I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Dark Needs at Night's Edge
This paranormal romance is a paperback edition that was published by Pocket Books on April 29, 2008 and has 368 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include If You Dare, The Captain of All Pleasures, A Hunger Like No Other, No Rest for the Wicked, Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night, The Professional
Fourth in the Immortals After Dark paranormal romance series revolving around a group of Immortal friends (if one is keeping to the method of counting short stories as x.5; if not, it’s fifth!). This story is based in New Orleans with the couple focus on Conrad and Néomi.
It’s an interesting look at addiction. No, not your normal addiction. This one is over blood, memories, and grief. Forced to betray his oath when his two oldest brothers Turn him the night he and the rest of their family lay dying, Conrad has grieved over the change into which he has been forced.
Cole left a very minor loose thread with her emphasis on Tarut marking Conrad with his claw. Conrad had to either kill Tarut or experience his “most fervent dream and most feared nightmare”. While there really isn’t a lot of tension — Cole only gives us a couple of fight scenes — she does give us a moment to cry over how incredibly romantic Conrad is as well as the deep sadness when the prophecy about his nightmare comes true. Very unexpectedly.
It’s even sweeter because Conrad has never been with a woman, and Néomi lovingly initiates him, and we watch him develop confidence.
I love that Cole has made Néomi so very independent. She holds out for her own needs, for Conrad to treat her with dignity and respect. And she’s consistent! Instead of the usual cliché where the girl insists this is only… and then succumbs in the next sentence to “giving it all up for love”, Néomi walks off rather than accept less than her due. I love that girl!!
“Nïx” is setting us up for a future installment with Rydstrom and Cade when we are introduced to Holly Ashwin, math geek. Human.
Kidnapped out of a bar by his brothers. Brothers determined to salvage their brother. Bring him back from the pit of Fallen. The Forebearers destroy any vampire who has Fallen, but the brothers refuse to allow Conrad to die. They will bring him back from that edge.
It’s Nïx who suggests Nikolai purchase Elancourt, an aging estate outside New Orleans, as the ideal place to keep Conrad. To wean him off the drug that has destroyed his mind.
At first, Conrad believes Néomi is a hallucination, the same as those he suffers, and it takes weeks before he begins to believe in her. His recognition of her existence brings great delight to Néomi. The first to see her, to speak with her. It’s a slow courtship fraught with difficulties: they cannot touch and he demands.
Néomi Laress is a ghost. Tied to her greatest treasure, Elancourt. The home she bought with her own earnings as a ballerina in the 1920s. And she is practically screaming in frustration. Desperate for companionship. She had loved that last couple and their new baby, but it’s been 10 years since anyone has lived at Elancourt. Eighty years since she died.
Conrad Wroth is the youngest brother of the four. He was a member of the Kapsliga, vampire slayers, when Nikolai turned him 300 years ago. Foresworn from his oath, Conrad has raged against Nikolai and Murdoch for every one of those years, drinking from the vein, absorbing the memories of everyone he has killed. Memories which have sent him over the edge as one of the Fallen.
The rest of the Wroth brothers are…
…Nikolai, Murdoch, and Sebastian. Nikolai and Sebastian have found their Brides and settled their differences (see Playing Easy to Get: Warlord Wants Forever and No Rest for the Wicked, respectively). The four brothers were warlords defending a section of Estonia 300 years ago. Sebastian and Conrad had been home defending their gravely ill family from the invading Russians in a lost cause. When Nikolai and Murdoch managed to return home, they found sisters and father dead from plague and the sons dying. Turned out on the battlefield, Nikolai forced his blood down Conrad and Sebastian’s throats making them vampire.
Nïx the Everknowing, a.k.a., Nucking Futs Nïx, is a Valkyrie famed for her visions of the future. No one has ever known her to be wrong. The combat-happy Regin the Radiant has a bit part. –The Valkyrie are known for their insatiable shopping, wild parties, and movie nights with lots of popcorn, mostly for throwing. Mariketa the Awaited (see Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night) plays a short but important role along with Bowen MacRieve.
Rydstrom Woede is the fallen king of the rage demons; Cadeon is his heir and the reason he lost his crown. They have an interest in keeping Conrad alive…for now. Tarut is a dream demon and a member of the Kapsliga, the vampire slaying club of which Conrad is no longer a member. And the reason Tarut is hunting him. Kristoff is the king of the Forebearers, a group of vampires who refuse to drink directly from a human. The Horde is composed of Fallen vampires, those who drink their victims to death.
The Cover and Title
The cover pulls you into a soft, hazy, swirl of blues and oranges partially obscuring a full moon with an unscarred Conrad flashing his abs from under a casually-open trench coat, his belted jeans riding low on his hips.
The title is quite a poetic reflection of Conrad’s existence with his Dark Needs at Night’s Edge.