© 2006, Kendra
Reviews For KISS ME SWEETLY by Kendra Clark
"I loved reading Kiss Me Sweetly! The primary reason is because it definitely wasn’t love at first sight. Their verbal sparring and emotional jabs revealed so much about the characters. Nina’s fight for independence and Lucien’s painful streak of bad luck is revealed in each conversation and interaction. I got so emotionally attached to them even before getting to the sex. Lucien tries to be this arrogant loner but he’s not. He is cynical about life, and I would be too, after the misfortunes he has experienced in his long life. Yet even when he has the chance to be happy, he would give it up all for her. All that anger and emotionally charged emotions lead to some very steamy sex. It would surely melt the snow around them with all that heat and sweat! The twists and emotional climax at the end had me in knots. I could never imagine how these two unlikely people, wolf-shifter and vampire could find love but somehow they did. It’s a Romeo and Juliet type romance. I hope Ms. Clark will consider writing another story for one of Nina’s brothers or Lucien’s sire, Craven, because the best revenge is to watch them find love. I would recommend reading Kiss Me Sweetly because of the sparks in and out of the bedroom." Rating: 5 Stars Heat level: H
Ann Lee, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
"Somebody get me a fan, I need to cool off. Ms. Clark has made a new fan today. This is my first book by this author and I can say that it will not be my last. She made me fall in love with the characters, just as she was making them love each other. I love the way that she teases her readers with the near sex opportunities between Nina and Lucien. When they finally had sex, well, I can only say THANK YOU. I loved the fact that I was getting as frustrated as they were. The pace of the story was smooth and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Any female that has any older brother can relate to how Nina feels about hers. Nina is a strong woman who knows what she wants. Lucien is a bit of a loner and the typical bad boy, and we all know how we love those bad boys!"
Tasha Fisher Rating: 4 Stars Heat evel: H, Just Erotic Romance Review
"The interaction between Nina and Lucien is different then the reader would think. Nina is no shrinking violet and can take care of herself. When Nina decides to take matters into her own hands, Lucien better watch out. Lucien, on the other hand, has depths to him that Nina is slowly learning about. Lucien has had situations in his past that helped shape the vampire that he has come to be. Next, you add Lucien’s sire and Nina’s family, who all are on the rampage for Lucien’s blood, and you come up with a plot that is funny, entertaining and very suspenseful.
Ms. Clark has created a story that will enthrall the reader from the very beginning. It is this reader’s hope that she will continue to write more books in the genre."
Reviewed by: Teresa 4 Angels Fallen Angel Reviews
Kendra Clark has penned an imaginative tale of vampires, werewolves, emotions, desires, and love that sees no bounds. Lucien and Nina are complete opposites yet very alike in what they want: to be free to live their lives the way they see fit. With a very unique proposition and nothing but time to kill, Lucien and Nina find that even in the midst of a blizzard things are quite hot in their little cabin. With each turn of the page, this reader was held captive by intrigue, a passionate vampire and a feisty but adorable werewolf. Upon completion, I was amazed at the journey I experienced and sad to see that there was no more to read. Could there be another story out there just waiting to be toward: maybe one of Nina?s brothers? Kiss Me Sweetly instantly grabs the reader?s attention and is definitely worth taking the time to read more than once. 5 Angels!
Reviewed by: Shayley
Kendra Clark is on her way to becoming a big hit in the literary world of paranormal romance. Kiss Me Sweetly will keep you breathless from sentence one to the end. Kendra Clark as put a very unique and might I say refreshing twist on vampires and werewolves relations. You will find yourself panting after Lucien and almost wishing you were Nina. If you do not snatch a copy of this hot and torrid book when it comes out, you will be missing one heck of a combustive storyline.
Reviewed by Debbie Johnson
Sample Chapter For KISS ME SWEETLY by Kendra Clark
It was a freaking white nightmare.
Mounds of snow packed the solid, wooden doors of Lucien Portuer’s secluded cabin.
The blizzard had dumped at least twelve feet, caging the exterior walls along with every entrance and exit to the newly-inhabited place.
Damn, Mother Nature. He shook off the draft seeping through the broken window pane, and shot it a middle finger. Followed the gesture by a stream of curses so foul it almost made his mouth taste bad.
“You have no right to keep me,” Nina reminded him, her nostrils flaring in anger.
She was right.
He had no business keeping her, but after a two-day hunger spell and no sign of more food than was in the cabin already for days to come, it didn’t look like freedom was a feasible option.
For either of them.
Neither man nor beast dared venture out in this much snow. And Lucien’s body craved nourishment, demanded it. Aching for blood and sex with a force so intense, it shattered every voice of reason his conscience threw at him.
And little Nina had just been unlucky enough to seek shelter in his home during the storm. Of course, he’d taken full advantage.
“You are welcome to leave any time, my lady,” he said, gesturing toward the door theatrically, mocking their situation and his own crude demeanor.
Being alone for two centuries did that to a man. Made them cold and hard and gave them a twisted sense of humor. He wasn’t apologizing for it. Hell, he’d rather enjoyed tuning the fine art of ‘smart ass’ to a level of mastery.
“You only untied me because you knew I couldn’t go anywhere,” Nina shot back as she folded her arms across her breasts.
Like he needed something else to draw his attention there. Lucien’s cock shot to attention just imagining what they’d feel like in his palm.
In his mouth.
Almost trembling with need, he forced himself to look away from temptation. As hungry as he was for blood and sex, it just asked too much to be this close to a beautiful woman.
“Are you thirsty?” He asked, extracting two wine coolers from under the bar. He offered one to her and fought the steady rhythm pounding his eardrum.
Fangs burst in his mouth, aching, begging to sink into her skin.
“No,” she asserted, but he could sense she wasn’t telling him the truth.
His entire body shuddered, shivering with need beyond anything in a mortal’s comprehension. Damn, he’d never heal unless he sated his body’s needs—and quick.
Then his eyes fell to the smooth, supple skin at the dip of Nina’s neck. Just one sip.
Just one little taste…
No! He groaned. The little scuffle he’d had with the boys from the Manaro Pack had damned near killed him. And his hunger raked with such force, such brutality. He’d drain her dry.
Every last drop.
He couldn’t do that.
“You have to drink,” he informed as he waved the bottle of crimson liquid.
She chewed at her bottom lip indecisively. “Okay.”
Good. He couldn’t have his food supply getting dehydrated. Made for skinny veins. And a hell of a time to feed…
Lucien approached her cautiously. With each labored step, he winced at muscles still sore from the onslaught of the recent attack. Closing his eyes, he forced the rage from his mind and concentrated on steadying her heart rhythm to match his.
That’s it doll, steady, steady. He sent the message to her mind, weakening before he could fully calm her.
Damn, he didn’t want to hurt her, not unless he had to.
Besides, he’d taken a pint in her sleep and he’d damn near lost control then...
Quickly, she jerked the bottle from his grasp, not even thanking him. “This doesn’t have poison in it does it?”
He suppressed a chuckle, “No.”
“Good, because if you kill me, I’ll come back and kick your ass.” And then she did something that shocked him.
Creator, she’s a piece of work. Long, ebony strands of hair spilled around her face and feathered the tops of her shoulders. A small portion of soft skin exposed as her shirt spilled off her shoulder. At least it looks soft; he closed his eyes, forcing the image away. What would it be like to run a finger over her skin? A tongue?
Lucien stepped back, forced his fangs to withdraw and shuddered. Quickly, he uncapped the bottle, and took a long, fortifying sip of ‘wine.’ Relaxing as his favorite flavor replenished his withering cells. Life roared within him and the hunger left from damn near two day’s starvation ebbed.
O-negative truly was the universal donor.
A smile played at the corners of his mouth as his gaze swept over the source of sweet nectar. Pink, full lips curved over the mouth of the glass bottle and drank its contents in tiny sips.
Now what to do about his other favorite flavor.
The one he hadn’t had in months.
* * * *
Something was wrong.
Well, something more than her recent hostage situation and a blizzard the size of Mt. McKinley outside the door. Nina rested her head in a palm, wishing with everything in her she hadn’t come here.
So, she wanted freedom. She wanted independence from her brother’s constant prodding. But she hadn’t wanted this. Maybe she should’ve gone somewhere else.
Yeah, right! Where? This place had been in her family for years. And it wasn’t like she would’ve gotten far in the blizzard anyway. So here she was, snowed in and held captive in her own home.
And Prince Charming here wasn’t your average host. Something she’d known from the moment she’d gained consciousness, finding herself bound to a rickety wooden chair.
Nina sipped hungrily at the wine and prayed she’d regain strength. It wasn’t the same drink as Lucien’s. And thank heaven for it.
She was many things.
Stupid wasn’t one of them. She’d recognized the scent of her own blood the moment he’d uncapped it.
At least Weres weren’t ruthless killing, bloodsucking fiends.
Being captured and injured had left her feeling like a caged animal and nearly as restless. They’d had little to eat and even a smaller amount of sunlight. Her body howled to tromp through the snow. Be one with the wilderness around.
And succumb to the alluring pull of the moon’s first light.
Born to the leader of a pack, she’d always been independent. Females of her kind were strong even beyond the males.
But not Nina.
She-wolves didn’t come into their full powers until they mated. And thanks to the relentless efforts of her seven older brothers, her virginity had remained intact. She hadn’t known whether to thank them or smack them. Now, smacking seemed to be most appropriate.
“And you’re thinking of what, doll?” The faintest trace of a French accent lingered on his voice. Sweet and sexy and causing her to shiver all over.
Nina shook her head.
He wasn’t sweet. And yet…she studied the tortured expression on Lucien’s handsomely twisted face. Inhaled the aroma of pungent spice.
No, definitely not sweet.
“You think you’re slick, don’t you?” she asked, like she wouldn’t recognize the scent of her own blood.
“Slicker than you know, doll,” a dangerous voice caressed her spine, affecting her the same way it had the first time she’d heard it. Her nipples pebbled instantly as his velvety voice trickled over her senses.
What would it be like to have that voice whisper endearments in her...to talk dirty in her ear?
“I’m not your doll,” she retorted, still trying to figure out how he’d gotten her blood without her knowing it. Unconsciously, she raised a palm to her neck, pushed at her flesh in search of two miniscule puncture wounds.
Vampires can heal that sort of thing, can’t they?
And there’d be no way she’d know if he’d bit her or not. For one thing, she didn’t have a lot of experience with vampires.
Truthfully, she’d never had experience with anything much. Being the kid sister to seven brothers, hadn’t allowed her much freedom.
“Lose something?” he asked, just before he returned the bottle to his lips and finished the last of its contents.
Quickly, she lowered her questing fingers. Think, Nina. Don’t let him know you know “My necklace. A silver locket, shape of a heart. You haven’t seen it, have you?”
“Not likely.” He narrowed ice-blue eyes in suspicion.
Oh God. If he suspected she knew what he was, she’d never make it out of the cabin alive.
Raven’s Falls was a town of its own accord. Vampires, Werewolves, the occasional demon, but most important to Lucien—self-proclaimed vampire slayers. Hunters that’d stalk him until they’d driven a wooden peg so deep in his heart he’d never again hurt another human. He’d think she’d lead them to him.
And he’d never let her go.
“So, Portuer, what’s the plan?” she asked, trying to divert his attention.
“Little secret—we’re not friends,” he said, more of a warning than a statement.
So why does that give me just a glimmer of excitement? Even though her instincts screamed Lucien was trouble, she couldn’t take her eyes of the mesmerizing man.
Towering at least six feet five inches, he radiated power, dominance—much like a pack leader. His sandy blond hair was cut close to the scalp with just enough for him to slick back. A ripped, sheer button-up shirt with white strips left a visible outline to his firm abs and chest. Black jeans topped off the vamp look and even blacker boots clomped against the floor every time he took a step.
Who wouldn’t know what he is?
Well-defined cheek bones cut into his face, a jagged scar just below the left eye. Damn, he defined ‘bad-boy sexy’. Scuffling more than a bit in his time. And from his cordiality, she saw why he wasn’t very popular.
If Nina hadn’t been scared for her life, she might found his sinister attitude kind of attractive. But he was a vampire. And they were cold-blooded murderers.
Nothing could change that.
“How about you?” she challenged.
“What?” He tilted his head, furrowed a brow.
He circled her, slowly, like an animal on a predatory prowl. “What do you think I have to lose?”
“Like your house maybe?” Nina tipped a defiant chin.
He lifted his lips in an arrogant smirk. “No, I’m fine, thank you.”
“You’re something,” she shot at him.
“Make you mad, did I?” he mocked.
She tempered herself, and began again. “How long are you staying here? I mean surely you have somewhere to go.”
“Lady, I live here,” he said, recapping the drink and placing it back into the refrigerator.
“No, you don’t. This cabin belongs to me.” Nina tugged at her ankles, bound by unraveling, itchy rope. At least he’d untied her shoulders. She rolled them experimentally, easing the tension knotted in them.
Damn it, if she’d only come into her powers before now, she’d shift and her ankles would slip out the binding. She could fight him as a She-wolf. Power crawled deep within her, itching to emerge.
A virgin She-wolf who remained in human form wasn’t very powerful at all. Nina sighed, looking down at the red marks the rope had left. They were raw, sore and burned deep.
But nothing like the burning desire pooling between her legs every time he drew near.
“Thinking of running somewhere?” He gestured a finger to the bound ankles, a wicked smile forming as he thumped up a single cigarette from its near-empty pack. Resting the filter between sinful full lips, he allowed the cig to dangle like James Dean did in one of the old films.
She fought the urge to hobble over, jerk the cancer stick from its perch and smack the arrogance from his face. Well, it wasn’t a cancer stick for someone immortal, but it shortened a Werewolf’s life by some years. Even though they had a long lifespan, they weren’t immortal like vampires.
“Your day’s coming, Portuer,” she warned. Then a slow, calculating smile curved to her lips. “Oh wait, by the looks of you, it’s already been,” she couldn’t control the sarcasm dripping from her mouth. Actually relished it.
His green eyes cut a deadly glare.
“Watch it, doll. You’ll end up with a taped mouth if you’re not careful.” Oh yeah, I got to him.
It’s just how she craved to get to him that bothered her. Never had she been so drawn to someone. Especially someone she damn sure didn’t need to be tangling with.
Warmth flooded her cheeks. Damn it, she wasn’t of an inferior race. Werewolves were far superior to soulless bloodsuckers like Lucien. But something about the way he looked at her…like he could devour her or sip the very life from her, was enough to let her know to watch what she said.
To hear her brothers tell it, vampires were beyond ruthless and only looked after number one. Heck, they didn’t even protect their own—not like the pack. They’d rip each other’s throats out just to see them bleed.
A knot formed in her throat. She hadn’t really believed her brother’s stories, had she? And why hadn’t she asked them for help when she’d lost her job instead of running up here and trying to make it own her own?
Nina had been too darn proud to go to her overbearing brothers. Instead, insisting on making it on her own, and ending up in the clutches of a vampire that would probably suck her dry before the last snowflake melted.
* * * *
Lucien couldn’t take his eyes off her—he studied Nina aka his food source with a methodical gaze. Fingers itched to seep into her long ebony hair, rake it from her face and dip his head to the bend of her neck.
She’d tasted so sweet and spicy he’d love nothing more than to sink his fangs into her and suckle from the warm source. But even Lucien couldn’t rid himself of his only source of nourishment.
And fine nourishment she’d been. Power surged through him, his body humming to life—after just a pint. Truthfully, he’d never tasted anything quite like it. If he wasn’t looking directly at her, he’d think she wasn’t human. Maybe it was the starvation talking. Maybe it was being beaten damn near to death, but she tasted different, spicy, pure and…wolf!
An unmated She-wolf! Why hadn’t he noticed it before? Well, it wasn’t as if he’d tasted wolf, except that one time in the nineteenth-century streets of London, but that had been by accident and only that once.
Lucien clucked his tongue, prodding, “So, you have a little man who’ll be scouring the earth in search of his lost love?”
“None of your business,” she bit out, wriggling her ankles and trying to free the binding rope. He would’ve untied her; however, he didn’t feel like having his head chopped off in his sleep or a wooden table leg pierced through his heart.
“Be a good little girl and put your hands behind your back again,” he ordered, feeling a small twinge of regret for the way he’d been treating her since she awoke. And for the erotic thoughts sailing through his mind at the mere thought of her being tied up.
He’d taken good care of her while she’d been unconscious. Checking her breathing patterns. Letting her rest on the old iron-posted bed while he slept on the sofa.
But she didn’t need to know that. She needed to think just what she did. He was dangerous.
Not as far from the truth as he would’ve liked.
Nina complied, crossing her arms over the small of her back. Marks circled her dainty wrists. He reached behind her, keeping the unlit cig in his mouth, and ignored the warm brush of her skin against his as he retied the rope—loosely.
“You might want to do better than that,” Nina warned, scooting her round bottom along the base of the brick-layered fireplace. He bit back the lust shooting between his legs as he watched the curve of her backside scrape along the rigid texture of the brick.
“Yeah, well, you’re hurt.” He looked at the burn marks circling her wrist. Damn.
She turned and faced him, moving her head within an inch of his face. Warm breath tickled his nose, his chin. “And whose fault is that? Look, Portuer, I don’t think you know just who you’re messing with here. I might be small, but I have a temper and your guard will go down. And guess who’ll be there when it does?” She’d held her own, put him in his place.
It amused him—almost.
Of course the boldness is because she has no idea what I am. “You’re either very brave or very stupid. Haven’t really figured out which,” he admitted, resting his hand on the brick and leaning even closer.
The faintest traces of her perfume still lingered around her. A combination of rose and musk. The warmth of her breath fanned his mouth and he let the cig drop, bounce off the brick. Damn, he wanted to taste those full, delectable lips. Drink them like the fine champagne they were. Just one taste of her had sent his senses reeling.
And he wanted more...
A glimmer of mischief twinkled in her eye. Was she thinking the same thing? Or was this a way to distract him and attack? Fine hairs stood on the back of his neck at this proximity.
“So, did I tell you I have no man roaming the earth looking for me?” she said, an obvious tease.
What was the little vixen planning? He didn’t know yet, but something was definitely up. He groaned inwardly at the pun. Christ. Didn’t she know it was not good to tease vampires with sex? Especially one damn-near starved vampire. And especially since, sex, warmth, and blood were the essence of life.
He’d had some blood. And it was warm near the fire. What he hadn’t had in so long, he couldn’t even begin to imagine with this magnificent creature.
“Listen, Nina, you were right. No need to get into your personals.” Then why was his mouth still inches away from hers and why wasn’t he moving?
“Yeah, well,” she said, turning away from him, “I think we crossed that line when control of my life was taken from me, don’t you?” She stiffened—he got up and took a seat in the old leather, lounge across from her.
“Listen, doll. I haven’t had many choices lately myself.”
She rolled her eyes.
“No, it’s true. When you opened that door, I’d been hiding out for a few days. You startled me is all,” he admitted, crossing one boot over the other, clunking them down beside her.
“No kidding. So why did you hit me on the head? Do I look like the person that did that to you?” An adorable crinkle formed between her eyes when she asked the question.
Don’t go and get all giddy over this woman, Luc. She’s not worth the trouble.
“No way to be sure you weren’t at the time, now was there?” Lucien leaned forward, ignored the widening of her eyes, grabbed the cig from the fireplace then settled back in the chair.
“You could’ve waited. My wrists hurt. Why don’t you just untie me? It’s not like I’m going anywhere? We’re snowed in!” Nina’s voice raised a few decibels and to her, he guessed the logic made sense.
“Shit. You are innocent aren’t you? Although,” he paused, curved an arrogant, twisted smile, “you don’t sound innocent.”
Piercing blue eyes cut him almost in two, “What’s that supposed to mean?” Oh yeah, he’d touched a nerve. Although she pretended to be tough. Hell, maybe she could kick some ass if the situation arose. But as far as being a woman, she was pure as the driven snow. Oh yeah, freaking Snow White.
And Blood doesn’t lie.
“Don’t get your panties all twisted. I mean you pretend to be more experienced in the ways of the world than you are.”
Nina’s chin lifted a fraction. “You might be surprised.”
“What makes you the expert?”
“Well, Doll, for starters, I don’t untie you because I value my throat. You can’t dig a snow-hole to freedom, but you damn sure can slit my throat in my sleep can’t you?” He rested the cig between his lips and gnawed at the filter. A nervous habit he really needed to stop. But hell, it wasn’t like it’d kill him.
“I’m no killer,” she informed glaring directly at him.
“I didn’t peg you for one, it’s just, different people do different things when challenged.” He crossed his arms behind his head and leaned back.
“Yeah, well I don’t. I just want to walk around, stretch my legs, and take a bath.” She stuck out her bottom lip, unintentionally he was sure, but he couldn’t help notice. Along with a smear of dirt on her right cheek.
“We might arrange something to that effect,” he said, allowing his hungry gaze to travel the length of her.
Nina in a bath, now that’s something I’d love to see.
Obviously, she’d read his mind
because she lunged at him, hitting his bruised leg.
He went stone cold.
“Personals. Thought we’d decided not to touch upon them.” he sauntered to the kitchen leaving her by the fireplace, unable to move.
“You didn’t mind asking me.”
“I have no family,” he admitted, letting out an unexpected sigh. Who needed protection of the Clan anyway? He wouldn’t beg their forgiveness for the broken alliance with the Manaro pack for all the protection in the world. Couldn’t help it if that bunch of testosterone-filled Weres wanted more power than they’d needed.
He’d seen it. And Lucien had done more than his share of embarrassing things in his life. Bowing to a wolf wasn’t one of them.
Or another vamp for that matter.
Especially if it means following that prick Craven’s orders. Craven’s been more than a pain in the ass since I met the power-hungry would-be-good-guy vampire. ‘Would-be’ was the operative phrase. No good guy would’ve ratted me out to the pack and left me for dead. But Craven had. Just hadn’t counted on me surviving is all.
Well, payback was a bitch. And revenge was a bigger one. Lucien would survive. He’d done it for centuries. Even if it meant milking lovely little Nina every day until the snow melted in the summer. He’d do it. Just have to be careful.
“Okay, Portuer, make you a deal, you untie me and I won’t ask you about family again. Deal?”
He smiled at her persistence. Guess it can’t hurt to untie her a little while. Hell, he’d regained some strength and could surely defend himself against a mere She-Wolf woman.
Lucien strolled over and untied her arms and ankles. She smiled at him with what he believed was a genuine expression, “Thanks, Portuer.”
He stared at her a moment. Many ways you can thank me, starting by relieving this constant throbbing in my cock. Was what he wanted to say. Instead what came out was, “Why do you keep calling me by my last name?”
“Tradition. In my family we call people we don’t know very well by their last names,” she informed, stretching lazily in the lounge chair, fire lighting up her pale, ivory skin.
“In that case, what shall I call you?” he mocked.