When I requested Deadly is the Kiss on NetGalley I don’t remember there being any mention of it being a spin off of Byrd’s Primal Instinct series. If there had been, I might not have requested it. Deadly is the Kiss isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just that I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a book instead of starting a new one. It was very evident that the two main characters, Ashe and Juliana, had a history. They had at least met somewhere before, but guess what? I didn’t see that meeting since I haven’t read the Primal Instinct series. I can only compare it to someone reading J.R. Ward’s fifth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series without having read the first four. You may be able to catch on to things and details and facts are repeated, but something is off. Things are glossed over. You feel as if you’re not getting the full story.
That’s the only way I can describe how I felt while reading Deadly is the Kiss. At one point I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue. I just felt as if I was missing important information. I plowed through it and wasn’t totally disappointed.
Ashe Granger is a Deschanel vampire, which for the life of me I couldn’t figure out the great significance of that until the very end. He’s a member of the Förmyndares, who protects his race. (Extra credit to anyone who thought of the soap opera Sunset Beach when they read the name Deschanel. Anyone?)
So, in other words, he’s big hot bad ass. Who I wanted to slap. Multiple times. This is the part where perhaps knowing more of what happened in the past would have helped. For most of the book I wanted to stab the hero. Now, that’s not right.
Juliana also annoyed me at points. She and the rest of her family were exiled to the Wastelands – an area for criminals. Of course she claims their innocence. Juliana received a backpack and instructions on how to escape the Wastelands and information to contact Ashe. Of course, Ashe can’t trust Juliana and that’s mostly because she’s not telling him everything she knows.
Yeah, these two had major trust issues.
What doesn’t help matters is that some time ago when he last saw Juliana his Burning was triggered. The male Deschanel vampires evidently go through this thing process called Burning when they’ve found their destined mate. They can be happily married or in love with someone, but if they go into the Burning with someone else, then screw that because fate is taking over. It’s on a comparable level to Bonding with the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but not quite. A male vampire’s Burning also raises their temperature (hence the term) but if he bites the female and releases a serum into their blood stream then they are forever connected. It’s some heavy duty shit.
Basically the story is about Ashe and Juliana finding evidence of her family’s innocence. Oh, and them having sex. Because nothing is better when you’re Burning for a woman who you claim not to want and are trying to find a cure to the Burning than to have sex with her. After you blackmail her into it. That was the first time I wanted to slap Ashe. He wouldn’t help Juliana unless she slept with him. I don’t mean spooning when one is underneath the covers and the other is under them either.
Hardcore sex, yo.
And not to spoil too much, but seriously folks, you do not just hand someone a “puppy” without talking to them first. If you’ve read Deadly is the Kiss, you’ll totally know what the hell I’m talking about. That was just like, totally odd to me.
I have to say that I did like the authors writing style. It’s the story that I wasn’t solidly sold on. I mostly blame that on the fact of this being a spin off of an already established series. Would I read the next installment? Eh, maybe, but I think it’d be most helpful to read the Primal Instinct series first.