Review: Tainted Kiss by Sharon Kay

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00064]Reviewed by Jen

This book reminded me of PNR series in the vein of Midnight Breeds. We’ve got some otherworldly demon warriors who protect the world(s) from bad demons, bent on domination. They are very powerful and super-alpha and can only really step out of that zone when they find their other half and form a mate bond. It’s a tried and true formula of the genre, because in most cases it work, and this series is no exception.

This installment centers on Arawn, the group’s leader. He lost his mate hundreds of years ago and has devoted his life to his duty as warrior. He never believed he would find love again, but somehow, Ria has gotten under his skin. Ria is one of warriors and is quite good at it. She is nothing like his sweet and delicate first love, and his feelings are getting harder and harder to ignore, especially since she feels the same way. The only problem is, she has no idea that he is one quarter Ghazsul (the bad guy demon race.) Could she love him if she knew? Is it fair to bind her to him, knowing his blood is tainted?

My only real complaint about this book is that I thought it was book 1 in a new series. Technically, that’s true. But I knew in just a few pages that there was a big history here that I was stepping into unaware. These characters were in the middle of a story on the first page. Ria was in a coma, injured in a battle with a history WAY too intricate to be a series-starter. There are a ton of already established couples floating around, again with histories that are casually mentioned like I should know them already. A quick perusal of Sharon Kay’s backlist and it all made sense. This is book 1 in a spinoff series where the backstory and major characters overlap. That’s not ideal for my tastes, but by then, I was interested enough to try to just roll with it.

Though I am never a fan of the Big Secret trope, I liked this pairing. Since the couple has decades of history, they were able to jump into their feelings and desire pretty quickly and it didn’t feel rushed. It can’t be insta-love when you’ve been crazy about the other person as long as they have. I liked that Arawn didn’t push Ria away, even when he was scared. And even more, I liked that he respected her strength as a fellow warrior. These alpha-males are usually so bent on protecting their woman, they ignore the fact that she is capable. Arawn doesn’t diminish Ria’s strength. Ever. Even when he is dominant in the bedroom, I didn’t find it off-putting. There was balance between them, which is rare for this kind of book.

Even though I felt my ignorance on some of the backstory, Kay did a good job making sure I understood enough of what was happening to be able to enjoy the book. She also did well, setting up the next book, and making me interested in what would happen with the missing soldier Scorpio.

The sex is hot. The plot moves well. I didn’t have deep feels, but overall I liked it. Fans of the Solsti Prophecy will probably like it even more.

I would read from this author again.

Rating: B/B-

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Tainted Kiss
by Sharon Kay
Release Date: July 21, 2015

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