I'll go with 4.5. Honestly, with Kresley Cole, it may take a few reads to decide if this is one of my enduring favorites, (eg. [b:Lothaire|10790516|Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #12)|Kresley Cole|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1366322959s/10790516.jpg|15702803], [b:Demon from the Dark|7098304|Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark, #10)|Kresley Cole|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1357611692s/7098304.jpg|7355830], [b:Dreams of a Dark Warrior|8534799|Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #11)|Kresley Cole|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1285724086s/8534799.jpg|13402106]), or just a fun addition, e.g. [b:Shadow's Claim|12988016|Shadow's Claim (The Dacians, #1; Immortals After Dark, #12.5)|Kresley Cole|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1336161703s/12988016.jpg|18147798]. As that list suggests I am especially fond of the Island books, with the major exception of her most recent, [b:MacRieve|8158992|MacRieve (Immortals After Dark, #13)|Kresley Cole|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1360517706s/8158992.jpg|13001065], which was probably the most disappointing book in the series.
But whether this hits the Cole "greatest hits list" or not, without question on first go this is a terrific read, featuring Cole's usual mix of thrilling adventures mixed with great dialogue and scorching sexual tension. Lanthe is a fantastic heroine, an old favorite from several of the earlier books, and Thronos is in the great IAD tradition of sexily brooding, pathologically tormented hotties. This is one of the few couples in the IAD series (along with Regin and Declan) who already have a history together--with centuries worth of injuries and misunderstandings to clear up. Unlike Regin and Declan, Lothaire and Ellie and some other stories, the injuries go both ways, which gets us out of the guy-treating-his-girl-horribly-and-then-being-forgiven trap the books sometimes fall into--our first shot of the couple comes in [b:Kiss of a Demon King|3585344|Kiss of a Demon King (Immortals After Dark, #7)|Kresley Cole|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1357612809s/3585344.jpg|3627605], where Lanthe cuts off Thronos' foot and then mocks him. Given this context, the scenes of their childhood encounters become especially poignant. More than the other books this one is very focused on friendship, which adds a new dimension away from just sexual chemistry and success fighting bad guys.
Unlike Macrieve, this book is closely tied in with a number of books in the series, containing a section on the island and crucial developments in several of the ongoing subplots. One of the great pleasures of this series is the success and intricacies of the cross references between the books, since it rewards obsessive rereaders like myself, (sort of like the episodes in Star Trek: Next Generation where Tasha Yar reappears, which is enough to send a die-hard Trekkie into spontaneous orgasm--er, at least so I have been told, cough cough).
In some ways writing a review of this book is spectacularly irrelevant, since if you've gotten this far into IAD I can't imagine you NOT reading this latest installment. For those who were disappointed with Macrieve, you may be relieved to know that at least one die-hard fan thinks this book is a megaton better. For those who started and gave up on IAD, I can only shake my head in pained wonder. If you have not read the series, I envy you with all my heart--you've got 15 books worth of reading in what I consider to be the absolute best paranormal series out there.
For a discussion of why I recommend this series, especially to those hoping to corrupt their friends to reading erotic paranormal/romance, see my blog post, http://liliafordromance.blogspot.com/2013/02/on-corrupting-er-recommending-books-to.html