I've been working on this review for the past few days, but work keeps getting in a way. So hopefully, I can post it up today! :D
Cindy, this is for you :P
Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole
published by Simon & Schuster in February 2010
A dangerous beauty...Genre: Paranormal romance
Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her — and those she loves.
An uncontrollable need...
Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.
Thad lead to a pleasure so wicked...
From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia's greatest weakness — her wanton desire for him.
Series: Immortals After Dark, Book #12 (counting novellas)
The Story: Long, long ago, Lucia made the mistake to trust the wrong man and she is still paying the price for it. To survive, Lucia become the follower of Skathi - a goddess that has reluctantly gifted Lucia with great hunting skills, but on the condition that Lucia remains chaste. In addition, every time Lucia would miss her target, she would suffer unmeasurable pain... However, Lucia is in no position to complain as she needs those hunting skills during each Accession to confront and jail the man that has deceived her. Thus, when Lucia meets Garreth and realizes she is his mate, she panics and flees. Unfortunately, she did not factor Garreth's tenacity. Having finally met his mate, Garreth is not about to let her escape. After a year of chasing Lucia, Garreth finally catches up to her... to find out they're both heading in the Amazonian jungle so Lucia can find an artifact and hopefully changes her life around.
My Opinion: Readers have been introduced to Garreth and Lucia since the very first book of the series, A Hunger Like No Other, and finally, Pleasures of a Dark Prince is their book :D Yay!! Cindy reviewed it when it first came out and it was a keeper for her, so I had high hopes. Unfortunately for me though, I didn't end up liking it as much as Cindy.
What I liked about this book was Garreth. It was fun to discover him, because although we've all been waiting for his book, we've only got a glimpse of him in the past. Really not enough to know his personality, how he would act, what makes him... so this was fun. Garreth was the first carefree hero we've got in this series and he was a great hero. I mean, seriously, he's probably the best well-adjusted man in the whole series: charming, loyal, caring, tenacious and patient. Nobody can really blame him for his attitude when he catches up to Lucia... One lethal year of chasing - anyone's patience would be at an end. In my opinion, Garreth really made the book.
Lucia however was another story. She was too wishy-washy to my tastes and I didn't like the fact that she only showed her vulnerable side to Regin only and put up the strong/brave front. I felt too many of her actions were dictated by the fact that she was a Valkyrie instead of her being herself. It seemed to me that she had a definition of what a Valkyrie was and she tried to impersonate it. It doesn't help that I'm not in love with the Valkyries in Ms Cole's series... I feel they are too high-strung and full of themselves, but that's probably just me. Anyway, I wished she had been herself and would have stood up for herself instead of crumbling under the pressure. For example, when the Valkyries trapped Garreth as an exchange chip, she didn't want to, but she did because of the other Valkyries. Even when they called Garreth filthy names, she went along because Valkyries aren't supposed to like Lykae, even if she doesn't share the opinion. This got better once Lucia and Garreth were alone, but even then, she didn't open up very much to him. I liked the fact that she considered telling Garreth the whole truth, but in the end, she didn't... and it almost cost him his life.
My biggest issue with this book however wasn't Lucia, but the sense of deja-vu I had. In my opinion, the premises of Pleasure of a Dark Prince quite resemble the ones of Untouchable, Murdoch/Dani's story published as a novella in Deep Kiss in Winter. Both heroes meet their mates, but are unable to have physical relationship because of the mates' particularities. Both stories back-track to the beginning of the series... I think had I not read Untouchable, I would have enjoyed Pleasure of a Dark Prince a lot more. As a result, I wasn't able to totally engage in the storyline :(
My Grade: C+. I really liked Garreth, but the rest of the story didn't wow me. Also, the similarities with Untouchable really didn't play out in favor for Pleasure of a Dark Prince :( A lot of things are happening, but I don't feel like the series has been advancing. When is the freaking Accession going to happen? We've been on the verge of it for a couple of books already it seems. The ending of Pleasure of a Dark Prince was an interesting cliff-hanger though and will probably incite readers to continue this series.
Hmmm, it's funny how I tend to down-grade the books once I review them in comparison to my monthly list ^_^;