Series: Kiss Trilogy #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Published by: FaithWords on October 7, 2011
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Centuries ago, Raphael was a blasphemous knight who fought in the Crusades purely for his own mercenary benefit, and to satisfy his taste for killing. Now, condemned for his evil passions and hypocrisy, he wanders the earth a vampire, cursed with first-hand knowledge of the supernatural world he once denied existed. The powerful relic he still possesses from his days as a Crusader has been stolen by a rival vampire who has recruited an army of soulless underlings to aid him in spreading evil. At the time he learns this, Raphael has been hunting this vampire for nearly a century, and it seems the final battle is destined to take place in Prague.
For help in this quest, Raphael must enlist the aid of two humans, David and Susan, who suddenly find themselves immersed in a world they never imagined, entangled with supernatural forces they can't control. Susan, in particular, finds herself conflicted as she struggles with her inexplicable attraction to Raphael. In the end, both Susan and Raphael will be called upon to exercise courage and faith, and in the process, the question What would happen if a vampire truly accepted God? is answered.
A return to the classic vampires!
When Susan Lambert travels to Prague for her grandmother’s funeral, she welcomes the chance to reconnect with her roots and family. What she didn’t plan on was learning about a dark and dangerous supernatural world, then being thrown right into it when she meets the mysterious Raphael! Vampire Raphael has walked the earth for 900 years, cursed to live forever as penance for his blood thirsty days as a knight of the Crusades. He seeks forgiveness and peace but must first hunt his longtime enemy who plans on creating an evil empire of vampires. To fight this upcoming battle, Raphael enlists the help of Susan and David, two mortals whose faith will be tested in a battle of good vs. evil.
Confession: I’m a cover hussy and initially picked up this book because of the Johnny Depp look alike on the cover. Now that that’s out of the way I can continue… Kiss of Night starts off with a lot of promise, vampires, history and the possibility of romance but takes its time getting to the action. Viguié does a wonderful job of exploring Raphael’s past and how vampires came into existence, there is a bit of religion thrown into the mix as well which I found interesting. The vampires in Kiss of Night are reminiscent of Anne Rice’s vampires, they’re beautiful, ruthless predators who have lost most, if not all of their humanity.
I’m not fond of multiple POV’s and was a bit frustrated with this writing style. I feel the hero and heroine’s POV might have been easier to follow. That being said, I think the characters are well developed, each has a distinct personality and charm. Raphael is a flawed hero who has plenty of sex appeal and charisma. I would venture to say that at first glance he seems like an alpha, but I have a hard time calling him that when he constantly gets his ass kicked. I have no problem with a heroine saving a hero, but when you’re a 900 year old vampire and are being saved by a twenty something human girl, I must question your alpha status! Do I hate him? No, but he hasn’t won me over yet either.
Susan is a fun heroine, she can be naive sometimes but she’s smart, confident and handles learning of the existence of the supernatural extremely well. She’s a protector and sees the best in people, including Raphael, which is one of the reasons I connected with her. There are a few things about her character that I feel could have been executed a little more. For one, the importance of her role in the vampire war is constantly mentioned, but never explained and still remains a mystery. Her family has strong ties to the vampires world but once again we don’t exactly know how or why. The romance between Susan and Raphael is a little awkward and I had a hard time believing how one moment she’s lusting over him and the next she’s utterly terrified of him…pick one! There was no real chemistry between the two, I saw them more as friends not lovers.
The real gems in this story are Susan’s bright and bubbly cousin Wendy and David, the recent transplant turned knight in shining armor/vampire slayer. There’s an instant attraction between the two that just works and I wanted to spend more time exploring their sweet romance. We also meet Paul, a vampire monk who also happens to be a lawyer. His motives are not exactly clear and he has a few secrets I want to learn more about.
All in all, Kiss of Night is an engaging introduction to a unique vampire world I want to explore further. I know a lot of readers have labeled it Christian Fiction but I would call it a vampire romance with some christian elements. If you love a plot driven story with vampires, good vs. evil theme and plenty of suspense (including cliffhangers) I’d highly recommend this trilogy.