Review: Dark Kiss, Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss, Michelle RowenTitle: Dark Kiss (Goodreads)

Author:  Michelle Rowen (@michellerowen)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

I don’t do dangerous.  Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that’s me. But I just couldn’t pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me…something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It’s like part of me is missing-and I don’t know if I can get it back. Then there’s Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he’s keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he’s what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.

Details

Series: Nightwatchers #1 (of 3)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Published: Harlequin Teen, May 22, 2012 – e-book versions releasing June 1
My Copy: Digital ARC from Netgalley

Paper copies: Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
E-copies: Amazon.com • Amazon.co.uk • Barnes & Noble

Review

Don’t let the blurb fool you – this book is not about vampires. It’s similar, but it’s souls that are being sucked rather than blood. A team of two angels and two demons have been sent from Heaven and Hell to find the Source of these soul-sucking “greys” and destroy it. Samantha is just a normal seventeen year old, until a kiss changes everything and she discovers mysterious powers she didn’t have before. She meets and helps Bishop, but it’s not long before she’s not sure who she can trust.

Dark Kiss is a fairly typical paranormal romance – girl is attracted to supernatural boy, boy is dangerous but girl doesn’t care, swooning ensues. There are plenty of romantic moments in this story, but they ended up slowing the story down at times as Sam described pages of how she was longing to touch him and could smell his spicy scent. Some of the descriptions and inner monologues were a little wordy, and there is a LOT of dialogue between the characters as well, mostly talking about the same stuff over and over. If one more person referred to Sam as being “special”, I was about ready to throw the book down and scream! Thankfully, the action picked up a lot more towards the end, making up for the earlier slow parts.

Poor Sam doesn’t know who to trust for most of the story as it’s not clear who the “good guys” actually are. The angels are sweet but keep dark secrets. The demons are snarky or downright nasty but they have a softer side. The Source is just trying not to let Heaven and Hell kill off unique snowflakes, or so she says, and it’s all a big mess for Sam to try to understand. This actually makes it quite suspenseful for the reader.

Sam is an interesting character in that she is kind of flighty and undecided. One moment, she hates Bishop and doesn’t want anything to do with the angels and demons, and the next moment she is madly in love with him and is in agony trying not to let herself get too close.  She jumps to conclusions very quickly and gets angry at the drop of a hat, but she is quite a generous person and wants to help everyone if she can. I didn’t really connect with her all that well, partly because I had no idea what she was going to do next! Perhaps I just described a teenage girl. Perhaps it’s been too long since I was one.

There’s an awful lot of past hinted at but left unsaid in this story, leaving plenty of material for the next in the Nightwatchers series. I will probably read it just to see what happens next. I didn’t enjoy Dark Kiss as much as I thought I might, but paranormal romance fans might like it a lot more.

Warnings: Violence. Kissing but no sex.

This book was read and reviewed to be included in the Immortal Reading Challenge.