Haunted by a centuries-old tragedy, there’s no room in Arawn’s life for softness. Every action he takes is for the betterment of his race and the good of the realm. He leads his elite band of warriors the same way he lives his life: full on, without compromise, determined. Except for one sexy female who happens to be his subordinate.
Tenacious, passionate, tough-as-steel.
Ria relishes the duties Arawn assigns her as much as she respects the deadly combatants on her team. And she has a secret: her formidable boss is also her deepest fantasy. Years of working under his authority haven’t dulled the spark she feels, yet her passion is tempered by the hints of loss she gathers about him. His dark and sexy moodiness draws her, but he’s a hard man to approach as he keeps the world at emotional arm’s length.
Secrets laced in blood burn his battle-hardened soul.
When Ria is gravely injured in the line of duty, Arawn can no longer fight his own long-simmering feelings. But a secret, more heinous and ugly than anyone could imagine, prevents him from surrendering his heart. Despite his intentions, he and Ria forge a connection both fiery and unexpectedly tender. Yet every day brings them closer to shocking facts. Evil stirs in his blood, and hiding the truth from her will be the ultimate betrayal.
As the story begins, Ria is in a magically induced coma as she has been seriously injured and it was feared she might not fully recover. Arawn is the leader of this band of Lash demons known as Watchers and he's pretty much stretched, if honest, yet he constantly finds the time to sit by Ria's bedside in the hope she will recover and wake up. Drawn to her and yet knowing full well as his subordinate, even if Ria did want him, Arawn would never take advantage.
Ria slowly but surely pulls herself out of the darkness gripping her, led by the sound of a voice that constantly commands her to wake up. When Ria opens her eyes, it's to find her leader, Arawn, sitting at her bedside and boy is he a sight for sore eyes! Ria has, for many years, found Arawn fascinating, but he lost his true Mate and has never sought to replace her. Yet Ria cannot help but notice Arawn is just as aware of her as she is of him. Sparks fly but Arawn is keeping a dark secret and it's one that would rock the bedrock of the Watchers.
Oo, Tainted Kiss had a lot going on. First there is obviously the sexual tension between the two leading characters but we also have very interesting supporting characters. I cannot wait to see how the next book plays out because, no I cannot say as that would ruin this one. What I can say is Ria has a very protective brother and a really funny sister-in-law. There is more going on here than just a romance as there is a mission to find something that has been lost a long time and I loved Ms Kay’s idea of what going undercover could actually mean! It made for a very interesting plot and was told in a way that held my attention.
Do I feel I've missed out by not reading the previous series? Yes, but Tainted Kiss worked very well as a standalone and now I have a new author to hunt down. Action, romance, humour and a cracking story. I really liked this book and happily recommend to fans of paranormal romance.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.