Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: April 28, 2008
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge might be the most bonkers entry in the Immortals After Dark series thus far. And yet, I somehow loved every minute of it? This story shouldn’t work – it’s a romance where a blood-thirsty vampire falls in love with a ghost for Pete’s sake. But somehow, Kresley Cole executes this crazy premise beautifully and the story works.
Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina in the 1920s, was murdered in cold blood by her ex-fiance at a party at her estate Elancourt. Since that day, she’s been trapped as a ghost at Elancourt, forced to relive her murder every month with no one to talk to it. It’s a lonely, isolating existence until Conrad Wroth shows up. Conrad, a vampire, is on the edge of madness after working as an assassin for centuries and consuming the blood of his victims. When his brothers capture him and trap him at Elancourt to try to save him, the last thing Conrad expects to find is a beautiful, exquisite ghost that only he can see.
There is more to the plot than this summary, but it’s truly a rollercoaster and teasing too much of it will give away some of the big plot points. Suffice to say, it was a wild ride. I found myself enjoying every minute of it, even if some of the plot points were a bit ridiculous. While that might seem like it was a problem, it was not! I truly loved all the ridiculousness of the plot as somehow Cole managed to make the twist and turns seem normal and expected. It was so dang fun to see where Cole was taking the story and how everything would be wrapped up so Néomi and Conrad could get their happily ever after.
Although Néomi is a ghost and Conrad is a vampire, I found connecting with these two characters incredibly easy. That’s not always the case with the romantic leads in the Immortals After Dark series, but both felt real and relatable in many ways. I felt sympathy for both, as they were doomed to an existence they did not choose and isolated from everyone else. They find comfort, sanity, and happiness through each other. Néomi and Conrad form a strong relationship that goes beyond the chemistry that is bursting off the page, which helped with the fast progression of their relationship.
The romance in this book was fantastic and worked despite the crazy circumstances. Conrad’s a vampire who can’t get it up unless he finds his mate; Néomi is a ghost who cannot touch or feel anything. Seems like an impossible situation for sexy times, right? And yet, there is the steamiest shower scene that involves some incredibly sexy banter that delivers. While it seems like Néomi is Conrad’s fated mate, Conrad cannot know for sure because she’s dead. All the books in Immortals After Dark series focus on the concept of fated mates, and this book offered a fun new spin on the trope.
Outside of the romance, the writing in this book was fantastic. The story shifts from Néomi and Conrad’s point of view seamlessly, despite each character’s drastically different tone and writing style. In the beginning, all the scenes from Conrad’s perspective are written in incredibly short and choppy sentences, which really help to show his mental state. As he spends more time with Néomi, the writing becomes more coherent and fluid.
I truly enjoyed seeing many familiar faces from this series pop up in this book. Mari from Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night ends up playing a very important role in this story, which was unexpected but a lot of fun. We also see more of everyone’s favorite Valkyrie Nïx, who I absolutely love, and get more of the demon boys Rydstrom and Cade, who we met in the last book.
Kresley Cole has some sort of magic powers as I feel like I shouldn’t like this book, but I ended up loving it! So far, the Wroth brothers are proving to be my favorite romantic leads as this book is tied with No Rest for the Wicked, which featured Conrad’s brother Sebastian’s story, as my favorite. I need to go back and read Nikolai’s story as I’m sure I’ll love it, and I’m looking forward to Murdoch’s story as well.
I think it’s safe to say, I’m thoroughly hooked on Immortals After Dark. The stories are so much fun, and even if I don’t like every story, I feel like I’m still having a good time! Kresley Cole is a master at taking these absurd stories and making them feel relatable and fun. I’m kicking myself for not reading these sooner!