for the first half of the book where Lachlain is a crazed, cruel sexual predator and another for the second half where he’s recovering from his personality transplant.
A Hunger Like No Other begins in Paris. Emma, a vampire/Valkyrie hybrid, is there seeking answers to her mysterious parentage. Somewhat unsuccessfully. Life in one of the most romantic cities in the world is difficult for Emma. She feels taunted by the loved-up couples canoodling in the streets, cafes and bars around her and finds herself yearning for something more than the companionship of her well-meaning yet suffocating Valkyrie aunts.
Lachlain, a Lykae king who has been subjected to relentless torture for the past 150 years, finally escapes his vampiric captors and finds himself alone and confused on the streets of Paris. He’s not alone for long, though. Her scent is both overwhelming and alluring and it draws him to her, the one whom he has been seeking for over a millennia. Emma.
Well *laughs uncomfortably* I say draws him to her. What he actually does is barrel towards her, sending people and outdoor furniture flying while he snarls “YOU!”
A terrified Emma finds herself at the mercy of a man who simply cannot accept her bloodthirsty heritage. But can he overcome his demons to protect her from the Vampire Horde?
Okay, I’m going to be honest here. The first nine or ten chapters were an extremely uncomfortable read. Lachlain essentially sniffs out poor Emma from his catacomb prison and tears his freaking leg off to reach her. What’s he gonna do now? Take her out for dinner? Wine and dine her? Maybe go see a movie? Oh no. That ain’t Lykae Lachlain’s style. No “he regrets the pain he will give her.”
Jeez. Emma, please run. Run. Now. Please.
“She felt claws sink into her ankle a second before she was dragged to the muddy ground and thrown onto her back.”
Goddammit, Emma. Aren’t your species supposed to blessed with supernatural speed and agility? This is how our two love birds meet and Lachlain’s first assault happens mere moments afterwards. I was reading the passage with a look akin to this:
The scene includes phrases such as “Don’t do this. Please…” and ‘She struggled but it was useless against his strength’. I…I just don’t find this sexy or appealing. There’s absolutely no consent whatsoever on her part. It’s sexual assault.
But it doesn’t end there. He invites himself back to her hotel where…oh god, just read it for yourself.
‘”Kiss me like you want to live.”
She did. Not because she wanted to live overmuch, but because she thought he would make sure her death was slow and torturing.’
I’m sorry but these are not the circumstances under which a first kiss should be had. This isn’t even the worst part, though. He forces her to strip down in front of him and touch him intimately in the shower. She’s evidently terrified and uncomfortable. Sure, she apparently derives some pleasure from his touch but the point still remains; Lachlain shouldn’t be doing this in the first place without her consent.
There are numerous other incidents too. For instance, she awakes to find Lachlain with his face between her legs. Naturally, she lashes out and he pounces on her in turn, ready to ‘take what is his’. It’s only when she threatens to jump off the balcony, an act that would probably kill her in her weakened state, that he actually begins to think about how he’s been acting.
Actually, I’m just gonna summarize these first few chapters with a couple of Lachlain one-liners.
“Know that the only reason I’m no’ inside you right now is because I’m weak. No’ because of any concern for you.”
“Doona displease me, vampire. You canna imagine how many years of rage I’ve got pent up, ready to be tapped.”
Yep. There we have it. Pretty much the first quarter of the novel right there.
Lachlain proceeds to kidnap her, commanding her to drive him to Scotland and he finally seems to mellow out a bit. He humiliates her occasionally but he’s positively tame compared to the Lachlain of chapters 1 to 8 or 9. It’s there that they discover the Vampire Horde are pursuing Emma.
Poor Emma. She can’t seem to catch a break. Lachlain does redeem himself somewhat, defending her against an ambush and ensuring she makes a full recovery. All seems idyllic at Kinevane. Emma suddenly realizes she feels something for the Lykae king, despite his earlier attacks and the fact she’s being held against her will. The joys of Stockholm syndrome, eh? It’s here that they’re finally, much to Lachlain’s relief, mated. The night this happens is both disturbing and hilarious. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, I may have read this wrong…but she sucks his dick, bites it and takes so much blood he passes out? Kinky.
Emma’s aunts finally arrive (I love those women, Nix is hilarious) and because they carelessly leave the gates open, the Vampire Horde decide to drop by. Emma decides it best if she goes with them. I can’t really blame her, to be honest. But she actually goes with them so she can wreak her revenge upon Demestriu…aka her father.
Aka the man who sanctioned Lachlain’s torture.
She earns her stripes and a page in the Valkyries’ Book of Warriors!
All’s well that ends well, hm?
Eugh. Rereading certain passages for this review has made realize this whole book is just off. Lachlain is a creep. Yeah, yeah. I know, I know. He was tortured. But that’s not her fault! She doesn’t deserve the punishment she receives at his hands.
Rating: 2 out of 5. Well written but Lachlain is awful.
This book can be found on Amazon in e-reader and paperback format.