Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole
In exchange for her life, Lucia the Huntress has made a promise to the Goddess Skathi, a promise she is determined to keep. Like her saviour, Lucia is now an Archer, but her immeasurable skills as a hunter are on loan, and conditional upon her word.
If she is to defeat the evil Cruach once and for all, and save her world from apocalypse, she cannot risk her talents as a hunter. But when she meets Garreth MacRieve, prince of the Lykkae, her extraordinary strength of will is truly tested.
MacRieve is determined to win the Valkyrie, as mysterious as she is beautiful. He aches to mark her as his own, and keep her safe from harm, but despite the surprising force of her attraction to him Lucia will not give in, she cannot. It is not safe for her to be with MacRieve, but whenever she sees the fierce werewolf with his smouldering eyes, Lucia’s resolve weakens.
The secrets she harbours could destroy her – and those she loves – and every day brings more danger. MacRieve could help her, but will she trust him with the truth?
I was astonished to see that this is the 9th book in the series. But then, I only read the single titles so that maybe explains it. Pleasure of a Dark Prince was an okay read to me. Nothing special, nothing surprising. In general, I had the impression that it was a repeat of other books in this series in terms of character and how the story develops. I also thought it less humorous than some of the others. In particular, I was disappointed with the romance. I actually was looking forward to this couple because of the glimpses I had of them in the previous novels but alas, I thought they lacked chemistry. The romantic conflict and tension relied too much on the heroine keeping the reasons why they couldn’t be together to herself. It didn’t help that I thought her reasons for not telling him were explored too flimsy to make me take them seriously. So an okay read but nothing more.
A Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore
What happens when a lady desires not one man, but two?
Sophie, the Duchess of Calton, has finally moved on. After seven years mourning the loss of her husband, Garrett, at Waterloo, she has married his cousin and heir, Tristan. Sophie gives herself to him body and soul. . . until the day Garrett returns from the Continent, demanding his title, his lands-and his wife.
Now Sophie must choose between her first love and her new love, knowing that no matter what, her choice will destroy one of the men she adores. Will it be Garrett, her childhood sweetheart, whose loss nearly destroyed her once already? Or will it be Tristan, beloved friend turned lover, who supported her through the last, dark years and introduced her to a passion she had never known? As her two husbands battle for her heart, Sophie finds herself immersed in a dangerous game-where the stakes are not only love . . . but life and death.
Reading A Hint of Wicked, I realized once again that I read romance novels above all for the falling-in-love part. While I was really intrigued by the premise of this novel – one woman between two men – and looking forward to reading it, I felt cheated reading it. The characters were already in love, it was the question who the heroine would choose (as far as she could choose, that is).
I don’t know what I expected – I knew what the story was about – but reading A Hint of Wicked I couldn’t lose the feeling that I wanted to read how Sophie fell in love with her first husband or how she fell in love with her second husband much more than reading about Sophie caught between the two. It didn’t help that I was fairly sure who Sophie would end up with (although there were some intriguing twists to keep it from being too obvious). And even more than that, I thought the mystery took away much from the internal conflict of the three. Sure, it helped to make the final solution more palatable, but in a way, that was an easy way out and in general, I thought it too much drama and slightly over-the-top.
So, interesting premise, some surprising twists I liked a lot concerning the love triangle, but overall, A Hint of Wicked didn’t really grab me.
Liked them all.