Title: With a Kiss
Author: Kim Dare
Cover Art: Les Byerley
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Buy Link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: M/M paranormal Romance / BDSM
Rating 4.5 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Very charming, sleeping beauty, BDSM romance.
Blurb: When Liam Bates volunteered to visit lonely patients at his local hospital, he expected them to be able to talk back when he chatted to them. But, when he’s assigned to visit a comatose man, he soon finds himself spilling out his whole life story in an effort to fill the silence. It’s not long before the peace and comfort he finds in the man’s hospital room becomes Liam’s refuge from an increasingly hostile world.
Vampire Marcus Corrigan has been trapped inside his paralyzed body for over three years, unable to communicate with anyone. The chatty young man who visits Marcus quickly captivates him, and Liam’s softly spoken words soon have him determined to rescue the boy from his current life, but, unable to move a muscle, all Marcus can actually do is lay there and listen.
There’s only one thing that can wake up Marcus. There’s only one thing that can save Liam’s sanity. Everything is about to change for them both, and it will change with a kiss.
Sometimes a book tells a story that is as satisfying as a home baked cake …..ok….. this is a BDSM novel- so it’s a rich and well spiced cake. With a Kiss is a lovely piece of quality escapist confection.
What I particularly liked was the depth of emotional detail to each of the main characters. While a light read- this does not treat lightly Liam’s physical and mental abuse at the hands of his drunk and violent boyfriend Ralph. I thought this was described with some sensitivity and without melodrama. Liam needs to be rescued, but for all his instinctive submissiveness he is not a weak character, but rather very endearing. His visits to the the comatose vampire are a quiet but almost desperate refuge from his increasingly awful home life.
There was something incredibly pathetic about sitting alongside a man in a coma and being jealous of the other man’s life.
All of the scenes set in hospital balance the paranormal with the the reality of everyday illness and injury.
Marcus is an unapologetic, intolerant, arrogant, predatory and dominant vampire. However he is unexpectedly charmed by Liam’s simple good nature. The way the vampire fights his own innate personality and even his most basic instincts to patiently care for him provides some lovely moments.
Liam’s tentative New Year’s kiss sparks a change in both his and Marcus’ lives. It is great fun sharing the story after sleeping beauty wakes up, and in this book either character could fill that reawakened role.
Indeed another strength the book has is the way both character change and develop. It is not just a romance about getting the guys together or alternatively supplying dom with sub. Set within the structure of light BDSM their relationship enriches their lives.Liam develops his self confidence and happiness, enjoying an independence growing from the security of his submission. His new job is another steadying touch of practical normality.There are some nice moments as Marcus is forced to learn how to treat his human pet without smothering him. The vampire surprisingly curbs his self absorbed, egocentric way of life purely because of his relationship with Liam. He adjusts his behaviour in accordance to how Liam thinks of him.
I found the reasons for Marcus’ coma slightly underdeveloped. The self regulatory vampire code of behaviour broken by Theo Wallace seemed unlikely. Though the originally unplanned twist to his revenge was neatly done.
With a Kiss had a great ‘feel good’ factor that I don’t find that often in books, but when I do they are always shelved in my reread section, under the sub heading- simple pleasure.