Kiss Me Deadly by M. Hauf

I can’t remember how I acquired Kiss Me Deadly by Michele Hauf, but since I have seen her name around a lot lately, I thought I would give it a try. I was looking for something to read on my Kindle and it was available. Maybe that’s where my problems with it started.

Death cocktail is what the vampires call a witch’s blood. It’s poisonous a drop will destroy a vampire within minutes. Nikolaus Drake is the rare vampire who has survived his first taste. Now he’s on the hunt for the witch who almost brought him to his demise — Ravin Crosse.

A witch who spends her nights hunting vampire tribes, Ravin has three obligations to fulfill to set her soul free. One of those obligations crafting a love spell twists her world upside down when Nikolaus draws the spell from her veins. Natural enemies rarely make the best bedfellows but is it possible their intentions are really, truly the same? Can Nikolaus’s tribal loyalty survive if he surrenders to desires far darker than his own?

I will admit, the premise of the novel intrigued me enough to pick it up, but there is just something about the chemistry of Ravin and Drake that I’m just not feeling.  At the beginning, we’re introduced to this tribal vampire master who is set to kill the witch who tried to kill him.  He’s all rage and violence, and at this point I’m interested to see where it goes.  Ravin is the witch in question, in the midst of doing a task for the Devil, is interrupted by Drake and is taken by surprise.  I’m still interested, but then the love spell hits and that’s when Hauf loses me.  Ravin’s spell gets soaked into her blood and while Drake is draining her dry, he manages to ingest the spell.  Plausible, but the turning point is when Drake looks down at Ravin’s bloody body and instantly knows her name.  Prior to this, he doesn’t know the witches name; he knows her schedule and has been stalking her, but he doesn’t give any indication that he knows and now all of a sudden he does.  That doesn’t work for me.  Maybe I missed where he knows this, but it’s not obvious and it threw a hiccup into the story.

Another area that I’m not digging is Drakes actual character.  At the beginning, we have this vampire bent on vengeance, but as we begin to learn who he is, we find that he isn’t the violent sort and is actually leading his vampires away from this lifestyle.  Normally, this isn’t a bad trait, but it’s the complete opposite of the Drake we’re first introduced to.  He turns into such a sap that it’s hard to imagine him leading a tribe of vampires.  Plus, when we’re finally given more of a plot than two natural enemies falling into bed with each other, Drake’s thought process in dealing with the conflict is to talk about it – again with the exact opposite from how he wanted to deal with Ravin.  Drake’s character is very contradictory and I’m not really feeling any inspiration to care about him.

The same could also be said of Ravin, but yet I don’t have nearly the number problems with her character as I do with Drake.  Ravin really doesn’t change throughout the story, she stays true to her character, but she’s never really fleshed out to the point where I want to care for her.  She doesn’t have a lot to her and that’s the biggest hangup I have with her.

Now, I do have to be honest about something at this point.  I’ve only read the first half of the book (or 50% since it’s on my Kindle), but I’m really having a hard time of actually finding the desire to finish reading this book.  I know I have it open and I should finish it before I pick something else up, but I’m stalling.  I believe the biggest reason for why I’m doing this is because there’s really no plot in the first half of the book.  Ravin and Drake are falling for each other and spend a lot of time (pretty much all their time together) in bed with each other.  Okay, that gets a little dull after awhile.  They are pretty much mooning and daydreaming about each other when they are not together, that I’m kind of sick of hearing about it.  I’m just now starting to get to the point where there’s the potential for some action, but there’s no build up to it and I can’t get myself to anticipate what’s going to happen.  If the conflict had been introduced sooner and had more scenes, I might have been convinced to continue reading.

Overall, Kiss Me Deadly had the potential to be something different and interesting, but it’s not capturing me at all and I just can’t bring myself to finish it when I have so many other novels waiting for me.  The chemistry between Ravin and Drake seems force and two-dimensional, the conflict was introduced to late and the resolution to the love spell is known fairly quickly but doesn’t get activated for some unknown reason.  I’ll probably give this novel another try later on, but right now, it’s just not doing anything for me.

Also reviewed by:
Vampire Romance Books

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. AFAIR, this was one of the Harlequin free ebooks for their 60th anniversary.

    I didn’t even get past the first chapter. DNF. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who had trouble with this book.

  2. I have this one sitting on my iPod ready to read, but have yet to pick it up myself. I’m a little skeptical about how I’m going to feel about it now, but I’ll have to read it anyway. If my views are different I’ll be sure to let you know.

  3. Oh Jackie – this was a DNF for me too. It’s kind of a shame that this is the first Michele Hauf book I tried, because I have no desire to try her other work now. It’s smart to offer freebies, but only when the book is pretty good, otherwise I think it has the opposite affect.

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