Rating: 3.75 stars
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Avery Cook has spent most of his academic life studying the supernatural history of New Orleans. It’s his adopted home and he thinks he knows it pretty well. Until the night a friend gets invited to a club Avery has never heard of. The people there don’t seem to fit in the outside world and Avery finds himself wondering exactly what he’s stumbled into. And then he sees Tyson. He might be the most beautiful man in the world and he definitely has Avery’s interest.
For Tyson, eternity has been rewarding but lonely. He tends to keep to himself and only rarely ventures out to associate with others like him. Well not like him, but close enough. When Tyson meets Avery, he can’t help himself; Avery is the person he’s been waiting for. Of course, trying to explain his history is far from easy and unfortunately the past is never quite as dead as it should be. When an old flame threatens Avery, Tyson must decide if love is worth fighting and dying for.
Let me start by saying I began reading this book on my last day of vacation in New Orleans. So many of the places mentioned I was able to visualize and that helped set the scene for the rest of the story. New Orleans is certainly a place where the otherworldly thrive and, as a result, Kiss Me Forever seems to be a natural fit. The first half of the book is well paced and the author does a decent job of giving you a sense of time and place without sounding like a travel guide. There’s just enough information to offer the flavor of New Orleans and not end up clubbed over the head by it. The romance between Avery and Tyson is quite sweet. It moves quickly, but never feels like insta-love. Their dates have a natural ebb and flow to them and they seem to suit the characters and their personalities. We’re left wondering exactly what Tyson is and the intrigue regarding this mystery is well set. Unfortunately, when we find out his secret, it’s a real let down. I won’t say more here because I don’t want to spoil anything, but it all ends up being terribly ordinary.
During the second half of the book things go astray. An evil ex tends to tangle up the plot unnecessarily and reads as extraneous. The evolution of Avery and Tyson’s relationship gets derailed altogether and ends up lost amidst all the business with the ex. As a result, the ending isn’t nearly as fulfilling as it could have been. The entire story loses its steam and never really regains it. One of my biggest frustrations with Kiss Me Forever is why Tyson continues to live an eternal life. He complains of being lonely and he doesn’t have to live the life he’s chosen. He isn’t cursed or anything so dramatic. So why he continues to exist seems contrived and rather bland.
Kiss Me Forever started out strong and definitely captures at least at a hint of the New Orleans flair. The main characters sweet and well suited. Unfortunately, their romance and the plot crumble as the book moves forward. It ends up lacking the enjoyment of the first half. If you like New Orleans and a bit of spooky doo, you might enjoy Kiss Me Forever. But hardcore paranormal fans won’t find much to sink their teeth into.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.