Review originally posted on Wit and Sin: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2008/04/dark-needs-at-nights-edge-by-kresley.html
Unbeknownst to humankind, immortals live among us. Creatures of the Lore – vampires, Valkyrie, witches, Lykae, demons, and other magical beings are as real as you or I. Battles have been going on for centuries as different factions of the Lore vie for supremacy. But things are changing. Even as the fighting escalates, enemies have become allies, prejudices are slowly being chipped away, and love seems determined to have its say. This is the world of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series.
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge takes us to the haunted streets of New Orleans where Conrad Wroth, a vampire driven to madness, hunted by his enemies, and consumed by his need for vengeance, plots to kill his brothers for having turned him into what he hates. In their last effort to bring him back from the brink of destruction, Conrad’s brothers capture and imprison him at Elancourt, an abandoned estate. What they don’t know is that the mansion’s former owner still lives there…and only Conrad can see her.
Néomi Laress was once a famous ballerina, until her life was abruptly cut short by her murder. For more than eighty years she has haunted her home, unable to interact with anyone – until Conrad. Néomi is drawn to Conrad, seeing the man beneath the madness. Can Conrad overcome the darkness inside him? Will love be able to grow between a vampire and a ghost? Or will Conrad’s enemies destroy them both? These questions I leave to be answered by the story.
I have two confessions to make. First, I absolutely love the first four books in Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. Second, I was fully prepared to dislike this book. Conrad begins the book wanting to kill his brothers, Nikolai, Sebastian, and Murdoch. After four books, two of which featured Wroth males as heroes, I am firmly attached to the Wroth brothers and did not believe I could like someone out to harm them for reasons I did not agree with. In addition, I do not, as a rule, like romances featuring ghosts. That being said…
I loved this book! Cole defied my expectations, overcame my biases, and delivered a love story beyond compare. I was engrossed in Conrad’s inner struggle, found myself understanding the reasons that fueled his desire for revenge, and loved his protectiveness of Néomi. I admired Néomi’s inner strength, adored her quirks, and was heartbroken by her need for love. Most importantly, I was completely enthralled by this story from the very beginning. Conrad and Néomi have numerous obstacles to overcome, none the least of which is her being incorporeal. I found myself cheering them on, wondering how their burgeoning love would survive.
I also cannot write this review without praising Cole’s skill, not just as a storyteller, but as a writer. Conrad’s thoughts, his disassociation from himself in his madness, are written in such a way that I am in awe of Cole’s talent. The transition of those thoughts as he slowly begins to reclaim control is so smooth, so flawless, that after I finished Dark Needs at Night’s Edge I found myself flipping back, trying to find the transition point. For this reason alone, I would recommend the book.
One of my favorite aspects of this series is that characters from previous books play strong supporting roles. In Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, readers get to revisit almost all the previous heroes and heroines of the series, and many more favorite characters reappear. In addition, Cole provides some tantalizing hints about her next hero and heroine, Cade and Holly, which makes me grateful Dark Desires After Dusk comes out May 20, 2008.
For those new to Cole’s world, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge does stand on its own. However, for a richer read (as all the supporting characters have appeared in previous books), I recommend reading the entire series.
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge is a fantastic addition to Cole’s already incredible series. A sexy, tortured hero, an enchanting heroine, an engaging plot, and a beautiful love story all delivered by a truly superb writer make Dark Needs at Night’s Edge a must read!!!