This is the fourth book in Kresley Cole’s wonderful Immortals After Dark series.
We’ve already met the principal hero and heroine. Bowen MacRieve is the tortured soul from A Hunger Like No Other. Mariketa the Awaited was introduced in the immediately previous No Rest for the Wicked. Whilst she only had a few pages of time at the beginning of the Hie, her effect on Bowen actually resonated throughout the book and indeed, had a hand (or a paw, depending on your point of view) in who won the Hie.
Because a large part of this book runs concurrent with No Rest for the Wicked, it’s shown what Mariketa actually did to Bowen. Which, I felt, was fully justified. Because of events in A Hunger Like No Other and No Rest for the Wicked, it’s known why Bowen is so tortured and why he entered the Hie.
In Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night the reason for his grief is shown in more detail in a prologue that is set 180 years ago. And so whilst this paranormal romance between an unlikely pairing of a lykae and a witch is read with a feeling of how both are going to overcome their huge differences with each other, there is also the mystery of how Bowen’s grief is going to be lifted.
Fortunately, there’s an interesting twist in the tale towards the end in the final climatic battle that I didn’t see coming. Oh, the fact that Bowen’s past and present would meet was almost a foregone conclusion. The shock was the revelation and how it came about. And so the whole mourning thing. Not an issue any more.
I have to admire Kresley Cole in giving us to very different heroes in Bowen and Mariketa because this could have read very similar to Lachlain and Emmaline. True, both Lachlain and Bowen were obnoxious, arrogant, overbearing and…oops, sorry. Ranting there. That’s how they both started off and against them are set the apparently weaker women. In fact, Mariketa could have been worse because at least Emmaline was already immortal and in control of her powers. Mariketa, not so much.
However, Mariketa is neither held against her will…er…actually, I suppose she is. Well, she’s not actually held by Bowen…hmm…but he put her in that situation. Alright then, just like Emmaline, Mariketa soon proves that she can hold her own against the big, bad wolf.
With the exception of the wonderful Nucking Futs Nix, all of the previous characters only play brief cameo appearances. Even Lachlain only has a few more pages than the rest. A great addition to the series only marred by the continued use of the nonsensical ‘doona’ instead of ‘dinnae’ (one is slang for a quilt and the other means ‘do not’).