Murdoch Wroth will stop at nothing to claim Daniela the Ice Maiden, the delicate Valkyrie who makes his heart beat for the first time in three hundred years. Yet the exquisite Danii is part ice fey and her freezing skin can't be touched by anyone but her own kind without inflicting pain beyond measure. A Valkyrie aching to be touched, desperate for closeness, in an agony of frustration, Murdoch and Danii will do anything to have each other. Together can they find the key that will finally allow them to slake the overwhelming desire burning between them?
Gena's story is of Aleaha, she can love anyone, literally. With only skin to skin contact she can change her appearance, assume any identity. Her newest identity switch has made her an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent and sends her on a mission to capture a group of otherworldly warriors. Only, she becomes the captured. Breean, a golden-skinned commander, known for his iron-will, who is dangerous and soul-shatteringly seductive, threatens her new life, because for once, she only wants to be herself.
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Deep Kiss of Winter is an interesting read, containing two almost full length stories from Kresley Cole (Immortals after Dark) and Gena Showalter (Alien Huntress series). Two of my favorite authors in one package. This time, however, my joy was diminished by the disappointment I experienced reading one of these stories.
Kresley Cole’s Untouchable proved to be entertaining, sensual and able to move me. Not to mention raise the room temperature. It is a great addition to the IAD series finally giving us an opportunity to find out more about the last of the Wroth brothers – Murdoch and his destined Bride Daniela, the Ice Queen.
And what a pair they make. A rake, who used to seduce and leave women and a beauty, his heart starts to beat once again for, but cannot be touched. The irony of life. Fate has certainly played a trick on Murdoch and enriched the story with interesting twists.
As for the characters themselves – simply adored them. It was entertaining to watch as a true Casanova with apparent issues of commitment was turned into a babbling oaf at the mere sight of her. Or how Danii’s uniqueness set her apart from other Valkyrie.I loved the vulnerability in this strong female. The part where she secretly wishes for him to be an arrogant, possessive Neanderthal and state his claim over her, touched my heart, even though it is something I could rarely bare earlier. At the first sign of a hero trying his domineering tripe, I’d immediately want the heroine to bring him to his knees.
Untouchable, however, made it work beautifully. Showing us both, strengths and vulnerabilities of the characters, letting us feel the passion boiling just beneath the surface.
Now the other part of Deep Kiss of Winter, Tempt Me Eternally, is actually another story. Meaning, I never thought I would say this about Gena Showalter, but she disappointed me.
The storyline, even romance was overshadowed by constant physical needs and the mindless dialogs between Aleaha and Breean. The first capture scene seemed to be going on for ages with it’s annoying banter repeating the same “let me go” and “no” words. Irritating me to the point where I had actually closed the book and resumed reading only the next day (something that had never happened to me with G. Showalter’s books before).
Another thing to turn me off was Aleaha’s and Breean’s sex scenes. Strange, since I like erotic, steamy encounters. Tempt Me Eternally, however, was bordering the line of porn. Leaving nothing for imagination and describing every raw detail there was to describe. I didn’t feel any anticipation, or sexual tension. Found myself even skipping pages, looking for something interesting. Unfortunately, nothing grabbed my attention. At least not in a way it should have. It only managed to irritate me further.
Couldn’t even find anything heroic about Breean. He was simply a powerful, stubborn male. And the heroine – a weak female to melt at every right word. It was ridiculous how her opinions changed, how from arguing with him one moment she ended up sympathizing the next only because he revealed an awful fact about his family. Suddenly the fact that he kidnapped her and kept her friend locked away – irrelevant.
But reading lines like, “I really am a monster (…) He’d only given her joy, and this is how she repaid him.” was the last straw. In what alternate reality kidnapping a woman and her friends, even killing a few of those, locking them in a cell and making her a sex slave (cause I wouldn’t call it any other name), no matter how gorgeous the man is, or how much pleasure he gives her in bed, is considered normal? Just because it is not technically a rape (the potent scent he generates to arouse her I could compare with drugging, thus the victim is influenced and not thinking straight), doesn’t mean it is something admirable.
If this is not a Stockholm syndrome, then I have no idea what that is.
And for the end I would only wish to say, that Tempt Me Eternally was resolved so quickly and simply, it didn’t seem the story had a real climax. But even though it failed to charm me, Deep Kiss of Winter is worth the time simply because of Kresley Cole’s exhilarating Untouchable.