Friday, 30 October 2009

Review – Kiss of Moonlight © Stephanie Julian

Title: Kiss of Moonlight

Author: Stephanie Julian

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave (Jasmine Jade)

Main Character: Tamra McMillan & Kyle Rossini

Plagued by nightmares. Stalked by kidnappers. Tamra McMillan needs a safe haven. When tattooed bad-ass Kyle Rossini steps into her life, the last thing she expects to find is a sanctuary from her demons or steaming hot sex. In fact, everything about him screams danger. But appearances can be deceiving. The tender possessiveness of his touch, the hunger in his eyes, the scorching sensuality of his kiss—all of it sears him into her soul and brands her as his for life.

But otherworldly forces are afoot and death hovers…

Etruscan werewolf Kyle is a loner. The king’s assassin with a killer’s instincts. The last thing he needs is a mate who could be placed in danger because of him. Until he meets the one woman who needs him more than he needs his solitude. When Tamra, battered but not broken, stumbles into his world and tumbles into his bed, she captures his heart. And nothing—not kidnappers or visions of his possible death—will keep him from her.

 

“Cat, it’s just a cookout. It’s not like I’m going on a date.”

Cat’s sigh sounded so much like her mother’s Kyle almost checked behind him to make sure Margie hadn’t appeared. “Gee, Dad. Do you even know what that word means anymore? Just wear the clothes I picked out for you. And hurry up. She’ll be here soon.”

Cat turned from the door of his bedroom and headed toward the kitchen, where she started banging bowls around and gathering ingredients out of the fridge, leaving Kyle to finish dressing.

He had to admit he’d been stewing about what to wear as he took a shower. Which just pissed him off. This wasn’t africking date.

Yeah, so why are you acting like a teenager going to a dance?

Because he was an idiot, that’s why.

Grabbing the t-shirt off the bed, he pulled it over his head. Plain black but not as loose as he normally wore. He turned toward the mirror and realized the tight fit emphasized his shoulders, chest and arms. Tinia’s teat, he looked like a hard-ass biker with the tattooed runes on his left arm and the muscles bulging.

He’d probably scare the girl away.

Except the shorts kind of balanced it out, made him look a little more normal.

Yeah, like the reformed convict down the street doing his lawn.

“And they have a pocket for your knife,” Cat had noted when she’d set them out. “So you can still be armed even while being fashionable.”

Damn, he loved his kid. But he fucking hated that she knew he needed to carry a concealed weapon.

“Dad, honestly. You’re worse than a girl,” Cat called from the kitchen. “I can hear you sighing all the way out here. Just put the clothes on and come help me. Jeez.”

Yep, someone should just take his balls and hang ’em in a closet somewhere.

Since his combat boots didn’t exactly go with the ensemble and Cat hadn’t bothered to put any shoes out for him, he went barefoot, which he preferred anyway.

 

Review

Kyle Rossini likes is  little slice of the world, it was far removed from society and yet near enough for his friends to know where he is and for his daughter to let her inner self shine.

That said daughter is the one person he loves most in the world, yet she is also the bane of his life with how much she is like her mother. Despite his warning to her to stay on his land and have as much fun as she can, alone – she finds her self more often then not doing her own thing and this time she has guilt him into checking out her new find.

Kyle follow up on his daughters request and goes visiting, he however goes as his other self, which is a big, black, wolf and before long he is privy to a lot of the new neighbours secrets and his wolf his chomping at the bit to make things right for her. However despite all this, one thing Kyle is almost certain of, the new neighbour Tamra McMillan is also his mate.

Tamra McMillan is in hiding and mostly from herself – after going through a traumatic experience both physically and emotionally less than a year ago, she is barely surviving. All she does is move from place to place and watches who and what is around her. Her last stop is little more than a house in the middle of nowhere and she is not expecting to find anyone out here to talk to – yet she finds herself talking to two dogs as she doubts  they are wolves in this part of the world.  But more than the two pooches she has visitors and they are unlike any body else that she has ever met. The young lady Cat is vibrant, tenacious and does not know how to take no for an answer. Her dad Kyle is just about the hottest man she has ever seen and also the first man in along time that her libido has stood and said HELLO to.

Once these three meets things escalates at a fast pace and not in a way that made any of the three are any wiser. One of the first bubble to burst is the fact that Kyle and Cat are shifters and from there it’s all a tempestuous situation, with danger, tension, lust and taking chances all rampant and around every corer. Something had to give as Kyle is caught in the middle because as much as he knows Tamra is his mate – he is also the shifter assassin and he is trained to killed.

I have been eagerly awaiting this books for a while now and as soon as Ellora’s Cave put it up this morning I was running up a tab…. I really wanted to try this new new series by this author for a few reasons. Firstly, a while ago  I started Ms. Julian previous series and didn’t even finish the first book – not because it wasn’t any good but because I didn't have the time to appreciate it, secondly I am a big fan of shifter books and from the blurb this was built as something a little different.

 

Highlights

The book begins with Kyle the main protag not only in a heated discussion with his daughter but also with him doing a whole lot of soul searching. I liked how the book opened – it caught my interest and the dynamics between Kyle and his daughter Cat was one of the better scenes of the book.

This is definately book one in a series and it reads like it as well. With introductions here and there and enough back history on the etruscan - Ms. Julian did a great job in laying the framework.

Recently I have found myself not being able to handle books with too much abuse or emotional drama and I was pleased that as much as Tamra has been through a unholy ordeal, it was not detailed – so I empathized with her and I was very sympathetic to what she was going through, but I also knew she had to move on from it all without getting all the gory details.

I loved Kyle, he acted tough, he was tough, but when it came to his daughter and his new mate – he was mush, it was a thrill to see the mighty fall.

I liked the chemistry between Kyle and Tamra, at first  I was not sure Tamra was ready for Kyle after all she had been through – but when a woman see’s what she wants who am I to say any different.

There was a fine balance with the storylines, as much as it was all bits and pieces at first, it came together and soon everyone was on the same page.

The mystery was well thought out – the explanations of the angst and unknown were not outside of the realm of the paranormal and I look forward to where the second book takes this mystery.

I love an author who is not unwilling to share and I was very pleased to see the kindling's of the next books playing out at the end of this story and I was LOVING it… yup I so was…

There is smut involved in  KISS OF THE MOONLIGHT and it was good – not too over the top and with due consideration for the fact that Tamra was cutting loose for the first time in a hell of a long time.

There is an earthiness to this book which I like alot. All the cast were very into nature and in everything they did it was with the intension of giving back to mother nature.

 

Lowlights

This book could have done with a glossary right from the first page. While it didn’t stress me to figure out what was happening and who was what – I really didn’t get up to speed on the whole Etri/ Etruscan situation until about fifty pages in.

There are shifters, witches and etri (humans) presented in this book – however other worldly being or either on the outskirt of the plot or alluded to in KISS OF THE MOONLIGHT, I would love to see them introduced into future books – as they play such an integral part in how the story shapes up.

There is one storyline that I only got a little and I mean a little glimpse of and I was so disappointed this was not the book it was followed up in – I eagerly awaiting that plot line….

 

Bottom line.

A wonderful first book in a series that I was very pleased to have read. There is an excitement to the pace that the book takes which I was very impressed with. The protags are easy on the eyes and on my nerves as well. I was not bored or tired of them in the least and I am looking forward to seeing them again in future books.

The support cast were friendly, nosey and knows how to get their own way all too easily. What issues I had with this book I can deal with because if the little glimpse that I have seem of the second book is anything to go by – it is going to be one hell of a storm … and I can’t wait…. definately a series to watch.

 

16 Speak To Me:

Stephanie Julian on 30 October 2009 at 18:52 said...

Thank you so much for a great review. I'm so glad you enjoyed Kiss of Moonlight!

Judi Fennell on 30 October 2009 at 19:20 said...

Oh Stephanie's world is amazing! You really need to finish Seduced By Magic, and the others in her Seduced series because they're just as full of Etruscan characters and the world. All the world building is wonderful and the characters are delicious.

Great for you for jumping on this new series and getting a review up so fast! Stephanie is an awesome writer!

A Buckeye Girl Reads on 30 October 2009 at 19:22 said...

I'm going to have to read this one!

Mandi on 30 October 2009 at 20:46 said...

Great review - I can't wait to start this one. I am in the mood for a werewolf story!

Adele Dubois on 30 October 2009 at 21:14 said...

Great review! I'm on my way to buy the book now...

Congrats, Steph!

Best--Adele Dubois

Lea on 30 October 2009 at 21:49 said...

Wonderful Review EH!

I too like shifter stories and this one sounds really good. I really don't need another e-book but I think I may well have to download this one.

Thanks for sharing!
L

Smokinhotbooks on 30 October 2009 at 21:53 said...

I'm laughing with your EC, put it on my tab reference. I have to be careful when I'm over there b/c I can run my credit card to the max real quick. I love shifter books, I'll have to check this out. BTW I downloaded not too long ago, Ruby Duvall's books from EC, and I just love her. She recently wrote a time traveling, Scottish, romance.

Great review!

Erotic Horizon on 30 October 2009 at 21:57 said...

@ Stephanie...

I really enjoy this book - I am so looking forward to the two guys at the end story ... write faster....

And thank you very much for teasing me with Cat's little crush.... LOL, I am so wanting to know more.

I will definitely be trying out your other series...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 October 2009 at 22:03 said...

@ Judi...

Thanks for stopping by and recommending the Seduce series....

I did enjoy the world building a lot - so much possibilities left there and I am looking forward to where Stephanie takes this series

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 October 2009 at 22:04 said...

@ A Buckeye Girl Reads

I think you will like this book - I love how Kyle could fit himself into the necessary situation... great protag..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 October 2009 at 22:05 said...

@Mandi

That's just how I am feeling - loads of wolfy books suits me just right...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 October 2009 at 22:06 said...

@ Adele Dubois

Thank you for stopping by - I do hope you get the chance to try this one...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 October 2009 at 22:08 said...

@Lea...

I know what you mean my dear - I don't have space for another book or time - but I was determined to try out this new series...

E.H>

Blodeuedd on 30 October 2009 at 22:08 said...

HI EH,
Hm a but turned off by that cover, that guy is scary, and has no neck.
But it does sound good

Erotic Horizon on 30 October 2009 at 22:10 said...

@Smokinhotbooks

I know what you mean - I had to buy it first thing, because I get frustrated with EC, thy have great books but sometime getting through the buying process is just hair tearing....

Please do try this book if you get the chance...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 October 2009 at 22:13 said...

@ Blodeuedd...

I wasn't even going to mention the cover - because the book was so much more than the cover..

But I agree with you - that boy is totally incredible hulk material....

Good read, definitely good read....

E.H>