Shadow Kissed by Rebecca L. Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was like a strange combination of a high fantasy setting (castles, royalty, various levels of technology) and a contemporary romance. It is clearly the setup for more installments, so focused primarily on the world building here. Not a true cliffhanger of sorts, but definitely not a solitary standalone book either.
Olivia has been somewhat sheltered her whole life. As someone gifted with magic, she is in the minority. It makes her even more strange when her powers are a bit of a dud. She does not excel at combat either, so her mother, the leader of an elite group of "troops," protects her as best she can. Mostly this means she is isolated and ferried away when bad stuff starts to go down. The vampires from the neighboring kingdom end up invading, and one vampire ends up kidnapping her to their home.
As predicted, Seb, the aforementioned vampire, ends up opening Olivia's eyes a bit to the shades of gray in the vampire kingdom. Not all vampires are bad and not all humans are good. There's a bunch of baggage rolled into that single sentence, but it resolves itself eventually. There are also a bunch of reveals that I won't spoil here for you. The romance, though, that was a smaller portion of the tale, which may or may not have come from some sort of kidnapper/kidnapee situation. Only time will tell, I guess, but I enjoyed all of the characters we meet during Olivia's stay with Seb. As I said, the book doesn't fully resolve all the storylines, so I'm sure the next book will take a turn. Oh, and I should warn that there are some triggering non-consent scenes in here that may be troubling to some, primarily in the vampire/human slave dens.
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