I have a weakness for anything that goes bump in the night and anything magical. So when I ran across the latest book by Keri Stevens called Stone Kissed, I was EEEEEEing with excitment.
When Delia Forrest talks to statues, they talk back. She is, after all, the last of the Steward witches.
After an arsonist torches her ancestral home with her estranged father still inside, Delia is forced to sell the estate to pay his medical bills. Her childhood crush, Grant Wolverton, makes a handsome offer for Steward House, vowing to return it to its former glory. Delia agrees, as long as he’ll allow her to oversee the restoration.
Working so closely with Grant, Delia finds it difficult to hide her unique talent—especially when their growing passion fuels her abilities.
But someone else lusts after both her man and the raw power contained in the Steward land. Soon Delia finds herself fighting not just for Grant’s love, but for both their lives…
Stone Kissed is about Delia Forrest a woman who restores and cleans statues. The only difference from her and other’s in the same profession is that she can talk to them. Delia comes from a long line of witches, and everyone in the town she grew up in knows of the family history. However, she thinks no one is aware of her particular talent with the statues, but everyone is. The statues are family, and she counts on them for help and guidance more than any human she knows. Her most prized possession though, is Steward House, a home that had been in the family for generations. When the house burns mysteriously, with her emotionally distant father sustaining injuries from the fire, she must come back home to take care of him. Amid the panic of how she was going to handle everything, a man from her past, Grant Wolverton, gives her a solution. These two butt heads, until they wear each other down and find that there’s more of a connection between them then an old house.
When I read the whole talking to statues thing, I thought hmm this could be interesting. Who wouldn’t want to talk to statues and hear the history that they’ve seen? And it was. The way the statues come to life for Delia, and the authors view on life from a statues perspective, were my favorite parts. But I was hoping for something darker, and more, for lack of better term, witchy. Thankfully Keri Stevens doesn’t shine a terrible light on witches, which is rare, but she doesn’t really give any information on them at all. You learn that Delia is from a family of witches and that’s pretty much the whole shebang on the topic. That was very disappointing for me. But she does bring in an incubus – that I did enjoy and thought was pretty awesome. Talking statues and a woman who sucks the life away from humans for ‘food’, pretty sweet, but the lack of information about their ‘world’ was a huge let down.
Delia has her fare share of insecurities and battle wounds and so does Grant. Delia is very caring, her statues are her life and she cares for them deeply. She is lonely due to a father who was never emotionally there for her and never understood her. And she’s very loyal, determined to take care of her family history no matter what. Then there’s Grant, who is a tough business man, a genius at finding the best treasures money can buy. He’s also very overbearing and over protective of his little sister. Not to mention a ladies’ man, yet he lacks finesse. I don’t know why, but I didn’t feel like I really got to know these characters, of who they really were. It may be my disappointment that there was very little written about the witchy side of things other than the talking statues and the incubus that made me distant and not connect with these characters. Either way, they don’t stand out for me or make me crave to see them again.
The story itself, the mystery of the fire, the statues, the incubus, and two people who under other circumstances wouldn’t spend time together. You see a father and daughter come to terms with their past. You see a woman desperate to keep the one thing she loves most as close to her as she can. You see a man who is normally in control, having a hard time sticking to his own rules. You see stone come to life.….it’s a lot of drama, there’s some action and adventure thrown in, and it all works and progresses fairly well.
However I am not a fan. Stone Kissed is definitely not the worst book I’ve read, but it’s one of those on the brink swaying back and forth. For me, if you’re going to bring a character with powers into the game, you need more background on that power and where it comes from and not just a vague mentioning three or four times. It’s like a random “oh yeah by the way”. If the whole family witch thing was left out entirely, this book would be even better. Keri Stevens does have a good imagination, and I think she’s very talented, I just wish you got more from the characters and more background information on why Grant is so good at finding that lost piece of art and why and how Delia can talk to statues.
Also reviewed by: Noctournal Bites, Black Lagoon Reviews, A Buckeye Girl Reads, My Eclectic Bookshelf and Parajunkee’s View
Sounds interesting and will give it a try. Given that it’s her debut novel, she’ll probably mature with her writing as she goes.
I felt the whole book was very abstract and ethereal. Nothing really explained just a jumping back and forth with an almost dream like narrative. I thought it unique but sometimes hard to jump into. I agree with you that it was very much on the brink… hard to nail down.