Kiss of Pride is book one in the Deadly Angels series by Sandra Hill and narrated by Erin Bennett.
Well I really wanted to like this book. I found the concept of Viking Warrior Angel Vampires to be cool, but unfortunately Kiss of Pride didn’t work out for me. I had a tone of issues.
To start I was confused throughout the book. The explanation’s of things where confusing. We have the Vangels, the good guys, then Lucipires, the bad guys, and then their are their servants who have all these weird names and I couldn’t figure out what they do or their purpose. If I had had the eBook or Book copy I could have re-read that section and seen it with my eyes to try to understand, but I was listening to the audio.
I didn’t care for all the sin, redemption, and crimes against God that are showcased throughout. Most where just run-of-the-mill kinks and non-vanilla sexuality. At one scene the 7 Vangels are reading the details online about the Sex Cruise the Lucipires are putting on to get souls and when they read all the different things to happen, well they come of as old aunties. Then we have Alex’s danger; which is that she is contemplating murder or suicide from depression, because of the death of her husband and daughter by drug lords. This is made a big deal of only; because both are SINS.
Alex’s backstory wasn’t all that good and came across as a way to manipulate the story and reader. The author only obsesses on Alex’s backstory when the story needed angst, but then it’s quickly forgotten, so we can have some goofy hijinks and idiotic dialogue. At another point in the story Alex flips out over Sigurdsson having more then one wife and concubines, but that issue was never discussed or resolved, it was just a way to get Alex outside, so the Lucipires could get to her. Manipulation!
Then at one point into the story the author uses 9/11 for one of her Vangels backstories, having him hold himself responsible for letting this happen. Using this convenient background detail to give weight to the character felt a little skeevy. Their where more backstories like this throughout to give weight and depth to the Vangels, but it didn’t work.
I didn’t care for all the different references to things in the 20th century; like Twilight, Sookie Stackhouse, Anne Rice, Buffy and more. At first it was funny, but then it got tiresome. They where overwhelming and redundant. I know the author was trying to be funny, but it was to much. It need less of this.
The romance between Alex and Sigurdsson. I didn’t feel it at all. It was to be this fated connection between them, but their was nothing tender, just a bunch of silly lines. And, then we have the near-sex that they have, which was laughable; because no they can’t have sex before marriage it’s a sin, but having any sexual relations before marriage is a sin, but the non-sex is a lesser sin….
Last, we have the whole blood cleaning thing which turns both Alex and Sigurdsson on. I wanted to know if this is just them or does it happen with others? It was never clear. From what I got the Vangels have to drink the blood of those tainted by the Lucipires to cleans them of the taint that slowly crops them to do sins, but also this cleansing is needed for the Vangels to survive. It was all a bit too confusing and not well explained. At one point I was upset about a scene where they do this blood cleansing thing; because the Vangels are all about free will, yet Sigurdsson takes it away from Alex at one point. What got me is God is all about the free will and this was so contradictory. Yes, they are to save the sinners, but that doesn’t give them the right to take that choice away.
Kiss of Pride was all over the place with contradictions, manipulative backstories, punishing the sinners, redemption, and more. I was so confused and frustrated. I’m not sure as to why I listen to the whole audiobook. I keep asking myself why I did. I have no plans to pick up another book in the Deadly Angels series.
Audio: Narrator Erin Bennett was acceptable. Her voices where distinct and I new who was who when talking. I could tell the different between male and female, but also the different characters. I wasn’t overly impressed only because I didn’t care for the story. Nothing against Bennett.
Rated: 2 Stars
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Challenge(s) (2018): Audiobook – Try Something New