Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Early Review of Kiss of Pride (Deadly Angel, #1) by Sandra Hill

Over a thousand years ago when Vikings were at their most powerful, God could no longer ignore their many sins. One family in particular, the Sigurdssons, caught his attention when they raided Lindisfarne, a Saxon monastery. Each of the seven sons in the family had "offended God by committing one of the Seven deadly sins in a most heinous manner." Just as God was handing down a judgement that would condemn the men to an eternity in Hell the archangel Michael intervened to his everlasting regret.

     "I agree that these Sigurdsson men have gone too far, but maybe they would change if given a second chance..."

And so a different judgement was handed down...

     "This I say unto you, the Viking race will dwindle off into nonexistence, but not by death. No, they will blend into other cultures, losing their identity. Their pride is too great to stand alone. Hereafter, no one will worship Norse gods ever again."
     "As you say, Lord, "Michael paused before asking, "And the seven Sigurdsson sons?"
     "These seven sinners must prove themselves sevenfold. By sins they were judged, by grace they will be saved. For seven hundred years, they must roam the earth doing good works. If they fail, Satan may have them for his unholy domain."

And so Michael's and the Sigurdsson's fates were sealed. To make sure their penance was a little more difficult, the seven brothers were turned into Vampires, and so the first Viking Vampire Angels (aka Vangels) were created. Their mission to thwart the plans of Lucifer's Vampires (aka Lucipires) whose goal was to collect the souls of sinners before they had a change to repent. Because Michael was the one who suggested they be given another chance, they were put under his guidance.

As the years passed more and more years were added on to the Vangels original sentences because boys will be boys and Vikings will be Vikings. Perhaps by the grace of God, however, they lived in virtual obscurity until the Vangels masquerading as pretend vampires in the small town of Transyvania, Pensylvania caught the eye of a reporter from the World Gazette. Alexander Kelly who had once been nominated for a Pulitzer was being assigned a puff piece in an attempt to gently ease her out of her grief. Two years prior her husband and child had been murdered. She was still grieving, and this was her boss' way of trying to ease her out of her misery and get her back to writing. Little did she know this assignment would change her life.

This book made me think Ms. Hill was trying to capitalize a bit on the current popularity of angels and vampires. The series had a hint of Nalini Singh's Guildhunter series because of the Angel and vampire connection, but whereas Singh's series is a fairly serious paranormal romance series, Ms. Hill decided to slant her series toward humor. To tell you the truth, the humor just wasn't my cup of tea, but even so I still had to laugh despite myself. Nothing against the author, it was just a tad bit too silly for my taste. I just kept shaking my head and thinking, "Oh, no she di'int.", but oh yes she did. It was an okay read for me, I didn't hate it, but I definitely didn't love it. Now, I know there will probably be some who will absolutely adore this series, so I'll try to give you a taste so as not to discourage anyone whose sense of humor may be in sync with this series. First off, the Vikings are supposed to refrain from sin which they are finding very difficult (hence the added years to the original sentence). So you have a bunch of horny Viking males doing their best to abstain from sex and many other sinful indulgences. Secondly, they are living in a town dedicated to monopolizing on the recent Vampire craze. It is the perfect place for Vangels to blend into the background.

The two main characters are Vikar and Alex. Vikar's sin is Pride and he struggles with it daily. Described by Alex, Vikar was "the most gorgeous man she'd ever seen" with "dirty blond hair down to his shoulder blades, with pencil thin braids framing each side of his face...He had the most beautiful eyes and almost perfect facial features." Even though Alex's initial thoughts are that Vikar is a couple of fries short of a happy meal, she slowly starts to believe his crazy story and starts falling for him.

Here are some of my favorite Quotes/ Lines/ Moments that give you a taste of the book:
- 'Now she'd met all seven brothers. Vikar. Trond. Cnut. Harek. Ivak. Sigurd. Mordr.
  "And she is...?" one of the brothers demanded to know, and not politely.
  "Mine," Vikar said.'

- "I saw what you were doing in the storeroom, Vikar. That was Sex. Believe you me, if anyone knows sex, 'tis me," Ivak persisted.
  Vikar's face was probably turning as red as a sunexposed Lucipire. "Near-sex," he repeated.
  His brothers burst out laughing including Cnut, who felt the need to share, "He told me and Harek  that selfsame story. 'Twould seem Trond gave him the idea that near-sex was not real sex." 

- "Vikar?" Mordr prodded, "Where is the wench?"
   "Taking a bubble bath."   
  Silence reigned then as five male minds went haywire imagining the frothy scene.

- 'In the window were displayed the covers of several pornographic videos... 
  "Ah, but I'm in the mood for good literature," Ivak said with a grin, "How about these? A Tale of Two Vampyres. The stakes of Wrath. Or that one. " He pointed to the left. "Great Neckspectations."...
  Vikar worried that they were embarrassing Alex, but then she said, "My favorite is Vlad Really Did Impale Her."
  His brothers glanced at him, then Alex, and burst out laughing.' (And no I didn't list all the titles.)

Overall, I gave this one 2 out of 5 roses. There were parts I liked and I did laugh, but it was just an okay read for me. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scored a FAN rating - the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

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