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4.3 out of 5 stars
Deep Kiss of Winter (Immortals After Dark 8)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2009
I was so excited about the next installment of the Immortals After Dark series and I have to say 'Untouchable' by Kresley Cole did not disappoint. Kresley manages to make Murdoch the player sweetly sexy, and Daniela's character one emphasises with (which is pretty impressive I initially thought I'd be thinking "shut up wingeing about not being able to make skin contact-miserable cow")I found the plot well thought out- throughout the story I had no idea how it was going to end; furthermore the conclusion was one which satisfied without having to rely on some random act of luck/wizardry etc. My personal highlight was how the romance developed- many of the sexy scenes are implicit or rather imaginative. Before reading this story I had had a long break from Cole and I had forgotton how genuinely refreshing it is to have female characters (including main leads) who truly kick arse. Go team. I am not sure about this as a stand alone if you are intending on reading the series do start at the beginning- 'Untouchable' will give too much away of a couple of the other stories which benefitted much from Murdoch's air of mystique.

Now onto Showalter- this was my first taste of Alien Huntress series and it did seem to work well as a stand alone. I did find this read very entertaining, however I just could not buy into the plotline- it felt a little "oh come off it". For anyone new to Showalter try the Lords of the Underworld series- and yes I know "you can believe in demons but not aliens?" is a little hypocritical.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2009
I think the Immortal After Dark series is amazing, and was really looking forward to this one, but I found that for me personally, I just couldn't warm to Murdoch and so didn't enjoy it overall as much.

This could well be because I have already given my heart to Sebastian (as soon as he dumps Kaderin natch), but I just found Murdoch annoying and seriously lacking in charm. The heroines story was interesting, as she is not able to stand the touch of anyone outside her own species.

Overall though, I found this story less exciting than others in that, for the most part, there were certain events I was already expecting to happen. I know, I know, different point of view rah rah rah. Like I said, it depends on what you like. It just felt like Murdoch was slotted into the lives of his three more interesting and engaging brothers to me (where as the other brothers did not suffer this fate. Completeness I suppose). I don't think it would detract from my collection to not keep this one, though I am still waiting to see what happens to Lucia and Garreth regardless.

As far as the Alien Huntress novel goes, I am not an alien romance fan. It just doesn't sit well in my fantasy world. As such, I had no idea who was who when I read this story. I did read Dervyn and Brides story to try and make sense of this one with it, but am still not involved in what was going on. Regardless, I enjoyed the humour and interaction between the characters, on balance enjoyed the development of this romance far more.

I think I should have waited for the paperback.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 October 2009
Writing buddies KC and GW contribute to this two story "anthology". These two authors prove why they are both currently so popular in the fantasy romance genre; however whilst GW's story is very good, KC's offering is fantastic.

Untouchable by Kresley Cole
Although a valkyrie Daniela the Ice Maiden is unable to tolerate the touch of any but her own kind; which proves somewhat annoying that the Ice Fae (Icere) are so intent on killing her. Murdoch Wroth believes fate must be laughing at him. A notorious womaniser prior to his turning, this vampire has spent over three centuries celibate; unable to become aroused until meeting his Bride. Yet who has heard of a vampire with a Bride he is unable to touch, a woman unable to touch him in return and sate the lust she has aroused?

I liked that this book spans a time period which incorporates events that occur in the first four books of this series and also the short story (and official start of the IAD series) found in the anthology "Playing Easy To Get". The unlikely union of ice maiden/valkyrie and vampire blooms whilst Myst is captured by her own vampire, Emmy is hunted, Karedin takes part in a deadly competition, Mariketa the Awaited comes into her monumental power and another of Murdoch's brothers falls in love with a ghost.

This short story is definitely on par with the other full length novels found in the "Immortal After Dark " series with all the entertaining elements expected from this author; sharp verbal sparring, battles aplenty and some hot nekked action. 5 stars

Tempt Me Eternally by Gena Showalter
AIR agent Macy, aka Aleaha Love; the shape shifter able to assume the form of anyone she touches makes her first (but brief) appearance in book 4 of this series "Seduce the Darkness" (although this book starts prior to the events which take place in book 4). As part of the AIR team assigned to track a group of aliens arriving on Earth, Aleaha is way out of her league; having only recently assumed Macy's face and life but obviously lacks the training.

The enemy she and her team face are not the expected Schön but a group of Rakan; a golden race universally believed to be peaceful (well that is until they start killing AIR agents). The Rakan prove far more aggressive than assumed; whilst their leader Breean is positively predatory, going as far to claim Aleaha as his victor's prize.

I enjoyed this short story but throughout it I couldn't understand why GW didn't include Eden, the Raka female lead from "Enslave Me Sweetly". So despite the action and passion plus the significant presence of other AIR agents in this story, I found myself wondering at odd moments why Eden wasn't involved in the plot line at all. 4 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2010
Deep Kiss of Winter is an interesting read, containing two almost full length stories from Kresley Cole (Immortals after Dark) and Gena Showalter (Alien Huntress series). Two of my favorite authors in one package. This time, however, my joy was diminished by the disappointment I experienced reading one of these stories.
Kresley Cole's Untouchable proved to be entertaining, sensual and able to move me. Not to mention raise the room temperature. It is a great addition to the IAD series finally giving us an opportunity to find out more about the last of the Wroth brothers - Murdoch and his destined Bride Daniela, the Ice Queen.
And what a pair they make. A rake, who used to seduce and leave women and a beauty, his heart starts to beat once again for, but cannot be touched. The irony of life. Fate has certainly played a trick on Murdoch and enriched the story with interesting twists.
As for the characters themselves - simply adored them. It was entertaining to watch as a true Casanova with apparent issues of commitment was turned into a babbling oaf at the mere sight of her. Or how Danii's uniqueness set her apart from other Valkyrie.I loved the vulnerability in this strong female. The part where she secretly wishes for him to be an arrogant, possessive Neanderthal and state his claim over her, touched my heart, even though it is something I could rarely bare earlier. At the first sign of a hero trying his domineering tripe, I'd immediately want the heroine to bring him to his knees.
Untouchable, however, made it work beautifully. Showing us both, strengths and vulnerabilities of the characters, letting us feel the passion boiling just beneath the surface.
Now the other part of Deep Kiss of Winter, Tempt Me Eternally, is actually another story. Meaning, I never thought I would say this about Gena Showalter, but she disappointed me.
The storyline, even romance was overshadowed by constant physical needs and the mindless dialogs between Aleaha and Breean. The first capture scene seemed to be going on for ages with it's annoying banter repeating the same "let me go" and "no" words. Irritating me to the point where I had actually closed the book and resumed reading only the next day (something that had never happened to me with G. Showalter's books before).
Another thing to turn me off was Aleaha's and Breean's sex scenes. Strange, since I like erotic, steamy encounters. Tempt Me Eternally, however, was bordering the line of porn. Leaving nothing for imagination and describing every raw detail there was to describe. I didn't feel any anticipation, or sexual tension. Found myself even skipping pages, looking for something interesting. Unfortunately, nothing grabbed my attention. At least not in a way it should have. It only managed to irritate me further.
Couldn't even find anything heroic about Breean. He was simply a powerful, stubborn male. And the heroine - a weak female to melt at every right word. It was ridiculous how her opinions changed, how from arguing with him one moment she ended up sympathizing the next only because he revealed an awful fact about his family. Suddenly the fact that he kidnapped her and kept her friend locked away - irrelevant.
But reading lines like, "I really am a monster (...) He'd only given her joy, and this is how she repaid him." was the last straw. In what alternate reality kidnapping a woman and her friends, even killing a few of those, locking them in a cell and making her a sex slave (cause I wouldn't call it any other name), no matter how gorgeous the man is, or how much pleasure he gives her in bed, is considered normal? Just because it is not technically a rape (the potent scent he generates to arouse her I could compare with drugging, thus the victim is influenced and not thinking straight), doesn't mean it is something admirable.
If this is not a Stockholm syndrome, then I have no idea what that is.
And for the end I would only wish to say, that Tempt Me Eternally was resolved so quickly and simply, it didn't seem the story had a real climax. But even though it failed to charm me, Deep Kiss of Winter is worth the time simply because of Kresley Cole's exhilarating Untouchable.
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on 26 December 2011
This book combines stories from two of my favourite paranormal romance authors Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter. Kresley Cole's Untouchable fits into her Immortals After Dark series (the first book is A Hunger Like No Other) and Gena Showalter's Tempt Me Eternally is part of her Alien Huntress series (the first book is Awaken Me Darkly).

***Untouchable by Kresley Cole***

Daniela the Ice Maiden is widely known among the Valkyrie for being untouchable. As the daughter of the Queen of the Ice Fey, Danii's skin is ice cold and literally burns with any contact with warmth. Murdoch Wroth is a vampire most known for his human exploits as a warrior and ladies man. When a chance meeting results in his heart beating for the first time in three hundred years Murdoch knows he will stop at nothing to claim the untouchable Daniela.

This story is the reason behind my purchase of this anthology. Dani has been mentioned in several previous books and I was excited to learn more about her, and Murdoch is the last of the Wroth brothers to get his own story. I'd heard that this is supposed to fit between books 8 and 9 (Kiss of a Demon King and Pleasure of a Dark Prince) of the Immortals After Dark series, but it actually runs concurrently with the prequel novella in Playing Easy to Get and first four books. This gives a bonus of additional action, added to by the pursuit of Danii by the brutal Ice Fey.

I really enjoyed the story and loved getting to know more about Danii. It was also fun to get a different perspective on previous events although I found myself a little lost at times as not only has it been a while since I first read the books, I've also never read the prequel featuring Nikolai and Myst. I was pleasantly surprised by the duration of the story as many anthologies just feature insta-love whereas this is set over more than a year. The storyline is well thought out and I enjoyed the steady development of both the relationship and Danii's true nature. All in all, this is a great book that is a must read for IAD fans.

Plot: 9/10; Characters: 9/10; Ending: 9/10; Enjoyment: 8/10

***Tempt Me Eternally by Gena Showalter***

Aleaha Love can take the identity of anyone she chooses just through touching their skin. Her latest identity is Macy Briggs, an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent. Her latest mission is to capture a group of otherworldly warriors but when her team is captured by the aliens Aleaha finds herself tempted. The alien commander Breean can see through Aleaha's disguise to her true form and his seductive nature means for the first time the only skin Aleaha wants to inhabit is her own.

While I have read some of Gena Showalter's books, her Alien Huntress series is completely new to me. That combined with the fact I rarely read anything even vaguely sci-fi meant I was more than a little apprehensive about this story. This falls between the fourth and fifth (Seduce The Darkness and Ecstasy in Darkness) books in the series, which does show in the novella. I felt like I'd been dropped in at the deep end as although some key events are mentioned, the backstory is rather brief.

The majority of the plot revolves around the romance between Aleaha and Breaan, and I was disappointed that more attention wasn't paid to the broader story. I found Aleaha's gift fascinating and I really enjoyed the glimpses into her backstory. Breean was well developed and again had a fascinating backstory. The problem is that there is a lot going on while the focus of the story remains in the bedroom. I'd have loved to have known more about what was going on with the prisoners, the evil Schon queen and the AIR so while I was disappointed in this story, I'll probably read more from this series in the future.

Plot: 7/10; Characters: 7/10; Ending: 7/10; Enjoyment: 6/10

*********************************************************************************************************

All in all, this is a fun read that I'd recommend for the authors' existing fans.

Average plot: 8/10
Average characters: 8/10
Average ending: 8/10
Average enjoyment: 7/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 40/50
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on 6 December 2010
I have resisted this book for some time. I love Kresley Cole and especially the Immortals After Dark Series and I do like Gena Showalter and her Lords of the Underworld series. What put me off was that the Gena Showalter story included here was from her Alien Huntress series and I just can't get excited about aliens. I caved mainly because I wanted to read the Kresley Cole story.

Kresely Cole story: I would suggest that you need to have read at least the first 3 or 4 of the Immortals After Dark series and especially the short story in Playing Easy to Get in order to get the most from this story. It can stand alone but I wouldn't personally reccomend that approach. This story is Daniela the Ice Maiden's. She cannot be touched because any heat direct to her skin causes excruciating burns. How then, is she to cope with the fact that she is a vampire's bride; when he must touch her or be in excruciating pain himself? That problem is in addition to the fact that she is also fending off members of her own race who are trying to assassinate her for a crown that she doesn't even want.
This is up to the expected high Kresley Cole standard and fits nicely with her other stories in the series. I really enjoyed it.

Gena Showlater story: I had low low expectations of this but I was surprised! The story is about Breanna who is hiding among special forces, wearing someone else's body and appearance. In an operation gone wrong, she finds herself captive to a group of peaceful aliens trying to resurrect their own race and avoid the disease that decimated them in the first place. How can she go about resisting the infinite charms of the alien leader whilst freeing her associates, keeping her identity hidden and without endangering the peaceable aliens that have captured her? This story had plenty of action and plenty of sizzle too.

I enjoyed this book much more than I thought and I would recommend it to fans of either author because both of the stories are of good quality. It bodes well for a collaboration that seems to be coming up between Cole's Immortals series and Showalter's Underworld series featuring Nix and Torin...
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As I have come to know and love, reading Cole's books is like coming home. It's been several months since I sat down to read a book from her Immortals After Dark series but her world is so familiar to me it's like sitting down with some old friends and catching up on where life has taken you since you last met up.

It felt like the majority of this book was a catch up on how things had gone for the brothers Wroth so far in the series, with a heavy retelling of the other brothers stories and how they met their brides. And while it was nice to see the other stories from a slightly different perspective I felt like maybe Daniela and Murdoch were being left out.

However, there was still plenty of Murdoch and Daniela left to be discovered. Having two characters who want to accept the blooding and bond would be too easy and I did wonder if Cole was taking the easy road until I realised Daniela's parentage meant that she was unable to be touched by anyone who wasnt of her own kind. Ok so if I had read the synopsis (or even paid attention to the title) I would have known this. I think Cole does an amazing job of having both characters attempt to be sexual and intimate with each other without actually touching and I found those scenes to be more erotic and intimate than if they had been able to bed each other in the convential way.
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on 17 September 2013
Okay so I brought this book solely for kresley coles story as I've got all the other I.A.D books I had to have this one.
I do wish it wasn't two books inside one as it does sorta screw up my book shelf system but I think i'll survive.

Deep kiss of winter:
Love it, thought this was a good addition to the rest of the series, not the strongest of them but still a good read regardless.

Tempt me eternally:
I did really enjoy this. I know it wasn't the first of its own series but whilst reading it I didn't feel as if I was missing anything crucial.
I really enjoyed it, I've now got the rest of the series ordered and cant wait to read them in order.

Both these ladies are awesome and definitely worth buying you just get absorbed into these fantasy worlds and I really struggle to put the books down and actually get some sleep!
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on 23 August 2014
I enjoyed the Cole story (as I always do - I'm a big fan of the IAD world), but couldn't get into the Showalter story at all.

UPDATE: After running out of Cole books to read, I decided to give Gena a second chance. I read the Alien Huntress series without realising that the novella which appears in this anthology is part of the Alien Huntress world too. Now that I've read the others, this story makes much more sense - you MUST read the Alien Huntress series in order (with Maya/Aleaha's story taking place between the third and fourth books) in order to understand and enjoy this novella (and so that you don't spoil the other books as it's part of a continuing story arc). The reference to Cole's world seems a bit forced but it's amusing nevertheless.
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on 14 March 2015
Can't fault the delivery time and quality. Personally the books were one of my least favourite so far but Kresley Cole's Deep Kiss of Winter was alright - probably one of the least covered couplings; Murdoch and Dani. Their romance was a lot briefer than his respective siblings but the writing style was as good as ever. I'm personally not as into Gena's books but she provided a moderately interesting plot. I'll certainly try another book although I cannot imagine taking to them like I have Kresley Cole's.
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