Kresley Cole – “Wicked Deeds On A Winter’s Night”

22 Jul

GENRE: Romance / Paranormal
PUBLISHED: Pocket Star Books, 2007

WHY THIS NOVEL: I enjoyed Dark Needs at Night’s Edge a lot, so I had to go back and read the other books in the series.

The back blurb:
“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 older, 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 tough is irresistible …
Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It’s rumored that no on 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.
No deed is too wicked for her seduction …
If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul – or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?”

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night begins with an encounter between Mariketa, a witch, and Bowen, a Lykae, during a hunt for artifacts (main event in No Rest for the Wicked). Right away, they are attracted to each other even though Bowen hates witches. Bowen traps Mariketa and other competitors in an ancient tomb to take them out of the competition (he thinks they can get out without too much trouble). After the Hie is over, it becomes clear that Mariketa and the other competitors are still missing. Bowen is the only one who knows the location of the tomb. He has to rescue them otherwise the witches would go to war.

I didn’t get why Bowen has to do this alone especially since he’s still severely wounded (because Mariketa cursed him when he left them in the tomb) and the full moon is just around the corner (a time he can’t control his inner beast). Anyway, Bowen goes off and gets the others out of the tomb. They didn’t exactly have a picnic in there thanks to the imprisoned incubi so especially Mariketa is pissed off at Bowen that he imprisoned them. Bowen believes he’s under an enchantment because he fancies Mariketa as his mate and that can’t be since his mate died nearly two centuries ago and he moped around ever since. Start of the “they can’t stand each other, but they can’t keep their hands from each other either” story line.

The group is forced to hike through the jungle to get back to civilization with time being an important factor. Mariketa has to keep the witches from going to war; Bowen wants to get it over with before the full moon hits because it won’t be pretty when he loses control with Mariketa around and his strong attraction to her. Then the group gets divided, leaving Mariketa and Bowen alone for some time, and with the others not around, it gets even more important to get Mariketa to the safety of civilization.

So Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night has a lot of things going on:

  • the internal or main conflict of the story: is Mariketa Bowen’s true mate or not?
  • the external conflict or background story: why Mariketa is called “the Awaited”
  • the structure giving action: the rescue and the hike through the jungle

Most of the time I thought that the balance between the story lines worked well. But there are some parts which felt slow or even tedious. Some of the jungle parts read like a variation of the same scene(s) and dialogue (s) and made me think that there was no advance whatsoever. These parts were mostly connected to the main conflict. I had the impression that there was a certain repetition to conversations and the sex scenes seemed to get interrupted for the same reasons again and again.

The main conflict of this story is: is Mariketa Bowen’s mate or not? If yes, how can that be? For most of the story, Bowen believes himself enchanted by Mariketa and it doesn’t help that Mariketa isn’t sure; she could have done it accidentally because she was attracted to him when she first met him. Bowen wavers between Mariketa and his lost mate with the “I don’t like you, but let’s have sex anyway” line while Mariketa wants someone who can love her for herself because all her life she was the one left behind and got the impression that she wasn’t good enough and only second best. Now with Bowen it looks like a repeat of the same with his “my mate died but raow, you turn me on” thing. Bowen has to learn to accept Mariketa for herself, witch and all, for their relationship to have a chance. There are quite a few situations where Bowen fails Mariketa in that way until they manage to kind of sort it out.

Compared to what Bowen has to learn, it seems not much that Mariketa has only to learn to master her magical powers. But that’s connected to the background story, and gets very important for the climax of the story. It’s not without reason that Mariketa is called “the Awaited.” If she fails, it won’t matter what Bowen learned or didn’t learn.

I liked this story for the strong connection between the things Bowen and Mariketa have to learn and the main conflict and the background story. I liked the way the background story was woven into the story. Throughout the story, there are hints and at the story’s climax, all things come together. In that way, Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night is a well plotted novel. It’s the slow and tedious parts that kept this novel from a better grade.

Last thoughts:

  • I didn’t see much of the sly humour I connect with this series in this one
  • weird cover
  • totally unrelated: the transfer of magical powers reminded me of my favourite video game where something similar happens (yes, such things make me squee)

Would I recommend this novel? Yes.

Would I read this novel again? Yes.

Grade: 3,5 / 5


5 Responses to “Kresley Cole – “Wicked Deeds On A Winter’s Night””

  1. Kristie(J) Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    My goodness there are a lot of people reading and reviewing Kresley Cole books! I’ve read the first one in the series and have all the rest but like hundreds of others, they are still sitting on the TBR pile. I need to speed up my reading and slow down my buying!!!!

  2. Taja Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    I’m nearly finished with my comments about this series. It’s just the last one that’s left and right now, I can’t be bothered to write about it. 😉

    And buying books is fun, too!

  3. Christine Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 4:20 am #

    I think I enjoyed this novel a bit more than you. But I agree about the lack of humor in this one compared to the first two in the series. I liked that the author was able to make me feel- believe-the roller coaster of emotion and often angst that fell over the characters throughout the entire story.

    Once again, you’ve written a thorough and very thoughtful review! 🙂

  4. Taja Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    Christine, I understood and believed the emotion and angst – I like angsty – it’s just that I had the impression this showed itself the same way again and again.

    But then, I read them all in a rush. It was great fun while doing it; it’s just not the best thing to do when later I want to write about them. I was left with a huge tangle of impressions and thoughts and couldn’t really focus. Thank you for saying my comments worked. 🙂

    And well, Bowen is a marked contrast to Sebastian. 😉

  5. Christine Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 4:52 pm #

    I do that all the time… read a bunch of books close together then when I want to revisit them, my mind can’t focus on the individuality. But I think you did a marvelous job of it.

    I read these a while ago, too, so my memory of the details are even more fuddled! LOL

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