Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: The Kiss of the Dark Prince
Author: Jade Astor
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 170 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 26, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: American exchange student Luke Martin is surprised to meet a member of royalty while attending a British university. Though Luke is skeptical of a mystical Gothic castle wedged between Austria and Hungary where gargoyles come to life and the supernatural is the norm, Boris von Schatten and his tales of a tyrannical half-brother ignite Luke’s curiosity. Attracted to Boris, Luke jumps at the offer to spend summer break in Schattenberg. But when he arrives at the castle, he is met by Georg, the mysterious and darkly seductive half-brother, and he learns that Boris has disappeared.
Despite two deaths and increasing evidence that Georg may have murdered Boris, Luke is drawn to Georg. Surely he isn’t as demonic as everyone believes. Luke continues to trust him until blood-soaked clothing belonging to Boris is found in a nearby ravine.
Georg may be the victim of a curse, but he assures Luke he is no murderer and Boris is truly the cruel one. Though Luke flees the castle, the secrets follow him, and while he ponders Georg’s supposed madness, Luke discovers that Boris’s disappearance may be even more sinister than it appears.
Studying in London, Luke meets Boris, an intriguing foreigner with a love of architecture, who enamors Luke from their first meeting. When Boris invites Luke to spend the summer in his home country, Luke has no reason to say no. Unfortunately, when Luke shows up in Schattenberg, he learns that the man he was hoping to spend the summer with has gone missing and his brother, Georg, is all too calm about it. Luke won’t stop until he finds Boris but with Boris’ mother’s crazy rants and Georg’s weird behavior, all evidence turns to Georg being the murderer. Can Luke figure out the truth about Boris or will he let his infatuation with a stranger cause him to do something inconceivable to an innocent man?
This was a cute little story with an interesting plot. As characters go, I found that I loved Georg but didn’t really like Luke. Georg is constantly mentioned as the cruel, aloof Prince but in reality, he’s sweet, caring and suffering through a curse. I loved that the author had readers believing that Georg was turning into a vampire and then figuring out the twist at the end with all that.
As for Luke, he was my biggest issue with this book. Honestly, he baffled me because I couldn’t understand how he was so invested in Boris when Boris was still a complete stranger to him. He acted like Boris was the love of his life and let people think that as well even though he admitted to himself Boris and him barely had a relationship. So, throughout the story, his dramatic reaction to all things involving Boris and finding him honestly aggravated me. Then again, it also aggravated me that no one in the castle seemed to believe anything Luke said.
To add to that, in the end, Luke took a letter (that could have been written by anyone) over the claims of the man he knew more than he knew Boris at that point. It just made no sense to me. Add to that, I solved the mystery within the first 30% of the book (to me, it was extremely obvious – although there was a twist at the end with Georg I didn’t expect) but by the end of the book, I couldn’t even believe the feelings between Georg and Luke because there was really no lead up to their feelings so it was extremely abrupt. PLUS, there were so many questions unanswered and the bad guy got away! I was annoyed to say the least.
Overall, there were things about this book I liked but there were just as many, if not more, aspects I didn’t enjoy. I LOVED Georg although he’s an enigma still and I liked Emory and I’ll admit that while the mystery was weak, I still enjoyed that part (sans Luke’s dramatics). I have a lot of issues with Luke himself and really wished we had gotten POVs from Georg. Still, if you’re looking for something with a bit of mystery, not much romance and set in a small, almost medieval town, give this one a go.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*