Hot Best Seller

A Kiss of Shadows

Availability: Ready to download

My name is Meredith 'Merry' Gentry, but of course it's not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don't even know why... I fled the high court of Faerie three years ago and have been in hiding ever since. As Me My name is Meredith 'Merry' Gentry, but of course it's not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don't even know why... I fled the high court of Faerie three years ago and have been in hiding ever since. As Merry Gentry, I am a private investigator for the Grey Detective Agency: Supernatural Problems, Magical Solutions. My magical skills, scorned at the courts of Faerie, are valued in the human world. Even by human standards, my magic isn't flashy, which is fine by me. Flashy attracts attention and I can't afford that. Rumour has it that I am dead. Not quite. I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. To speak that name after dark is to call down a knock upon your door from a hand that can kill you with a touch. I have been careful, but not careful enough. The shadows have found me, and they are going to take me back home, one way or another. So the running is over. But the fighting has just begun... Rich, sensual, brimming with dangerous magic, A Kiss of Shadows is a dazzling tour-de-force where folklore, fantasy and erotically charged adventure collide.

*advertisement

Compare

My name is Meredith 'Merry' Gentry, but of course it's not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don't even know why... I fled the high court of Faerie three years ago and have been in hiding ever since. As Me My name is Meredith 'Merry' Gentry, but of course it's not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don't even know why... I fled the high court of Faerie three years ago and have been in hiding ever since. As Merry Gentry, I am a private investigator for the Grey Detective Agency: Supernatural Problems, Magical Solutions. My magical skills, scorned at the courts of Faerie, are valued in the human world. Even by human standards, my magic isn't flashy, which is fine by me. Flashy attracts attention and I can't afford that. Rumour has it that I am dead. Not quite. I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. To speak that name after dark is to call down a knock upon your door from a hand that can kill you with a touch. I have been careful, but not careful enough. The shadows have found me, and they are going to take me back home, one way or another. So the running is over. But the fighting has just begun... Rich, sensual, brimming with dangerous magic, A Kiss of Shadows is a dazzling tour-de-force where folklore, fantasy and erotically charged adventure collide.

30 review for A Kiss of Shadows

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kat Kennedy

    There was a lot about this book that I didn't like, but only some of it can be legitimately complained about. I can't really complain about the amount and type of sex in this book like I could for Anita Blake because, unlike Anita Blake, this book is meant to have sex in it! It is Erotica. Sure, the silent, gaping, hole where my soul is shrieking over the tentacle sex would be fun to discuss, but I really can't. I highly doubt many people would pick this book up without knowing that it's freaky be There was a lot about this book that I didn't like, but only some of it can be legitimately complained about. I can't really complain about the amount and type of sex in this book like I could for Anita Blake because, unlike Anita Blake, this book is meant to have sex in it! It is Erotica. Sure, the silent, gaping, hole where my soul is shrieking over the tentacle sex would be fun to discuss, but I really can't. I highly doubt many people would pick this book up without knowing that it's freaky beyond all reason and probably violates the Geneva Convention at least a couple of times. Plus, I'm pretty sure 35% of it is illegal in a minimum of three American states. But luckily, LKH gives me plenty else to complain about and it just happens to be pretty much everything wrong with the later Anita Blake books too! The writing in this novel was horrible but it was actually the story telling and characterization that made it particularly difficult to wade through. The issue LKH has with taking 200 pages for all of the characters in Anita Blake to argue, discuss and consider her tampon brand is right here for easy access in MG. Aside from a short opening scene, the majority of this 400 page novel occurs within 48 hour span. Of those 48 hours, Merry is unconscious for a good 24(ish, I suppose, it's easy to lose track of time during the waffling!)of those. So basically the story revolves around Merry going back to Fairy, attending a party and heading home. Along the way she gives a sideways glance at a mystery that solves itself, has a lot of sex and relies on unpredictable, unexplainable sex/blood powers to fix all her problems and save the day. I was hoping that this book, unlike Anita Blake, would actually show Merry CHOOSING to have sex with a bunch of men, but not really. Once again circumstances and people more powerful than herself force her to do it. Really. She's just a victim here, guys. It's also a disturbing trend that LKH's female characters use their bodies/sex to heal emotional hurts in others because, despite everything healthy and normal, apparently you can do that. If you want to get laid then just give Merry/Anita a sob story about how you're so broken up inside/can't get laid/have some kind of repressed issues etc and she'll most likely sleep with you then. Because that's all you need. Her magic cooter will heal all your ills. I wonder about the message it sends when Merry/Anita has so little self esteem and values her body so little. In fact, I worry about the disconnected way that Merry/Anita use their bodies - almost as if it was just a tool to share around for the greater good. It almost makes me feel weird for only having sex with people because I WANT to have sex with them. The part where she only considers turning down a man with tentacles spewing out of his abdomen, because she won't be able to properly fake her orgasms was a little disconcerting! LKH, WTF? Give us back our tentacle sex. -Japan Basically, unless you feel like reading something for shits tentacles and giggles, don't bother.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    ☠ I Decline All Responsibility for this One the Only Reason I am Reading it is because the MacHalos are Collectively Holding a Gun to my Lovely Little Head Buddy Read (IDARftOtORIaRisbtMaCHaGtmLLHBR™). With the Sadistic MacHalos. Duh ☠ ☠ DNF at 54%. And someone should seriously consider giving me a medal for making it that far. Actual rating: 1.5 stars. Good thing I was in a good mood when I DNFed read this one. (view spoiler)[I am not drunk enough to review this book, but I'll do it anyway. Becaus ☠ I Decline All Responsibility for this One the Only Reason I am Reading it is because the MacHalos are Collectively Holding a Gun to my Lovely Little Head Buddy Read (IDARftOtORIaRisbtMaCHaGtmLLHBR™). With the Sadistic MacHalos. Duh ☠ ☠ DNF at 54%. And someone should seriously consider giving me a medal for making it that far. Actual rating: 1.5 stars. Good thing I was in a good mood when I DNFed read this one. (view spoiler)[I am not drunk enough to review this book, but I'll do it anyway. Because I am strong and tough and fierce and bold and audacious and stuff. (hide spoiler)] ➽ An affectionate foreword for my Friendly Neighborhood Trolls (FNT™): Okay, so I was going to write yet another delightful piece of Ever Insightful Slightly Never Ending Introductory Nonsense (EISNEIN™) (view spoiler)[Eisnein, if you are reading this, I promise I solemnly swear I give you my nefarious word that I did not do this on purpose. Cross my exoskeleton, hope to drown dead and stuff (hide spoiler)] here, but the crap is so strong in this one that I decided to cut it right away. "Cut what?" you say? The crap, obviously *eyeroll* You are so positively clueless it is not even funny anymore, my Little Barnacles. Soooooooo, I totally ♥♥lurrrrrrved♥♥ this super awesome book because: ① The Frightfully Futile Fae/Fey/Faeries/Fairies of Freaking Feeblemindedness are Futilely Frightful (FFFFFFoFFaFF™). Yes, I am indeed a fan of the lovely Fae/Fey/Faeries/Fairies/why the bloody fish do these pathetic things have so many names??!!. They have a certain stupidly stupid je ne sais quoi that I have always found quite irresistible. Must be their overwhelmingly charming obsession with looks and appearances. Who the shrimp cares about what's inside the package, as long as the package is hot and sexy and well-dressed and stuff, right? Right. You know what else I love about the Most Wondrous Pointy Ears Optional Creatures (MWPEOC™)? They are beautifully libidinous 24/7. That is just so cool. They flirt and kiss and touch non-stop because, you know, they're flirty kissy touchy Fae/Fey/Faeries/Fairies/someone please kill me now and stuff. You know what is really, really sad, though? It seems that some inconsiderate, uncaring, cruel, hateful, bad people think the FFFFFFoFFaFF™ is a boring, shallow, superficial bunch, and that is so totally like, unfair and stuff. And so totally like, barbarously judgemental and judgementally barbarous and stuff, too. It is quite shocking how mean, evil and vicious some people can be nowadays. Good thing I am all loving and kindness and acceptance and understanding and stuff. What is this detector doing in the vicinity of this delightful review? No idea. Someone must have dropped it here by mistake or something. ② Watch out, Fashion Week, Laurell K. Hamilton is out to get you. This book. Sigh. Such a glorious succession of beautifully beautiful descriptive descriptions of what my dear Fae/Fey/Faeries/Fairies/die die die look like and wear. Or don't wear. Because you know, my beloved MWPEOC™, being the Scrumptiously Salacious Bunch (SSB™) that they are, tend to think clothes are kinda sorta pointless and stuff. And I, being the lewd European I am, tend to agree with them. But I digress ever so slightly. Back to the Beautifully Beautiful Descriptive Descriptions of All Things Essential (BBDDoATE™): so many vibrant colors. So many exquisitely tailored garments. So many superbly radiant and radiantly superb materials. So many chiselled bodies. So many attractive limbs. So many hypnotizing, all-colors-of-the-rainbow gazes. Wow. This really is outstanding stuff. Laurell K. Hamilton, I think this calls for a Nobel Prize nomination or something. I mean, the level of detail here is quite unprecedented. We're talking Guinness Book of World Records material! Plus there are so many delicious details within the delicious details, it is simply delicious: ah, Alistair's red bikini underwear! To think it matches the color of his bedroom! This is so glorious it is almost too much too take. Almost. And Merry's to-die-for dye job! Two fantastically wonderful whole freaking pages dedicated to "a natural redhead's coloring." Sigh. Wonderful, I tell you! Just wonderful! Death by dye job description, it's a thing. What an astonishingly remarkable accomplishment. This is the stuff of legends, my Lovely Arthropods! I am actually at a loss for words here! ③ I'm Too Sexy for My Blurb. Yes, it is true, this book is as magnificently "rich, sensual and erotically charged" an adventure as the blurb claims it to be (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] . It's not like Laurell K. Hamilton tried waaayyyyyy toooooo hard to make her book super sexy and hot and stuff. Oh no, not at all. Absolutely not. She wouldn't do such a deplorable thing. Nuh-huh, not her. She would never ever ever ever blabber away about breasts and naked things and manly appendages and people not wearing underwear and stuff. Because Laurell K. Hamilton knows that it's not the Ever Multiplying Exposed Body Parts (EMEBP™) that count. And that repeating the words "sexy" and "sex" a million freaking times doesn't make a book sultry, sensuous, steamy and voluptuous and stuff, it makes it pathetically pathetic. Phew, I was really lucky here. This story would have been a total disaster had Laurell K. Hamilton not shown such insight. Her natural talent also saved me from reading some of the worst, flattest, most unemotional sex scenes in the history of the worst, flattest, most unemotional sex scenes. I'm thanking my lucky shrimps here, my Tiny Decapods. I seriously don't think I could have survived a shitload whole lot of Sookie & Bill type scenes here. You know, the kind of scenes that make you feel a bunch of dry humping cardboard boxes getting it on would be hotter? Pretty terrifying, I know. ④ The Most Thrilling Story That Ever Was (TMTSTEW™). Such a wonderfully intriguing plot here. It really is quite marvellous. Not a single second of boredom. It is all passion and excitement and trepidation all the time. This is definitely NOT one of these silly books that are so dull and lackluster you want to put a bullet through your lovely little head to pass the time. Certainly not. The decidedly fascinating characters NEVER waste their time blah-blah-blah-ing away about tedious stuff, either. When they engage in engrossing dialogue, it is always brief and to the point. Only compelling subjects that are essential to the lame excuse of a plot are tackled. Besides, the characters here are Fae/Fey/Faeries/Fairies/a homicidal maniac is me, which means they cannot be uninteresting and boring and tiresome. They are awesomely enthralling. They can't help it, it's in their genes. It is chemically and physically and biologically impossible for them to be flat, dull and as emotional as bricks. Wow. When I think how frighteningly tedious a read this could have been, I shudder. It looks like we have another "phew, that was close" moment here. It really is my lucky day. I think I should play the lottery or something. Uh-oh. Maybe not my lucky day after all. » And the moral of this Had I Finished this Book I would Have Given it a Negative Rating Crappy Non Review (HIFtBIwHGiaNRCNR™) is: nice try, MacHalos, but this one won't be the death of me either. Better luck next time, right? Right. I love you, too. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] [Jan. 23, 2017] The blurb says : "Rich, sensual, brimming with dangerous magic, A Kiss of Shadows is a dazzling tour-de-force where folklore, fantasy and erotically charged adventure collide." I say : ➽ Full The Crap is Strong in this One Crappy Non Review (TCiSitOCNR™) to come. [Jan. 20, 2017] I have read more crap than most people do in three lifetimes. I am strong. I am ruthless. I am invincible. I have bred murderous crustaceans. I have tamed Eisnein's mutant Sea Horse-riding equestrian-class Sea Monkeys. I have conquered suboceanic kindgoms. I will one day rule the world. I can do this. Of course I can. No biggie and stuff. HALP.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Renee Nicole

    I've created one long run-on sentence to plot this book for you. English majors, turn away now. Okay... Ready? Merry has a boyfriend who used to be a seal and when they had sex he turned back into a seal so she ran away with a guy who has tentacles all over his torso and started to have sex with him but they were interrupted by a hag who she turned inside-out and thus found out that she was wanted back as a princess in her fey court which meant that she needed lots of sexy hunky guards all around I've created one long run-on sentence to plot this book for you. English majors, turn away now. Okay... Ready? Merry has a boyfriend who used to be a seal and when they had sex he turned back into a seal so she ran away with a guy who has tentacles all over his torso and started to have sex with him but they were interrupted by a hag who she turned inside-out and thus found out that she was wanted back as a princess in her fey court which meant that she needed lots of sexy hunky guards all around because everyone was trying to kill her for some reason so she made a pact with the goblins to help protect her and got herself a goblin follower who ended up biting her while she was having sex with another one of her guards because the queen wanted her to have sex with as many men as she could so she could get preggo and create an heir to the throne. I know, right?? This book went on and on. And on. And oooooon... but every time I started getting really bored, something totally ridiculous would happen. I really liked that about this story! It was crazy and kooky and totally unpredictable. The (huge) cast of characters were all completely unique and kept me on my toes. I liked playing the game of "will she sleep with HIM?" whenever a new male would pop up. Because that was the game. If she didn't partake in some sort of sexual activity with one, it turned out that they already hated each other from days gone by. I'm a big fan of weird shit, this might not shock you. So, at the end of it all, I did enjoy this book. The second one will probably be even more strange, which intrigues the crap out of me. It might be a while before I pursue book two... I just don't have it in me to dive right into another epic Merry Gentry book. But I WILL come back. How could I not? Dangle a giant pink carrot with magic powers and two dicks on it in front of me, and... well, I'm gonna chase it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more

    2/7/18 - ON SALE for $2.99: http://amzn.to/2fA5r75 Reviewed by: Rabid Reads Laurell K. Hamilton is consistently a woman ahead of her time. It started with her Anita Blake series back in 1993. Yes, that’s right—1993. I was . . . well, I’m not going to tell you how old I was in 1993, but suffice it to say, I was young enough that my mother wouldn’t want me reading an adult UF series, and that was BEFORE the Big Shift from straight-up UF to UF/erotica that took place in 2001 with book 10. So first Hami 2/7/18 - ON SALE for $2.99: http://amzn.to/2fA5r75 Reviewed by: Rabid Reads Laurell K. Hamilton is consistently a woman ahead of her time. It started with her Anita Blake series back in 1993. Yes, that’s right—1993. I was . . . well, I’m not going to tell you how old I was in 1993, but suffice it to say, I was young enough that my mother wouldn’t want me reading an adult UF series, and that was BEFORE the Big Shift from straight-up UF to UF/erotica that took place in 2001 with book 10. So first Hamilton was one of the pioneers in the Urban Fantasy genre (if you could even call it a genre at that time), then she began shifting her writing into the largely unexplored territory of erotica. That shift displeased many of Hamilton’s fans, and she was criticized for lowering the standards of popular fiction in general. She was attacked, and called all manner of nasty things, her writing referred to as “smut” and the so-called decline of her series the result of laziness. Pfft. I’m not going to undermine the outcry of the readers who genuinely have zero interest in the sexuality-driven series that Anita Blake became. If I hadn’t adapted (like multitudes of others), I would have also been hugely disappointed that a previously beloved series transformed into something I found utterly distasteful. But I did adapt, and Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series has never been anything other than what it started as—Fae (YAY!) focused UF chock full of sexy times. If that’s not your thing, then it’s not your thing. To each their own, and all that. But do not try to convince me that Hamilton traded well-written, plot-driven books for sex, sex, and MORE sex, THE END, b/c it simply isn’t true: "I leaned my back against the windows and the thick, hanging smog. The day was as grey as my boss, but his color was a cool, crisp grey, like clouds before a spring rain. What lay outside the window felt heavy and thick like something you would try to swallow, but you’d never get it down. It was a day to choke on, or maybe it was just my mood." Say what you want about LKH, but girl can write. So by now, most of you know that I love A-L-I-E-N-S. But there is one thing that I love even more than A-L-I-E-N-S and that is . . . FAE. And LKH’s Merry Gentry series embodies precisely what I love about Fae—DELICIOUS ambiguity. Are they good, or are they bad? It has never been, nor will ever be that simple. At best you’ll find mostly good or bad Fae, but even then, the basic nature of the Fae is so capricious that you can never know what they’re going to do. I LOVE that. Another common theme in Fae-based books is difficulty with procreation, and this is certainly the case in A Kiss of Shadows. The Fae, though practically immortal, have been dwindling for centuries. The Unseelie Queen has but one heir, her son Cel, who is becoming more and more unignorably unstable. Enter Merry, the Queen’s part-human niece, who is brought back into the fold and offered a bargain: She can pick as many of the Queen’s personal guard as she wants as lovers, and if she becomes pregnant within the next three years, the Queen will abdicate, making Merry the new Queen, and the father of the child the Consort and King. Guess how much Cel likes that proposition—abouthismuch<——no spaces = notalot. Yes, there’s sex, and LOTS of it. But there’s also a good plot and lots o’ action as well . . . the other kind of action, get your mind out of the gutter. *snorts* Also, the Fae folklore is spot-on. The Seelie, though not much of a presence yet, are believably depicted as the “shining ones” that are not nearly the creatures of goodness and light that humans perceive them to be, and the Unseelie are a multitude of hideous creatures, as well as the Seelie-like (in appearance anyway) royal sidhe. Basically, I loved it. I would recommend A Kiss of Shadows to anyone who doesn’t mind a healthy dose of sex in their UF, but especially to those who have read and liked (loved?) Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, or the independently published Fae Chronicles by Amelia Hutchins. I won’t absolutely guarantee that if you like either of those, you’ll like this, but it’s a near thing, and given that this series predates Fever by 5 or 6 years, I think it’s safe to say that Merry Gentry paved the way for other books like this, Fever and Fae Chronicles included.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sh3lly (GrumpyBookGrrrl.com)

    $0.99 on Amazon: December 25, 2017! My reverse harem MacHalo peeps, now is the time to get this puppy and go for a buddy read! $2.99 on US Amazon: October 20, 2017 https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Shadows-M... Wow, I did not write a review for this. Probably because I was in too much of a hurry to start the next book. I loved this series, although it starts to fade towards the last couple. It's about the fae, and I thought rather addicting. It's over the top ridiculous with the reverse harem. Merry has $0.99 on Amazon: December 25, 2017! My reverse harem MacHalo peeps, now is the time to get this puppy and go for a buddy read! $2.99 on US Amazon: October 20, 2017 https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Shadows-M... Wow, I did not write a review for this. Probably because I was in too much of a hurry to start the next book. I loved this series, although it starts to fade towards the last couple. It's about the fae, and I thought rather addicting. It's over the top ridiculous with the reverse harem. Merry has like 8 guys and there are tons of erotic scenes. But there is (I thought at least) story also with Merry maneuvering her way through the courts and dealing with her villainous mother (Unseelie Queen) and the Seelie King. Her men are so hot and it was just awesome for me. I need to re-read and see how it holds up. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jilly

    A girl could never have too much jewelry or too much weaponry. Yeah, girl! I'm waffling between 3 & 4 stars, so I rounded up. I saw the synopsis of this book and thought I would read it because I love anything Fae. I'm a Faerie-Lover. I love all of the crazy creatures - the dark and light. I love the folk-lore, and even love Fae politics. So, what would I not like about this book? The only thing I didn't like was how much of a "Faerie-Lover" Merry Gentry is. She is more like a Faerie-whore be A girl could never have too much jewelry or too much weaponry. Yeah, girl! I'm waffling between 3 & 4 stars, so I rounded up. I saw the synopsis of this book and thought I would read it because I love anything Fae. I'm a Faerie-Lover. I love all of the crazy creatures - the dark and light. I love the folk-lore, and even love Fae politics. So, what would I not like about this book? The only thing I didn't like was how much of a "Faerie-Lover" Merry Gentry is. She is more like a Faerie-whore because this girl is easier to nail than... a nail that's easy to nail. (I good at euphemisms.) Seriously, she has sexual contact of some sort with: A Seal-man A Pig-man A Tentacled-man A Black-man (and, no, I don't mean African-American. He is literally the color black. There are blue, green, and purple guys too.) Oh, and the Blue-man A Silver-haired man A One-Eyed man This is all in less than 400 pages! This girl is like public transportation - everyone has taken a ride. But, even though all that is going on, the book is still really good and intriguing. The world-building is super creative and the descriptions of the fae is stunning. They are dark and beautiful - super political and layered. I couldn't help but loving the creatures of this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I would rank Hamilton as one of my favorite writers, but for her fatal flaw. She creates wonderful characters and settings, but inevitably she has to bog them down with in your face sexual situations. Kiss of Shadows is no different. In this book Hamilton does a wonderful job of creating a strong female protagonist, Merry Gentry, and describes an intricate fairy world that she belongs to, full of strange creatures and filled with political intrigue. But in order to enjoy Hamilton's skill at descr I would rank Hamilton as one of my favorite writers, but for her fatal flaw. She creates wonderful characters and settings, but inevitably she has to bog them down with in your face sexual situations. Kiss of Shadows is no different. In this book Hamilton does a wonderful job of creating a strong female protagonist, Merry Gentry, and describes an intricate fairy world that she belongs to, full of strange creatures and filled with political intrigue. But in order to enjoy Hamilton's skill at describing such people and places, you have to wade through pages of nothing but sex, as her main characters pretty much sleep with anything and everyone around them. I'm far from a prude, but other writers describe sexual beings much better in my opinion, such as Jacqueline Carey. If you can stand the sex, the book is worth reading. But if it makes you uncomfortable, give Hamilton a pass.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John

    When Lauren and I prepared to go to upstate NY a little over a week ago, we looked around the Providence library's website for audio books we could download. Although I wasn't familiar with her work, I'd heard an interview with Laurell K. Hamilton on one of the podcasts to which I listen, and the first book of her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series wasn't available, but the start of her newer Meredith Gentry series was available. We've very much enjoyed Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, and f When Lauren and I prepared to go to upstate NY a little over a week ago, we looked around the Providence library's website for audio books we could download. Although I wasn't familiar with her work, I'd heard an interview with Laurell K. Hamilton on one of the podcasts to which I listen, and the first book of her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series wasn't available, but the start of her newer Meredith Gentry series was available. We've very much enjoyed Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, and from the start this novel seemed like it might be in a similar vein. The basic premise is that all sorts of fantasy creatures, starting with fairies (or fey, or elves, or sidhe--call them what you will) and extending to goblins, brownies, and many you've probably never heard of are not only real, but unlike in Butcher's Dresden series, these fantastic creatures have for some time been living openly among us. The setting is the present day, but it's a modern world which has been shaped by the existence of these fantasy creatures (Hitler, we learn, first allied with some of these creatures, but they turned against him when he tried to weed out "impure" magical creatures). The fairies--at least one court of them--have a sort of independent city-state in Cahokia, Illinois (at the mounds, of course!), though many live in mainstream society, albeit as essentially foreign nationals with special laws applying to them because of their magical natures. The story here centers on Meredith (Merry) Gentry, a fairy princess who's been on the run from her family for the past three years. Because of her mixed ancestry (part brownie and human as well as Sidhe), she's mortal (instead of immortal like the Sidhe) and apparently has far weaker magic than her fairy kin. Despite this, she still has a high place in the royal succession of the Unseelie fairy court. That's the set-up: I won't say much here about the plot. Although we found the book enjoyable enough to see it through to its finish, we weren't terribly impressed. Hamilton spends far too much time on description, to the detriment of her work. She describes people and places to a ridiculous extent, apparently in love with similies. As a result, the plot moves with excruciating slowness: an important character shows up, something happens, and then we have to wait for Hamilton to describe the character's appearance, his or her relationship to the main character and to others, the character's personality, all the possibly-relevant details of this character's appearance on the story's stage at this juncture... and on and on. This is bad enough, but then she has to over-explain everything that happens, every decision that the character makes... before it was over, we'd find outselves laughing--at least, after screaming in frustration--as we poked fun at Hamilton's style. I know that fantasy is a hard genre to write: so much needs to be explained because it's not our world, the rules are different, but there's definitely such a thing as over-explaining, and too often Hamilton falls into that trap. Too often, when not boring us with extraneous details, she sounds like she's talking down to us. If this was her first novel--and not just the first in the series--I could understand, but she'd written at least 8 books before this one; if this is what her mature work looks like, I have no interest in reading any of her earlier stuff, and I doubt I'll continue this series either. Even beyond those criticisms, when the plot moves in unexpected directions--and it does--frequently those directions aren't wholly satisfying. The first part of the novel seemed as though it was going in one direction, but instead it went in a whole different direction, with the first bit of plot being left behind quickly and all of the other characters from the beginning completely forgotten by the end: several characters who Meredith purports to care about in one fashion or another are just completely dropped with barely another mention. The thing is, there is something appealing about this novel. Her characters do, for the most part, have a certain something that holds the readers' attention and draws us in. There are moments where the characters really come to life. Hamilton is known for writing very sexually-charged fantasy, and rather sadly the sex scenes are one of the highlights--probably her best writing. The book reads like a trashy romance novel for the reader who also loves fantasy, but it's too slow-paced to really work as the light read to which it seems to aspire. Considering how many other good writers there are out there who I haven't read, I don't plan to spend more time on Hamilton's work any time soon. I suspect that the stylistic flaws that bugged me so much here were accentuated by the fact that we were listening to this as an audiobook. While these things might annoy if being read on the page, they are easily enough skimmed over. When each word is read to you, however, it's impossible not to notice and be frustrated. Oh, and the reader, Laurel Merlington, does a competent job differentiating the characters with different voices, though at times her male voices come off as more flat than I would like.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    4.5 It's like "Game of Thrones", but with fairies and sex. I love it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adrianna

    When my friend first recommended this author to me, I wasn't expecting much. If Laurell K. Hamilton was so good, why hadn't I heard of her before? One of the main reasons she remained under my book radar was because I usually stick to historical romances and even then specific authors of the genre. The first couple of pages in A Kiss of Shadows left me blown away. Hamilton creates a world that blends multiple genres: fantasy, science fiction, suspense/thriller, and even romance. I knew it would When my friend first recommended this author to me, I wasn't expecting much. If Laurell K. Hamilton was so good, why hadn't I heard of her before? One of the main reasons she remained under my book radar was because I usually stick to historical romances and even then specific authors of the genre. The first couple of pages in A Kiss of Shadows left me blown away. Hamilton creates a world that blends multiple genres: fantasy, science fiction, suspense/thriller, and even romance. I knew it would be an atypical romance, but that fact only left me more engaged in reading the series. She not only creates an unique world, but she develops intriguing characters, many of which you become attached to from the first book. Meredith Gentry, the protagonist and heroine of the series, is admirable; she is a strong woman who knows what she wants and will fight for it. The first person perspective, which is usually over-used in fiction, is well-crafted in this series. It makes all the events of the novel seem more real to the reader, as if you are experiencing the action at the same time Meredith is. If you like strong female characters, handsome hunks, and exploring new worlds, this is the book for you. It is a perfect escape from our mundane realities for open-minded readers.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I finished last night. 1 star. It's too much, yet not really anything at all. Plus, just like Anita, Merry has no women friends. All other women are competition. And much like Anita (who was a Christian virgin right?), Merry has qualms about public sex then proceeds to almost bang guys in very public situations. Just TRYIN TOO HARD to have an actual plot to tie all the sex scenes together.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Merry Gentry lives in LA and works as a private detective, but in reality, she is Princess Meredith, a Sidhe Princess, niece to Queen Andais of the Unseelie Court. She has been in hiding for three years because her aunt is out to kill her. But she is discovered and must return to her home to face her aunt and Cel, the next in line to the throne. You may be aware that I've been reading the Anita books and, well, don't really like them all that much. So why I am reading LKH's paranormal erotica ser Merry Gentry lives in LA and works as a private detective, but in reality, she is Princess Meredith, a Sidhe Princess, niece to Queen Andais of the Unseelie Court. She has been in hiding for three years because her aunt is out to kill her. But she is discovered and must return to her home to face her aunt and Cel, the next in line to the throne. You may be aware that I've been reading the Anita books and, well, don't really like them all that much. So why I am reading LKH's paranormal erotica series? Well, I'll attribute that to a few things: 1. To see if LKH can write a series I do like. 2. For the lulz. 3. There is tentacle sex. 4. Because I stay up late at night finding ways to punish myself. There are a LOT of similarities between the two series. Merry and Anita are both petite, curvy, hugely magically talented woman very comfortable with guns and knives and working at a job that is independent of the police, yet still fights crime. Scenes tend to go from one action/dialogue sequence to the next. There is a lot of manflesh, told in exquisite, almost fangirlish detail (enough that it makes you think that if the author were a teenaged girl, these men would be gracing the walls of her room). The writing is pretty much the same--brutally functional, with little frills (unless, of course, it deals with the lovely men). And of course, my favorite and yours: yards and yards of intricate descriptions of clothing. Because we can't have a character whose clothing isn't relayed completely! You might get confused which man titty is wearing that lime green g-string after all. I don't know if it is me, my attitude, the narrator (who gives Merry's a breathy, more reserved tone) or legitimately LKH expanding her writing, but I felt that Merry somehow was her own character. Yeah, her ease with guns, her "I don't take shit" attitude felt a bit out of place, but she seemed more compassionate, less antagonistic, less likely to spend several hours in a pissing contest over how manly and competent she is. She doesn't strike me as any less capable than Anita, but she does endear herself to me in a way that Anita never did. And that makes me legitimately interested and invested in her story. The rest of the cast--God, there are so many, it's hard to remember them all. Particularly the men. The initial setup, with Roan and Jeremy, was solid. However, after Roan literally swims off (because Merry made him a seal?!?! HUH???), the character list grows exponentially. There is Doyle, Galen, Sholto, Frost, Kitto, Queen Andais, Cel, this woman Merry knew who is trying to be Cel's baby momma (and whose name completely evades me)...it's all a bit much to remember. And other than Doyle and Galen, I can't keep most of Merry's men straight. But I will say, Queen Andais and Cel are pretty decent antagonists. I think one of the biggest and best things that LKH did was to step away from her vampires-wereanimals story and focus on something completely new. Her world of the Fae felt very well done and different. I loved learning about the goblin society; I liked how a variety of Fae appear (such as Sholto, Tentacle Boy), and Merry isn't necessarily instantly turned off by these different beings. Of course, what also helps this book is that it doesn't pretend to not be 100% about sex. Not to spoil the story too much, but Queen Andais tells Merry that Merry could be queen--if she bears a child. And she tells Merry to go and make lots of sex with all the Guardsmen. If that isn't a setup for a porno/erotica series, then I don't know what is. And yes, it may seem cheap and cheesy, but at least LKH doesn't try to tell us this is about an "eternal, pure love" like SOME erotica novels out there *coughFiftyShadesanyonecough*. (Yes, I just picked on a book that I haven't read. So shoot me.) The sex itself, one of the parts I was looking forward to, was actually pretty tame and boring. While there are plenty of teasing scenes (such as Doyle having to lick Merry's inner thigh to heal a scrath *eye roll*), there are only two real sex scenes, and they are pretty meh. The first one was weird. Roan and Merry have sex...and somehow, a seal skin is produced. Roan can step into the skin and then return to the sea. Weird. (Especially sad because I thought Roan and Merry made a sexy couple.) The latter one gets a bit kinky with some rough sex and pain, but honestly, I was kinda bored (and disappointed there was no tentacle sex :( ). One more complaint: I was pretty excited at the setup. Two ladies approach Merry and her agency for help with their abusive lover. This was an excellent setup, one I was eagerly anticipating. However, the plot thread is wrapped up pretty quickly (even the Branwyn's tears is hastily wrapped up with nary an investigation--though given how the Anita Blake series is, I shouldn't have been too surprised), and most of the novel then is about Merry going to her Fae home (Yes, it is in St. Louis--St. Louis must be the paranormal capital of the world) and some disputes with her family. Not exactly edge of your seat thrilling, even if you toss in some assassination attempts and some "I can't have sex with the celibate Guards or Queen Andais will kill them!". I went into this book open-minded, with the knowledge that it would probably be a bit cheesy (and knowing how LKH writes). And you know what? I pretty much enjoyed myself--much more than with most of the Anita novels I've read. I'm legitimately curious about whether Merry will be queen. And of course, I have GOT to read that tentacle sex scene!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Al *the semi serial series skipper*

    I did not like the Anita Baker series so I was almost certain I was going to have a problem with this one, turns out I was wrong. This, IMO, is vastly superior to the Anita Baker series, Anita was a ninny hammer I just could not stand so Merry is a bit of a relief.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tilly Slaton

    Awhile back, my husband gave me a ton of new books. Laurell Hamilton was one of the authors and I was super stoked! I read the entire Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series at light speed. I love that series! And it was because of that series, that I suffered through the first book of the Meredith Gentry series. Meredith Gentry is a fae princess in a volunteered exile, using glamour to hide her real identity from everyone. I always give a series / a book a chance. I have to tell you, the ONLY reason I Awhile back, my husband gave me a ton of new books. Laurell Hamilton was one of the authors and I was super stoked! I read the entire Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series at light speed. I love that series! And it was because of that series, that I suffered through the first book of the Meredith Gentry series. Meredith Gentry is a fae princess in a volunteered exile, using glamour to hide her real identity from everyone. I always give a series / a book a chance. I have to tell you, the ONLY reason I finished reading this book was due to the Anita Blake series. After reading 50% of the book, I was still forcing myself to endure what had become something of a bleh. This series revolves around a fae princess and the royal politics that are tossed into the mix. Everything is about politics, sex and a wicked queen and her sadistic and only son, Cel. The imagination and ideas that went into this book are pretty outstanding! Meredith Gentry is revealed as the far princess and then summoned to her aunt, the wicked and sadistic Queen of the courts. Being forced to have sex with every available suitor in the Queen’s guard, Meredith and the men in her life have sex frequently for one purpose only, to conceive a child before her cousin, Cel. Whomever conceives a child first, will be named heir to the throne. A race against Cel, a man to be feared already .. Gentry accepts partners into her bed that are unacceptable to her. Basically, she’s whoring herself out so that she can conceive a child and become heir to the throne, and then be crowned Queen of the fae courts. I dislike this book. I can’t imagine forcing myself to read it again. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone unless they are torturing themselves. I usually try to find something positive to say about a book and author. So here goes .. Laurell Hamilton is AMAZING! I love her Anita Blake series, and I look forward to reading it again soon. With that said, I will NOT be reading the Meredith Gentry series ever again, if I can help it. Strong sexual content. Neat ideas. Unworthy of my time to re-read. As always, this is my opinion only. Others might find this series totally rockin’ awesome. I am not one of them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

    There are certain aspects that appear in all of Laurell K. Hamilton's books. For example: Anita and Merry are both short. - Now, I don't mind this because I'm short too, so it makes me feel nice and at home. Anita and Merry both have big boobs. - Okay, sure, I guess if we all had our wish we'd all have an ample bosom too. But then we start getting a little more ridiculous... Anita and Merry both like their men to be softer looking, more effeminate. - What is wrong with a little muscle? Or variety? I There are certain aspects that appear in all of Laurell K. Hamilton's books. For example: Anita and Merry are both short. - Now, I don't mind this because I'm short too, so it makes me feel nice and at home. Anita and Merry both have big boobs. - Okay, sure, I guess if we all had our wish we'd all have an ample bosom too. But then we start getting a little more ridiculous... Anita and Merry both like their men to be softer looking, more effeminate. - What is wrong with a little muscle? Or variety? I understand most people have a type, but geez.. do they have to have the same type? Anita and Merry both like men with longer hair. - Again... Anita and Merry both collect men. Anita and Merry both like to have sex being taken from behind. Anita and Merry both like to have pain included in sex. Anita and Merry both have LOTS of sex. Anita and Merry both keep almost being killed. Anita and Merry both think in almost the same way. Anita and Merry both work in some form of law enforcement. Anita and Merry both know how to fire a gun. Anita and Merry both start off normal and then collect fabulous powers and do things people haven't seen for millenia. Anita and Merry both have lots of sex. I know I already mentioned that, but seriously, it's ridiculous. Call me crazy, but shouldn't an author WORK to make their characters not exactly the same? Variety and all that? Or, I don't know... an original idea? Okay, so now I've got that out of my system we move on.... I don't mind this book, it's not too bad. Nice idea, and it's lovely to see something that revolves around the fey and not vampires/lycanthropes. However, Laurell K. tends to blather on and on and on and on descriptively. She describes a room down to the piece of fluff that's stuck under the bed. She describes the outfit almost down to the brand of stockings she's wearing. She describes the men in so much ridiculous detail I feel like I could go onto The Sims 3 and make myself my very on Frost Sim. It gets a bit much. I do, however, like the men. The men seem to be a fairly varied bunch, which is really nice, and I've already got a soft spot for Doyle. However I did notice a few similarities between the men of the Anita-verse and the men of Merry-verse. Like Frost... he gives me a distinct Requiem vibe. A couple of other little things too. Anyway... I will continue to read the series, purely because I already bought the damn books. I'm kind of wishing I'd kept all the receipts though. Eh, oh well.... until the next book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    I'm not a huge fan of Faerie Urban Fantasy, but, despite my thinking various parts of this were absolutely ridiculous (costumes ripped from low-budget porn, the veritable 'taste the rainbow' aspect of the men, and, um, well, a lot of other things), I did actually enjoy this one. Looking forward to the next and hoping there's less clunky exposition.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I thought I'd give Laurell K Hamilton another chance, that my problems with the Anita Blake series might be confined to that series and Anita herself. I was wrong. In this, a different series starring Merry Gentry, the half-human sidhe princess, everything that irritated me most about Anita was front and centre; the feeling that the heroine is an author avatar for Hamtilon to 'live out' her fantasies, pages and pages of descriptions on the most awful outfits imaginable, the heroine standing arou I thought I'd give Laurell K Hamilton another chance, that my problems with the Anita Blake series might be confined to that series and Anita herself. I was wrong. In this, a different series starring Merry Gentry, the half-human sidhe princess, everything that irritated me most about Anita was front and centre; the feeling that the heroine is an author avatar for Hamtilon to 'live out' her fantasies, pages and pages of descriptions on the most awful outfits imaginable, the heroine standing around while those around her discuss how beautiful she is, every male she meets lusting after her, and every circumstance dealt with through liberal application of sex, all of which is decidedly unerotic. There's no real effort at characterisation other than Merry being the most beautiful, most fascinating, most wonderful creature to have ever walked the earth - take it as read that every male will want her more than they've ever wanted anyone before, and every woman will see her as a threat. It amuses me to think Hamilton might want to see herself this way too. I'm convinced she's not getting enough. In hiding from her sidhe family, Merry is working at a detective agency. Not for long though, as she's summoned back to the Unseelie Court, goes to see the Queen, and is ordered to have sex with loads of men. And that's it. The initial 'mystery' is solved without Merry really even thinking about it, as she instead rubs herself up against anyone who crosses her path, including those with tentacles. I'm no prude by any stretch of the imagination so my problem with the constant sex was less to do with being squicky about it and more to do with being insanely bored by it all. I find that the most erotic scenes I've read have usually had some sort of build-up and some investment, emotional or otherwise, is always helpful. Sex is used in this book as almost akin to shaking hands, and it strips it of any eroticism it might have otherwise had. There's not much else for me to say other than to try and remind myself not to pick up any more Hamilton in the future, as we really don't get along. In Merry and Anita's worlds, that would mean I was sexually threatened or jealous. Bless.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Denisa

    Ok, I have to admit, I liked it. I'm not a big fan of so many strange sex partners, but I try to keep an opened mind and not to judge. Plus, there were some... interesting stuff from time to time. What I really liked though was the world builder. The plot was pretty complex and the whole book just seemed to fly by. And seeing that there are (way too many) long, useless passages, that's saying something! So yeah, I enjoyed this book, though it had its strange parts. I'd say it's worth a try at least Ok, I have to admit, I liked it. I'm not a big fan of so many strange sex partners, but I try to keep an opened mind and not to judge. Plus, there were some... interesting stuff from time to time. What I really liked though was the world builder. The plot was pretty complex and the whole book just seemed to fly by. And seeing that there are (way too many) long, useless passages, that's saying something! So yeah, I enjoyed this book, though it had its strange parts. I'd say it's worth a try at least.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    There was some interesting world-building going, the foundations of the plot were laid... and then it turned out to be smut. Oh, well, I'd pretty much decided to give up on this author in the middle of her Anita Blake series, so I didn't have high expectations of this one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lina

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beanbag Love

    Just a quick one here. I got this as a Kindle freebie and I'd never read Laurell K. Hamilton so I was thrilled to take a look. It wasn't a totally exciting, satisfying read. But it's very good and the world is nice and specific. It's not a romance. There's a lot of sex, but this is a story about fae politics, so it's all done with a different intent. It's also obviously the first in a series because we're left with many questions. A lot of characters are introduced and they can be hard to remembe Just a quick one here. I got this as a Kindle freebie and I'd never read Laurell K. Hamilton so I was thrilled to take a look. It wasn't a totally exciting, satisfying read. But it's very good and the world is nice and specific. It's not a romance. There's a lot of sex, but this is a story about fae politics, so it's all done with a different intent. It's also obviously the first in a series because we're left with many questions. A lot of characters are introduced and they can be hard to remember. They all have different color hair and skin, so that helps. Some have odd appendages and some are kind of grotesque. Grotesque is actually an underlying theme, as it often is in fae stories. We don't end up seeing anything truly ghastly as far as the sex goes, but it's put out there as a possibility. Fills one with trepidation when considering continuing with the series. One annoying thing that I hope will change as it goes forward is LKH's tendency to drag a walk down a hallway out for an entire chapter. Oh, there are interesting flashbacks and tidbits of conversation, highlights of what our heroine should fear in a given situation, but you realize suddenly you've been reading for six pages and the characters have moved about fifty feet down the road. It got old for me. Especially when the final chapter is a whirlwind wrap-up of everything that happened after the big confrontation. But, for the most part, it's very well written. LKH is an excellent author and I enjoyed it except for those moments when I said "get on with it!" out loud. Maybe if I hadn't known something horrible and/or amazing was going to happen soon, I wouldn't have been so impatient with those passages, but it is the authors job to compel me not to skim. And ... I did skim. I did enjoy it, though, and I'll be going on to the next one.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Silvia Andrito

    I’ll start with a little bit of background of my experience with Ms. Hamilton’s writing. About 10 years ago I started reading the Anita Blake series. At first, I liked it a lot but as the series progressed the crimes got gorier, the sex got more meaning-less (she just started having sex with everyone), in some ways it became repetitive. It was very formulaic. She would find one impossible crime that was very gory, she will be the only person who could fix it and then she will have sex with more, I’ll start with a little bit of background of my experience with Ms. Hamilton’s writing. About 10 years ago I started reading the Anita Blake series. At first, I liked it a lot but as the series progressed the crimes got gorier, the sex got more meaning-less (she just started having sex with everyone), in some ways it became repetitive. It was very formulaic. She would find one impossible crime that was very gory, she will be the only person who could fix it and then she will have sex with more, and more people. I made it through the first 10 books. But I got fatigued and did not want to read any more of them as they were, like I said, repetitive and, in some ways, just trying to outdo each other in the gory and sex department. Anita Blake went from being a person that did not have sex with just anyone to be the complete opposite; a person that had sex with just about everyone. It started being very confusing as to what relationship she was in (or who she was doing). And why she was doing some of the things that she was doing. Basically, everyone was game for sex. Which was the opposite of how this character started. After 10 years of not reading anything by Ms. Hamilton I decided to pick up her Merry Gentry series. I had not read it in all these years because I felt that I would not like it as much as I did the original Anita (first few books). Also, because the subject was not as interesting to me. I am not the biggest fan of Fae court stories. But while I waited for another book that I am very interested in to come out I decided to pick up A Kiss of Shadows just to keep myself entertained. A lot of reviewers said that it was just bad porn. Others said that it was a great story, even better than Anita Blake. As far as I can tell yes, it’s very porn-like. But that did not bother me as much at the beginning since she made it part of the story. Mary is not human she is Fae, she has different views and how she approaches sex in general is much different than humans. Her having sex with different characters is interpreted from the beginning as her just being different and the author just trying to drive that point home. Where the story started lacking for me was when the actual plot started being developed. I thought that she would be a P.I. in LA and we would get to see that. But that was not the case, that was only the very beginning of the book. When the book starts she has no powers, has no connections in the court, and she is running from her aunt, the queen. But as the book progresses characters are introduced, made to seem important, then promptly become irrelevant to the story right after they almost have sex in one way or another. Which made it seem unnecessary and a waste of the reader’s time. After she gets to the court I thought that things would pick up, but it just becomes assassination attempt after assassination attempt in a way that was not really intriguing or interesting. A lot of the events seem to be glossed over and the story is just not interesting enough to make the reader care about the characters. It becomes all about sex; connections, alliances, anything and everything, the currency is blood or sex. Then she gets forced to have to make a child with one of 27 men, so sex became kind of a chore. This made it repetitive and not interesting. Honestly, I wanted to get into the series. I wanted to like it as much as I once liked Anita Blake back at the very beginning. But from the very beginning it is all just sex and gore. While some of the story is interesting it was not captivating enough for me to want to read the next book. Frankly it was just a little bit too much. The sex was interesting and sexy sometimes, but other times it was just there. As far as the story you are introduced to a main character whose situation changes tremendously from the beginning of the book to the end of the book. The problem I had with this was that it did not reflect growth on the character. It just felt abrupt and forced at times. She went from being a powerless no-one running for her life, to being a very powerful heir to the throne. This is told in the summary at the beginning. I just figured that it would happen more naturally versus wham-bam go from point A to point B in no time. As far as the other characters around her, this is a reverse harem so there are a lot of male characters surrounding her. Some of them are very interesting from the get go like Darkness, and Frost. But they do not really get developed. They just have a sexual encounter with her, and that’s it. I assume that they will be developed further on in the series. The evil characters are interesting enough, the queen is portrayed as crazy and merciless yet protective of her son. Her son, like a spoiled brat that has gone crazy with power. Both of which are cruel sadists. The family history is given very quickly and there is a lot of information which is not easy to process. I found it very confusing and had to reread a couple of times to try and figure out who was who and from which court. It gets confusing as the story is told. I kept thinking that I had it figured out just to realize that I was thinking of it completely wrong. I am sure that everything will be further developed later. I just really would have wished that the background story of the family would have been given enough development from the get go. And that it had not been so confusing. I will not continue reading this series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    This was a re-read and still completely enjoyable. I really do love this dark, sexy faery world. Men with ankle length hair, over six foot tall, hundreds of years old with interesting back stories. And of course the sexy Merry. Cannot wait until I get into the hotter and heavier stuff in the next books.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aly is so frigging bored

    This was a big surprise to me. I fully expected to hate it, but it's a very compelling and interesting read! I ended up almost loving it :D I couldn't wait to start book 2[I'm at 20% already]!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Davie

    First in the Meredith Gentry erotic urban fantasy series revolving around a part-brownie, part-fey, part-human Faerie princess who fled Faerie lest she die. The story takes place in Los Angeles and in Cahokia, Illinois. My Take I want to say there was less depth to this story than in her Anita Blake series, although it's possible that the similarity of her Merry character is simply too much like Anita, and it feels as though Hamilton is cheating, that she can't be bothered to create another strong First in the Meredith Gentry erotic urban fantasy series revolving around a part-brownie, part-fey, part-human Faerie princess who fled Faerie lest she die. The story takes place in Los Angeles and in Cahokia, Illinois. My Take I want to say there was less depth to this story than in her Anita Blake series, although it's possible that the similarity of her Merry character is simply too much like Anita, and it feels as though Hamilton is cheating, that she can't be bothered to create another strong female character who is her own individual. And yet, Merry is strong. If only Hamilton had left off some of those tell-tale Blake signature moves... I do enjoy Hamilton’s imagination and the twists into which it takes her. It’s a tale of faeries and goblins, magic and things that go bump in the night. It’s the Seelie and Unseelie with merely a mention of the former. It's the action that never stops as Hamilton takes what we “know” of the fey and twists it round and round: tension, drama, and an exciting combination of humanity and eros. Politics, intrigue, murder, sex, and pain. Yes, be prepared for a descent into BDSM for Merry likes her pain, although A Kiss of Shadows merely dips its toe into the sting and throb of Merry’s preferences. A Kiss of Shadows beautifully sets the series up with its background of the fae and Merry herself along with the cast of characters and how they intertwine. I love how simply Hamilton drops in the underlying plot for the series, how she sets us up, and then ties it into this story while exciting our imaginations for the next, A Caress of Twilight , 2. It’s a gorgeous example of not using info dumps! Each of the guards chosen by the queen’s ring is unique with his own strengths and weaknesses. Some I like, some intrigue, and others…hmmm, I’m not sure yet… It’s a book that reads so easily that the pages fly by as piece by piece, the parts of Faerie that are dying call to Meredith, respond to her. The Story Having fled the Unseelie Court three years ago, Merry has lived with the worry of discovery all that time. If her aunt should ever find her, her death will be the least of Merry’s concerns. But it seems that the power is dying in the Unseelie Court and perhaps, just perhaps, Merry has the power to bring life back. The Characters Meredith “Merry Gentry” NicEssus, half-Seelie and half-Unseelie sidhe, is one of the weakest members of the royal sidhe court and hiding in Los Angeles as a private detective. Roane Finn is an skinned Selkie and Merry’s boyfriend. Keelin Nic Brown, a goblin-brownie half-breed, was Merry’s childhood friend. Essus was the Prince of Flame and Flesh, and Merry’s father, the queen’s brother. Gran is half-human, half-brownie; Uar the Cruel of the Seelie Court was her husband because she bore him twins, one of whom was Merry's mother. Now Gran runs a bed-and-breakfast. Jeremy Grey, a trow, is her boss at the Grey Detective Agency, which specializes in supernatural cases, and they have the personnel to back that up. Uther Squarefoot, a jack-in-irons, is a thirteen-foot giant while Ringo is a human who made a deal with the fey. Teresa is the resident psychic. Eileen Galan of James, Browning, and Galan is the lawyer representing Merry. Detective Lucy Tate has worked with the Grey Detective Agency in the past. Detective John Wilkes has a lot to learn. Detective Alvera learns more than he wants. Maury Klein is a civilian sound expert, the best in L.A. And totally oblivious to Merry’s charms. Chris is his diplomatic assistant. Frances Norton is the wife and Naomi Phelps is the mistress of a man who terrifies them both: Alistair Norton. Liam, Donald, and Brendan are his partners in crime. The Queen of Air and Darkness is the queen of the Unseelie Court, and Aunt Andais, a sexual sadist. None of her guard are allowed to have sex with anyone but her. Eamon is the queen’s royal consort. Fflur is a healer fey and a weaver. Ezekial is the queen’s torturer. Prince Cel is her son and makes Hannibal Lecter seem like a dozy grandfather. Siobhan is Cel’s right hand. Rozenwyn is another of his guards, Cel’s second-in-command, and one who challenged Merry to a duel and left her marked by her hand of power. Conri is one of Cel’s friends, and he tries to hurt Merry by challenging Galen. Pasco is Rozenwyn’s twin, and the spy the queen sends to Merry’s bed. Sholto is King of the Sluagh, the leader of the Host, Lord of Shadows, and Lord of That Which Passes Between with the jealous hags---Nerys the Grey, Segna the Gold, and Black Agnes---as his confidantes or lovers. The Ravens are the Queen’s Guards: Doyle is the Queen’s Darkness, her right hand; his carrying Mortal Dread, another one of the queen’s private weapons, proves he comes from her. Galen was/is Merry’s childhood friend and love. The fey she would have loved to marry. Barinthus had been worshipped as a sea god, and he’s Old Court Sidhe, a power to be reckoned with. The fearsome Frost who carries Geamhradh Po’g Winter’s Kiss, a great sword, is feeling awkward. Rhys is a death god. Nicca is another spy with butterfly wings. Queen Niceven is of the demi-fey with a hold over Meredith. Kurag is king of the goblins with a taste for Meredith. Kitto is a snake goblin whom Kurag gives over to Merry to seal their alliance. The King of Light and Illusion of the Seelie Court is her uncle. Jenkins is a scumbag of a journalist who’s been tracking Meredith for years, capitalizing on her misfortunes. Bureau of Human Fey Affairs. Griffin was her lover before he cruelly left her. The Black Coach of the wild hunt is sentient and thinks for itself. My Cover The cover is symbolic of Aunt Andais’ court: all blood and death with its red background and blackened roses as they curl up and around Merry’s naked legs. The title is our introduction into Merry’s homeland, merely A Kiss of Shadows before we plunge deeper.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    7 April 2014: $1.99 on Kindle - Had to share! Bwahahahaha!! Probably because there's a new book (finally) slated to come out this summer! Which I fully intend to read thanks to my masochism. Thanks to my friend Cory's review of Blood Noir, Book 16 in the Anita Blake series, a massive group re-read/read has been scheduled for 1 September 2013. Go here for details, to check it out, or to join up. As I'm not quite masochistic enough to make myself read the Anita Blake series, and I've been thinking a 7 April 2014: $1.99 on Kindle - Had to share! Bwahahahaha!! Probably because there's a new book (finally) slated to come out this summer! Which I fully intend to read thanks to my masochism. Thanks to my friend Cory's review of Blood Noir, Book 16 in the Anita Blake series, a massive group re-read/read has been scheduled for 1 September 2013. Go here for details, to check it out, or to join up. As I'm not quite masochistic enough to make myself read the Anita Blake series, and I've been thinking about re-reading the Merry Gentry series (which I was conned into the reading with the promise of "It gets better!" I'm looking at you, Wendy! ), I decided to kind of join this epic-ness...kind of. At an angle, as it were. I've been wanting to review these books for a while, so this'll give me the chance!* (view spoiler)[I'm actually kind of jealous there isn't a graphic novel of the Merry Gentry series so I can have awesome pics to add to my reviews... :P (hide spoiler)] *Disclaimer: If you haven't clicked on any of the links, or can't quite catch my sarcasm, this is a warning to you: My reviews are likely going to be rants of epic proportions. Don't read if that's going to bother you.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Wow, this was not your typical 'fairy' tale! It is packed full of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll! Kidding. There was no drugs or rock n' roll. I loved that the action in the story started out strong and doesn't seem to come up for a breath. It was one of those books that made it hard to put down because there was really no good stopping place. I really liked Merry. She was such a kink-ass heroine! Wait. Did I say kink? I meant kick! Kick-ass heroine. Ahem. Sorry. She had suck a reali...Sorry again. Wow, this was not your typical 'fairy' tale! It is packed full of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll! Kidding. There was no drugs or rock n' roll. I loved that the action in the story started out strong and doesn't seem to come up for a breath. It was one of those books that made it hard to put down because there was really no good stopping place. I really liked Merry. She was such a kink-ass heroine! Wait. Did I say kink? I meant kick! Kick-ass heroine. Ahem. Sorry. She had suck a reali...Sorry again. Why is my mind in the gutter today? Hmmm. Let's try that again. She had SUCH a realistic personality. There. Much better. Well, maybe 'realistic' is not the best way to describe her. After all, she is a fairy princess hiding out among humans and working as a private investigator. Or at least, that's how the story starts out...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael Sorensen

    I have enjoyed Laurell K. Hamilton's work for many years now, starting with the redoubtable Anita Blake. However, that series has devolved into what amounts to a sexual free for all (not that I have anything against sex, but I tend to like story more) in which she spends hundreds of pages in self-analysis over whether or not to have sex with this or that new person, animal, fay-thing, god, demon or whatever. The trouble with established bestselling authors is the power they began to weild over t I have enjoyed Laurell K. Hamilton's work for many years now, starting with the redoubtable Anita Blake. However, that series has devolved into what amounts to a sexual free for all (not that I have anything against sex, but I tend to like story more) in which she spends hundreds of pages in self-analysis over whether or not to have sex with this or that new person, animal, fay-thing, god, demon or whatever. The trouble with established bestselling authors is the power they began to weild over the editorial process. Where their stories once were tightly knit and well edited, well mixed tales, suddenly the books become morasses of philosophizing by the author--and the story basically starts to erode into mush. As in Anita Blake's Series. So I was happy to discover Meredith Gentry. The first two are on my to be re-read list. Tight stories, lots of cool characters and well thought out situations--sadly, Laurell cannot seem to resist the urge to let her stories slip into one on-going sexual romp--and sadly MG is headed this way fast. Please Laurell, put the reins on...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Danniegurl)

    This is a decent read, it's straddling the line of UF and Erotica as LKH is known to do. If you've read Anita then you know what to expect from LKH, sex, sex sex and more sex. At least this series is a bit more up front about it vs Anita. The story is a bit disjointed I mean pretty much Merry is bed hopping as soon as we meet her and I couldn't figure out why or what the reasoning was behind it. Other than she is fey and likes sex. The overall plot is interesting in this story to say the least. I This is a decent read, it's straddling the line of UF and Erotica as LKH is known to do. If you've read Anita then you know what to expect from LKH, sex, sex sex and more sex. At least this series is a bit more up front about it vs Anita. The story is a bit disjointed I mean pretty much Merry is bed hopping as soon as we meet her and I couldn't figure out why or what the reasoning was behind it. Other than she is fey and likes sex. The overall plot is interesting in this story to say the least. I didn't see it coming I was enjoying a bit of detectiving but then the book took a sharp left to sexville. I'm fine with that, I knew going in it'd be a fun time. Some of the actions, and reactions were difficult to understand and like Merry I am suspicious of anyone who isn't in her inner circle. I'm excited to see where this goes though.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne the Bookaholic and Proud

    This is has been on my book list for quite awhile now, I'm so glad I got round to it, I really enjoyed this book, Merry Gentry is a faerie princess on the run from her own kind trying to murder her, only to be brought back into it, and having chances of her being murdered, but the good news out of it, any choice of man she wants, and what a choice there is, and the bedroom action is knee weakening and steamy hot, can wait to read more of them, and see where it leads Happy Reading!!!!! xx

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.