Series: Raven Grace 1
Genre: Paranormal romance
Pages: 173 (out in PB and as an ebook)
Published: April 2011
Review by Lis
Raven Grace had ambitions of a career in law enforcement when she met the demon Aega, whose bite turned her from mortal to Shapeshifter. Now a member of the Recovery Organization, Raven keeps the peace between humans and errant Hellhounds, trolls, wizards and the like – but her secret ambition is to track down Aega and bring him to justice. A chance encounter gives her the opportunity she seeks – in a universe that exists parallel to her own! Recovery Captain Finn McPhee doesn’t know what to make of the strange girl who’s entered his universe – and his heart – But Raven’s quest coincides with his own investigation, a series of murders committed by a serial killer. Complicating matters is the fact Finn is a Mentos – mind-prober- which means Raven has to keep her lusty thoughts under wraps. Seeking answers, Finn takes Raven to the magickal underworld, where an ancient fae informs them the demon’s quest is rooted in Scottish mythology and magick. As they delve deeper into legend, the truth comes to light—Aega is only a pawn, subservient to another, darker demon. Now, Finn and Raven find their passion for one another must take a backseat to Raven’s battle with a dark force who won’t be satisfied until he’s claimed her soul for his very own…
As some of you might know, I’m in the middle of operation: dress 28 knights for two big oncoming shows. Together with a few other ladies, we’re elbow deep in coats of arms, fabric, tabards , tunics and what not. So reading books has become my way of relaxing, though not every book is as relaxing as it promises to be. However…holy mother of knights, I was damn happy to read Toni LoTempio’s Raven’s Kiss. Not only did it give me hope that there are romance writers out there who know what they’re doing, it also helped me take my mind of impending doom, erh knight shows.
Raven’s Kiss is the story of rough, tough, independent and kick ass Raven Grace – and the first in a series. Once Raven was your typical college student with a promising future in Law Enforcement. Until she met the demon Aega who likes to feed on the blood of virgins and then rapes them. Aega’s bite turns Raven into a shapeshifter. Two years later she is no longer a naïve college student, but a tough recovery agent who kicks the rear bumpers of everything that going boink in the night. Of course, she does have her own agenda. She hopes to one day kick Aega’s rear bumper into the next world.
The encounter with Aega left her bitter and it’s not until she’s forced on a two week leave by her boss that things start to roll. When she finds the Aega’s latest victim, she also finds a doorway to a parallel universe. Not only does she find answers there, she also finds the hunky, hot as all get out, sex on legs Head of the Recovery Agency Mr. Finn McPhee. Yu-meeeeeee!
Suddenly the ball just doesn’t only roll, it spins and the story turns action packed and fast moving.
With Raven’s Kiss Toni LoTempio creates an action packed romance with a wicked mystery plot and a rich supernatural world full of interesting, three-dimensional characters. The author didn’t only turn her attention to the two main characters, but at the world at large, making Raven’s Kiss a story that draws you right in and keeps you on the edge of your seat when not melting you in a puddle of goo.
What I really liked in this story – apart from the world building – is the character of Raven. She’s a strong woman that doesn’t give up when she’s kicked down, but she’s also independent and I like that in my romance characters. There are too many girly girls who just hang onto their men. Raven’s role in this little mystery is a lot bigger than she thinks and she has a part to play. She just doesn’t know it yet. At the same time her character is also flawed. Yes she is strong and independent, but also bitter because of what happened to her and not an easy person to get along with, but I can appreciate that. All in all she is an unlikely character for a romance.
Speaking of romance… The romance between her and Finn is believable. It builds and is not instant. Finn is a likeable character, besides very hot. He’s realistic and also a good influence on Raven. More positive.
At the heart of Raven’s Kiss is a mystery. The focus of this book is equally divided between the romance and the mystery. And it’s not your typical romance mystery. This one actually leaves you wondering what will happened next and if what’s really going on is actually so.
So to conclude: GO READ RAVEN’S KISS! Seriously peeps. After No Rest for the Wicca, this one is even better. I like Toni LoTempio’s style of writing and the worlds she creates. I can only hope I get to review more of her books!