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If you have become a fan of the IAD series, Cole does not disappoint with this instalment!
In A Hunger Like No Other and No Rest For The Wicked we met Bowen Macrieve, Lachlains cousin and trusted friend. Before you read Wicked Deeds, I recommend you read the 2 I just mentioned to get the backstory. Bowen is a 1200 y/o Lykae male who lost his mate 180 years ago when she ran from him on the night of the full moon. She stumbled and fell, impaled on a jutted log at the bottom of a ravine. Bowen has lived with the guilt of her loss for almost two centuries and enters the Talismans Hie (the Lore version of the Amazing Race) to win the fabled 'Thranes Key'. An artefact said to create doorways into time. With it he hopes to go back and retrieve his mate Mariah. Lykae live their life around their mates and with Bowen living a mere shadow of a life he resolves to do whatever it takes to win.
Mariketa the Awaited, a witch with the power of all 5 castes and prophesied to carry out amazing feats (if she could only get control of her power) has entered the Talismans Hie to win it for the glory of her house. Wearing a red cloak and constantly upholding a glamour to ensure a male from the Lore doesn't 'take her away from her destiny and make her his mate' before she can carry out said prophesy, she is still awaiting her transition to immortality. Her House and her kind are mercenaries and she can't wait for the day when she is able to begin earning her keep.
During one leg of the competition both Bowen and Mariketa encounter each other in the caves of Guatemala. Bowen instantly finds himself attracted to her which sends up warning flags. Convinced she is trying to spell him into wanting her and overcome with fury that she would try to distract him from finding his mate, he locks her and other competitors inside the rocky tomb. Before the rock seals them in, Mariketa unleashes a curse that hits him square in the chest, ensuring that his body will not regenerate and effectively taking away his immortality. Unaware she is mortal, he reasons they will find a way out eventually and continues on until reaching the required 87 points to reach the finals in the Hie. For all his commitment to Mariah he doesn't go a day without thinking of Mariketa. In the end, Bowen is beaten by a vampire who wins the Hie to give his Bride a chance to save her family, he vows to kill the vampire and finds himself stuck in a fiery pit. Literally.
In the meantime the immortals stuck in the tomb have taken Mari under their wing. After being dragged away by a group of incubi who were imprisoned in the cave for thousands of years as punishment (because that's just the way these things go), she's kept alive because they sense she has the power to destroy them and release them from their hell. The only problem? Her magic is unstable and although she has enormous power, control is something she lacks and 99% of the time, blowing things up is more her style. Stuck in the tomb for close to 3 weeks, the others finally convince her to jump from the ledge she's kept on while the incubi sleep.
Bowen finds himself rescued by his cousin Lachlain and the vampire who left him there some time later. He sustained so many injuries and with Mariketa's curse firmly in place he needs to find her so she can remove it and allow his body to regenerate. The House of Witches, the Valkyrie (because Regin and Mariketa are BFFs) and their allies are in an uproar when they find out what Bowen has done to Mariketa and threaten war if he does not retrieve her. As Lachlain is Lykae king he can't hide his apprehension and Bowen knows he's truly effed up things big time. What hits him most? When Nix tells Bowen Mari is....mortal. He gets everything together and with the ultimatum to find her in a certain amount of time or the wrath of half the Lore will fall on him, he sets off to retrieve Mariketa.
The story that unfolds is funny, lighthearted at times and deeply soul searching in others. The dynamic between a man 1200 years old and a young women merely 23 is surprisingly enjoyable. When they finally get around to being together, they go through so many trials that end with her stuck in a different dimension and him pulling his hair out trying to find a way to get to her. Mariah makes a comeback with the help of a goddess and Bowen can't seem to shake his doubts that Mariketa didn't spell him to be with her. Do they get together? You'll head to read it to see...
Mari's comments had me laughing a lot and although sometimes I wanted to slap some sense into Bowen, there is something to be said about intensity. Extreme intensity! If you're a fan of IAD then you can't miss this one!
Totally happy with how this story went. When I first encountered Bowen in the Hie I really wanted to know what had happened to him and I am pleased to say I really like how Cole wrote his story. Really liked both him and Mariketa and the story was easy to read too. Would definitely read more from this author!