When a mysterious letter arrives from her estranged mother, twenty-one year old Kenna Blake and her best friend, Bree, make a trip to New Orleans hoping for a little Halloween fun and to get away. The mystifying Crescent City has something else in store for her though. Cryptic messages, a hot tour guide, and a new sense Kenna can’t seem to explain are just the beginning of this eye opening trip. Will Kenna accept what awakens with in her or will she crumble under its reality?
Kenna Blake has exactly two people in the world she can count on, herself and her best friend, Bree. With the recent passing of her beloved father and a mom who is more of the cards-on-the-holidays and nothing more, Kenna is basically alone in the world.
For the entirety of her life, nothing out of the ordinary has ever happened to Kenna but as she is packing up her dad’s house, she receives a mysterious invitation from her mother to come to New Orleans. How the invitation got to Kenna is odd but the mention of her approaching Awakening is ever more mysterious. What the actual hell this all about is a complete unknown but with any luck, the trip to NOLA will explain everything. With Bree in tow, a beautiful room already reserved for her and another invitation, Kenna and Bree head out into the night hoping to find some answers. What Kenna finds is a beautiful new ring left for her by her mother, Devlin a smokin’ hot and totally willing tour guide and, a strong desire to let loose a little and see what the night holds. Before the weekend is out, Kenna gets the tiniest bit of one-on-one time with her mother, an explanation about her true identity, the ability to see pretty colors around certain individuals and, leaves poor, willing Devlin on the ground passed out cold following a sexy kiss. Well hell, maybe what Kenna’s mom had to say is actually true. Kenna Blake is a newly awakened succubus.
The Bottom Line: With the exception of Bree (I really, really hated her!) I thoroughly enjoyed this short, sweet read. Kenna has a lot thrown at her in a very short amount of time and rather than melting down or freaking out, she accepts it all and does her best to adjust to her new reality. Kenna is a strong character I liked immediately and that liking only increased when her succubus abilities come into play. In all, Kiss of Awakening is just what a prequel should be, short, sweet, fast and, an excellent introduction to a new series.
P.S. Though you don’t have to read the prequel before launching into the series, I highly recommend doing so. It offers good insight into Kenna’s background and how she finds out about her status as a succubus.
Life isn’t so bad for succubus, Kenna Blake. True, she seems to be the only succubus with a conscience and a specific strategy for finding her male meals, but she has a cute new apartment, a budding graphic design business, and the most unique friends she’s ever had. Her personal love life, however, is non-existent.
Until the legendary vampire Randal Vincent sweeps into her life. Even though he isn’t someone she set out to date, at least she can kiss him without killing him. But when you’re dating someone who’s the inspiration for Dracula, there are bound to be a few hiccups along the way…
One year later . . . .
For the past year Kenna Blake has lived a fairly normal life. Though her dad is gone and her best- friend, Bree has moved away, Kenna has been able to move forward with her life. She bartends at a popular club, is well on the road to launching her own graphic design business and, only has to feed her succubus needs every 3-4 days. Yep, totally normal life.
Given Kenna’s succubus status and her natural allure to the opposite sex, you would think dating would be easier but alas, dating still sucks even for a succubus. Kenna needs the men she “dates” in order to survive but at her core, she is a good person and the feeding always leaves her feeling a bit empty inside. Unless she can feed on an asshole and put him in his place; those feeds are particularly satisfying J The only time Kenna doesn’t have to worry about hurting a man she is with is if she feeds from another supernatural which is how she has found herself on a blind date with Dex, a werewolf who is totally sure of his good looks and totally funny. Sounds like the perfect man for Kenna but unfortunately she can’t take her eyes off another man, another supernatural whose very presence commands attention.
Randall Vincent is a legend in the supernatural community. He is a vampire of old, he is powerful, cultured, charming, wealthy and, completely enamored with Kenna Blake, a woman he has never actually met. Getting and keeping a woman has never been a problem for Randall but Kenna is very young and very new to the supernatural world. Additionally, Kenna’s friend and co-worker, Sage has a history with Randall which could make dating damn-near impossible. Randall Vincent is not a man to be denied and when he sets his sights on Kenna, he will have her no matter the obstacles. Though she is tentative about starting an actual relationship with anyone, let alone a vampire of Randall’s status, Kenna is definitely interested in Randall. A few coffees (OK, tea for Kenna!) and some brief encounters leads to a real date and while things are generally going well, it all goes to hell the moment Kenna gets jumped and left for dead in the women’s restroom.
The Bottom Line: I thoroughly enjoyed this read right up to the very end and that’s where things went sideways for me. Kenna’s story is moving along quite nicely with good explanation of her life as a succubus and how she is managing what was sprung on her just one short year ago. Her life isn’t ideal but she is making the most of it and doing the best she can. When Randall comes into her life, things take a serious(ly hot!) turn and for the first time in a year Kenna begins to consider a real life that doesn’t involve pulling back from every kiss for fear of killing the man she is with. Several times in this read Kenna is put in a tough position but each time she keeps her cool and handles herself well. Randall takes a bit of getting used to and just when I thought I would be OK with him, he pulls a total douchebag move and all respect for his old ass is gone. To top it all off, the ending of this read is one of the most abrupt I have come across in a read in a very long time. Quite frankly, I was all on board for a five-star rating until I hit that last page and I kind of feel like I got sucker-punched. The only consolation is the fact that book two is set to release within in the month so I only have to be cranky for a few more weeks 🙂
Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing New Adult and Young Adult Fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is a tea lover with an obsession for Post-it notes and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.