This is the fourth full length novel in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. I'm not sure if it strictly comes under the rules for TBR Wednesday as it was published in May 2008. But this is the book that stalled me out on the series so I think it's kind of appropriate.
This is the one where the heroine is a ghost. If you've read my post from Sunday you'll know that this is one of my least favourite supernaturals (with only zombies rating lower).
The basic story is this:- Neomi Laress a ballerina is murdered in her New Orleans home and then unfortunately gets to stay there as a ghost watching people come and go but never able to interact with them. Until that is, the brothers Wroth arrive with their half mad sibling Conrad. The brothers imprison Conrad in the hope that he can be saved from the madness. Unfortunately he is the only one who can see Neomi which doesn't initially doesn't help. Eventually Neomi and Conrad come to an understanding but when there are still lies between them, will they have their happy ending.
I must mention one other peeve. I personally find present tense awkward to read. I can understand why to begin with the scenes in Conrad's point of view are written in present tense. (I admit here that my grammar sucks but whatever his early scenes are written in, it isn't a tense I feel comfortable reading. I find my brain switching off). I assume it's to do with his madness and the fact that he only exists in the moment. But it was just another niggle.
So on to what I did like. :)
Conrad and Neomi are both very well written characters - something I've come to expect from Kresley Cole. It's partly down to this excellent characterisation that I can read the story even though Neomi's a ghost. One of the things I like especially is that because for much of the book Conrad is a prisoner, plus he hasn't been blooded, so he and Neomi actually have to talk to one another.
The female didn't have a body that he could feel, he couldn't get erect, and yet it was powerful.Which means when their relationship finally does become physical that there is a greater understanding between the two of them.
Taking them separately Conrad is aware that he's not right mentally. As he starts to improve I like how he tries to model his behaviour on how Neomi would want him to behave. In a way she becomes a compass for him. And he does worry that she has an idealized view of him - which in a way helps him want to be a better person.
Neomi has a great deal of patience with Conrad, but she also keeps secrets from him - usually because she feels she has to. So even though they talk to one another a lot in the early part of their relationship you can see that they still have a way to go. It's a work in progress - a bit like Conrad himself.
Although they seem very different as characters, Conrad who constantly rails against his fate - the bringer of death - and Neomi - ironically so full of life - who has had to accept her fate at least up until the point where she meets her vampire. Personality wise they are very similar. They decide what they want, they make a plan and they execute it. If that plan fails, they make a new plan until they achieve their objective. It was nice to see the contrasts and similarities of their characters played against each other.
We meet a few characters from previous books, notably Nix and Mariketa. On the subject of Mari, I fear that she has been hanging about with the Valkyrie too long as her dialogue was pretty much indistinguishable from theirs.
As I said on Sunday, the problem with having a ghost for a heroine is that the ending always feels contrived. (I like that it's mentioned that ghost are rare in this universe :) ) So although I loved the characters and what the story brings to the mythology of a series as a whole. It's not going to be one that I re-read as often as the others. But I am left with a couple of stories to look forward to. I really want to know more about Kristoff the vampire King. And I can't help but hope that Regin ends up with Grim.