Dark Needs at Night’s Edge
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge – Kresley Cole
A vampire warrior consumed by madness,
trapped in the lair of an otherworldly temptress only he can see.
The beauty wants him gone–the warrior can’t leave.
Let the games begin…
Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina in the early 1900s, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with powers, but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away any trespassers–until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying than Néomi herself.
To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth’s brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. There only Conrad can see the dancer with wild raven hair–who seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature inflames him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.
Yet even if Conrad can win Néomi and claim her completely, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?
I discovered Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series just a couple of months ago and immediately fell in love her writing style and her Lore characters. Having completed Dark Needs I have now read all seven of the full novels in the series (there is also a short story and a novella) and I can honestly say that I have loved each & every one! I have developed a crush on every one of her leading men, and Conrad Wroth is no exception. What sets Conrad most noticeably apart from his fellow male Loreans is that as a “fallen vampire” he is widely regarded as a villain by Loreans far and wide, while the Cole’s other protagonists have all held the respect of their fellow creatures. Even his own devoted brothers are wary and mistrusting of him, resigned to the madness that his drinking ‘from the source’ has brought upon him.
Like his brothers, the Woede, and the MacRieve boys, the reader is drawn to Conrad as he struggles not only with his conscious, but his madness as well. Despite any wrong doings that he may have committed in the past, the reader can’t help but recognize the noble soul that lays buried beneath the surface of the ruthless killer that he has become. He is teetering on the brink of self-annihilation and is an underdog if ever there was one where both his ‘humanity’ and love life are concerned. That being said, it doesn’t take very long before the reader is solidly in his corner, championing his recovery.
Neomi is immediately likeable as a very much self-aware ghost with a mischievous spirit. She falls for our hero even as his own brothers are on the verge of giving up on him. It is largely her ability to observe Conrad unseen (in the beginning) of his imprisonment that lets her know that there is more to him than meets the eye and she has hope for his recovery when others do not. Before long however Conrad is able to both see & hear Neomi, even though his brothers can not. They strike up a report & an uneasy alliance and soon Neomi is perusing the fallen vampire in ways that only a ghost like her can.
Neomi is a strong, feisty female lead, much like Cole’s other leading ladies. Aside from being dead while all of the other women have turned out to be very much alive and immortal, she also stands out by pursuing Conrad rather than simply being the pursued. The Lorean females really make their males work for their affections, often forcing them to pursue them around the world, even to the male’s own peril. It seems that they take their immortality for granted and while they may admit only to themselves that they would like to have a lover, they certainly don’t feel the need for one. Neomi herself acted much the same way during her short life but in her afterlife she is able to recognize that one should never be too hasty to through away a perfectly good male (even one who needs a little bit of work), and the chance of real love. She knows all too well that there is a limit on good fortune and that life as you know it can all be over in the blink of an eye.
When I finished this book I thought to myself, “This was the best one yet!” but then I remembered just how funny I found Kiss of a Demon King (Sabine is a sorceress after my own heart), and how incredibly sexy Bowen and Garreth MacRieve are. It’s just not possible for me to name one IAD book as the best of the series but Dark Needs at Night’s Edge is definitely a contender. I’ll read this one more than once, guaranteed!