Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 9, 2013
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #13
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: Rape; child molestation; grooming; trafficking; toxic relationship; kidnapping; emotional abuse; murder; references to suicide, cancer, alcohol abuse, gang rape, depression
After taking a little break from the Immortals After Dark series, MacRieve was the perfect book to welcome me back. Despite the major content warnings (this book tackles some very HEAVY topics which won’t be for everyone), this book was a lot of fun! I had a smile on my face while reading it, yet also found myself constantly going WTF at some of the crazy – so, you know, pretty typical of an IAD book.
Uilleam carries a lot of guilt with him from his childhood relationship with a succubus that resulted in the death of his parents. After being tortured by the Order, Uilleam is a shell of himself and wants nothing but to end his misery. That is until he finds his mate in the most unlikely person. Chloe Todd is a female soccer star who didn’t know the world of the Lore existed until she’s kidnapped and put up on the auction block as a slave. Little did she know her father is the most wanted man by the Lorean, and all the Loreans want a piece of him. When Uilleam rescues her, the two form a connection as he whisks her out to the Scottish Highlands to protect her. However, when he finds out his mate is more than human, Uilleam is forced to confront his demons from the past if he wants to save his relationship with his mate.
I went into this book expecting I wouldn’t like it as I have traditionally not been a fan of books with a Lykae hero. However, Uilleam was a different kind of Lykae male, and I found myself liking this book way more than I expected!
Uilleam has a lot of trauma in his past from a toxic, manipulative relationship that he’s never fully worked out despite it happening hundreds of years ago. This man needed some serious therapy, stat, as he harbors a lot of guilt and unresolved feelings from basically being sexually abused as a child and his experiences on Torture Island. Because he’s been so broken and damaged by his previous relationship, I feel like he’s not the arrogant alpha male we see with many of the Lykae men. Yes, he still has the overbearing protective instinct, but how he approaches his complicated relationship with Chloe feels different from how someone like Gareth approached his complicated relationship. Uilleam’s more respectful of other people’s wishes due to his past, but he also holds a grudge for too long that blinds him to the truth about some things.
Chloe was an…interesting female main character. I felt a few mixed feelings toward her, but cannot pinpoint exactly why. I think some of it was she’s supposed to be this strong, independent, no-nonsense woman, but that wasn’t the vibe I got from her a lot of the time. Sometimes she felt too stubborn for her own good, but honestly, Uilleam was that way too, so they’re two peas in a pod in that regard. Chloe definitely goes on a major journey in this book, and I sympathize with her for that, but I liked how she still stayed true to herself in many ways.
I thought the romance worked fairly well in this book. There is definitely a mutual attraction between Chloe and Uilleam, but there are also a lot of obstacles in their way to being happy together. The protectiveness is there from Uilleam, but also from Chloe – it’s not just one-sided. One of the things I enjoyed the most about Chloe and Uilleam’s complicated relationship was how she brought out his playful side. She unlocks a side of him that’s light-hearted, flirty and fun – something that his brother Munro and those around Uilleam haven’t seen in years. However, their relationship is a bit all over the place, from fun and playful to actively hating each other’s guts. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster, but Cole makes it work.
My one issue with this book was with the ending! The whole bit at the end with learning more about the succubae felt like information dumping. There is a lot thrown at the reader that’s pretty important to the plot, but it all happens really quickly and gets wrapped up way too fast and neatly. I would have liked to explore and play around with that information more. Also, what is going on with Commander Webb? I hope we get more answers in the next book, as I felt a bit confused by everything with his storyline at the end of this.
However, Cole does a good job setting up some future books and the series’ next arc. The Order seems to be behind us as the Møriør seems to be the next big bad we’ll be facing. I cannot wait to see what Cole has in store for us in future books, and I’m now even more excited to get Munro’s book based on that ending!