Monday, 12 March 2012

Book Review: Slayer's Kiss by Cassi Carver

Title: Slayer's Kiss
Author: Cassi Carver
Series: Book #1 in the Shadow Slayers series
Release Date: 14 February 2012
Number of pages:
344 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Source: ebook review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's WebsiteAmazon, Samhain, Barnes & Noble

Grade: 3.5 stars

Novellus bonus!

Goodreads appetizer: When the past flies in your face, clip its wings.

"The Shadow Slayers, Book 1"

Kara Reed is a supernatural failure. But where her magic falls short, her fists get the job done. The criminal element doesn't stand a chance once she hits San Diego's dark streets.

When two smoking-hot tenants move in next door, she thinks her love life might finally be heating up. Just being near Gavin and Julian is enough to make her want to offer her body on a platter.

Gavin and Julian know it's only a matter of time before the truth comes out. They're fallen angels sent to watch over the king's daughter, one of the last females of her kind. Trouble is, she doesn't seem to think she needs watching-unless they're watching her shimmy out of her clothes.

No matter how tempting her guardians, Kara's not about to let anything stop her from tracking down a sadistic killer who carves into his victims and leaves them for dead. Even when she realizes her target may be the very scourge of heaven from which her angels swore to protect her...

Warning: Contains a kick-ass heroine with a foul mouth, a kind heart and a raging libido, and two fallen angel warriors who wouldn't have her any other way. Watch out for sex in the clouds, a magical island of hedonism and a love triangle that gives new meaning to the term "hot-wings."

Review originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.

My Thoughts: When I read the blurb of Slayer's Kiss I couldn't wait to start reading it, it had everything: kickass heroine, thrilling action, sexy heroes. I just wishit didn't lead me astray. You see, based on the above blurb I was expecting a fast paced and gritty urban fantasy with some sexy heroes and a romantic storyline on the side, but instead Slayer's Kiss is a paranormal romance with some action serving as the side dish to the romance storyline. That's not a problem if that's what you are expecting.

Slayer's Kiss starts out with a bang: Kara, our heroine is hunting down sexual predators with her best friend Amy. They make sure these would-be rapists won't harass any more women when they happen on something darker and bigger they've ever encountered, something terrifyingly evil. But from this moment when the mystery is presented, it gets shelved and basically won't really come on the scene until the very end. After this beginning the mystery and the hunter-heroine take a back seat to cede the scene to the heroes and the wooing, or rather seduction.

Two new neighbours move into Kara's building: the tall, impressively strong and handsome blond Gavin and the dark and playful Julian. Kara doesn't understand why, but whenever she is near either of them she is "in heat" (her words), becoming a mass of raging hormones, not being able to control herself, all she can think about is having her way with them. And here is where I'll tell you one of my main problems with the story. You see the heroes know very well what is happening with Kara but prefer not to enlighten her: she is not a witch as she believed while growing up: she is of a different species, and she is going through some changes (kind of like puberty for her kind). The problem is that while Gavin does the honourable thing and resists Kara's and his hormones' pull Julian has sex with Kara several times in the hopes of getting her pregnant (as females are rare in their species and siring children is also a big deal). I was already shocked that Kara has unprotected sex several times with a complete stranger, but Julian's attitude, that he wants to get her pregnant and bond her to him without her knowledge and consent really pushed my buttons (oh yes I won't even mention hypnotizing and brainwashing her when she got a break from her sex-induced haze and questioned their attraction or Julian's motives...).

Though both heroes were handsome, Julian's manipulative and patronizing behaviour and the fact that Kara who is an assertive, feisty, take-no-shit heroine just rolled over and forgave him for everything irritated me to no end.

Slayer's Kiss is a good and exciting paranormal romance story (even if I personally didn't click with one of the heroes), just be advised that it is not for the faint-hearted: there are lots of steamy quite graphic sex scenes, so I would say it is an erotic paranormal romance, similar to Larissa Ione's Demonica series regarding its level of sexuality.

The world and species Cassi Carver has created are complex and interesting, her writing is fluent and evocative
The shadow had dissolved with the rustle of the cloth, as though it were merely a trick of the full moon and the pleats of the curtains, and the ominous presence she’d felt sputtered out quicker than a flame doused in water.
and Slayer's Kiss is a gripping read. It's just a personal preference that I like urban fantasy better than paranormal romance.
“Let me go, Kara. I’m at the end of my patience with his possessive shit.” Then he snarled at Julian, “If you want monogamy, try another species, you arrogant pile of wing dust!”

Verdict: The plot started out exciting, Cassi Carver's world building was rich with much possibility, the writing was fluent and engaging. The only problem I had with Slayer's Kiss was some of the characters and their irritating behaviour. But still I am curious to see what will happen next to Kara and the universe Cassi Carver has created, so I am looking forward to the next instalment in the Shadow Slayers series.

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 6/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 7/10
Cover: 9/10 - perfect for the story

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