Series: Immortals After Dark #13
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Gallery Books on July 2, 2013
Reviewed by: Julia
Scenes of child molesting, references to rape, sex scenes.
In this pulse-pounding Immortals After Dark tale, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole delves into the darkest mysteries and deepest passions of Clan MacRieve. . .
A Beast In Torment
Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.
A Beauty In Chains
Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures
As with any Immortals after Dark book, MACRIEVE offers romance, violence, and slap stick comedy. In addition to this tried and true receipt, however, is a blend of gender politics and psychological scarring that may have less universal appeal. Chloe Todd's transition from cut-throat, professional athlete to Lorean mate is a high point, and Cole did a great job blending the skills and mentality of a top athlete with the grit necessary to survive in the supernatural world.
Unfortunately, it is just that aggressive personality that plays into some of the less appealing gender role content in MACRIEVE. MacRieve was sexually abused by a succubus when he was a child, a succubus who used emotion, magic, and many of the traditionally attributed "feminine wiles" to manipulate him. When an unexpected trigger reminds MacRieve of his trauma, Chloe's tomboy persona is raised from appealing to glorified. It is as if Chloe is a good person because she doesn't care about her appearance, or she's a good person because she doesn't share her emotions to try and "manipulate" MacRieve. Many times Chloe could justifiably say, "That hurt my feelings," but mature conversation about the fact that MacRieve is being a dick seems to be viewed as blackmail (but calling MacRieve names and yelling at him is perfectly ok). Don't get me wrong, I liked Chloe quite a bit and MacRieve's issues are valid and well structured. Underneath it all, however, was an uncomfortable message about gender identity and "appropriate" behavior. These themes distracted me from the story and lowered my enjoyment over all.
My 3bat rating for MACRIEVE has more to do with the triggers embedded in the plot than any flaw in writing or character. Some readers will float right over them and enjoy this book to the hilt, some will hit a wall with the first mention of child molesting or gender expectations and never finish it at all. For myself, the gender issues were a little distracting, but not to the extent that I couldn't enjoy this trip back to the Lore. Glimpses of Nix and Malkom were appreciated, the humor and violence were spot on, and I can't wait for my next taste of Immortals After Dark!