He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all, but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle. In a single erotically charged moment Tess is plunged into his world–a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.
Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. Tess is a complication he does not need–but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself. For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm…and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires, and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself….
“Vibrant writing heightens the suspense, and hidden secrets provide many twists. This is a dark, steamy tale filled with intricate plotlines; it stands easily on its own outside of the series . . . KISS OF CRIMSON is a winner and will have readers eager for the next Midnight Breed story.” –Romance Reviews Today
The Review [5/5 Stars]
Kiss of Crimson is one of my absolute favorite novels in this series! Dante is just… I cannot describe why I love him and it make sense to be honest. He’s just one of my favorite warriors of the Order, the others you will find out as I get to their books. I was glued from page one with Kiss of Crimson and it really got me invested in the overall story which carries through each book. Though I doubt I ever would have picked KoC up if I hadn’t made my way through Kiss of Midnight.
KoC is much darker than KoM as the war between the Order and Rogues has escalated greatly with the invention of a Breed drug called Crimson that’s being sold to young Breed males. We are introduced to the Enforcement Agency through agent Sterling Chase who becomes a member of the Order after some time (he has his own novel in the series now) and the Darkhaven raised Breedmate Elise Chase, whose mate is also in the Enforcement Agency and is Sterling’s brother. Her book is number three and explains a great deal more about the civilian women and Breed. The main difference between the Order and the Enforcement Agency is warriors and bureaucrats. The Order is a SWAT team while the Enforcement Agency are more politics and trials with all the paperwork and much less bloody clothing. KoC also shows a different side of things that I hadn’t encountered in PNR before. Vampires are predators and, as we all know, murderers by circumstance, but in KoC it isn’t just the vampires that are murderers. It shows the terrors of humanity as well, which tend to be lost in a lot of Vampire PNR novels.
I think part of the reason I fell in love with Dante was his weapons. He has two custom blades he uses which are his signature and when I imagine them I get weak in the knees. Tess, however, is also one of my favorite Breedmates of the series. She’s careful but she’s much stronger than she realizes and it takes her some time to realize it. Similar to Kiss of Midnight, Tess has no idea she is a Breedmate, she was raised in normal human society and hides her Breedmate gift which is extremely powerful and volatile. The push and pull between Dante and Tess had me chewing my nails through most of the book, especially when it went into the depth of Dante’s visions of his own death that were passed to him from his mother.
Dante reminded me, oddly enough, a lot of “Spike” from BTVS (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but even more of a badass, which I never believed was possible. He’s rough, he’s tough, but he’s also sweet under it all, a romance staple, however, he’s very far from a stereotypical hero. At least to me. He’s more of an anti-hero really and does some very questionable things. Kiss of Crimson is a very busy book, there were more times of peace in KoM than KoC. I adore violence and blood, so those were positives for me. Though it can get a little strange with the number of minor characters given their own spotlight at times. KoC also introduces the scarred shell that remains of the Order warrior Rio, who is another of my favorites and we’ll get to his book in the coming weeks. Rio’s tale is very sad, so bring your tissues for that one.
You don’t have to read KoM before KoC, each novel in the series can stand alone but there is a background story that carries through each book which will suck you in as it intensifies. If read stand alone, you risk the likelihood of you buying the entire series and reading them in order to find out if or what you missed in the overall plotline.
Now, because every book has it’s faults, this one only bothers me in the fact that Dante lies, a lot. I don’t like liars or lying and it really bothers me, but I also understand that it is part of his character so I forgave him for it. Other than that, I don’t have any real peeves about this one. Lara’s fluidity improves in this novel, there aren’t as many ‘pause’ moments like in KoM when it seemed she wasn’t quite sure where they were turning on her. It seems to me that after KoM she hit a groove and everything smoothed out for KoC. She is still getting the hang of the world she created, but by the end of KoC it’s obvious she has a real feel for what she’s creating. It really begins to show in book three when she introduces another piece of the Breed world for us, the readers. As a writer, I still have a big heart throb for her style, though it gets dicey at times, I thoroughly enjoy her personal style.
Join me next week for book three, Midnight Awakening!
Additional note: I recommend that if you love PNR and haven’t read The Dark-Hunter Series you do so. It’s going to be one of the series I review, after I get the rest of the series myself. I only have the first two books so far. Sherrilyn Kenyon has been added to my idolized authors list with J.R. Ward, Lara Adrian, Larissa Ione, G.A. Aiken, and Allyson James. The latter pair are less PNR, a lot more F/R and will be reviewed in the future.