Usually – I really love reading Kresley Cole’s books but, right now, I’m hating LOTHAIRE. Now all the Immortals After Dark fans will send me hate mail because I seem to be the only one who is not in love with this book.
Lothaire is a centuries old vampire notorious for being fiendishly cold blooded, sadistic and incredibly intelligent. He is opportunistic, calculating, and every creature in the Lore fears him. The only thing that has kept him (barely) sane throughout these many years is his plan to rule all the vampires in the Lore.
In Cole’s Lore, a vampire will fall in love with only one woman – their bride, but it may take centuries to discover who this person is. But wouldn’t you know that this is where the trouble lies. Lothaire believes he has found his bride in the body of Ellie Pierce. Saroya the Soul Reaper has taken possession of Ellie’s body and is fighting to have Ellie’s soul permanently extinguished. When Lothaire meets Ellie he believes that Saroya is his bride and makes an oath to help her gain permanent control of Ellie’s body. Sounds good right?
Cole is wonderful at creating full characters and imbuing them with traits and voices that are interesting; leaving a reader with a pretty clear and distinctive impression of each character in her novels. Lothaire just happens to be written as an unappealing, sadistic, cruel, domineering, bigoted, opportunistic, selfish, self-serving son of a gun – I’d be just fine if he didn’t find his bride. In fact – it bothers me that such a bright, interesting, noble person as Ellie would even give Lothaire the time of day.
What bothers me even more is that in order to make this match seem more improbable, Cole has chosen to draw Lothaire as a wealthy worldy Russian sophisticate and Ellie as a poor, ignorant, virgin hill billy with a heart of gold. Cole uses every cliche in the book. Ellie lives on a mountain named after her family, in a trailer, with her mother and baby brother. All her kin live on or around the mountain. Her father worked in a coal mine and died in a mine explosion. Ellie may fool around but she doesn’t have sex because she doesn’t want to end up teenaged and pregnant like all the other women in her family. Ellie’s only clothes are some jeans from the Walmart. And, of course, Ellie’s speech is riddled with so many “country” colloquialisms I feel like I’m watching The Beverly Hillbillies. Any second now, Ellie will be spurting out, “I may be ignorant, but I’m not stupid!” – “Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980).
Oh – and Ellie is human – which is a huge no-no. So. that’s kind of the cherry on top.
The book is filled with page after page of cliches, sadistic events and over the top drama, BUT, there is one beautiful, perfect, memorable scene between Lothaire and his nemesis Nix, The Ever Knowing Valkyrie oracle, that is the one saving grace of this novel. For fans of the series, that scene alone would be worth purchasing this book.
At the end of the day, I don’t care if these two get together because he is an nonredeemable prick and she is an idiot for making excuses for him. If he wasn’t such a sadistic egoist I could find some love for him maybe through pity. If Ellie wasn’t drawn as being smart in spite of being poor and unsophisticated I could probably find some love for her, too. And let’s not even talk about the fact that Ellie is a virgin because that makes this pairing even more twisted. My real problem is that Cole has shown again and again how intelligent a PNR can be that anything less than her best is tragic. She can really be that good.
This review also appears on http://paperbackdolls.com/?p=10244