Only a couple of more days left for The Fire and Ice Tour! Here are the stops for today:
Veronica@Mostly Reviews: Selina Fenech:Empath Chronicles
Pragya@The Reviewing Shelf:
This is my second to last post for this event, and I have a good one for you all today! I am excited to welcome author Michelle Rowen here today. Her latest book: Wicked Kiss just released yesterday, so I am thrilled that she was able to take time out of her busy schedule and be here today! For those of you who don't know Michelle here is her bio:
National bestselling author MICHELLE ROWEN writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and young adult fantasy, both light and dark, sexy and sweet, long and short -- it all depends on the story! She's won a Holt Medallion for Best First Book and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Vampire Romance. She also writes under the pen name Morgan Rhodes. For more information, please visit Michelle at her website, Facebook, twitter and Goodreads.
Here is Michelle to tell you a little bit about Wicked Kiss and provide you an excerpt:
Yesterday was the release date for my latest YA novel! WICKED KISS is the sequel to last year’s DARK KISS, and, in a nutshell, it’s about a teenage girl named Samantha whose soul is stolen through a kiss. It’s one of those contagious kind of supernatural problems, since now, without her soul, she is able to take another’s soul through a kiss. And so on. And so on. Since souls are super important to the universal balance, both Heaven and Hell have sent agents – who shockingly look a great deal like very hot teenage boys! Whaat?? ;-) – to earth to combat this problem and keep it from escalating. One of those agents is an angel by the name of Bishop who hasn’t just fallen from Heaven, he’s quickly fallen for Samantha.
Problem: a fallen angel has a soul. And a fallen angel who loses his soul (by, say, a kiss from the girl he’s crazy about) will kill him. It’s a complicated relationship! They shared a kiss in book one that brought this problem to the forefront (with it being both an amazing and potentially devastating kiss) and now, in book two, they are trying to keep their lips off each other while they team up to Save The World. Not as easy as it sounds. Think of souls to a gray like blood to a vampire – with a very willing victim – and you’ve got the right idea. There’s a reason I called this book WICKED KISS!
Here’s a short excerpt from a moment when Samantha and Bishop are dangerously alone together.
I slid my hands up the front of his chest, his skin warm through the thin barrier of his T-shirt. My thoughts were falling away with each moment that passed.
Dangerous. Too dangerous. Cassandra was right.
I needed to kiss him.
This was why he’d come here. All joking aside, all gifts, all information and horrible days pushed away.
He’d come here tonight so I would kiss him. So I could satisfy his inconvenient addiction to me -- even if that meant I might take the rest of his soul.
Bishop’s hands tightened at my waist and he pulled me closer to him, close enough that I could feel the rapid pulse of his heart against mine. His eyes glowed an intense blue. I was lost in those eyes as I slid my fingers over his jaw, cheeks, temples, and up into his dark hair, so soft to the touch.
My lips were only a whisper away from his…..
I had a wicked time writing WICKED KISS and I really hope readers enjoy the book!!
Some sizzling chemistry between those two! Thank you so much Michelle for being here today! Michelle brings a gift for one lucky U.S. reader. She is offering a signed copy of Wicked Kiss to one lucky entrant. For all of you lovely International followers, my friend Jen@Some Like it Paranormal is hosting and International Giveaway for both books! Be sure to check out some of Michelle's other titles such as:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
MY KISS CAN KILL.
I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that's changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone's soul...or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don't...I hurt myself.
Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I'll kill him. Then there's another boy, one I can't hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They're both part of a team of angels and demons that's joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I'll be able to help Bishop-or if I'm just another part of the darkness he's sworn to destroy....
When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...Paperback, 440 pagesExpected publication: February 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Four stars: A wickedly fantastic sequel that provides all the answers!
For Samantha, the clock is ticking. Things are getting more dangerous and difficult by the day. She is still soulless,desperately trying to track down Stephen to retrieve her soul. Before she can find Stephen, she spots a search light in the sky, another angel is sent to help the mission. This time it is a female angel named Cassandra. Samantha is extremely wary of this new team member. She doesn't seem to be telling the team the whole truth as to why she is here. Furthermore, Cassandra is especially attentive to Bishop, causing a dark flare of jealousy in Samantha. The stakes are higher than ever as the grays without their leader, Natalie, are increasing in number, feeding on souls unrestrained, and inexplicably growing more powerful. Samantha learns that grays after a certain period of time undergo stasis. They will either survive this change and come through stronger or die. Samantha's stasis is nearing as her hunger grows and the situation becomes dire. Rampant suicides and deaths are occurring regularly and it is up to the team to stop it. Can Samantha recover her soul and save her city, or will she die trying?
What I Liked:
- Wicked Kiss kicks off into high gear. It wastes little time notching up the action! I was thrilled that this book moved at a high speed pace and that it was full of surprises. There were so many big twists and reveals that I didn't see coming, and I was very impressed with the complexity of the story. This book has plenty to like, and I couldn't get enough.
- I loved that this is only a two book series. While I was a bit sad to see the story come to an end, it was satisfying to uncover all the answers to the dangling questions from book one. I enjoyed the thrilling climax and the sweet happily ever after. I love a good series, but it is nice to be able to pick up a short one every once in awhile. Dark Kiss felt like it was laying down the groundwork and just getting started when it concluded, but rest assured Wicked Kiss picks up all the loose ends and weaves them into a action packed story with a satisfying ending.
- I really enjoyed the romance in this one. It starts as an inexplicable attraction and there are plenty of shaky moments, especially since Bishop is tight lipped and guards his past and secrets well. Not to mention the difficulties that ensue when Samantha kisses him. It is one where you never know from one page to the next if it will work out or not, but in the end I loved it. Thankfully, there is no love triangle either, though Kraven, the snarky demon, does his best to throw a wrench into the shaky romance. I especially liked how Bishop and Samantha are willing to sacrifice everything for each other. There is no better way to say I love you than putting your life on the life for the one you love!
- Again, I was completely astounded by the complexity of Ms. Rowan's world building and ideas on Heaven, Hell, angels, demons and souls. Her world building is very creative and I adored her vision of souls and how everything must remain balanced. Balance is the key, even if that means Heaven and Hell, demons and angels must work together. I particularly enjoyed that the demons were not completely evil, and that the the angels were not completely perfect. If you are looking for a YA paranormal read that is different and filled with intriguing ideas, great characters and a fun romance, definitely pick up these books.
- I was thrilled with the growth and change with Samantha's character. She truly steps up in this sequel and holds her own. She finally takes charge and seizes her powers and in the end she makes a daring, bold and breathtaking move that will astound you. She is definitely a bit more feisty this time, and she has plenty of snarky lines.
- I really enjoyed the relationship that Samantha ends up forming with her nemesis, the popular mean girl, Jordan. The pair are thrown together due to some troubling circumstances and what follows is the start of a shaky alliance. It is always fun to see two enemies have to work together. I admit, it definitely took awhile for Jordan to grow on me, but by the end I really admired and liked her character. Jordan has plenty of spunk!
- I was excited that I finally got the back story on Kraven and Bishop, and I won't say much more as I don't want to spoil it, but let's just say it was very rewarding to learn their secrets and how everything played out. Kraven is all kinds of fun with his snarky banter, and at items, he is dark and dangerous, he is a demon after all, but I think he redeems himself at the end and I hope there are better things in his future.
And The Not So Much:
- This book has a more complex plot and there are several sub plots. The additional storyline that follows the high rate of sudden suicides, the cause and Cassandra's mission felt a bit out of place. I don't think it tied in with the overall story line and it felt like a bit of a distraction. It was an interesting add on, but it really wasn't congruent with main plot.
- One of my complaints with the first book was the lack of parental supervision. That is indeed the case with this book, as Samantha's mother is compelled to take a vacation and she is out of the picture. I did like the movement at the end when Samantha reaches out and attempts to forge a new and better relationship with her parents.
- I was frustrated that I still didn't have a clear concept on demons and angels by the end of the book. Mostly, I wanted to know more about how they came to be, and if a demon, such as Kraven, could ever redeem himself and aspire to be an angel. I adored Kraven and I want things to turn out right for him, especially once I uncovered the secrets to his past. I would certainly love to see a spin off featuring more of Kraven and Jordan as they are both snarky, sassy characters who made me laugh.
- I was confused about Bishop's father. It is never fully revealed how he fathered Bishop and what role he had in his life. This seems like an important piece to the puzzle, especially since Bishop's paternal heritage is what ultimately saves his soul. This was one thread that felt like it was left a bit undone.
Wicked Kiss is a satisfying sequel and conclusion to the two book Night Watchers Series. This book is packed full of action and twists that will keep you engaged throughout. If you read Dark Kiss and were uncertain whether to continue with this series or not, I would highly recommend you pick this up, as it provides all the answers to the lingering questions and it is a great finale. While I was disappointed that the series is already over, I am happy that I don't have to wait another year for the conclusion! I am hopeful that there will perhaps be a spinoff series down the line with Kraven.
"I nodded, thinking back to that night----which was wonderful since I'd met Bishop, but also horrible because, well....I'd met Bishop. He represented the best and worst moments of my life, all in such a a short time."
"I kicked my jealous thoughts into the corner like a pair of dirty socks and tried to ignore them. They weren't helping. Also, they smelled bad."
"I'd met homeless people who had nothing and nobody. It was the most important lesson of my life. Be grateful for what you have, since it can be taken away at any time. Sometimes fate steps in to pull the rug from beneath your feet whether you're prepared or not---and we all fall differently."
"One more thing we don't have in common. I'm an open book. You're...closed with a lock and key."
"You say whatever's on your mind, but sometimes you need to listen with more than just your ears. Words aren't always that reliable."
"Life is a game, beautiful star. ONe with a time limit. And it's time to accept your destiny."
"We all choose our path to walk. Even by not choosing, we're still making a choice that will affect our lives for better or worse."
"Wow, did you just change into your bitch pants?"
"You could take the demon out of Hell, but you couldn't take the Hell out of the demon."
"So, sweetness, I'm back. Don't throw yourself into my arms and embarrass yourself."
I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for and honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.