Hello, beeeeetches. It is I, Ai! Grabe… your new fabulous reviewer, with my fabulous debut review of the only book I’ve been able to finish for the past few months. You see, I’ve been having this terrible problem. I love to read. I’ve been reading since I was… I don’t know, a fetus… and the FSM knows if I were the only WOMYN left alive on the planet full of those nasty vampire creatures from I Am Legend, I would totes be okay if I had in my possession every book I have ever wanted to read. True. Story. Speaking of stories, stop me before I tell you mine, lest I go back to, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” ON WITH THE REVIEW, AI! (FSM, I babble more than Bam tends to do) [Bam: Oh no you di’int, beeeyatch!] Where was I? Oh, yeah… Kresley Cole’s Dark Needs at a Night’s Edge was the ONE book that was able to pull me out of my reading funk. I received it in the mail, tore it open, sat down to read, and three hours later, Fini! It was great. And for that, it gets an A. Oh, and also, because it’s pretty great.
Neomi: I’m a happy little ballerina and no man can ever hold me down! I bought this lovely mansion all by myself and I will not marry. So Hah!
Evil Ex-Fiance: Not so fast, Fickle Bitch Who Broke My Heart. You will feel the pain you have wrought upon me. Stabby-stabbity-stab-stab!
Neomi: Oh no! I’m bleeding all over the place. Why am I dying? Everyone loves me and I just bought a new house! What a world, what a world…
[80 years later…]
Conrad: I am a killer assassin and a vampire with red eyes! I Kill! I’m EVOL! MWAHAHA!
Conrad’s Brothers: WE WILL SAVE YOU! WE WILL DRUG YOU AND CHAIN YOU UP TO A BED IN THIS SUPPOSEDLY HAUNTED MANSION!
Conrad’s Brother #3: Why are we shouting?
Conrad’s Brother #1: …’cause we’re passionate?
Conrad: NO! I HATE YOU ALL! I will keeel you and everyone you love ’cause I’m keeerazy.
Conrad’s Brother #2: We’re doing this ’cause we love you, brother [injects drug]. Later, beeyatch. Let’s go, Other Brothers Who Have Found Their Mates in Books of Their Own.
[Conrad is alone]
Neomi: I am a ghost… ghostie-ghostie doing ghost things… I have telekinesis and I’m quirky, so I’m also a klepto. Look here, a hot crazy vampire man!
Conrad: I’m keeeerazy… this hot ghost can’t be real. Keeerazy people see keeeerazy things!
Neomi: I will save you with my dancing and cute French accent!
Conrad: I find you hot… I think you’re my Bride.
Neomi: You’re silly. I’m a ghost.
Conrad: We will find a way to be together. You’ve cured me from my crazy with your beauty.
Neomi: Oh no, obstacles!
Conrad: We will defeat them together.
The Heroine: Dear Author was just talking about the females in Kresley Cole’s books and how they tend to be fierce, clever, strong, and more sexually experienced than the hero and that definitely holds true here (Con is a veeeergin). Neomi Laress was left an orphan at the age of sixteen when her mother died and she was forced to make her living as a burlesque dancer (a non-skanky stripper), just so she could eat. On her own, she pursues her dream of becoming a ballet dancer and is successful enough that she is able to buy her own mansion without any help from men. For several years as a ghost, she entertains herself by stealing from the tenants of her mansion and spying on them. When Con arrives, she decides he is going to be her new plaything. She isn’t afraid of him, takes care of him, is sexually aggressive with him, and takes no guff from him. What I like about Neomi is that she is proactive. She doesn’t just sit around, wailing about her pitiful existence… she finds ways to entertain herself. Hell, she knows how to masturbate! When she and Con finally get to do it, she is the one directing him and teaching him how to touch her (those scenes are wicked hot). She tames Con’s beastliness by being a no-nonsense woman. Sure, she can be a tad bit manipulative at times, but it’s rare that we read about a heroine who is the one calling the shots. She can make the hero feel uncertain with a few well-placed barbs. She’s got him hooked from Day One, yet can keep her cool around him. I like this girl!
The Hero: …not that Conrad is a pussy or anything. He is a big, strong vampire thing. But he is definitely not as unique as a Neomi. He is your paranormal romance hero staple: all growls and tortured past and making like he’s Broody McAngstyman until he meets the woman of his dreams and he’s all of a sudden Mate! Mine! Mate! Mine! …while pulling some Broody McAngstyman shenanigans. He is seriously scary at times, though. You see, he’s a vampire-assassin who’s pretty damned ruthless and the fact that he craves blood drawn from a vein like it’s heroin (though heroin is injected into the vein. ha ha) makes him pretty frickin’… I don’t know. I’ve never been scared of a romance novel hero before, but he came pretty close to freaking me out. And he’s kind of mean, too. He yells at Neomi, tends to man-handle her (when she finally becomes corporeal, which is pretty fun to read about in itself), and acts like a possessive psycho when they finally get together. Seriously, is that supposed to be sexy? What is with paranormal romance heroes who get psychotic-possessive about their lady loves? I know it’s the whole bad-boy thing, but in real life, psychotic-possessive boyfriends almost always ends up killing the woman just because she looked at another man. And that is after he smacks her around a little bit and chains her to the radiator. But for the purposes of this novel, I guess Conrad is crazy-sexy, if a little bit unhinged. Yeah, that’s his appeal, sisters.
The Secondary Characters: If you haven’t read any of Kresley Cole’s books, you’ll probably be a little lost. People from the previous books pop up here, including Mariketa the Awaited and Bowen McRieve, the couple from the 3rd book of the series, and actually play an integral part in the story. It’s not necessary that you read their book to be able to enjoy this one, but it’s probably advisable since it was pretty damn good, IMHO. What I like about Kresley Cole’s series and the way she deals with characters popping up from her other books is that she seamlessly integrates them into the new book. She’s not just sequel-baiting; she’s telling ONE big story and of course it’s only natural that these people weave in and out of each other’s lives. They don’t just stand around and say hi (… Sherrilyn Kenyon and Julia Quinn— speaking of Julia Quinn, I just pre-ordered her Duke books. I AM SO WEAK! I’m like Bam with LKH) [Bam: Yo, seriously, you’re a bitch.]; they’re actually part of the story. I also like how the previous female characters tend to become a support system for the heroine-of-the-hour (to deal with that psychotically-possessive hero, I suppose). These books truly are all about GRRRL! POWER! and while that shit usually annoys me, I quite enjoy it in Ms. Cole’s books. ‘Cause they are some powerful females, yo! I bet if you pit these Valkeries and Witches against the Brotherhood from JR Ward’s books, those fuckers will be running for the hills clutching their balls in fear.
Ai! Grabe… Says: For serious, I TOTES LOVED THIS BOOK (almost everything about it). It’s totally a Beauty and the Beast story with an awesome twist (it is not the Beast that confines the girl, but the HOUSE itself). I wasn’t a giant fan of our hero-man Con (but that’s because I’m… okay… A LITTLE GAY in a way that I like girls… a lot. Okay, exclusively… I am a homosexual female who loves reading heterosexual romance novels. Oh FSM, whyyyyyyyyy!) [Bam: Seriously, this is sooo not the time for a confessional], but I was definitely enamored with Neomi, the heroine. Oh, she’s sooooo my favorite. She’s, like… Summer Glau in that episode of Angel where she’s a ballerina who gets kidnapped by this evol theater-owner who forces her to dance for eternity… wait a minute. I was TOTES picturing Summer Glau in the role of Neomi! Hmm… Anyway, that’s also the episode where Cordy and Angel almost do it ’cause they’re possessed or some shit. Grooooss! ON WITH THE REVIEW, AI! I have to admit that I picked up this book because of the ghost angle. I love books where the hero or the heroine is a ghost and the author has to find a way to get them together because… uh, yeah, one of them is NON-CORPOREAL. The fact that our two romantic leads can’t touch also sets it up so THEY HAVE TO TALK. I hate problems in boks that could have been resolved if the two leads had enough brain cells to rub together AND actually SAT DOWN TO DISCUSS THEIR ISSUES. There’s this really hot scene where the two of them are hanging out and Neomi demands that Con tell her what he would do to her if he could touch her. That scene was sooooooo super-hot that I almost wanted to make out with Con myself. Almost. Though the resolution of the whole ghost-thing was a little too neat and a little too convenient for me, I have to say that Ms. Cole makes it work because she has set up a world where it IS possible. I BOUGHT IT. Sure, it goes a little wrong (as these things tend to do) and the result is MY WORST NIGHTMARE EVER [Bam: Mine too. High-five! *crickets* Okay… self high-five.] but all’s well that end’s well and I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK. Especially the one about Conrad’s Brother who has a Bride he can’t tell anyone about… damn. That’s hot. Anyway, I’m off to harass Bam for Furry‘s book. See ya.
You may buy this fabulous book here.