I'm very conflicted about this book. I pretty much disliked the first half or so, found the other half better and the ending near perfect. So if I had to really rate this book it'll be like this:First half (until Lachlain began acting like a freaking human being): 1 star.Second half: 3 stars.Ending(from about chapter 30 or so): 4 stars.So, let's start. At the beginning (first half) I pretty muchhated the characters. I did not like the prologue, but it did set some promise about how Lachlain was supposed to behave toward his finally found mate - a promise that was not delivered. I love me an alpha male, but I didn't like him. He pissed me off with his attitude and the way he behaved toward Emma, as well as all his lies and hatred toward the person he claimed to have waited for for centuries. The way he kept threatening to hurt her put me off, big time. I admit, until he started acting with more kindness toward her, I simply thought that I'd hate Emma if she fell for such an abusive character. I know, I know, his torture made him insane... but either it wasn't written well enough to make me feel it justified it, or I just can't accept his behavior for any reason.I did not like Emma, either. There wasn't something I could pinpoint as the reason, but she was just... not enough. Lacking. And downright contradicting. On the one hand; she is terrified of him and fears for her life. On the other; she talks about allowing herself to figure out things about herself and what she's missing (both emotionally and physically) with him (and by the way, who'd contemplate those things with someone you're scared off, just to know how it is?...) On the third hand (I'm a third-handed alien, you see); she doesn't actually allow him to touch her (when she's clear headed) and doesn’t even allow herself to open up to him. Girl, either make up your mind or stop confusing me…Also, I know all about insecurities—I'm a teenage girl, I master insecurities. But she was just so weak minded and freaking insecure, about everything. I'd be able to accept that—if she didn't seem to shake those insecurities quite easily in the second half of the book. Also, I enjoyed the brief bits from the Valkyrie's POV much more than the actual storyline at the first half of the story, which means something. In the second half, when Lachlain grew more kindly and Emma started to behave differently, I started enjoying this book. I even laughed out loud a good half dozen of times. And yet, I found the changes – at least in Emma's behavior, too quick and kind of unreasonable and two swift. For example; she's spent 70 years not knowing how to fight or being able to hurt something, then suddenly, in a manner of a few days (two? Three?) she's suddenly able to battle Cassandra and win. How does that make sense? I mean, I know you're magical and all, but you were magical before, too, and you didn't know how to fight despite it…And Emma, despite it all, is still so contradicting it makes my head spin. One moment she is escaping from Lachlain, the next (quite literally), she is having a mating ritual with him—you can imagine what that includes, right?... What is it with you?...But toward the end, they were quite adorable and sweet. Loved Myth and her general, and the movie scene and the part where they fall to their bed—from a house countries away, of courseThe writing was pretty great, and I liked that it took a long time for the sex, even though it was a major theme since the beginning (and I don't like that, by the way – relationship that seem to exist solely on sexual attraction…), they didn't actually commit the deed until much later, when they knew each other better, which I liked. Not my favorite book and I won't be rushing to buy it, but I WILL look at more of this author's work and read more of this series (mostly interested in Lucia and Garret, to be honest).