REVIEW: Kiss and Kin by Kinsey HolleyWednesday, September 2, 2009 13:00
I initially chose this book to review for two reasons: it’s a werewolf story and I love me some shifting wolves, and the heroine is a court reporter. Same as me. So, needless to say, I was quite curious as to what was between the covers of this book. Then my curiosity was piqued even further when I read the dedication page in which Ms. Holley dedicates this book to her two sisters-in-law to whom she said one night, while they all sipped champagne on the porch, that she could write a paranormal romance novel. I was delighted by two of these ideas on one hand and, on the other for the third, well, let’s just say I didn’t see the point.
Let me just get the pointless idea for me out of the way, and, really, it’s neither here nor there as far as the book itself. But I’m not sure why Ms. Holley decided to give Lark the profession of court reporter in this story, only because it’s a unique and interesting profession and a little more could have been done with the idea. It was mentioned twice very quickly and then no more. That’s it.
Okay, yeah, it could have been any profession mentioned and it still would have made the same impact, which was hardly any at all in the grand scheme of things. Even if it was just Lark talking to a friend or fellow reporter about a deposition she’d just reported or something similar could have been utilized. So I wish Ms. Holley would have run a little further with it. But, as I said, that has nothing to do with the story and only mention it because I’m so intimately familiar with it all and saw much more potential for it, especially since that’s part of what drew me to the story.
The story and characters are a whole other matter entirely. Lark is somewhat related to Taran, a Houston PD detective, not by blood but by marriage. She’s known him most of her life and has been in love with him for years now. Because he treats her like a younger snotty sister, she’s never said anything to him about her feelings. She dreams about him quite a bit, though. Erotic dreams, dreams that wake her up and leave her in a frustrated, worked-up sweat.
As fate would have it, Lark is Taran’s mate, but he’s held his tongue about that fact because she’s always looked at him like an older brother, not like someone she’d like to spend heavenly bliss with the rest of their lives. When she gets thrown into the middle of the case he’s currently working on — three local women have disappeared after associating with Eastern European wolves — by being nearly kidnapped by said wolves, the need to protect her rushes to the fore and he demands she stay with him after that close call and until the case is solved.
That’s where things begin to heat up very, very quickly. I loved the scene in which they make love for the first time, partly from fear, partly from adrenaline, partly from a consuming desire. It’s intense, very sexy and hot. Little does Lark know this lovemaking is actually a claiming, something Taran doesn’t share with her when he should, and he pays for that omission the next day when Lark discovers what he’s done. Angry as hell, she leaves him to think things through, to make sure this is what she wants, but more importantly that it’s what he wants instead of what he’s forced into by his very nature.
All the while, of course, the bad wolves are after Lark and it’s up to Taran to keep protecting her. There’s a couple of terrific fight scenes between wolves, made all the better because it’s Taran trying to get to his mate before they do. The secondary characters are well done, especially Nick, the pack alpha, and his assistant T.J., who is also Lark’s best friend. There has to be a story there for those two characters. At least I hope so. They’d make an interesting couple and there’d be a lot of fun just getting to their HEA. I was a little disappointed in the eventual villain. A little convenient and not difficult to figure out.
Other than that, this is a great first book for Ms. Holley. She definitely can write a paranormal romance and does it very well. As an aside, Ms. Holley, please add a Books page to your website. It’s very frustrating not finding a lot of info there about your books, current or future. That’s the main reason a reader goes to your site, and there’s none to be found.
On the surface, court reporter Lark Manning looks like the luckiest girl in the world, blessed with great friends and a wonderful family. Underneath, she harbors a hopelessly unrequited love for the sexy werewolf everyone thinks of as her cousin. Taran rarely notices her except to condescend or lecture. He’s treated her the same way since she was eight years old, and there’s no reason to think he’ll ever change.
Taran Lloyd, a detective in the Houston Police Department’s Shifters Investigations Unit (SHIU), lives for those rare moments he gets to spend around Lark, torturing himself with what he can’t have. Kin only by marriage, she thinks of him as her big brother. He couldn’t bear her pity—or her disgust—if she learned he wants her for his mate.
When weres from a rival pack attack her, Lark screams out the first name that comes to mind—Taran. Only this sexy alpha can keep her safe until they find out who wants her dead, and why. But keeping her safe means keeping her close. And the closer they get, the harder it gets for these not-really-cousins to honor their commitment to keep their paws off.
Read an excerpt.