Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Read an Excerpt
Kate Pearce has brought vampires out and back to their historical roots so-to-speak with Kiss of the Rose, into a realm where they dominate and flourish amid the sumptuous splendor of the Tudor Court filled with intrigue, murder, and a petulant Henry VIII caught between the machinations of the Vampire Council and the Druids. This combustible melding of the paranormal and the arcane mysticism of Druidic lore gives Kiss of the Rose a bit of a Marion Zimmer Bradley feel, but with a sanguine edge that makes its point felt throughout this richly engrossing novel.
Pearce couldn’t have picked a more perfect era in time for her period piece-when Queen Catherine is on the wane, and another stands to replace her, upsetting those who hold the real power at Court and potentially King Henry at sway. Summoned to combat a potential threat to the monarchy, Rosalind Llewellyn and her mentor Rhys Williams arrive to Court to find more than either of them bargained for. Multiple dangers coalesce within the confines of Richmond Palace, some of which allude that there is a greater game at play and that they are mere pawns in it. Not only is there the obvious threat of a rogue vampire on the loose intent on either possessing or murdering the King, but Rosalind must contend with Sir Christopher Ellis, her sworn enemy, countering her every move.
The two of them, blood enemies, one a defender of the vampire dominion and the other sworn to annihilate it, Christopher and Rosalind must pull their resources to survive and collaborate against a deadlier foe than the Vampire Council can combat. Without their combined powers, the future of the monarchy, and even England is at stake. Together with Rhys and council member Elias Warner, each of them play a pivotal role in defending the sovereigns at risk, and battling a powerful vampire that could have blood ties to Sir Christopher.
But what is even more intoxicating to Kiss of the Rose is the mysterious prophecy that seems to be unfolding with every step that Christopher and Rosalind make. Their unusual attraction to one another, mortal enemies, yet they are like moths to a flame, fighting every movement that draws them closer to the inevitable burn. The culmination of their passion is incandescent and beautifully played out by Pearce amidst the greater tapestry of the prophecy, the arcane rights of Beltane, and the ever present dangers of Court. Readers will hunger to unravel the treacherous path of the prophecy to see where it leads…its purpose not yet at hand.
Pearce has delicately choreographed Kiss of the Rose as lively as any galliard or saltarello, her characters whirling to her own devices, parrying back and forth amongst themselves as well as in the Court’s tapestried chambers. Kiss brings with it the fragrant winds of change to the genre, is richly verdant and consuming, its plot just as magnetic as the attraction between her two main characters. Once I finished it, I could not wait to get Blood of the Rose on my Kindle immediately. And I mean immediately.
At the end of Kiss of the Rose, Pearce leaves you hungering for more intrigue and better yet...more of Christopher and Rosalind who are placed in a prickly position by the King. How will their warring families deal with their new status? Has the prophecy been fulfilled or is there more to come? And who is the mysterious new foe(s) that Lady Celia de Alonso hints of?
In a few words: bloody brilliant, inventive, scrumptious, and definitely consuming.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)