Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: May 22nd 2012
Series: Nightwatchers #1
Reviewed by: Christine
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.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising.
Dark Kiss is the start to one of Michelle Rowen's new series released this year. As a huge fan of hers, I was beyond excited to discover this title on Netgalley.
"One Kiss can change your life forever" now that's an interesting premise if I ever heard one. Samantha tries to stay out of trouble ever since she was caught shoplifting. But when her crush asks her for a kiss, she can't say no. Then he leaves her like a discarded toy right after the kiss and she begins to feel a hunger that can't be stilled. Finding out that her life might have changed forever is a shock for her, but that's nothing compared to the secrets that are unraveled about her family, the city and heaven & hell.
Michelle Rowen knows how to weave a story that keeps you hooked. A constant high pace keeps you just as entertained as the romantic tension between Sam and Bishop. There's one twist that ensures that this tension will be maintained for a time to come. I was also very relieved that there is no love-triangle in sight - yet. I'm getting a bit tired of reading about those in YA books.
I also especially enjoyed Michelle Rowen's portrayal of Heaven and Hell, the Good and the Bad in the book. First of all, I found the idea of heaven and hell working together against a common threat very intriguing. Even better is how both Sam and the reader can't be exactly sure which side to trust. Even Natalie, the Source and villain in this book seems to have valid points. Especially as Bishop (who is after all an angel) makes it very clear that he is using Sam and is not really forthcoming about the truth either. Both sides have secrets to hide and Sam has a hard time deciding who to trust. Still, I was impressed that Michelle Rowen doesn't paint the world in just black and white, but mostly in grey.
Sam is an easily likeable protagonist who definitely doesn't deserve what happens to her. Her loyalties are torn and she doesn't act rash and inconsiderate. Carly and Jordan, Sam's best friend and arch foe are a great addition to that cast and their roles are more important that it seems from the start.
I have to admit that I found myself more drawn to Kraven than Bishop. His sardonic, devil-may-care attitude hides another side you only get to see a glimpse of. But I have high hopes to see even more of him and get to the bottom of his mysterious past as well as the very complex history with Bishop.
Speaking of Bishop. He is supposed to be the leader of the team of angels and demons and his inability of doing his job right or at all for that matter, as well as his precarious grip on sanity, is well conveyed. The only thing I was a bit unhappy with was Sam and Bishop's relationship. The time seemed a bit short for them to develop feelings as deep as they have for each other, particularly at their age, as they go from total strangers to soul mates in about a week. There was also an inconsistency in Natalie's plans that kept bugging me.
Michelle Rowen steers clear from some of the over used tropes in the YA genre and delivers a captivating tale in a world full of grey characters and interesting twists. After reading Dark Kiss, the next book in the series Wicked Kiss has been moved to my pre-order list!
Get a taste of the book and read the first chapter on Michelle Rowen’s homepage!