Monday, January 17, 2011
Review - Kiss At Your Own Risk by Stephanie Rowe
After a century of torture, Blaine Underhill and his friends finally make a bid for escape but just as they near their goal, their arch torturer, Angelica, arrives to stop them. All of them escape except Blaine's life long friend, Christopher. Blaine vows to return and save his buddy. The question is how can he save Christopher and haul the both of them out of the Den again? The answer is, he can't. If he goes back in, he needs to find a way to kill Angelica. He needs a Black Widow who can find the secret to killing anyone.
Trinity Harpswell is on the verge of curing her curse with just one week to go. All she has to do is NOT fall in love with AND kill another man. Being a Black Widow is hell on a girl's love life. But if she can keep from killing for this one week, she'll be free to have a normal life. Then an old boyfriend shows up and the Black Widow comes to life. Luckily, her father rushes in to keep her from killing the poor guy. Unfortunately, the poor guy gets killed anyway and her father is accused of the crime. The only way she can save her father is to find a creature known as the Chameleon. The problem with that is she'll have to kill the Chameleon before the week is out. Bad news for her, good news for the Black Widow in her.
Then she meets Blaine, a man at once honorable and with a lack of concern when it comes to killing that she finds dreadful and curious. Blaine sympathesizes with Trinity and offers an exchange. She tells him how to kill Angelica, he'll kill the Chameleon for her. Blaine is pure warrior but all that time in Angelica's clutches have given him certain...oddities. He can tell the difference between lavender and apricot scents, has appreciation for colors...and can do needlepoint. He's also been trained in how to please a woman. Well trained. Very well trained, if you know what I mean.
Lest you think this is standard paranormal romance fare, let me assure you, it's absolutely fresh and totally funny. Funny? Oh yeah. One of the evil minions is a schnoodemgon, a magical cross between schnoodles, demons and dragons. While Angelica is the big bad, these little mutant puppies are pretty nasty in their own right. But Angelica has her own problems and it's not just her escapees. You almost feel some sympathy toward her but then you think about the schnoodemgons.
Ms Rowe gives us a hugely imaginative world that will grab you the minute you open the pages. The dialogue is brisk and snappy and shows a wealth of humor. Best of all, Blaine and his friends are simply...yummy. If you see Kiss At Your Own Risk, I suggest you buy it. It's a fun, hot read for a cold, snowy January.