Demon from the Dark

Demon from the DarkBy Kresley Cole

Publisher: Pocket
Publication Date: August 24, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased

From “New York Times” bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this scorching tale of a demon outcast poisoned with vampire blood and the vulnerable young witch he vows to protect–even from himself.
A DANGEROUS DEMON SHE CAN’T RESIST . . .

Malkom Slaine: tormented by his sordid past and racked by vampiric hungers, he’s pushed to the brink by the green-eyed beauty under his guard.

A MADDENING WITCH HE ACHES TO CLAIM . . .

Carrow Graie: hiding her own sorrows, she lives only for the next party or prank. Until she meets a tortured warrior worth saving.

TRAPPED TOGETHER IN A SAVAGE PRISON . . .

In order for Malkom and Carrow to survive, he must unleash both the demon and vampire inside him. When Malkom becomes the nightmare his own people feared, will he lose the woman he craves body and soul?

Goodreads Summary

This is the 8th in Cole’s “Dark” paranormal series, populated by everything from fae to demons to witches.  The series is one of my favorites because I never know what to expect from it; it can be funny or dark or smokingly sexy or all three at once, but somehow the author ties the varying styles together from book to book.  While each one can be read as a standalone, there are also characters and relationships that run through each of them that enhance the stories as well.

Witch, party girl and renowned smartass Carrow Graie is being held against her will, fitted with a collar making her unable to use her magic in a horrific science lab where the Lore are being experimented on.  When a fellow witch is murdered, her young daughter becomes Carrow’s responsibility, something their captor uses to his advantage.  He wants to experiment on a vemon, a half demon, half vampire, and he tells Carrow she has a week to go through a portal, get him and bring him back.  Or else.  He deactivates the collar and shoves her in.

Malkom Slaine was a demon with a tragic past; cast aside by his mother, abused by an evil vampire, only to be befriended by a royal demon, he was betrayed by another demon jealous of his friendship and success.  He and his friend were turned into true monsters, vemons: vampire demons, destined to feed on their own kind.  Locked in a cell together, Malkom was forced to kill his friend rather than be fed from.  Now centuries later, he lives separate from everyone and controls the water in the desolate wasteland.

Carrow has no idea she’s about to enter her own Land of the Lost; she lands smack in the middle of nowhere.  Strike that, she’s surrounded by thirsty, starving demons and god only knows what to call those other things stalking her.  Thankfully, Malkom rescues her; unfortunately, he doesn’t speak English or much of anything; he’s also covered in dirt and matted hair and is generally just fairly gross.  It doesn’t take long for him to figure out he’s also her mate and to get ready to romance her, which is a little different when it’s caveman-style.  Carrow decides to try to string Malkom along for the week to see if she can get him to come along to the portal.

There was just so much that was good and so much that was only so-so after that; I wanted to love this and just when I thought I did, something happened and I ended up thinking, “Well, that was kind of not sexy.”  The premise of the story is great and it started with a bang; I liked that there was a sort of crash-course in Lore at the beginning, with a reintroduction of several familiar characters.  Malkom was interesting; he had all the makings of a good tortured hero with a noble heart and I’ve always loved Carrow (how do you not love a woman who knows what a manbearpig is?).  But once she got shoved through the portal, the story turned into something out of Clan of the Cave Bear meets Mad Max, then they get hauled back and there’s a drop of The Blue Lagoon.

There was just way, way too much plot going on.

Malkom had me in a love/like/love relationship.  Given what he knew of women, when he knew Carrow was his destined mate, he treated her as well as he knew how, especially given their language barrier and his little romantic gestures, like presenting her with the severed heads in lieu of flowers was sort of cute.  He kept charming me with the little ways he took care of Carrow, then he’d turn around and pull a bonehead move, like treating her like a blowup doll because she wasn’t worthy of him.  I got the memo about not trusting Carrow, but there’s not trusting someone and then there’s disrespecting them sexually, which to me, is what it felt like Malkom was doing.  I didn’t think his past could keep being enough of an excuse for that.  He was wonderful with Ruby though, so then I’d be back in love with him.

If I only like/loved Malkom, my love for Carrow never waned.  She’s all the shades on the awesome rainbow for me: snarky, smart, resourceful and when she knew she was wrong, she tried to make amends to Malkom.  However irresponsibly she behaved at times, she always came through for her family and friends and I just loved her relationship with Ruby too.

Next up in the series is Dreams of a Dark Warrior, which picks up from some threads started in this book and at least from the advance blurb and what was revealed in this book, seems like it will be darker in tone.  Valkyrie Regin the Radiant was being held at the same facility that Carrow was, only she was being experimented on, harshly.  Their captor was a man named Declan Chase, who was obsessed with dissecting and eradicating immortals.  Declan is actually Aidan the Fierce, Regin’s fiancé who was murdered before they could be wed.  He’s destined to be reincarnated until he finds her, but as soon as he does and remembers who she is, he dies and is reincarnated to search again.

My Rating: B+

Barbara

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