The Forever Kiss
Although there are some paranormal novels that I can appreciate, there are just as many that often do not make the grade since an interesting concept can quickly turn tacky. Yet, The Forever Kiss takes a common premise and makes it exciting and romantic. But, more importantly, this first single title release by Red Sage publishing is a suspenseful story of good versus evil that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Since the death of her parents, Valerie Chase has dreamed of a man she never met, a man known only as her cowboy. He started out as a protector helping her to make the right decisions in life, but their relationship changes as she comes into adulthood. No longer is the cowboy someone she could go to for her problems, he becomes instead a man she goes to for nights of passion. These sensual dreams are her only escape from her childhood nightmares and from the responsibility of raising her sister on her own. When Valerie suddenly loses her job, she thinks that her life is over, but out of the blue gets a new position.
Cade McKinnon never wanted to become a vampire. For years he has been under the control of his sire Ridgemont, doing his wicked bidding until he is finally able to break the vampire’s hold. Cade makes it his duty to protect Valerie, a woman he was ordered to kill years ago. Now his sire is intent on owning Valerie and Cade will do anything it takes to stop the vampire, even if it means giving up his own life. When Cade finds out that Valerie is leaving her home to come work for Ridgemont, Cade must stop her, even if it means taking her hostage.
Valerie’s perfect job turns into a nightmare when she is abducted and ends up in the middle of a fight between two men who can’t possibly be human. She is shocked when her dream man suddenly comes to life and even more shocked when he ends up fighting a man with even greater strength. She has no idea whom to trust since even the man of her dreams frightens her. When she finds out that Cade is a vampire, she is repulsed and frightened, yet she cannot deny the attraction she still feels. When Cade admits that her parents were killed by vampires years ago she suddenly remembers it all. When he tells her she must trust him to take care of her, she finds she can’t, yet she has no other choice but to go with the vampire.
But Cade is not the only strange being with great strength and amazing mind control. The story that follows is one of pure evil featuring vampire beings who wish to destroy Cade and torture Valerie. Only Cade and Valerie can stop the wicked that lurks, yet how can they when Ridgmont has strength that is beyond Cade’s own? But Valerie, too, is not who she thinks she is. She has her own special gift and it is up to her in the end to help save the day.
The Forever Kiss is somewhat, dare I say, an epic adventure of good versus evil? When reading the book I was reminded of shows such as the Highlander series, or the more serious episodes of Buffy and Angel featuring attractive, tormented men with a fate of saving the world from pure evil – an evil that is not the typical, cardboard-like evil, but instead is almost human and therefore much more frightening. This evil doesn’t just kill, it enters the soul, tortures, and destroys. In a way, the character of Ridgmont is one of the more fascinating and yet repulsive characters of the story. You can feel Cade’s tortured soul trying to do right and cannot help but feel for him. And although Valerie is a bit whiny at first and seemed less surprised to see Cade in the “flesh” than I’d have imagined, she too is a likable character.
The storyline itself is full of intrigue. Knight creates a dark world of vampires, adding to the traditional plot with a few unique twists. If you like adventure, and paranormal and fast-paced books, you will like this one as long as you also like intimate scenes that are more explicit and detailed than most. For me, these love scenes detracted from the story. Though readers of romantica may be used to language some may find vulgar, at times it jolted me from the story and the romance. As for the love scenes themselves, they lacked a smooth transition from the rest of the story, and this abruptness was my major beef with the book. All in all, not such a bad problem, so if burning love scenes and some lurid language don’t bother you or is something you look forward to, The Forever Kiss provides an amazing epic adventure of good versus evil. Paranormal lovers will greatly enjoy this one, and even those who don’t read the sub-genre should.