Disclaimer: An advanced review copy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an HONEST review.
I read my first ever Sandra Hill novel over the weekend, and I was immediately stricken with a sense of: “Where has she been all my life?!”
No, seriously…why has NO ONE ever recommended a Sandra Hill novel to me?
But I’m so, so, so glad that I didn’t turn down the ARC for Kiss of Wrath when it was offered to me. I was about to because it was book four in a series and I, at the very least, try to read a series in order. Plus, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to understand all the nuances of the world she’s created, especially since this is book four.
But I really over-thought my decision, in hindsight I feel like I wasted precious time – time I could have been using to start devouring the world of Kiss of Wrath:
No wicked wenches or wild rampages . . . it’s been centuries since Mordr the Berserker was turned into a vangel—a Viking vampire angel—as punishment for his sin of wrath, and he’s been frustrated ever since.
It’s not so bad being stuck in modern-day Las Vegas. What better place to slay Lucipires, or demon vampires, than the original Sin City? But then Mordr Sigurdsson’s mission is expanded to a new assignment: protect lust-worthy Miranda Hart.
Miranda’s well-ordered life turned into chaos when she unexpectedly inherited her late cousin’s five children. Now, her cousin’s dangerous husband is about to be paroled, and she needs a miracle to keep them all safe.
That miracle arrives on her doorstep in the form of a very buff, handsome man with a very strange name. Mordr wants nothing to do with a red-haired wench or children. Miranda wants nothing to do with a gorgeous hunk who claims to be a Viking.
As Miranda and Mordr give in to temptation, they must decide if they fit in each other’s worlds—before their enemies close in on them.
My thoughts for this novel can pretty much be summed up in two words: “LOVED IT!” But since I know everyone is eager for a little more detail than that, I’ll also say that it was funny, emotional, and heartbreaking. The heartbreak started the second I read Ms. Hill’s dedication for the novel:
This book is dedicated to all those single parents who march on each day with the grueling task of raising children on their own. They understand best the struggle, and joy, ahead for my heroine who becomes an instant mother to not one, or two, but five children.
And this book is dedicated as well to those parents who have ever lost a child. They understand best how my hero’s grief can go on forever.
And to those who enjoy a good love story sprinkled with both smiles and tears. The best kind of all!
I was like, “Oh, s***! This is gonna be a tearjerker!” And I pretty much had tissues on hand. But the novel wasn’t as tragic as I expected. Don’t get me wrong, the hero’s got plenty of trauma in his past, but this novel was also about healing and I totally enjoyed the funny interactions between Mordr and the children, Mordr and his brothers, and Morder and Miranda.
Mordr has a lot to overcome and had difficulty interacting with the children – all of whom have an inclination towards mayhem – after his own children were killed millennia ago along with his wife. The rage and guilt he felt over the deaths of his family is the main reason he ends up becoming a Vangel (Viking Vampire Angel)…not by choice. St. Michael turned Mordr and his brothers into Vangels as punishment for their sins – each of whom is guilty of one of the seven deadly variety, Mordr’s being wrath. The brother’s have been fighting against the devil and his army of Lucipires, who harvest souls before their time.
Ms. Hill gave the novel a well thought out back story, and I liked the different hybrid aspects of the creatures. And Vangels – that is an insanely awesome name. (Kind of reminds me of Kresley Cole‘s Vemons – demon/vampire hybrids.)
And then of course, there’s the novel’s heroine, Miranda. Miranda’s a career woman who does’t want marriage or children, and at first she’s reluctant to take in her five nieces and nephews, but they have nowhere else to go and she ends up giving them a home. But, after two years of living with the children, she needs some serious backup. It took me a while to warm up to Miranda’s character. There’s nothing wrong with her, she’s nice, caring and clearly a good role model, but Mordr was such an overpowering character that it was hard for me to imagine anyone matching up to him. Miranda was eventually able to prove her mettle to me and it was hard not to like her after a certain point in the novel.
Overall, I enjoyed the uniqueness of this storyline. The characters were vivid and relatable, even to someone who’s never been in their shoes. And now that I’ve finished Kiss of Wrath, I can say that I’m glad I started with book four because now I have something to go back and read instead of waiting – agonizingly – for the next installment, Vampire in Paradise.
I give this book a solid four out of five! Best of all, you won’t have to wait very long to read it, Kiss of Wrath releases tomorrow – May 27th…happy reading!
(aka The New Vangel Groupie)