“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: Excellent wrap-up to a series that is action-packed and full of twists and turns.
Opening Sentence: Crave used to be a prime hangout for dangerous monsters, but tonight I seemed to be the only one here.
Wicked Kiss is the second and final book in the Nightwatchers series. This book is long but it is action-packed from beginning to end and it wraps up this series on such a great note. There was just so much that happened in this book that it is hard to decide where to start with my review. Samantha Day is still battling with the fact that she can steal someone’s soul or their life with her kiss as a “grey”. Her best friend is gone and she has no one she can trust to help her get her soul back. She has help from the gorgeous angel Bishop and his equally handsome but dangerous brother Kraven but she doesn’t know that she can fully trust them.
Another angel falls to earth, a female, and she is tasked with keeping an eye on Sam at her home where the boys don’t really come around. Sam is really confused about Cassandra because she not only sees her as someone who wants Sam dead but as a potential love interest for Bishop. Jealousy flies for Sam on its’ little angel wings. Then Sam discovers that life as a “grey” is about to get more complicated in a life or death transformation.
If things aren’t already bad enough for Sam, she begins to see what Bishops sees, not just in the here and now but also in the far past. Bishop isn’t giving her the answers she seeks but her gift has allowed her to bypass all of Bishop and Kraven’s barriers letting her get the answers as to how they became an angel and a demon.
And wait for it…there’s more. An evil has come to town and it is killing off a bunch of students in apparent suicides. People who were happy and laughing not just ten seconds before they take their lives. After witnessing a schoolmate kill herself, Sam is drawn into this mystery with another schoolmate, Jordan, who hates her guts. Sam tries to play it off like its just a random strange event but Jordan knows something isn’t right and is determined to investigate on her own but then she is also drawn into the strange world Sam knows.
The mini love triangle continues with Sam in the middle. She wants Bishop but Kraven also messes with her emotions enough that she doesn’t know if she wants him or pities him. For the first half of this novel I did feel that Bishop was a little whiney and not very nice towards Sam except for when he wanted to kiss her otherwise it seemed like he didn’t want her around. Wicked Kiss is told entirely from Samantha’s first person point of view.
Overall, I enjoyed Samantha’s character in this novel. She came off a little stronger in character. She didn’t want to give up even though every path seemed to end with her dying. She does get frustrated at the lack of communication and she doesn’t seem to believe Jordan when she really should.
Wicked Kiss definitely needs to be read with Dark Kiss in order to understand Sam’s life as a grey. Wicked Kiss only skims past the events in the first novel since so much is happening with the storyline. Sometimes it was hard to figure out how things would tie together in the end but it did and I couldn’t have asked for a better wrap up to a series.
On the surface, word for word, it almost sounded like an insult. But the way he said it, low and throaty…me being problematic for an angel of death—it was the sexiest thing I’d ever heard in my entire life.
My hunger swirled around me, ever tightening like a cool silk scarf binding me in place. Everything else faded into the background—my future, my survival, the safety of everyone in the city, even the fate of my best friend trapped in the Hollow.
I didn’t care about anything else.
“Kraven’s right.” His breath was warm against my cheek. “When I’m this close to you…it’s like being a f ly trapped in a spider’s web. I can’t seem to free myself.”
“I want to kiss you right now.” I was completely unashamed by the truth spilling from inside me. “So much. It’s driving me crazy.”
He didn’t reply; he just nodded slowly, his gaze fully fixed on my lips.
“I won’t take it all. I can stop myself before it’s too late.” My hunger turned me into something other than myself, other than the shy and awkward kid who’d only allowed herself crushes on a couple of guys before. The girl who shielded her heart to keep it from being broken. The one who looked in the mirror and still only saw a skinny girl with long, wild hair and barely enough chest to stuff in the smallest bra on the rack.
But Bishop had never looked at me like I was that girl. He looked at me like I was something amazing. Something beautiful beyond words. Something he wanted more than anything or anyone else.
And, at the moment, with the sounds of Ambrosia now only a distant echo, I knew he was every bit as lost as I was.
He drew closer, closer until finally…finally, his lips brushed against mine.
FTC Advisory: Harlequin provided me with a copy of Wicked Kiss. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”
“Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowan
(Nightwatchers: Book 2)
Frustration abounds in Wicked Kiss, the sophomore effort of Michelle Rowan’s Nightwatchers series – frustration for both the characters and the reader. Wicked Kiss opens with Sam and Bishop in the same place we left them at the end of book one: Sam’s hunger for souls is growing and Bishop’s grasp on his sanity is slipping away.
The team (Bishop, Kraven, Roth, etc.) is still stationed in the old church and struggling to fulfill their mission as well as struggling with one another. Added to the mix is a new angel, Cassandra who has been sent to Trinity to “help” the team; oh, and she is going to live with Sam in order to keep an eye on her. Oh, goody! For the most part, the bulk of the read is devoted to the team running around like a multi-headed chicken with its multiple heads cut off trying to contain the growing gray problem and not kill one another in the process. There is so much in-fighting and secret-keeping among the members of the team that they can barely function as a unit thus making it virtually impossible to do their respective jobs.
As for Sam, in order to keep her growing hunger under control, she has elected to angrily remove herself from the team and go about taking care of business on her own. While attempting to track down Stephen and retrieve her soul, Sam runs into Jordan (aka the Queen B*tch of the Universe or high school) and after a tragic event, the two girls realize they have to work together if they hope to unravel what’s going on in Trinity. Though they have a very, very rough start, Sam and Jordan begin to put the clues together and discover the rash of recent suicides plaguing Trinity are not related to the gray problem but are related to the supernatural. To Jordan’s credit, not only does she not freak out over all the supernatural business but she dives right in and does her best to help. She’s still an unholy, wretched human with a snarly attitude but I won’t lie, I kind of like her.
Wicked Kiss is full of well-developed characters but a few are becoming tiresome and those that are more interesting are not (yet?) playing a large enough role in the long-term plot line. Here’s the skinny:
Sam: I have a distinct love/hate relationship with Sam. On the one hand she is strong and unwilling to give up on her goals yet on the other hand she is very fickle where Bishop is concerned. She convinces herself she loves Bishop then learns something new about his (awesomely surprising!) past and decides she can’t be with him - the cycle becomes tiresome quickly.
Bishop: I still like Bishop but truly wish he would stop pulling some of the bonehead stunts he is constantly pulling. He is struggling to keep it together long enough to complete his mission and return to Heaven so his pesky soul can once again be removed and he go back to business as usual. Did I mention he is an angel of Death? How sweet is that?
Kraven: I am really starting too really like Kraven. Kraven is one of the few Nightwatcher characters who is absolutely straight-forward and honest about his goals, intentions, and motivations. He hates his brother but refuses to allow anyone else to kill Bishop; Kraven believes the right to kill his brother is all his own. There is no subterfuge with Kraven, he is evil though sometimes chooses to do a good deed, he owns his actions, and I like it! This is one of two characters I really want to see playing a much larger role in the series.
Jordan: now that she has stopped being quite so wretched toward Sam she is growing on me. In Wicked Kiss we learn a lot more, though not nearly enough about Jordan and she is certainly more than she appears to be. This becomes evident the moment everyone realizes Jordan can’t be hit with the angelic mind-wipe whammy! I truly believe Jordan has a larger role to play in the series and am quite impatient to see how her role plays out.
The Bottom Line: For now, I am still committed to the Nightwatchers series and I genuinely liked the short-term plot of this novel but found myself becoming more and more frustrated as the novel reached its end. The constant secret-keeping among all the characters, the way too late to help revealing of those secrets, and the multiple just in the nick of time miraculous saves became a bit too much. Even Sam comments on how all the secrets have done nothing but hurt the team There are no major plot problems, the writing style is still smooth and easy to read and the characters are still interesting but the frustrating things are beginning to out weight the positive elements of the series. For me, the third book in the Nightwatchers series will decide the fate of the series as a whole for me as a reader.
“Original review here: http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/2013/02/release-day-review-wicked-kiss.html
Wicked Kiss picks up right after Dark Kiss ended. Samantha is dealing with her new soulless life and it is difficult for her to say the least. Her best friend is lost in the Hollow, she found out she is a nexus (a mix of demon and angel, which angels do not like at all), she needs to suck on souls to survive, and the angel she has a crush may have to kill her. But she teams up with both the angels and demons that were sent to Earth to get rid of her kind, the grays. With so many soulless people in their area, no one can leave unless they are human, so more help is on the way to eradicate the problem. A new female angel named Cassandra comes into play. She seems to have a lot of secrets, so Samantha is trying to figure out what her agenda is. That or if Cassandra wants Bishop. Samantha’s trying to figure out how she can save her best friend’s life and she wonders if she is bound to be the monster everyone believes she will become.
I enjoyed this book much more compared to Dark Kiss. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but I wanted a little more. I got it here. There was so much more action and “Holy crap, I didn’t see that coming” moments. I was sort of missing that in Dark Kiss as well. Wicked Kiss more than makes up for it though.
I really liked Samantha a lot more this time around. I think she has matured a bit since the first book. She still has her moments though.. For instance, her irrational feelings towards Cassandra were so ridiculous. Samantha knows how it is like to be on the receiving end of girls-that-don’t-like-you-just-because. She instantly has a dislike towards Cassandra due to her looks and because she seems too close to Bishop. I just didn’t get it. It was a bit annoying and if she was paying attention like I was, you could see exactly who Cassandra would have had her eyes on. I was right. I also really enjoyed Bishop. He did have some hot and cold moments, but given who he is and what he was sent to do, you can understand why he was so odd towards Samantha. Then we have Kraven. I love what we learn about both him and Bishop. There is much more to Kraven hate toward his brother and we learn it all. Finally! That was one of my biggest questions from Dark Kiss and we got the answers here. It was depressing as hell, but man what an impact that had on me.
Another addition to this book I enjoyed was Jordan. Jordan is Samantha nemesis. Jordan can’t stand Samantha. She hates her more since she believes her boyfriend Stephen (the one that took Samantha’s soul in the first place) broke up with her because of Samantha. They are put into some very dangerous situations together which I found infuriating at times. Jordan is the uber-b***h. But after a while, I actually started to enjoy her antics. She also becomes an important part of the story when we find out she has some abilities of her own which was awesome.
I loved this story. It was just amazing. So much is revealed and there were some amazing surprises. The story about the grays becomes more intense in this book when the gang finds out about stasis. Stasis is a stage that a gray comes to after not feeding for too long. Now if you survive stasis, that gray becomes impossibly strong and hard to kill. That is what Samantha is in danger of becoming. She will either die or become a true monster. There is also something lurking around the city that no one can see. They don’t know what it is, but it is stealing people’s lives and they don’t know how to stop it.
I absolutely loved this book. It was a great sequel. Now I found out that this is the last book in the series which now makes sense after reading it. The plots were very complex and flowed well…for the most part. This book could have easily been split into two books. The story with the entity was great, but didn’t fit perfectly into the story at times. There was also the background of Kraven and Bishop. I think I said this in my review for Dark Kiss, they should have been given their own book. Their story is just too good not to have its own story. The things we learn about their past was a great addition, but there are some questions I still have. I am just saying, I feel there story could fill an entire book, well at least give me more Kraven. That goes for all the demons in the book actually. We see they are not as awful as one would think especially Roth who I thought was a lost cause from Dark Kiss. Can we get some more on him? I really liked where that was going. So unfair.
I loved the ending to this book. It definitely dropped quite the bombshell and kept the adrenaline up. This story was fast paced and packed a lot of punch. Like I said, I loved Samantha this time around. She has quite the backbone and does all she can to help those protect those around her. This was definitely a step up from Dark Kiss. I recommend this to YA fans looking for a complex and exciting read. Rowan really knows how to tell a story. Her world building is incredible. I love her take on angels and demons. I have already added her other series to my library queue and you should too. Highly recommended! ”
“Four stars: A wickedly fantastic sequel that provides all the answers!
For Samantha, the clock is ticking. Things are getting more dangerous and difficult by the day. She is still soulless,desperately trying to track down Stephen to retrieve her soul. Before she can find Stephen, she spots a search light in the sky, another angel is sent to help the mission. This time it is a female angel named Cassandra. Samantha is extremely wary of this new team member. She doesn't seem to be telling the team the whole truth as to why she is here. Furthermore, Cassandra is especially attentive to Bishop, causing a dark flare of jealousy in Samantha. The stakes are higher than ever as the grays without their leader, Natalie, are increasing in number, feeding on souls unrestrained, and inexplicably growing more powerful. Samantha learns that grays after a certain period of time undergo stasis. They will either survive this change and come through stronger or die. Samantha's stasis is nearing as her hunger grows and the situation becomes dire. Rampant suicides and deaths are occurring regularly and it is up to the team to stop it. Can Samantha recover her soul and save her city, or will she die trying?
What I Liked:
*Wicked Kiss kicks off into high gear. It wastes little time notching up the action! I was thrilled that this book moved at a high speed pace and that it was full of surprises. There were so many big twists and reveals that I didn't see coming, and I was very impressed with the complexity of the story. This book has plenty to like, and I couldn't get enough.
*I loved that this is only a two book series. While I was a bit sad to see the story come to an end, it was satisfying to uncover all the answers to the dangling questions from book one. I enjoyed the thrilling climax and the sweet happily ever after. I love a good series, but it is nice to be able to pick up a short one every once in awhile. Dark Kiss felt like it was laying down the groundwork and just getting started when it concluded, but rest assured Wicked Kiss picks up all the loose ends and weaves them into a action packed story with a satisfying ending.
*I really enjoyed the romance in this one. It starts as an inexplicable attraction and there are plenty of shaky moments, especially since Bishop is tight lipped and guards his past and secrets well. Not to mention the difficulties that ensue when Samantha kisses him. It is one where you never know from one page to the next if it will work out or not, but in the end I loved it. Thankfully, there is no love triangle either, though Kraven, the snarky demon, does his best to throw a wrench into the shaky romance. I especially liked how Bishop and Samantha are willing to sacrifice everything for each other. There is no better way to say I love you than putting your life on the life for the one you love!
*Again, I was completely astounded by the complexity of Ms. Rowan's world building and ideas on Heaven, Hell, angels, demons and souls. Her world building is very creative and I adored her vision of souls and how everything must remain balanced. Balance is the key, even if that means Heaven and Hell, demons and angels must work together. I particularly enjoyed that the demons were not completely evil, and that the the angels were not completely perfect. If you are looking for a YA paranormal read that is different and filled with intriguing ideas, great characters and a fun romance, definitely pick up these books.
*I was thrilled with the growth and change with Samantha's character. She truly steps up in this sequel and holds her own. She finally takes charge and seizes her powers and in the end she makes a daring, bold and breathtaking move that will astound you. She is definitely a bit more feisty this time, and she has plenty of snarky lines.
*I really enjoyed the relationship that Samantha ends up forming with her nemesis, the popular mean girl, Jordan. The pair are thrown together due to some troubling circumstances and what follows is the start of a shaky alliance. It is always fun to see two enemies have to work together. I admit, it definitely took awhile for Jordan to grow on me, but by the end I really admired and liked her character. Jordan has plenty of spunk!
*I was excited that I finally got the back story on Kraven and Bishop, and I won't say much more as I don't want to spoil it, but let's just say it was very rewarding to learn their secrets and how everything played out. Kraven is all kinds of fun with his snarky banter, and at items, he is dark and dangerous, he is a demon after all, but I think he redeems himself at the end and I hope there are better things in his future.
And The Not So Much:
*This book has a more complex plot and there are several sub plots. The additional storyline that follows the high rate of sudden suicides, the cause and Cassandra's mission felt a bit out of place. I don't think it tied in with the overall story line and it felt like a bit of a distraction. It was an interesting add on, but it really wasn't congruent with main plot.
*One of my complaints with the first book was the lack of parental supervision. That is indeed the case with this book, as Samantha's mother is compelled to take a vacation and she is out of the picture. I did like the movement at the end when Samantha reaches out and attempts to forge a new and better relationship with her parents.
*I was frustrated that I still didn't have a clear concept on demons and angels by the end of the book. Mostly, I wanted to know more about how they came to be, and if a demon, such as Kraven, could ever redeem himself and aspire to be an angel. I adored Kraven and I want things to turn out right for him, especially once I uncovered the secrets to his past. I would certainly love to see a spin off featuring more of Kraven and Jordan as they are both snarky, sassy characters who made me laugh.
*I was confused about Bishop's father. It is never fully revealed how he fathered Bishop and what role he had in his life. This seems like an important piece to the puzzle, especially since Bishop's paternal heritage is what ultimately saves his soul. This was one thread that felt like it was left a bit undone.
Wicked Kiss is a satisfying sequel and conclusion to the two book Night Watchers Series. This book is packed full of action and twists that will keep you engaged throughout. If you read Dark Kiss and were uncertain whether to continue with this series or not, I would highly recommend you pick this up, as it provides all the answers to the lingering questions and it is a great finale. While I was disappointed that the series is already over, I am happy that I don't have to wait another year for the conclusion! I am hopeful that there will perhaps be a spinoff series down the line with Kraven.
"I nodded, thinking back to that night----which was wonderful since I'd met Bishop, but also horrible because, well....I'd met Bishop. He represented the best and worst moments of my life, all in such a a short time."
"I kicked my jealous thoughts into the corner like a pair of dirty socks and tried to ignore them. They weren't helping. Also, they smelled bad."
"I'd met homeless people who had nothing and nobody. It was the most important lesson of my life. Be grateful for what you have, since it can be taken away at any time. Sometimes fate steps in to pull the rug from beneath your feet whether you're prepared or not---and we all fall differently."
"One more thing we don't have in common. I'm an open book. You're...closed with a lock and key."
"You say whatever's on your mind, but sometimes you need to listen with more than just your ears. Words aren't always that reliable."
"Life is a game, beautiful star. ONe with a time limit. And it's time to accept your destiny."
"We all choose our path to walk. Even by not choosing, we're still making a choice that will affect our lives for better or worse."
"Wow, did you just change into your bitch pants?"
"You could take the demon out of Hell, but you couldn't take the Hell out of the demon."
"So, sweetness, I'm back. Don't throw yourself into my arms and embarrass yourself."
I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for and honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.”
“Wicked Kiss is the second book in the Nightwatchers series by author Michelle Rowan. The cover of this newest novel is just as stunning as that of Dark Kiss. Pretty gorgeous!
The "insta-love" in this book has definitely been tempered. There are issues with Bishop and Samantha, and then there is Kraven...! I wont go into that too much, avoiding spoilers, but suffice it say he plays a more pivotal role in this book. He's a demon, so he is supposed to be the bad guy, but I love him! I left this book feeling like he was more of angel than Bishop, an actual angel. There are some new characters this time, with secrets and stories of their own. There was a lot more action in this book, more intrigue and more twists and turns. As much as I loved the first book, this one was, in my opinion, even better. Just about everyone had secrets in this book, big secrets that kept me guessing. There were a lot of surprises, too, a lot of things happening that I didn't see coming!
Like the first book, I read Wicked Kiss in one sitting because I just couldn't let go of the story. It has a different take on the "angels and demons" theme, different from a lot of the other "angels and demons" YA I have read. The ending is going to leave you wanting next book NOW! It is due out 26 February 2013!”