Review: Bitter Black Kiss by Michelle Clay

Posted June 30, 2012 by Carmel in / 2 Comments

Bitter Black Kiss by Michelle Clay

Title: Bitter Black Kiss
Author: Michelle Clay
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Format: eBook
Published:December 6, 2011
ISBN #: 9781937254230 / 1937254232
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Copy: received for review
Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating
Buy:Amazon.comTBDChapters Indigo IconKobo Icon

Former event planner Nicole Riley lost not only her job, but part of her humanity when a concert in L.A., fails catastrophically and the band attacks a rival werewolf pack. Now Nicky keeps her “inner beast” subdued by taking wolfs bane and refuses to become a monster. She’s trying to rebuild her reputation and manages the Bitter Black nightclub where Brody Dunn is the dee-jay.

Brody Dunn, a former special crimes detective turned private investigator, plays on Nicole’s sympathy by claiming to have just suffered a wolf bite. He keeps his past, careers, agenda and just about everything else from Nicole – except for his attraction.

They have bigger problems than Brody’s lies. Nicole’s boss is a ruthless druglord, determined to have Nicole for himself. The danger increases for everyone when he challenges the local Alpha. If they survive, and she can forgive Brody’s betrayal, will she accept what they’ve become?

Michelle Clay’s approach to werewolves in Bitter Black Kiss is different and adds a little something extra to the genre. Lycanthropy is public knowledge and is somewhat viewed as a disease which in turn means there are “treatments”. This is the main driving force of the plot line and creates some very unique and tricky situations. I enjoyed the overall concept of this book. However, there are also a few downsides to this indie publication such as a lack of character background information and the narration is so-so. I wasn’t bowled over by this novel but I did enjoy Clay’s werewolves.

Two drugs have been created as the result of lycanthropy being mainstream: one that suppresses the symptoms and one that forces them to manifest. I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel because it made the story unpredictable. It was hard to judge who was using what and when they were under the influence. I did a lot of speculating throughout the story which helped to keep things interesting. The part that stood out the most for me are the chapters covering The Wild Hunt. Werewolf pack members gather once a year to celebrate their furriness. This is the night where alpha battles are fought and new mates bond. Here Michelle’s writing transforms into something fierce, brutal and fast. It was all-out chaos and I loved every second of it!

I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters in this novel. As I mentioned, readers are given very little background information which makes it difficult to understand why they are the way they are. I found that Nicole was very naive. I don’t think that I’m giving any key points away by saying that her boss is a jerk and a drug dealer. I picked-up on his sketchiness from the get-go; why it took Nikki almost the whole book to figure it out is beyond me. Then there’s Brody who comes off as all brawn and no brain; considering he’s an ex-cop this surprised me. He never looks before he leaps, instead he just dives head first into a situation without even thinking about the consequences. I tried to understand Nicole and Brody, I really did but their behaviour dumbfounded me.

This book has potential, it really does; if only Michelle had spent as much time developing her characters as she did her universe. I enjoyed all of the werewolf parts of the story but all of the human ones fell short. Bitter Black Kiss adds a few new twists to werewolf lore but unless you’re a hardcore wolf shifter fanatic this book’s probably not for you.

Recommendation: Lovers of bloodshed, intrigue and werewolf passion will enjoy this book.
Like this, like that: Wild by Naomi Clark, Werewolves in Love series by Kinsey W. Holley and Hunter’s Moon by Felicity E. Heaton.

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About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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2 responses to “Review: Bitter Black Kiss by Michelle Clay

  1. The cover grabbed my attention straight away. I’m not sure why, but it brings to mind Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The twist on the traditional werewolf story sounds interesting. Maybe there’s more character development in the next book?