Lothaire has found his Bride, the woman who brings his body back to life and is his destined mate. The problem is that two souls currently inhabit his Bride’s body. One is an evil goddess who lives for blood, violence, and all around nefarious deeds. The other is Ellie, a mortal hillbilly who is content to live-out life on her family’s land. Naturally, Lothaire assumes that his Bride is the evil goddess and begins planning a way to exterminate Ellie’s soul.
After waking up covered in other people’s blood, Ellie decides that the only way to stop the goddess from murdering is to kill the body they share. The problem with this plan is that every time Ellie devises a way to kill herself, Lothaire pops-up out of nowhere to stop her. After one close call, Lothaire decides that the safest place to keep an eye on Ellie is close by. With this in mind, Lothaire hauls Ellie off to his penthouse where she'll be prisoner until he discovers a way to kill her soul, so the goddess can assume total control of the body.
I had some major problems with the way the relationship between Ellie and Lothaire played out. The biggest one was the captive heroine storyline. I don’t usually enjoy stories where the heroines are taken captive by the hero and they fall in love. If done incorrectly (which it typically is) the romance takes on a creepy vibe that makes the relationship seem more like Stockholm syndrome. Despite that, I’ve read a couple captive heroine stories that I’ve enjoyed. This… was not one of those.
After taking Ellie prisoner, Lothaire immediately begins emotionally torturing her. He mocks, he threatens her family, he laughs, they boink, he has a violent episode, he sneers; wash, rinse, repeat until the end of the book. While the emotional torture is going on, Lothaire is also still hunting for an item to kill Ellie’s soul with. Eventually, he begins to realize that Ellie might actually be his Bride, which leads to a few tiny scenes where Lothaire regrets how he’s treated her. However, these moments are over in a blink of the eye and Lothaire immediately goes back to being a douche.So, by the end of the book, I hated his ass. I was actually hoping that Ellie would gain a backbone and run off with a different character.
Yes, Lothaire had some really awful moments in his life and at first I did feel sympathy for what he went through, but as the story progressed (and he just kept getting worse) that sympathy died. He was horrendous to Ellie and he never atoned for his actions. In the final ten pages he finally comes around, but after 300 pages of him being a total dickhead I needed a hell of a lot more from him than what we got.
The saving grace for this book was Cole’s writing style. I love Cole’s use of mythology in this series and I give her huge kudos for writing these books as if all the plots are happening at (or around) the same moment in time. I imagine that takes some serious effort.
If you haven't read any of the other novels in this series, I would not start with this one. I think Lothaire requires more background knowledge (which you gain in the other books) to really appreciate and understand all the events going on in the story. Also, if you didn't like the first book in the series (A Hunger Like No Other) you definately won't like this one as it has a similar vibe going on.