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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Audio Book Review: Lothaire by Kresley Cole

Can a very dark and evil Vampire be soothed and changed by a joyful, passionate mortal?
by Kresley Cole
Robert Petkoff (Reader) 
Available in Print, ebook and Audio formats
  • Audio CD: 14 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442346752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442346758
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Caveat: This has several fairly hot sex scenes.

Book Description
Publication Date: January 10, 2012 
From the humblest of beginnings a millennia ago, Lothaire the Enemy of Old rose to power, becoming the most feared and evil vampire in the immortal world. Driven by his past, he will not rest until he captures the vampire Horde’s crown for himself. The discovery of his Bride, the female meant only for him, threatens to derail his plot.

Elizabeth Peirce is a mere mortal, a glaring vulnerability for a male with so many deadly foes bent on annihilating anything he desires. Yet soon he discovers his Bride’s secret. A magnificent power dwells inside the fragile human, one that will aid his quest. But to possess that power, he will have to destroy her. Will Lothaire succumb to the torments of his past, or seize a future with her?

Elizabeth, a “hillbilly” from the Appalachian Mountains, is lovely, bright and determined but at 19 her life is seriously messed up by Lothaire and his evil “bride” Saroya.  Saroya, a demon goddess, has possessed Elizabeth’s body and gone on a killing spree. Elizabeth is prepared to have the local sheriff shoot her to destroy the evil within, but Lothaire blocks the death attempt and allows Elizabeth to go to jail for five years.  Just before Elizabeth is executed Lothaire returns to claim his “bride.”

Lothaire is an old, fierce and feared vampire known as “the Enemy of Old.” He has spent a millennia planning revenge against the Horde Vampires and his father who threw his mother and him out when he was a boy. He is also seeking revenge against his mother’s people, the Dachian Vampires, who failed to help them. Lothaire always has his “end game” in sight: to defeat his enemies in battle and rule with his bride over both kingdoms.

Lothaire must capture a special ring that will allow him to return Saroya to her immortal status as a goddess and allow her to have Elizabeth’s body after vanquishing Elizabeth’s soul.  In spite of Lothaire’s constant reminders of how inferior she is, Elizabeth pursues an advantage over Saroya - Elizabeth is sexually passionate while Saroya refuses to have anything to do with Lothaire until she is restored.

Lothaire doesn’t want to think that this passionate mortal may be his real bride even if her presence seems to calm the madness that threatens to overtake him. Elizabeth begins to win Lothaire over with her cleverness, courage, compassion, and ability to bring light and happiness to his world that has known only darkness, bitterness and hate. But, even if he is willing to accept Elizabeth, how would he manage to get away from the vow he made to kill her and restore Saroya? Could he ever trust a mere mortal not to betray him like everyone else has?  He would certainly have to separate her from her beloved family in order to force her loyalty to him alone.

The primary plot is interesting but for me it almost got smothered by the sexual interaction between Elizabeth and Lothaire.  The sex is hot, heavy and dragged out. If you like that then you’ll enjoy this book a bit more than I did.  I had to push myself through the sex scenes hoping to get back to where the conflict of the relationship continued. Which it does with their failure to communicate their true affection for each other creating nothing but disappointment, mistrust and anger.

There are some interesting side characters that I enjoyed.  Hag is an oracle for Lothaire who becomes a friend to Elisabeth while watching over her, along with Thad, a sweet new vampire who has a tendency to idolize Lothaire. Nix, a half crazed Valkyrie and natural enemy to Lothaire, had once saved him and been his unlikely friend before betraying him.  And ‘Ellie’s’ hillbilly family are a hoot.

The narrator does a very good job with the different personalities. I thought the narration of Lothaire was a little overdone at first but as the story progresses the heavy Vampiric accent seems fitting for Lothaire’s personality. Petkoff also manages to express the emotional thoughts, passions and traumas of the characters with his inflections.

Although the blurbs do not make it clear how graphic this book is, I would say it borders on the edge of erotica if not stepping into that realm.  The descriptions tend heavily to intense and “throes” of passion but there are some pretty explicit scenes.  Ms. Cole has crafted a well written, engaging story with an interesting plot and well developed characters. It is just a bit too heavy on the sex scenes for my tastes. I have rated the book as a 4.0 for its overall good quality with the caveat for those who don’t like their reading quite so edgy.  Perhaps reading the book would allow you to skim those scenes more easily than listening to CDs.  I will think twice before reading any more even though I have another of the books** in this series.
Audiobook Jukebox

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and AudioJukebox for the opportunity to read and review this audiobook.
I will add this to my ARC and New Author Challenge lists.

** I have Deep Kiss of Winter in hardback. I have not read Gena Showalter either who is the other author in that book. If anyone has read these authors and wants to share their thoughts I'd appreciate it. I can maybe some day in the future try reading the book or I can just offer it for giveaway.

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