Holly Ashwin has lead an ordinary albeit mundane existence. Her normality is shattered one terrifying night when she is kidnapped by a hoard of demons; their intentions are clear yet their reasons mysterious. It’s event that triggers a massive transformation, fueling the dormant Valkyrie blood running through her veins.
Her rescuer, protector and guide to the Lore comes in the form of Cadeon Woede, aka the Kingmaker. Under his watchful, protective eye, Holly grows into her power and learns that there’s more to herself than she could have ever imagined. As her power and confidence grow, so does her desire for the foul-mouthed, overly flirtatious demon.
But Cadeon is a rage demon plagued by demons of the metaphorical kind. Having been blamed for the loss of his brother’s crown (which, sorry to interrupt the blurb, is totally not his fault. How could Rydstrom let him carry that guilt for 900 years? What an asshole!) Cadeon vows to atone for his wrongs, no matter the cost.
Let’s just say he’s gonna regret vowing such a thing. Can Cadeon betray Holly in the worst way imaginable to win back his brother’s crown?
I wouldn’t normally read two books from the same series back-to-back but when I read that the next Immortals After Dark book featured Cadeon, one half of the famous Woede, what was I supposed to do? Read a book from an entirely different series and pretend Cade wasn’t sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me? *laughs* I know, right? It’s a ridiculous notion.
Dark Desires After Dusk is book 6 in the Immortals After Dark series and, I have to say, is my favorite book so far (I’m getting deja vu when I say that. Have I said that about a previous IAD book? I’m currently drinking too much Desperados so my brain’s a little addled). There’s just something so likable about Cade. He’s so unlike the typical paranormal romance leading guy. He doesn’t harbor a deep-rooted power complex. He doesn’t look upon those weaker than himself with disdain. He doesn’t drive a fancy car (he drives a beat up old truck that he’s had for years, a truck that miraculously survives until the end of the book while poor Rydstrom’s million dollar car gets torn to shreds). He’s respectful, even when faced with quirks and idiosyncrasies that he doesn’t understand.
He’s just so refreshingly laid back and down-to-earth and there wasn’t a single instance where I thought “Dude, what the fuck?” In fact, quite the opposite happened. On multiple occasions, I was sat there with my hand over heart, a grin plastered on my face, saying “Awww!”
Most of these moments occur when Cade’s faced with Holly’s OCD. Instead of brushing off her needs, however much he doesn’t understand them, and telling her to “snap out of it”, he accommodates said needs with seemingly small yet massive gestures…for example, ensuring he only purchases pre-packaged food for her. Becoming a fully-fledged Valkyrie doesn’t ease her OCD. Initially, it simply exacerbates it even further and Cade both understands and appreciates the difficulties she faces. He comforts and guides her and passes no judgment whatsoever. There are so many novels where the protagonist goes through a life changing experience or transformation and boom! They’re perfect. Dark Desires After Dusk tells us readers that it’s okay to be different and that there are always people who love and appreciate us for everything that we are. I have OCD (with massive splashes of anxiety and depression) so hearing a positive message like this was wonderful for me as a reader.
Holly’s OCD is portrayed in such an incredible and realistic manner. It’s apparent that Kresley put a lot of time, thought and effort into her research of this condition and consequently, Holly is a character that’s treated with the respect she deserves. She isn’t ridiculed. Her needs and obsessions don’t provide any comedic relief. The world in which the Immortals After Dark series is set is highly fantastical, but at the same it addresses some very real issues. A book that can both entertain and educate is a book worth reading!
Oh and one more thing. My absolute adoration for Nix continues to grow. As we say in the UK, “What an absolute legend!”.
Song: The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations (weirdly obsessed with them right now)
This book is available on Amazon in both e-reader and paperback format.