Tasmin is the last of his kind. The Rakshasa were once wild, beautiful, lion shape-shifting vampires feared by their rivals across the world. Their unique powers have made them both a powerhouse and a threat to people who want that power for themselves. Tasmin wakes alone, deep in a cave and realizes he has been asleep for hundreds of years and that he is the only Rakshasa left. This once powerful vampire goes seeking answers about a past he can’t remember. These questions lead him to America, and take him to seeking out the queen to the newest vampire dynasty.
Bailey Harper is holding on to her life as best she can. It’s gotten weirder, that’s for sure. Her best friend is now a vampire queen, she is surrounded constantly by werewolves and vampires, but she can’t imagine not being human and living in the light. What she misses the most is the closeness she and her best friend Lily used to share. There just never seems to be any time for them to spend together anymore. One day a man stumbles into her dog grooming business asking for help. Even though she knows what he is and how badly he could hurt her, she feels sympathy for him and takes him home. Tasmin confuses her, he can be gentle with her one minute, and in the next he’s rude and abrasive. There is a pull between them, intense and passionate, but neither want to let it get any deeper. Bay doesn’t want to get drawn into the vampire world any further and Tasmin has realized he woke up with an evilness inside him that he doesn’t want to spread to this sweet girl who’s been taking care of him.
Immortal Craving is the fourth book in a series that just keeps getting better and better. This world is made up of vampire dynasties, each kingdom with their own talents and gifts. Some are shape shifters, some create illusions, some practice magic, each group is unique and through the last three books alliances have shifted, but the battle for the new and lower class dynasties to rule beside the more established rages on. I think one of the things I find most interesting in this series is the caste system the dynasties inhabit. It reminds me of the old school aristocrats who feel they must crush the peasants beneath their boot heels and the lower classes rising up to over throw them and be equal.
I’m still not sure how I feel about Tasmin. He confused me just as much as he did Bay. One minute I liked him, the next I wanted him to not be an ass, and a short time later I was back to liking him again. This evil demon living inside him gives him a terrible time, causing him to black out and do horrible things to those around him. I felt his torment over the loss of control over his free will and the quest to find answers about what happened to his pride. Through most of the book he is a wild, untamed thing trying to get control of his life. The chemistry between him and Bay keeps bringing them back together again and neither can control how they feel. He wants to protect her from himself, but at the same time can’t stay away from her:
“You care about me then,” she said. It was amazing, that this deadly creature could turn so charmingly awkward at the mention of emotion.
He didn’t answer her, instead watching her with eyes that seemed to give off a searing heat all their own. “You didn’t answer my question, Bailey. Did you ever want something you couldn’t have? Not a small thing, but something that could break you if you let it?”
“Only you,” she whispered.
Bay was so human. She isn’t portrayed as the badass who morphs into superwoman when thrown into this war between vampires, which I very much appreciated. She feels fear, she is indecisive and regardless of her love for Tasmin and Lily, really only wants to remain mortal. She goes into her relationship with Tasmin very tentatively, knowing she has no desire to change her life. When this choice is taken away from her, Bay handles her new role with dignity and patience. I related to Bailey, I understood her hesitancy and fear. I think she is what Tasmin needed, a person to humanize him and give him compassion. Even after Tasmin saves the day, she saves him.
I’ve looked forward to each book in the series and now find myself hoping we’ll get to see Vlad’s story next. Ms. Castle gives her readers the most unusual pairings, always throwing something new into the mix with each new story. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. Final Grade: B
“I’m beginning to understand why Lily has kept you close,” Tasmin said. She tilted her head at him, bemused.
“Because I’m strange?”
“Because those who have only the night treasure the sunlight where they can find it.”