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REVIEW: Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur

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+

Best Regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

4 Comments

  1. Josie
    Feb 15, 2007 @ 16:37:41

    Hmmm, I personally would have given this one a B or B+ Jane. I agree with you on the info-dumping and the Quinn angst being a strike against (i’ve checked her website and he’s going to be around for awhile) – but I think the story line and action in the book more than made up for this. Plus Riley is one of the best heroines I’ve read recently… She’s smart, tough and able to have heaps of hot sex (with heaps of hot men) and not beat herself up over it.
    I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first book (Full Moon Rising) but I’m pretty excited about this series and I think it’s going to be a keeper for me.

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  2. Jane
    Feb 15, 2007 @ 16:41:37

    I waffled over the grade, but I felt the info dumping and the repetitiveness was just too much to overcome. But, I have read Tempting Evil and thought that it was a better book because there was less focus on the Quinn dynamic. He and his angst kept dragging me down. LOL. I am sure that there is a whole support group for Quinn, though. Like the Ranger/Morelli thing.

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  3. Josie
    Feb 15, 2007 @ 18:16:38

    Yep Quinn absolutely needs to lighten up! Excellent news about Tempting Evil – I admit to being a wee bit jealous you’ve read that one already! :-)
    I’m looking forward to reading more about Rhoan too – I think that book 5 (?) will focus on his love life more than Riley’s and it sounds like one of his lovers is going to get him into strife. Cool.

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  4. Keishon
    Feb 15, 2007 @ 22:51:49

    Riley Jensen series. Riley Jensen is a half breed: vampire and werewolf.

    Interesting combo for a character to have. Pass.

    ReplyReply

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