Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, book four in the Immortals After Dark series, basically had me hyperventilating before I’d even turned onto the first page. Why? Well, the male lead is a Lykae…and not just any Lykae. He’s Lachlain’s cousin. As in sexually-assaulted-Emma-at-any-given-opportunity Lachlain (as if I needed to specify. Not sure about you but I’ve yet to meet someone with that name). I was genuinely fearful of what the next 359 pages would bring.
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night begins mid-way through the Hie, a deadly contest with competitors from the many different factions of the Lore. Lykae competitor Bowen MacRieve will allow nothing to stand between him and the final prize; a chance to reverse time…a chance to bring back his long-dead love, Mariah. Maddened by his desire to win, he imprisons Mariketa the Awaited and thinks nothing more of it…until he realizes just how vulnerable the young witch is.
When dark forces unite against her, Bowen vows to play the role of protector, but can Mariketa forgive his past deeds?
Alright, alright. I take it back, okay? I may have been quick to judge the entire Lykae race based on the actions of their king. Bowen MacRieve is actually, well, okay. Sure, he encapsulates most of the traditional Lykae traits: an inflated ego, arrogance, cockiness and unbearable brashness. But he’s still an inherently good person. A lot of his behavior stems from the loss of Mariah 180 years previous (ooo just wait for the plot twist on her!) and when you hear of the suffering he’s endured since it becomes somewhat forgivable. When he realizes the irreparable harm he might have caused Mariketa, he is literally on the first plane outta Lachlain’s sex dungeon *coughs* Shit, I mean home. And he’s still missing a hand and half his face at this point, too! (Damn hexes) He’s the alpha male a lot of people crave…fiercely protective and somewhat arrogant, yet kind, gentle and sweet when need be. Bowen, I would like to formally apologize for misjudging you so greatly *bows*
Mariketa the Awaited is, dare I say it, my number one favorite paranormal romance leading lady of all time. She hasn’t quite reached immortality (a point reached at someone’s prime), competing in the Hie at the tender age of 23 and for this very reason she’s such a relatable character. She has an iPod with cat stickers pasted on it and thrives off video games and music. These actions are just so…normal. And it’s great! If Mariketa were real, I feel me and her would be great friends. I sticker the shit out of everything. Additionally, I admire Mariketa’s strength and I don’t mean in a physical sense. Her powers, though great, are uncontrollable. When she channels her power towards something, there’s a 99% chance it’ll blow up. Not the most settling statistic. However, she understands that she has a role to play in a prophecy and knows that a life with Bowen could be catastrophic for everyone no thanks to Häxa, a bitter goddess demoted to a sorceress eons before. She’s willing to sacrifice her happiness to ensure the happiness and safety of others.
Also, I love how this book pokes fun at the age gap trope found within the paranormal romance genre. Mariketa openly teases Bowen about his age, dubbing him ‘Father Time’ and her dad, in a traditional protective dad pose of crossed arms and narrowed eyes, asks “Aren’t you a bit old for my daughter?” Love it!
Song: ABBA’s I’ve been waiting for you
This book is available on Amazon in e-reader format and paperback.