Dreams Of A Dark Warrior
Published 2011 515 pages
Summary (from the book cover)
He vowed he’d come for her…
Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.
She awaits his return…
When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals – unaware that he belongs to their world.
To sate a desire more powerful than death…
Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared – even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?
Dreams Of A Dark Warrior is the eleventh instalment of Kresley Cole’s bestselling Immortals After Dark (IAD) series (that is eleventh including novellas, or ninth if only counting full-length novels.) By now even the vaguely attentive paranormal romance reader should be aware of the IAD series (if you aren’t, where have you been hiding?) the books are award-winning bestsellers and every new release garners great interest in the romance blogosphere. There is a reason for that – all IAD novels so far have ranged from good to phenomenally awesome, with Kresley Cole offering a consistent reader experience with each new offering. This is a remarkable achievement by itself eleven (or nine) books into a series… so, do you really need me to tell you how good Dreams Of A Dark Warrior is? You do? Okay, here goes…
If you haven’t read any of the previous IAD novels Dreams Of A Dark Warrior may not be the greatest place to start. While each story is a self-contained romance there’s a lot of back story to catch up on. The IAD fantasy world is richly imagined with a huge number of supernatural creatures and much of the world building has occurred in earlier novels. I’d recommend running to the store and checking out the earliest books in the series first.
For established IAD fans Dreams Of A Dark Warrior follows the romantic fortunes of ill-fated lovers, Aiden the Fierce and Regin the Radiant. Regin and Aiden have a long history, going back over 1,000 years. Cursed to never be together, every time Aiden and Regin consummate their love Aiden promptly dies, leaving immortal Valkyrie Regin to mourn his loss and await his next reincarnation – where history repeats itself. This cycle Regin has been ignoring the urge to find Aiden in the hopes that she can thwart fate.
However, Regin is kidnapped by The Order, a shady mortal organisation who goal is to wipe immortals off the face of the Earth, and who should her captor turn out to be? Declan Chase, a bitter and physically scarred mortal man who hates all supernaturals but is also the reincarnation of Aiden the Fierce. Since he’s a man full of hate, Declan’s behaviour is unsurprisingly pretty hateful. He kills, kidnaps and tortures good and evil immortals alike – not recognising, or caring, that not all immortals are like the demons that killed his family when he was a teenager. Regin ends up as one of his torture victims herself and this makes Dreams Of A Dark Warrior a much darker offering the previous books in the series. It’s a testament to Cole’s great romance writing skill that she successfully manages to redeem Declan from an evil villain to romantic hero before the end of the story.
At this point in the review I feel it’s only fair to ’fess up that reincarnation romances have never been a favourite of mine. In fact, they are pretty much the opposite, mainly because I’ve never liked the usual solutions offered to reincarnation romances. And, I’ve also always found it easier to believe in vampires and other assorted supernatural beasties than reincarnation… However this book easily made a believer out of me and while I doubt I’ll ever let go of my reincarnation romance prejudice, reincarnation romance finally worked for me in this story.
Dreams Of A Dark Warrior is populated with a supporting cast of vividly imagined supernatural creatures. In this story we have Natalya (a dark fae), Thad (a vampire halfling) and Lothaire (evil vampire and The Enemy of Old) providing some much needed humour in the form of snarky banter. Their lively wit goes a long way to counterbalance the heavier weight Regin and Declan’s dark romance. The fantasy plotline which follows the collapse of The Order’s compound and the allies’ attempts to escape the demon-infested island, is action-packed and fast-paced. For readers who have read Demon From The Dark it gives an interesting second perspective of events first mentioned in that book.
As with all IAD books the sex scenes in Dreams Of A Dark Warrior are so hot there is a danger the paper pages could spontaneously combust during reading but the sex is not gratuitous and it’s backed up by heart wrenching romance. Still fresh, still thrilling, this latest instalment of the Immortals After Dark doesn’t disappoint. In fact, I’ll go far as to say it’s awesome. Possibly even phenomenally awesome!
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