25 June 2011

Review: Stone Kissed

Finally starting my reviews! *Phew*

Starting with a spoiler-free review of Stone Kissed by Keri Stevens. Here's the blurb via Amazon:

When Delia Forrest talks to statues, they talk back. She is, after all, the last of the Steward witches.

After an arsonist torches her ancestral home with her estranged father still inside, Delia is forced to sell the estate to pay his medical bills. Her childhood crush, Grant Wolverton, makes a handsome offer for Steward House, vowing to return it to its former glory. Delia agrees, as long as he'll allow her to oversee the restoration.

Working so closely with Grant, Delia finds it difficult to hide her unique talent—especially when their growing passion fuels her abilities.

But someone else lusts after both her man and the raw power contained in the Steward land. Soon Delia finds herself fighting not just for Grant's love, but for both their lives...

I'm not a big romance fan, mostly because I'm a skeptic when it comes to happily ever afters. I don't know why. That's just how I'm wired. So needless to say, I don't read romance a lot. Well, didn't, I guess, because Keri's helped the conversion a little bit (and RAGT definitely helped too). 

I categorize Stone Kissed as paranormal romance. Delia's a witch. Her crazy cousin Cecily, also a witch. I looooove that Delia's ability is to talk to statues. It's her "thing" and everybody knows she talks to statues, but they don't know that the statues talk back. It's a unique trait, and one that helps Delia in her business cleaning and maintaining the Stewardville's statues. And honestly, the statues are some of my favorite characters in the entire story. They're vibrant with rich histories of their own. 

One of my favorites is the pleurant Grandmere, to whom Delia often turns for comfort. She calms Delia's frayed nerves (and after she meets Grant, her nerves stay that way), gives her advice, and gives her the mothering she needs. In some ways, the statues are more alive than the townsfolk, and that's just one of many interesting contrasts Keri draws between the living and the...well, stoned *bwahahahaha*. Sorry. This is a serious review.

Keri's built a rich history into her book. We learn a lot from Grant's interactions with Delia, from Delia's interactions in town, and from the statues Delia spends so much time with. We get a little bit of town history from the statues, some of whom have been around a lot longer than most of the people, and most of it from Delia and Grant's time at Steward House. 

We also get an intriguing love triangle of sorts: Grant, Delia, and crazy cousin Cecily (who's just so damn evil you want to hate her, but she's so good at it that you can't help liking her just a little). The scenes with Cecily are some of the best in the book, and the way she smolders for Grant is pretty seductive. I tried really hard not to like Cecily. I did, but I failed. She's freaking great, and the perfect opposition to demure, fragile Delia, who's really a lot stronger than she thinks. 

Also, Grant's pretty awesome in his own way. Fiercely determined, loyal as a puppy dog, and a looker. Also smart. He's whatever the four version of a trifecta is.  

The only thing that really threw me with this book is that there are a lot of unexpected jumps. I guess on Nook *which is how I read it* the section divisions aren't as clear. Sometimes I was in Delia's POV, sometimes Grant's, sometimes Cecily's. So just be aware of that.  

If you love a little paranormal with your romance, pick this book up. It's available for Kindle and Nook.

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