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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Book Review: 23:27 by H.L. Roberts

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blog Tour & Book Review: Deep Kiss of Winter (Immortals After Dark, #8) by Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter

Title: Deep Kiss of Winter
Series: Immortals After Dark
Book Number: 8
Author(s): Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter
Genre: Fiction- Paranormal Romance 
Finished: December 21, 2009

Comprised of two novels, Deep Kiss of Winter combines the talents of Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter in to a compelling, riveting two story novel full of romance and drama. In Cole's Untouchable, Murdoch Wroth will stop at nothing to claim Daniela the Ice Maiden -- the delicate Valkyrie who makes his heart beat for the first time in three hundred years. Yet the exquisite Danii is part ice fey, and her freezing skin can't be touched by anyone but her own kind without inflicting pain beyond measure. Soon desperate for closeness, in an agony of frustration, Murdoch and Danii will do anything to have each other. Together, can they find the key that will finally allow them to slake the overwhelming desire burning between them? In Showalter's Tempt Me Eternally, Aleaha Love can be anyone -- literally. With only skin-to-skin contact, she can change her appearance, assume any identity. Her newest identity switch has made her an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent and sends her on a mission to capture a group of otherworldly warriors. Only she becomes the captured. Breean, a golden-skinned commander known for his iron will who is at once dangerous and soul-shatteringly seductive, threatens her new life. Because for the first time, Aleaha only wants to be herself.

Untouchable was my first experience with Kresley Cole. I am always a little hesitant, too, when authors add a lexicon or a glossary to their books when the book isn't a series. Yet, I dove into Untouchable with an open mind and a significant amount of interest in this world Cole had created. I rather liked the idea of there being a 'Lore' full of strange creatures and magical beings. Though, I have to say that I wish the book were a fantasy series, and not paranormal romance. I think the world, the creatures, and the premise was excellent, but the overdone romance elements takes away from the pure fantasy creativity behind it. Or maybe that is just my biased dislike of romance in general talking. Let me not make it seem as if I did not like the story, because I did! I thought it was excellent. The characters were great, the plot was amazing, and I just fell in love with the world Cole created, which is why I totally plan to read more of the Immortals After Dark series that the book is a part of. Cole's world seems complicated, but it breaks down into a few easy things. You have the Lore, which are these creatures. Within it are creatures such as Valkyrie, Vampires, Demons, and Icere. Vampires are on an eternal search for a Bride (I guess there are no female vampires out there looking for Grooms?), who will once again make his heart beat and his passion boil. Once he meets his bride, he is blooded to her. His longing for her is almost unbearable. 

Well, Murdoch the Sexy becomes blooded to a half ice fey, half Valkyrie woman he cannot touch because touch burns her cold skin. They can't do it, naturally, since his touching her would cause her a lot of pain and possible death. So, not only must they work together to overcome other preternatural creatures, but also learn how to surmount their difficult romance. I admit, I did get a little annoyed with how the storyline just moved from one thing to the next. There was this great build up about wars and vampire rivalries and then, out of nowhere, the book just moves on past them and says, "oh well, everything was fixed" and introduces all new plots. It was very disappointing and made me wonder why all the build up for a resolution we don't even get to experience? Showalter's story Tempt Me Eternally is part of her Alien Huntress series, though I have never read any of the other books in the series and walked into it sort of clueless as to Showalter at all. I have heard the name before since a few of my friends are fans of her other series', but I was a Showalter novice until this point. In the novel, Aleaha Love is a shapeshifter of sorts, but she cannot let anyone know for fear of her own life. This is romance, though, so a hot, hunky guy has to come in somewhere. And that guy is Breean, a Rakan, who imprisons Aleaha in the hope of using her for ransom in order to be allowed to live on Earth since they cannot return to their own home planet. It is only natural in the course of a romance plotline for the Rakan Breean and Aleaha to decide they like each other complete with the banter of two people who are opposites but eventually discover they are perfect for each other. Okay, so the endings of romance novels are very predictable. How often do the couple decide not to be together? Or that their differences are too insurmountable? Or hey, someone dies? Not often, and only in a series when there is lots of time to work everything out by the end to wrap up a happy ending. I like happy endings, I do. Which is why books like Deep Kiss of Winter are so fulfilling. You get what you want! No anti-climactic endings to make you walk away numb and disappointed. Though, of course, the nature of predictability gives very little in surprises. Which is why, of course, authors have to ultimately make up for this shortfall by creating good plots, great characters, and amazing stories. Cole and Showalter did. Excellent book!

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