Feb 15 2007
Dear Ms. Arthur:
Kissing Sin is the second book in the Riley Jensen series. Riley Jensen is a half breed: vampire and werewolf. She is working with the Directorate of Other Races to eradicate a lab that is experimenting with crossbreeds to develop the perfect killing machine. Riley doesn’t want to become a Guardian, which is essentially a paid assassin for the Directorate, but she is willing to throw her body and her mind into defeating the growing menace.
I find your writing to be a mix between Christine Feehan and late Laurell K Hamilton work. Kissing Sin is full of hot sexy men from a shifting stallion to a 1200 year old vamp to an alpha werewolf. Those readers looking for a more sexual paranormal series without a traditional romance ending will likely enjoy this series. Those who require more elegant prose style, like my blogging partner Janine, may be put off by the tendency toward info dumping and repetitiveness.
The story is the strongest when the narrator, Riley, is doing her paranormal kick butt investigative work. Riley is quite competent, maybe more than she should be as she always saves the day, and she is not terribly squeamish about using her body to get results, even if it means having sex with some more unsavory individuals. The point is made a dozen times about how meaningless sex is to a wolf.
It’s the weakest when it focuses on her personal problems with her on again, off again vampire lover Quinn. Quinn is not comfortable with Riley’s ability to view sex as nothing more than a physical activity like eating and sleeping. He would like some form of a committment from her. This would be an interesting gender reversal concept but the problem is that the same arguments are hashed out and then re-hashed out about every 50 pages. It’s tiresome to read about and I really can’t see why either of them hang onto the relationship, particularly Riley whose idea toward sex is very cavalier. I found the Quinn dynamic to be confusing and not a little irritating.
I also wished for a greater sense of Riley as a wolf. Surely her wolf like nature demanded more than physical release in the form of sex; however, that was primarily the focus. The supernatural is treated on a very superficial level and a deeper exploration of the differences between humans and the “other races” would have provided a richer worldbuilding construct.
This is not a romance book by any means even if Riley is searching for her soul mate. It does have developing relationships but I would caution readers from becoming too attached to any one particular male as Riley’s mate.
I always measure the success of the series by how interested I am in the next book. I was highly gratified to have the next book, Tempting Evil (release date February 26), in my stack of TBR books. Bantam’s publishing plan of releasing these books on a back to back to back schedule is ingenous. The fourth book, Dangerous Games, is available at the end of March, and a fifth one, Embraced By Darkness, is going to be available in July.
The style of writing is not going to appeal to everyone, but it was readable and had me interested in more of Riley Jensen. C+