Kresley Cole’s apparent thought process for the paranormal romance A Hunger Like No Other –
“You know what’s
vile fun? Opening with an assault! A deranged man (werewolf) will sense a woman (vampire), decide she is his mate, chase and tackle her when she tries to flee, and then hold her against her will in a hotel room that he will slowly destroy. He will refer to her as “it” in his head and insult her for not being the mate he imagined. Although her abject terror is an inconvenience, and in spite of her offensive nature, he initiates a physical relationship. Alone and defenseless in a foreign country, she’ll find herself becoming aroused when he rips off her clothes and paws her. After insisting she share his bed, he can wake her up with a sexual assault. She will fight only because she is confused by her arousal. When she tries to escape, he’ll stop her. To encourage him to be gentle, she’ll threaten to harm herself. To make himself more attractive to her, he’ll use her credit cards to buy himself whatever he wants. When her family calls, she will lie, say she is fine, and then leave with him. [fanning self] That is so hot!”
Two things about this abduction and seduction plot, Ms. Cole:
It does get less rage-inducing from there, but since “there” is a revenge fantasy set up and the heroine never gets around to curb stomping the hero, the so-called improvement is the most “relative” ever of the “all things being” variety. The relationship remains abusive. He needs her. He just wants to be close to her. He’s in so much pain. He’s been through so much. He’d never hurt her, you know, except all those times he tries to manipulate or control her.
What happened to the silly, sexy fun? The popularity of Cole’s campy Immortals After Dark series is built on silly, sexy fun. More importantly, even with outdated gender stereotypes, the immortal heroines are badass powerhouses. Is this book intended to tap into a predilection that simply doesn’t work for me? Because this is a terrified 105 pound, 5’2″, young woman alone with an unhinged 250 pound, 6’6″ man putting his hands on her with coerced consent. This is that abusive-relationship-masquerading-as-a-love-story plot people complain about with Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, isn’t it? The heroine actually tells herself she doesn’t have Stockholm Syndrome, then admits she does, then denies it because she is getting something she wants out of the relationship. The American Psychological Association would like a word.
Once things got back to the usual ridiculousness one looks to the Immortals After Dark series for, the plot proceeded with Cole’s standard hijinks and violently intense THUNDER SEX™ scenes, and, yes, because the hero is a werewolf, the THUNDER SEX™ is indeed doggy style, emphatically so.
I was so bent out of shape and offended by the opening chapters that I finished the book strictly for the sake of Cannonball Read honesty and to plot my spiteful review. The (Shameful) Tally suddenly feels a lot less ignominious.
Reviews for other books in the series: The Warlord Wants Forever; A Hunger Like No Other; No Rest for the Wicked; Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night; Dark Deeds at Night’s Edge; Dark Desires After Dusk; Kiss of a Demon King; Deep Kiss of Winter; Pleasure of a Dark Prince; Demon from the Dark; Dreams of a Dark Warrior; Lothaire; MacRieve, Shadow’s Claim.
This review can also be found on my tiny little blog.