Dark Desires After Dusk is somewhat similar to the previous book; Dark Needs at Night’s Edge in that Holly Ashwin, the heroine of this piece, is utterly clueless about the lore. However, unlike Néomi’s story which gives her a long and gentle introduction, Holly has no such luck having already been marked as the ‘Vessel’ one who will bear the ultimate warrior in the war to come.
Within a few pages, she is ripped from her very ordered life where her obsessive compulsive disorder rules into a world where she finds out that all the monsters that were supposed to be myth and legend are very much real. Oh, and she’s a furie / valkyrie halfling, by the way.
Fortunately, she’s not alone as Cade Woede comes to aid having long since recognised her as his fated soul mate. Cade and Rydstrom, his brother, were previously introduced in Mariketa’s story as brother rage demons. Their story was hinted at in that Cade had done something to make Rydstrom lose his crown and he’s been trying to atone for that for the past 900 years.
We now find out the back story to that and also that he can at last find redemption. With Holly as the price.
Both Holly and Cade are very likeable characters. It’s wonderful to see how she comes to terms with her new strengths and abilities and overcome obstacles such as her OCD and the tiny fact that she wants this rage demon despite already having a nice, sensible, human boyfriend.
Cade, whilst a typical rogue or cad or ‘bad boy’ is more than that due to the predicament he’s in. He’s carried this guilt around with him for almost a millennium and none of his people expect anything of him. He now has a chance to show everyone, including Rydstrom but can he give up Holly in order to do so?
There is a very interesting set-up for the next book where an apparently evil sorceress; Sabine kidnaps Rydstrom in order to get herself pregnant by him. At some point, the situation is reversed. We don’t know how but I love the fact that this teaser leaves everything wide open. I can’t wait to find out what happened.
The only minor disappointment that in no way detracts from the story is that I’d fully expect Holly to use the code that she was working on in some way but this wasn’t the case. Perhaps in a future book. Another oddity was that Nucking Futs Nix gave Holly a hint on how to trust a demon but Holly never used it for some reason.
Yet another outstanding entry in the superb Immortals After Dark series!