Saturday, February 18, 2017

Book Review: Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Gena Showalter

Author: Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Gena Showalter
Series: Immortals After Dark #1, MoonBound Clan Vampires #2.5, Otherworld Assassin #2.5
Audience: +18
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: September 20th 2016
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Good things always come in threes—and this paranormal romance anthology featuring steamy stories from New York Times bestselling authors Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter is no exception!

Get ready for a collection chock full of vamps, demons, aliens, and plenty of sizzle!

In Kresley Cole’s celebrated story “The Warlord Wants Forever,” the first in her scorching Immortals After Dark series, vampire warlord Nikolai Wroth will stop at nothing to claim his Bride, the one woman who can make his heart beat again. But can beautiful Myst the Coveted accept an enemy vampire as her own?

Tehya has spent the last twelve years as an accidental wolf, but is truly a vampire at heart. When she gets injured, Lobo sneaks her inside MoonBound’s headquarters and nurses her back to health…with potentially deadly consequences. Desire collides with danger in “Forsaken by Night,” a MoonBound Clan novella from Larissa Ione!

In Gena Showalter’s Otherworld Assassins novella, Dark Swan, Lilica Swan isn’t quite human or otherworlder; she is the best—and worst—of both. She is willing to do whatever proves necessary to save her sister from the seductive and deadly Alien Investigation and Removal agent, Dallas Gutierrez, even bond her life to his…effectively wedding him. But without consummation, the bond will fade. Can Dallas resist his insatiable desire for the powerful beauty? Or will she lead to his ultimate downfall?

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating of the book or the content of this review in any way.

A few years ago, before I started book blogging, I discovered the world of paranormal romance. Around that time, I fell in love with Ione's demons and Cole's valkyries. Then last year I stumbled across Showalter's alien hunters. Fast forward a few months, and then Blood Red Kiss is a thing, putting three of my favorite authors into one book. Can you say heaven?

As someone already familiar with the world of the Immortals, I knew Nikolai and Myst's story. I've already read it, and I vaguely remembered some of the details, but I was nevertheless excited about reading it. Myst is a wonderful character, and it was interesting to read about her now, a few years after being introduced to her, and see how the way I saw her changed from the first time I read it. And of course I see her differently. I was able to focus on her flaws, and I think her pride might be the biggest one. She's proud, but she's also the most loyal person, because she'd be willing to do anything for those she loves. And Nikolai is still intriguing, he's still mysterious, but he's also a tad vengeful. They shouldn't fit together as well as they do, but I still get a funny feeling when I read about them saying "I love you" to each other. And then there are the rest of the Valkyries, which are, as usual, a riot to read about. I'm planning on doing a reread of this series, tp see if there are any new stuff to be discovered about Nix, try to catch a glimpse of my love, Lothair, and generally reacquaint myself with everyone.

I can't remember if Lobo appears in the first MoonBound Clan Vampires book. I'm inclined to say yes, but I can't be 100% sure. I loved his story though, so, so much. It was interesting to see how Ione decided to combine vampires and werewolves and make this amazing, new take on their mythology. Lobo is a sexy guy. But he's also a tortured soul. I love reading about him finally getting to say what he needed to say, what his former clan needed to hear for a very long time. I love these big moments, when someone regarded as inferior gets to say his or her side of the story and the people on the receiving end of the harsh truth get to be stunned and basically ashamed of acting like they're the kings of the world. And Lobo gets such a moment, and I couldn't be happier for him. I loved the beginning of the novella, with him and Tehya, his wolf, running and playing in the forest.

I've only read one book in Gena Showalter's Alien Huntress, but I loved the idea of this world a lot. I also like the fact that there's a bunch of connected series surrounding this world. I enjoyed reading Lilica's story so much. What I loved about this story is that it explores the same issue from different points of view. You have Dallas who sees Lilica as a potential threat and her sister as someone who needs to be hunted down, you have Lilica who's trying to prove her sister is not so guilty as she seems, and then there's Lilica's own sister who proves to be completely different than what either thought she was. I loved reading about Dallas and Lilica, but I am super, super curious to read about about Lilica's sisters after this novella.

And in case you need one more reason to love this book, there's a fantastic part in this book showing the way these three authors procrastinate... I mean *ehem*... brainstorm. It's funny to get to experience that, but also super, super intriguing, because they drop some interesting hints about what's to come in these three series.

Lately I've had the need to "go back to basics", in a way, to find why I fell in love with reading in the first place, and this book reminded me why. Believe it or not, it wasn't the fun, hot, sexy times in the book that did it. And believe me, there where a lot of hot, sexy times in it. But the stories in general, the creation of new worlds, using mythological elements and figures, supernatural creatures, and creating new creatures, new elements, it's just what attracted me to reading in the first place. I definitely loved this book, and I cannot wait to see what these three ladies have in store for their series in the future.

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