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I Belong


Review: Kissing with Fangs by Ashlyn Chase

Kissing with FangsTitle: Kissing with Fangs

Author: Ashlyn Chase

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Flirting with Fangs (Book 3)

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Format: Paperback, 380 Pages

ISBN-10: 1402275757 (Sourcebooks)

ISBN-13: 978-1402275753 (Sourcebooks)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Claudia Fletcher has her MBA and a stellar resume, so when the bar she manages burns down, she could easily move on to bigger and better things. But something about the bar owner, Anthony Cross makes it impossible to leave.

Anthony has never let on to the general public that he’s a vampire, and most of his staff members have no idea Boston Uncommon was a safe gathering place for supernaturals of all kinds. Now that it’s nothing but ash, the tentative peace among warring factions is starting to crumble. The last thing he wants to do is put Claudia in danger, but he also knows there’s no way he can let her go…

Quick & Dirty: Anthony and Claudia have been attracted to each other for years. Now, they finally have a chance to be together. If only Anthony’s psycho ex-girlfriend would leave them alone…

Opening Sentence: Anthony closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose in front of the burnt-out wreck that used to be his bar, Boston Uncommon.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I hate to say it, but this book really didn’t work for me. I felt no connection to the characters; at times, I even disliked them. The romance felt flat, and in the end, I was left with a general feeling  of disappointment.

Anthony and Claudia have been attracted to each other for over five years, pretty much ever since Claudia started working at Anthony’s bar. Anthony never acted on the attraction though because of his ex-girlfriend, an extremely possessive and stalker-like woman who will do anything to get Anthony back. With her being a vampire, that “anything” could include hurting or even killing anyone she perceives as a threat to her goal. So, the attraction was never acted on and then the bar burned down. Anthony figured he would never see Claudia again.

Fate had other plans. One night, Anthony decides to call Claudia, who answers the phone drunk. This leads him to discover that Claudia is an alcoholic. In an effort to help her, Anthony decides to open a tea room rather than another bar. The time they spend together leads them to finally give in to their attraction, which means they have to deal with a very angry ex-girlfriend, as well as the fact that Anthony hasn’t told Claudia that vampires even exist, let alone that he is one. He also has to deal with the rumor that there’s a secret lab somewhere in town that’s kidnapping and experimenting on supernaturals. Will life ever calm down so that Anthony and Claudia can by happy?

While the story moved quickly, it never really clicked for me. Everything just seemed off: the dialogue, the characters and parts of the plot (the secret lab seemed almost an afterthought). I had a hard time believing Claudia as an alcoholic. I work in the alcohol and drug abuse field though, so it’s possible I’m being overly sensitive. Anthony routinely ticked me off, especially when it came to his willingness to mesmerize Claudia in order to keep his secret. That immediately turned me off, and I no longer liked him as the hero.

My last big complaint revolves around the love story itself. The whole transition from admitting attraction to sleeping together to saying “I love you” moved way too fast for me. I need to have some build up in order to really enjoy a romance, and it just wasn’t there for me this time.

Overall, this book just really didn’t work for me. Everything just fell flat. I would guess fans of the first two books will feel differently, but I was highly disappointed and do not plan on going back to read the first two books.

Notable Scene:

“I don’t know why I’m letting you talk me into this.”

“Because Anthony wants you to be safe.”

She rose. “Fine. Let’s go.”

Kurt grabbed his gym bag off the chair beside him and followed her. After he’d rolled up the carpet, he scrubbed the hardwood floor with some clear mixture he’d brought in a mason jar. After that, he poured a circle of salt around both of them. Then he placed various rocks and plants just inside the circle and poured another circle of salt, trapping the various items between the two lines of salt.

“Seems like overkill,” she muttered.

“It’s an extra powerful barrier between you and anyone who wants to harm you.”

“So I have to stand in her anytime the boogeywoman comes after me?”

Kurt laughed. “No. Once the spell is cast, you’ll be protected wherever you go. Well…you’ll see.”

Claudia was through protesting and questioning. She’d do this for Anthony’s peace of mind and no other reason. Wait a minute…she had one more question. “I just thought of something. What if Ruxandra has one of her fits and knocks the candles over? The place could go up in flames–again.”

“Won’t happen. Trust me.”

She took a deep breath and tried to believe he knew what he was doing.

Kurt grabbed his wand and pointed it at the place where the wall met the ceiling. Then he walked around her, speaking more gibberish. She felt ridiculous until she saw a blue light glowing inside the crystal at the tip of the wand.

Hmm…must be some kind of trick of the light. Like a prism or something.

On his last pass, a stream of blue light shot out of the tip, tracing the entire circle, and she gasped.

Flirting with Fangs Trilogy:

1. Flirting Under a Full Moon

2. How to Date a Dragon

3. Kissing with Fangs

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FTC Advisory: Sourcebooks Casablanca provided me with a copy of Kissing with Fangs. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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