Nikolai Wroth, once a ruthless human warlord in the 1700s and now a general in the rebel vampire army, needs to find his Bride, the one woman who can render him truly alive. As a turned human, he doesn’t enjoy a heartbeat or breaths and is consequently weaker than fully blooded vampires. He wants his Bride for the power she will bring him and can hardly believe it when his heart beats for Myst the Coveted, a mad, fey, mythological creature.Myst is known throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, part chillingly fierce warrior, part beguiling seductress who can “make you want her even as she’s killing you.” She has devoted her life to protecting an ancient, powerful jewel and to fighting the vampires, and she now sees a way to torment one—for with Wroth’s heartbeat comes consuming sexual desire that can only be slaked by her.She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen the jewel which commands her, giving him absolute power over her. While he possesses it, he can make her do anything, and he plans to in order for her to experience first hand the agonizing, unending lust she’d purposely subjected him to for half a decade. Yet when Wroth realizes he wants more from her and frees her, will she come back to him?
(Blurb from Kresley Cole's website.)
The Warlord Wants Forever is an exciting beginning to Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. This short story first appeared in the anthology Playing Easy to Get. (The blurb above gives an excellent plot summary.) The story focuses on the very passionate yet volatile relationship between Myst, a Valkyrie warrior, and Wroth, a general in the vampire army. Though mortal enemies, Wroth discovers that Myst is his Bride, the one who will give him great power once they bond, and he will stop at nothing to possess her. Myst, however, has no intension of submitting to a beastly vampire. Much of the sexual relationship between Wroth and Myst would be considered dubious consent or forced seduction. Personally, I enjoy the "bodice ripper" theme, though I know many readers are turned off by it. The sex is scorching hot, but it is also aggressive and somewhat cruel at times. Don't worry; I never felt like Wroth crossed the line of violence. He used great self-control when dealing with Myst, and he turned out to be the perfect alpha hero.
The Warlord Wants Forever is a solid introduction to the world of the Immortals, in particular the history of the Valkyrie sisters. Often times short stories are too rushed and gloss over important details, but I think this is a perfectly paced, well-crafted story. The Valkyrie are a group of sharp-tongued, kick-ass warriors, and I loved them! It appears they will be the foundation of the series. We're also introduced to some of the other Lore creatures that we'll see in future books. If you've read the Immortals After Dark but missed this one, I highly recommend giving it a read!