Kiss and Kin by Kinsey W. Holley

Kiss and Kin by Kinsey W. Holley
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (74 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Cherry Blossom

On the surface, court reporter Lark Manning looks like the luckiest girl in the world, blessed with great friends and a wonderful family. Underneath, she harbors a hopelessly unrequited love for the sexy werewolf everyone thinks of as her cousin. Taran rarely notices her except to condescend or lecture. He’s treated her the same way since she was eight years old, and there’s no reason to think he’ll ever change.

Taran Lloyd, a detective in the Houston Police Department’s Shifters Investigations Unit (SHIU), lives for those rare moments he gets to spend around Lark, torturing himself with what he can’t have. Kin only by marriage, she thinks of him as her big brother. He couldn’t bear her pity—or her disgust—if she learned he wants her for his mate.

When weres from a rival pack attack her, Lark screams out the first name that comes to mind—Taran. Only this sexy alpha can keep her safe until they find out who wants her dead, and why. But keeping her safe means keeping her close. And the closer they get, the harder it gets for these not-really-cousins to honor their commitment to keep their paws off.

Warning: Contains a heroine with the world’s worst poker face, a hero with more honor than sense, and explicit shifter sex that makes you wish werewolves really were part of the gene pool.

In Kiss and Kin, Kinsey Holley brings the reader into a world where werewolves live openly beside humans. There is even a special police unit composed of werewolves, and humans know just how to approach a shapeshifter.

Enter Taran Lloyd, werewolf detective investigating the abduction of several women. When his cousin Lark Manning almost becomes a victim of the criminal gang, Taran’s protective instincts shift into overdrive.

Kinsey Holley keeps fantasy, suspense, and romance in perfect balance throughout Kiss and Kin and makes it a heart-pounding read. There is enough action in and out of the bedroom to satisfy a finicky reader who likes a good action story driven by rich characters, supported and enhanced by fiery and complex romantic entanglements, and a smooth, vivid, and very pleasurable writing style. The mix would be enough if Kiss and Kin was a straightforward tale of romantic suspense, but the added supernatural elements are kept at the forefront and woven into the plot. The paranormal in Kiss and Kin drives the plot as much as every other aspect of the story, and the reader ends up reacting to the non-human characters in the same manner as the fully human ones: as if we had actually met them, knew their inherent weaknesses, and understood the inevitability of the situation.

This reviewer will be keeping an eye out for more stories by Kinsey Holly.

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