Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Kiss of Pride

I really, really wanted to love this book. Come on! Viking vampire angels?? That sounds awesome, right? Only... it really wasn't.

The basic premise is that back in the day, the Vikings pissed off God with their heathen ways and worship of other deities. He was going to smite them all, until the Archangel Michael convinced Him to give them a chance at redemption. They would live as vampires/ angels-in-training for hundreds of years. Their mission is twofold. --1-- To fight demons who wish to harvest human souls to hell.  And --2-- to help those humans set on a sinful path --to change to a righteous one. Seven brothers make up the head of the vangels (yes, they are called vangels.) And Vikar is the head of the family.

It's now modern times and the vangels are gathering for a big meeting with Michael. Alex, a reporter, is sent to do a feature on the town where this is happening... a town that's developed a vampire-craze. But she quickly becomes a mission for Vikar. Alex is dealing with a devastating loss and she is contemplating some heavy-duty revenge. Vikar must help her find her way and ends up falling in love with her in the process.

There are just so many things that didn't work for me in this book. The biggest issue is the tone. There is a slightly cheesy vibe going throughout. Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse, Anne Rice and Buffy references abound. So much so, that they were completely overwhelming and redundant. Just when I thought she couldn't possibly reference Twilight another time... she would do it again.

As I mentioned, the good guys were called "vangels;" their enemies are "Lucipires." The names alone felt trite. Beyond that, their little town was called Transylvania (Pennsylvania) and it featured every conceivable vampire-fan stereotype.

The vangels call the archangels "Mike," "Gabe" and "Rafe"... which might lead you to believe that the religious elements are tongue-in-cheek, but that's not the case. The religion in the book is the real deal. They don't take the name of the Lord in vain, they pray a lot, and they try not to sin. Which means no sex. Instead they've got this running shtick about "near-sex" that follows our couple up to the very end of the book.

When our couple falls in love, it's like listening to two teenagers. "I love you the most" -- "No, I love YOU." -- "No, I love YOU." Pure saccharine. But for the life of me, I can't figure out why. Vikar is a thousand years old and I saw nothing so exceptional about Alex that she would make him fall in love so quickly and completely. And as for Alex's perspective: Vikar has basically held her prisoner and has taken over her life. But she is decorating his castle just days after he takes her captive. She forgives his bad choices at the speed of light. Why? I have no idea. 

It appears that the Viking language is marked simply by putting an -ing on the end of a word.  We got boyling, girling, sweetling, dearling, and heartling IN ABUNDANCE.  Like just about everything else, it was too much.  Everything is overdone.  There is no subtlety anywhere.

The relationship resolution is predictable and the ending is a one-two punch of unbelievable convenience and sickening sweetness.

I appreciate the author attempting to give us the best of all worlds by combining Vikings, vampires and angels into one breed of uber-hero. (The next book's hero is a Viking vampire-angel Navy SEAL!) But it just didn't work for me. 2 stars.

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon
Kiss of Pride
by Sandra Hill
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Avon

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At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 9:15:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jennifer @ The Book Nympho said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this read. The cover is hot though. LOL

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 9:20:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

It is. I should have stopped there.

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 9:23:00 AM CDT , Blogger CdnMrs said...

Thanks for being a trooper and reading it so the rest of us know better than to buy it.

On a positive note, the cover's fantastic. Kudos to the cover artist/designer.

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 9:36:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

It was hard to make myself finish it.

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 10:22:00 AM CDT , Blogger The_Book_Queen said...

Oh wow. I just...don't know where to begin. I didn't even read the book, but I'm overwhelmed from your review! Thanks for being honest, even though the book didn't work for you. At all.

Is it sad that, someday, a looong time from now, if I ever have a lull in my reading pile, I still might pick this up? Lol.

However, I think the abundant of refrences to those other vampire crazes might just make me want to throw the book against the wall--I hate when an author pushes refrences like they're helping with the marketing for them! Espcially when it's an obvious refrence, rather than a tastefully done (and subtle) refrence that only fellow readers/fans will get.

"The next book's hero is a Viking vampire-angel Navy SEAL!" Ooh my! Should I be worried about what book 3 will entail then? LOL.

TBQ's Book Palace

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 10:24:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

No judgement! Lots of people buy books after reading negative reviews.

Maybe book three will be a Viking vampire-angel dragon shifter.

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 11:20:00 AM CDT , Blogger Tracy said...

Ha! Well, see, I was going to happily avoid this one until the possibility of that Viking vampire-angel dragon shifter was on the table! I may not be able to help myself now.

The only thing better would be the no-sex-having Viking vampire-angel dragon shifter Ex-special forces bodyguard demon mage. 'Cause I'm ALL over that!

Glitter-in-the-sun optional. But appreciated.

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 12:04:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...


At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 1:59:00 PM CDT , Blogger Unknown said...

Great review. I have decided I am the lone weirdo that absolutely loved this book. I don't know maybe I was in a strange place when I read it.

Love the thoughts of trying for even more far fetched than time traveling viking vampire angels & reaching for Tracy's "Viking vampire-angel dragon shifter Ex-special forces bodyguard demon mage" LOL!

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:13:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I'm sure you're not the only person who liked it....

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 3:46:00 PM CDT , Blogger BookaholicCat said...

Vangels and Lucipires? wow that sounds very original! I don't think I'll read this book.
I may be the only one who doesn't like the cover but it really doesn't work for me.
Thank you for your honest review.

At Friday, April 20, 2012 at 10:56:00 PM CDT , Blogger The_Book_Queen said...

*Thud* pause *LOL* <----Sound of my body hitting the floor. Jen's still rolling around laughing too, so I'm not alone. ;)

Oh, I would be all over it too. He he.

Wait, wait, we're forgetting one very important addition---Highlander! Our master creation canont possible be complete without a hint of Highlander brawn and brogue thrown in! LOL.

And still, I'd probably pick it up. If for nothing else than to have a good chuckle, though not in a mean way, but rather an entertaining way. Lol.

I dare an author to step forward, brave enough to put our amazing creation to paper!



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