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{May 21, 2012}   {ARC Review} Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen (Nightwatchers #1)

From Goodreads: I don’t do dangerous.  Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that’s me. But I just couldn’t pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me…something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It’s like part of me is missing-and I don’t know if I can get it back. Then there’s Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he’s keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he’s what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me…. 

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This novel presents a different side of the angel/demon phenomenon that has taken books by storm.  Yes, there is still good and evil, but the differences between the two are so blurred that it’s hard to tell who is on which side.  Rowen has created a tale that is intriguing, to say the least, and I think many readers will adore this new series, especially as the demon curse is passed along through kissing. Yes, that’s right, steamy kisses that eat away a soul and make the characters rapidly change, yearning for all that is bad.  This wasn’t what I was expecting, though it fits the title well.  I’m not sure how I feel about all the kissing,  but I am glad that the novel stops there and doesn’t go into any more explicit details, keeping this YA novel PG rated, which is a plus.    

With evil demons abounding, heaven’s number one defense is to lock down the city, placing it in an invisible bubble, and I thought this was a cool aspect that drove the plot of the story.  With the dispatch of angels to help rid the city of the death defying demons, only one angel, Bishop, remembers who and what he is. Bishop is a dreamy angel and I really enjoyed getting to know him, though I would have liked to get to know him better.  There is a lot to him that isn’t explained, and I found myself yearning to know more about him and his demon brother as well.  Overall, I liked all the characters, but I didn’t feel the deep connection with any of them that I had hoped for.  Rowen does a great job fleshing them out in terms of the story, but I was still left wishing I knew them all better.

Samantha, an enigma to both angels and demons alike, is an interesting character to watch as she struggles between good and evil.  On one hand, she might finally meet her father, on the other, all she holds dear will disappear as the evil around her takes hold of the entire world.  Faced with a huge choice, two demons and two angels fighting by her side, Samantha is forced to make a harrowing decision.  Although Samantha may seem wishy-washy as she goes from making logical decisions to illogical ones, I think that her interactions with those around her make perfect sense.  She is torn between two decisions and, like any teenager, she is going to be sporadic in her decision making.  So, even though she occasionally drove me insane, I found her to be a great likeness to that of the teenagers I see every day. Three stars.

Harlequin has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release tomorrow.

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Lili says:

I’m really loving angel books these days, so I’m really excited to give this book a chance. And most people drive me insane on a regular basis too lol.



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