Kiss of the Rose
by Kate Pearace
I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced review copy of Kiss of the Rose by Kate Pearce. This is a new author for me, so I had no idea what to expect.
Although Kiss of the Rose is a paranormal romance involving vampires, druids and humans with special senses, it focuses much more on the interpersonal relationships than it does on the supernatural stuff, which is a good thing. This book reminds me a bit of the Gardella Vampire Chronicles series by Colleen Gleason in that the story takes place in a historical setting, rather than a contemporary one.
The heroine, Rosalind, is a descendant of ancient druids with a special sense for sensing vampires and has been sent to the court of King Henry VIII to sniff one out. At the same time the Vampires have sent one of their own cohorts to take stock of the situation as well, and to oppose her, if necessary. Naturally, this fellow – Christopher, a human associate of the Vampires – is our hero.
Rosalind and Christopher team up to find and stop a rogue vampire who has been killing in a way that will bring attention to the other vampires who, not surprisingly, wish to remain unknown. As they skulk about the castle during the night trying to figure out who the vampire might be, they begin to discover that they like each other way too much. Kind of a problem, considering their positions firmly on opposite sides.
This is a solid story, with good character development and an interesting take on vampire existence. The romance is a little bit frustrating, as the book really concentrates more on the search for the vampire, but still builds some romantic tension without ever fully satisfying it. This is definitely intentional on the part of the author, though, as the story wraps up with an obvious intention of future sequels.
I’m glad I got an opportunity to read this story, since it is new and different. Not one that made me instantly a rabid fan (like J.R. Ward), but I definitely think there may be some promising development with this story coming up. Kiss of the Rose is a solid win for fans of vampires and historical romances.