I was ashamed that I didn't touch a Kresley book for half a year. I had a book... I simply just could no...moreDeep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole: 4/5 stars
I was ashamed that I didn't touch a Kresley book for half a year. I had a book... I simply just could not open it. Daniela's story sounded amazing when I heard the blurb for it. I love people who have an affinity with an element (as you may or may not see in the near distant future with the current book I'm writing), and yet... here I was, avoiding Deep Kiss of Winter.
I think it was due to this intricate situation I had imagined for Daniela and Murdoch. So in the fear of shattering my dream, I put it off. Plus, the cover was positioned perfectly so that I could turn to stare at it. Yum!
When I finally did read this story last week, I was once again absorbed by Kresley's awesome writing skills. Yet, in the back of my mind, something seemed... well, off. Halfway through the text, I was growing slightly bored, which is strange since I never grow bored reading the IAD series.
The characters are, as always, engaging. Daniela and Murdoch were painted beautifully, and I felt an initially strong connection with the two of them. I was confused though, and would have appreciated a warning due to the story starting off way before A Hunger Like No Other. I kept flipping back to the start, tilting my head in confusion, which distracted me. As I continued, it began to make sense.
Which is probably the first problem I had with this shorter story: it spanned so many years, with not a lot happening between the two, that I didn't fully believe in the romance. One hears lots and lots of snippets of what occurs in the first four books, but I felt as if I were wasting away with Daniela because she was living in such solitude.
The two had settled after a certain amount of months, which also seemed strange to me. I understand why there was this sort of... apathetic acceptance, but Daniela was Murdoch's bride! Man up and be more passionate (I say that half-seriously, because Murdoch does try at times). And Daniela was apathetic in her own way, secluding herself the way she did. I missed the fun immortal interactions one usually experiences when reading an IAD book. Everything was just secluded and lonely, and yet, it worked. It worked for the story and those two characters.
The scenes where Daniela and Murdoch did interact melted my insides. I felt the connection when the two weren't at odds with each other, and that pleased me. The start to the book reflects that urgency perfectly, which is the kind of writing I've come to expect in regards to Kresley's books. An icicle. A freakin icicle! Pure genius.
Ultimately, Kresley's part in this book summoned both positive and negative feelings. I simply felt that stretching the story out over so many years didn't work for me. I enjoyed the start, and I loved the passion, which was there and wasn't at the same time. If this is your first time reading one of Kresley's books, I highly suggest you begin from the start. This story might turn you off from her writing, which would be a horrible crime, considering her books are amazing. And for those of you who are already familiar with Kresley? This book isn't mandatory for the storyline, but it's still a nice addition.
Deep Kiss of Winter by Gena Showalter: 4/5 stars
Gena has done it again. I'm surprised that it took me so long to finally start reading this book (when I had bought it literally within the first month that it was released). I would like to believe that I wanted to procrastinate, since Daniela's story was one that I was genuinely looking forward to. Gena's story was unfamiliar to me, and while I love her writing, I felt no true initial excitement for the plot...
...Until I actually read the story. In true Gena fashion, readers are introduced to a strong, determined heroine, and an equally strong, sexy alpha male. Aleaha is not your typical earth woman. In fact, it would be surprising if she was human at all. She has the special ability to shift into any person she comes in contact with. If we met, she could probably shift into me, you, or even your annoying kid brother. It sounds nice, right? Wrong. Instead of being able to live her own life, Aleaha has been living other peoples' lives, forced to always live in fear. For you see, her true appearance has a warrant out for her arrest. Apparently, Aleaha wasn't such a good girl.
Breean, on the other hand, is your typical alien--if you count gold skinned, tall, muscled, and sexy as hell as a typical alien look. If that's the new fashion sense amongst aliens, then please, abduct me any day now. He had me under his spell within the first page of reading about his character. Which is weird, because I'm not much of an alien fan girl (no, I have not read her Alien Huntress series yet. But I will! ...when Darkness Eternal comes out in September). In fact, my initial reluctance delayed my reading of this tale by a week because I was so wary.
Would just like to say that once again, in regards to Gena's writing, I'm an idiot. I should have more faith!
Aleaha is the heroine who must resist the male's advances. One can't blame her, however, since these unwelcomed guests paid a surprise visit to earth, and then proceeded in killing a few of her team members. The story continues on from there, with our beloved and sexy alpha trying to seduce Aleaha every chance he gets. This leads to some amusing scenes later in the book.
It also leads to one of the best sex scenes Gena's written in a while. This was so creative and amazing that I'm still floored when I look back and ponder over it. I enjoyed it much more than the icicle scene in Kresley's story (I JUST UTTERED BLASPHEMY). I know. I can't believe it. I think Gena just surpassed Kresley in my mind after reading this book.
Surprisingly, I have no complaints. For a shorter length story, it was enjoyable, although I do wish the ending was more dramatic, and less convenient. Fans of Gena will love this tale. New fans will have no problem adjusting to this world, since it seems (haven't read the AH series though, so I'm not sure if these characters already made a debut in that universe or what) that the reader needs no prior knowledge of this alien infested world. At least, I didn't wonder if I was missing any vital information.(less)
I always know, without a doubt, that when I crack open a book written by the talented Kresley Cole, I will absolutely adore it. How can I not? She's c...moreI always know, without a doubt, that when I crack open a book written by the talented Kresley Cole, I will absolutely adore it. How can I not? She's created numerous witty and tortured characters who have made me laugh hysterically with their wacky banter and tear up in sympathy when they struggle to overcome their pasts and differences. She's created characters who never cease to grow old in my eyes. She created Scottish werewolves, who are pretty much the coolest creation in the paranormal world!
Of course it would be no surprise, then, that I would enjoy DEMON FROM THE DARK. What was surprising? That I enjoyed Carrow and Malkom almost as much as Mariketa and Bowen (who are THE ultimate PNR couple for me folks, they're the main characters in the book I've read about 9 times now that I've been going on and on about). So much, in fact, that I can guarantee you all I will be reading this particular story at least one more time this year.
I received DEMON FROM THE DARK courtesy of Kresley and her wonderful manager, Brooke, about a week before the release. I read it in two days--well, more like two nights. Carrow and Malkom were there for my entertainment when I needed a bit (okay, a lot) of cheering up. Their story helped distract me for hours on end. Their story made me smile. It made me laugh. It finally coaxed me into a relaxed state after hearing some bad family news. When the book and its characters have the ability to do that, one knows it's a keeper.
I'll admit I was somewhat worried when Ruby entered into Carrow's chaotic life. I primarily enjoyed Carrow's character because she and Mari were crazy. They're modern. They love to have fun. To suddenly have her transform from some crazy bachelorette into a protective, motherly figure... well, I thought it was going to be weird. Then I started worrying that she was going to become tame and boring.
This was not the case.
In fact, upon first meeting Malkom, Carrow is anything but tame. She's feisty and crazy and knows how to stand her ground. I loved the initial interactions betwixt the two. Loved how Kresley created an additional barrier that would make said interactions that much more difficult and taxing. It was both a unique and interesting approach, one that was skillfully accomplished and left me craving for more of those entertaining experiences.
Malkom is the epitome of an angsty alpha and I can't help but love him for it. He's just so... I don't even know how to describe him! Take the qualities of a protective, sweet, and caring individual and wrap them all up in a sexy package and that's Malkom for you. Chances are, you will absolutely adore him in the first half of the book when he gets to know Carrow. As for the second? Well, I think my sympathy split between the hero and heroine then. (And you should tell me if the same thing happened to you!)
I wasn't entirely thrilled with the way he treated Carrow later in the book, nor was I entirely happy with the way she simply put up with said behavior. For some reason, I expected her to stand her ground instead of being so timid. But hey, she did what she had to do to get her man back, so I can deal.
The plot is, like any of the other Immortals After Dark books, unique. What's even more exciting is the fact that Mariketa--my favorite heroine ever--had a few scenes in her point of view. Readers also, towards the end of the book, get reunited with quite a few of the other heroes and heroines from past books in this series. I always love when an author re-explores older characters and reassures readers that they haven't grown tame and... boring. Nope, these ladies were anything but tame!
Although I received an ARC of DEMON FROM THE DARK, I've got the final copy pre-ordered (along with Larissa Ione's SIN UNDONE). I eagerly anticipate receiving both next week, and cannot wait to dig into this story once again when I get a craving to explore this unique and interesting story line. For all you Kresley fans out there, DEMON FROM THE DARK does not disappoint. You love your heroes with tortured pasts? Malkom is as tortured as they come. You love your heroines to have a bit of spunk and feisty-ness? Carrow's your girl.
And for all of you unfamiliar with the Immortals After Dark series? What the hell are you waiting for? Jump on the bandwagon, because you guys are seriously missing out.(less)
I fail for not reading this sooner. It was an enjoyable KC read, but not my favorite. The middle dragged for me, and I found Lucia and Garreth to be w...moreI fail for not reading this sooner. It was an enjoyable KC read, but not my favorite. The middle dragged for me, and I found Lucia and Garreth to be weaker in comparison to the other Weres and Valkyrie in this series. (less)
Maddox is the keeper of Violence, a demon that causes the poor immortal to be susceptible to fits of rage. Cursed to repeat the same ministrations of...moreMaddox is the keeper of Violence, a demon that causes the poor immortal to be susceptible to fits of rage. Cursed to repeat the same ministrations of a death every single night for the rest of eternity, it's no wonder that Maddox is feeling a bit moody.
All that seems to change, however, when he meets the mysterious and gentle Ashlyn. She appears to be a normal human being, but there's something unique about her--and not just the way she soothes Violence, either.
I had originally stumbled upon Gena's writing through Kresley Cole. Being an rabid avid IAD fan, and since it was suggested to check out this new Lords of the Underworld series, I bought the first book.
Even in 2008, I understood the first time I read The Darkest Night that I had stumbled upon an amazing author with major potential, and an equally amazing storyline. This is one of the most unique series that I have come across while reading paranormal romances. Add that with the fact that these heroes are sexy, sexy men, and you've got yourself a recipe for lots of smitten readers.
Ashlyn is delicate and peaceful--the perfect counter to the keeper of Violence. This gentle, almost motherly nature worked for the story, however I remained somewhat unsatisfied. I enjoy my heroines when they are tough, outspoken, and crazy. Despite my preferences to kick-ass female leads, I could not help but like Ashlyn anyway. She wormed her way into my heart.
Maddox was delicious. He is the first of the males in this series that you encounter, and he does not disappoint. It was such an interesting approach by making someone who was so susceptible to violent rampages to be overly protective of those he held dear. The way he acts around Ashlyn made my heart melt. What a guy!
Overall, while some may not prefer the docile feminine lead, The Darkest Night is a fantastic start to a sizzling hot series you would regret not reading.(less)
Typically, women would find the keeper of Promiscuity as the most attractive of them all. As the keeper of Death, Lucien accepted that, understood tha...moreTypically, women would find the keeper of Promiscuity as the most attractive of them all. As the keeper of Death, Lucien accepted that, understood that his scars would repel women. He was satisfied with his life of leading the Lords without any distractions.
He wasn't expecting a particular minor goddess, a sexy little outspoken creature, to take an interest in him. Was this a game? What was wrong with her for being attracted to a creature such as he?
Just as this idea of getting to know Anya--minor goddess of Anarchy--floats into his mind, he is commanded to execute her. What will he do now?
Lucien's insecurity re-broke my heart, despite me knowing the outcome of this tale. His character was such a respectable one, admirable in so many ways. Despite being the keeper of Death, Lucien had a cool hold on his temper, never once letting it flare. He is, in my eyes, the most levelheaded of them all.
Anya is--just like Ashlyn was for Maddox--the perfect match for Lucien. She is such a fun, strong, kick-ass feminine lead. I will even go so far as to say that she is one of my top favorite ladies in this series because she brings such lightheartedness into the scenes she's in.
Once again Gena has written an amazing book to continue in her Lords series. Each new set of characters introduced in these books all differ in so many fun and interesting ways. The best part? When I first read The Darkest Kiss, I still had no idea which direction Gena would take in this series. Even now, 5 books in, I still don't know what will happen.(less)
Reyes, keeper of Pain, cannot experience pleasure without pain. This equates to bringing pain into the bedroom, drawing out the violent natures of tho...moreReyes, keeper of Pain, cannot experience pleasure without pain. This equates to bringing pain into the bedroom, drawing out the violent natures of those he sleeps with. Due to this, Reyes has refused taking any future sex partners. Who would ever want to draw out the worst in someone?
All of this changes upon seeing Danika. While he doesn't try to bed her--for fear of corrupting her pure spirit--he does lust after her. This lust conflicts with his desire to keep her safe, especially from a Lord succumbing to his bloodlust, hellbent on destroying her and her family.
Upon discovering a few years ago that the third book in this series would be about Reyes, I was excited to see the direction Gena would take. How would Danika and Reyes cope with Pain? If you were thinking what I was at the time, she would probably take a kinky direction towards her love scenes, ones that would probably make me gape.
Strangely enough, instead of being mesmerized by Reyes and Danika, this is the book where I originally began to pity and respect Aeron's character. Reyes and Danika were a great read--even if I felt that Danika was a bit whiney and annoying at times--yet it was Aeron's character who resonated with me the most. How would it feel to be that consumed by bloodlust, commanded to kill one of your best friend's lovers? How would it feel to be chained away because you couldn't be trusted?
I admit that a part of me was cheering for Danika to be taken out. Particularly after the incident with the Hunters and her continued rejection. She was so brutal at times, whereas, Reyes was tortured. He genuinely cared for her, yet she kept shoving his feelings back into his face. That is the type of quality that I frown down upon in a person, and in this case, a character. Then again, sometimes I take my frustrations out on the people I care about when I'm stressed out too, so I can't look down upon the woman too much.
With that in mind, I will simply acknowledge that she was not one of my favorites. Ironic that the two human females are my least favorite in the series. Go figure. Despite my initial distaste for Danika, she redeemed herself by the end of the book. Oh, and by the way, the conclusion was a HUGE shock the first time I read this. It also made me respect Paris that much more, too. (less)