Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: September 25, 2017 (originally published February 7, 2006)
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #0.5
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: sexual assault; non-consensual sexual encounters; confinement; violence
I totally missed reading this book when I started diving into the Immortals After Dark, so I decided to revisit it after reading Untouchable to finish all the books focused on the Wroth brothers. As a note, I read the revised version of this story released in 2017. While I’m not sure precisely what was changed, from what I’ve seen and heard, the changes were to make this book a bit less problematic, though it still is problematic (more on that later.)
The Warlord Wants Forever is a prequel novella focused on Nikolai Wroth, a Forbearer Vampire, and Myst the Coveted, a Valkyrie. Nikolai is a feared and accomplished general, and he’s shocked to find his Bride kept prisoner in the castle of his enemy. When she bloods him, she teases him and uses his desire against him to escape, abandoning him in a state of sexual arousal. After hunting for Myst for five years, Nikolai finally catches her and uses a golden chain that takes away her free will to keep her with him. Nikolai intends to get his revenge on her for leaving him with an unending lust for half a decade, yet the more time he spends, the more he realizes he doesn’t want vengeance. But will she come to him of her own free will?
Let’s start with what I liked about this novella. It was a quick read, and despite some of the problematic aspects (which I’ll get to shortly), I found myself enjoying this book. Now Nikolai is by no means my favorite Wroth brother (that honor goes to Sebastian), but I did enjoy Myst. Myst was a cocky, flirty, self-assured woman. She’s the type of Valkyrie I like as she has her own unique kind of power and knows how to use it. I eventually liked Myst and Nikolai together, but there are some very problematic aspects to their relationship. Also, for a novella, this book had a lot of sex scenes and sexy times. I swear, there might be more sex in this than some of the full-length Immortals After Dark books.
However, this book is definitely going to be off-putting to some readers. The biggest problem with this book is that Nikolai takes away Myst’s free will and uses a chain to control her. While he doesn’t use the chain to force her to have sex with him, he does use it to make her seek her own pleasure at her own hand in front of him, even when she repeatedly tells him no. That rubbed me the wrong way as there was a lack of consent, and he’s forcing her to do something she doesn’t want. Nikolai is a bit of an ass in controlling Myst this way and thinks it’s the only way she’ll stay with him. Yes, she did leave him with an erection that wouldn’t go away for five years, but he essentially is raping her by removing her free will and any choice in the matter of their relationship.
One other thing I didn’t like about this book was how judgemental Nikolai was of Myst’s past. He believes she’s slept around as part of her power to attract men. He holds this against her and even debates ordering her to be someone she’s not and to forget her past so she can fit the vision he has for her. Nikolai does this without even knowing the truth of Myst’s actions or asking her about it. He thinks she’s a slut when she hasn’t done half the actions he’s accusing her of.
Despite all this, I still weirdly found myself liking this. It’s not my favorite book in the Immortal After Dark series, and I wouldn’t recommend starting it, but it’s not the worst of the bunch. It did a good job setting up the world of the Lore and was a fun one to go back to read knowing how some things play out. But as I said, I wouldn’t recommend starting the series by reading this novella as it could be incredibly off-putting to some. I read this after Untouchable to finish up the Wroth brother novels and actually think that reading it after Dark Needs at Night’s Edge is probably the best time to check it out.