Melissa's Reviews > Soul Kissed

Soul Kissed by Courtney Cole
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's review
Jan 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012-reads
Read from January 01 to 02, 2012

**This is a review of a beta copy of Soul Kissed, so there may be some differences between what I have read and the finished product.**

I am a person who values my sleep. I need it. It is essential for my sanity. So I try to be a good girl when I read my books at night and not stay up all night reading them, no matter how much I might enjoy them. Well, all my hard work in trying to create good sleep patterns fell apart when I began this book yesterday evening. I simply could not put this book down. I would say that I was going to read just one more chapter, and then by the end of the chapter I had to continue reading to see what happened next. It was so good.

I am a fan of the Bloodstone Saga books by Courtney Cole, and this book is the first book in The Moonstone Saga, a spin-off series. In this book the main character is Empusa (Em) who was introduced in the last book of the Bloodstone Saga. She is an immortal who is running from her father who wants to kill her, but she is also hiding a little bit from her mother who wants to help her. That help involves Hades, and Empusa has no desire to work with the god of the underworld. Empusa is cursed so that in order to survive she must feed on the souls of mortals, and in order to keep her youth she must feed on the blood of humans as well. She works hard to only take the souls of those who are already headed toward death, somewhat taking away her guilt over her role in their deaths.

It is in the midst of one of these soul sucking trips that Em meets up with Brennan, mortal nephew to one of the newly deceased men. They touch and find that they have an instant cosmic connection. This totally freaks Em out because she has no desire to suck the life out of this young man, so she bolts. But as fate would have it while Em is roaming the beach after a blood sucking hunt she runs into Brennan, and this time he is not going to let her go. He follows her and will not take no for an answer when he attempts to speak with her.

What follows is two people discovering their other half. Courtney Cole can really write soulmate stories. She did a great job with Harmonia and Cadmus in the last series, and in this book she did a wonderful job creating this wonderful relationship between Em and Brennan. I was able to feel the connection between these two characters through Cole's writing. When you pull back from the story and think about things logically it seems like less than an hour is too little time for two people to decide that they are each other's destiny. But in the midst of this story it makes perfect sense. This is not some ordinary mortal romance. This is something that is beyond the rules of humanity. What is nice about the way this relationship is written is that I don't feel as if every single paragraph is simply another recap of how much the two characters pine for one another. To be sure, there is a lot of description of the magnetism between the two of them, but I never felt as if this was over the top. There was just enough to make the point without slamming me over the head with it.

It would seem that such a romance would be doomed to fail when it is between an immortal girl who has a duty to suck the life out of people and an ordinary mortal boy. But there is more to Brennan than he realizes. I won't ruin it by saying exactly who he is and how he relates to the world of the immortals, but he does have a place. Unfortunately even though Brennan has a role to take in the world, his particular role does not make their relationship any easier. In fact, the problems that they face because of the joining of their two roles seems to be one of the driving conflicts of the series. Em seriously has some problems to overcome while running from her horrible father. She has no idea who to trust in the immortal world since so many of the gods have ulterior motives with everything. But even with all of these problems, I think that Em's biggest problem is probably that the one person who she trusts and wants to stay with forever may be the cause of total annihilation. That would be a bit of a bummer in any relationship.

Harmonia and Cadmus make an appearance in this book, and it is nice to see them in it. They fit perfectly into the plot. Hades again plays a role in this story. For now it seems as if his role is somewhat positive, but he is involved for purely selfish reasons. I do enjoy the way he is written in these stories. We also get introduced to Poseidon, god of the seas, and I'll only say that he really ends up being a total creep, much different than I would have pictured him originally.

Cole does an excellent job of creating somewhat complex relationships between characters. No one truly fits into any sort of solid cookie cutter image. They have some layers to their motivations and interactions with one another that it keeps my interest as a reader. I especially liked her portrayal of the relationship between Empusa and her mother. They obviously love one another, but sometimes they find themselves making decisions that strain the relationship.

I really loved the character of Brennan. He finds himself thrust into a world that he could have never imagined a few days earlier, and yet he approaches the weirdness around him with courage and good humor. He does not back down in the face of the powers that face him in this world, and he obviously has tremendous love for his Emmie that will guide his every decision while moving through the world of immortals. I thought that the portrayal of his love was sweet and touching in many ways. The two of them make a great couple, if only their interaction with one another wasn't going to cause such a huge calamity.

This book differs from the Bloodstone Saga books in some significant ways. When reading the Bloodstone books I felt as if I was unwrapping a mystery with Harmonia as she tried to discover exactly who she was and recover her identity from those who stole it from her. In this series I feel as if Empusa still has to create her future. She and Brennan have eternity to work toward, if only they can unravel the knots of their present. Empusa is a wonderful narrator to this story. She has the right mix of strength and vulnerability to make her a character who I can relate to.

I think that I enjoyed this book even more than the books in the Bloodstone Saga. It had a driving plot that kept me turning pages through the night to see what would happen to Em and Brennan. This is not the end of their story. They still have many obstacles to overcome before they can have the eternal destiny with one another that they desire. I enjoyed their love story. I loved the interaction with characters from ancient mythology, bringing ancient legends to life in a very relatable way. This is a book that I will read again and again. A very enjoyable beginning to a new series!
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