Lothaire, by Kresley Cole
Holy smokes. This is going to be a disgustingly fangirlish and adoring review, so gird your loins.
The thing about series books is you sort of have to figure out if you’re loving a book because it’s part of an ongoing story that you love, or if it’s actually a great book. This is both. Let me just lay it out for you: Lothaire is one of the best paranormal romances I can remember reading.
To be fair, that’s in part because Kresley Cole’s spent ten or so books building such a fascinating and charismatic character. I know some of you have said that KC’s heroes don’t do it for you (… this is not a problem I experience personally), but come on. This is LOTHAIRE. He’s the famously nasty and arrogant vampire with all the good one-liners. He’s mysterious, fun, and dude. DUDE. Lothaire is unbelievably sexy.
The biggest question about this book was not whether or not Lothaire was going to be great, but whether or not Kresley Cole could find a heroine who could match him. She did it. And Kresley Cole managed this with a character who was a young mortal girl who’d grown up in backwoods Appalachia. Okay, to be fair, she’s been hosting a seriously evil bitch goddess for a year when we meet her, but STILL. Ellie herself is so smart, observant, and witty (without being Mary Sue Mountain) that she is more than capable of going toe to toe with the vamp legend himself.
In every other paranormal romance I’ve read in which a younger girl is paired with an ancient-as-dirt dude (including the first IAD book, A Hunger Like No Other), it’s ended up being weird, a little creepy, and totally unbalanced, no matter how many compulsory scenes in which Little Red Riding Hood stands up to the Big Bad Wolf.
It’s not often that I’m sorry to finish a book, but you guys, I don’t know what to do with myself. I did my best to slow down and read this book over a few days instead of over a few hours, and even though it’s long as fuck, I loved every single minute of it. The last two IAD books were way too angsty and filled with BRVTAL TORTVRE, and this was an amazing change of pace. Even though Lothaire and Elizabeth were facing some pretty serious obstacles, every page was fun.
By the end, the relationship between the two of them was so sweet and believable that I was holding back sniffles on the train (shut up, I’m over emotional this week).
I DO think that you’d appreciate this book best if you’ve read all the preceding books in the series, but this is absolutely my favorite one.
And yes, it has all your old favorites. Hag (last seen in Omort’s basement), Regin, Emma, Mariketa, and, of course. NIX.