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Book Review: With a Kiss, by Kim Dare

With a Kiss, Kim DareWhen Liam Bates volunteered to visit lonely patients at his local hospital, he expected them to be able to talk back when he chatted to them. But, when he’s assigned to visit a comatose man, he soon finds himself spilling out his whole life story in an effort to fill the silence. It’s not long before the peace and comfort he finds in the man’s hospital room becomes Liam’s refuge from an increasingly hostile world.

Vampire Marcus Corrigan has been trapped inside his paralysed body for over three years, unable to communicate with anyone. The chatty young man who visits Marcus quickly captivates him, and Liam’s softly spoken words soon have him determined to rescue the boy from his current life, but, unable to move a muscle, all Marcus can actually do is lay there and listen.

There’s only one thing that can wake up Marcus. There’s only one thing that can save Liam’s sanity. Everything is about to change for them both, and it will change with a kiss.

Please note: This story centres around a relationship that incorporates elements of BDSM. It also includes references to an entirely separate relationship which contains violent and abusive behaviour, perpetrated by a secondary character.

I definitely enjoy a good story with an abused character. The hurt/comfort element is tops…well for me anyway. In Kim Dare’s “With a Kiss”, she delivers the most sweetest, kinky story between a human, Liam and a vampire, Marcus.

Don’t worry, no lame vampires here. The world that Dare created features a contemporary UK where paranormal beings are known and accepted. Liam is in an abusive relationship, his shitty partner – Ralph controls nearly every aspect of Liam’s life…except for one thing. Liam volunteers to talk to vampire coma patient, Marcus, once a week.

This setup lasts for months and sweet submissive, Liam finally has someone to listen to his problems and hard life without judgment. The story starts on New Year’s Eve and like the title states it starts “with a kiss”. A kiss to change both their lives.

What Dare is magical with is creating simple yet complex characters that show D/s in such a positive light. She gives great power exchange. And you’re immersed in the mindset of both main characters that I could understand why Liam was nervous about embracing his submissive side, yet he couldn’t help to explore. Or understand Marcus’s predatory nature always remained first.

“If all I wanted was convenience I’d get a take-away–pick up a cheap rent boy in a bad part of town and receive everything I wanted from him in the back of my car.”
But…this is pure romance. The men take time to fall in love. Liam had to learn to trust in a partner, to trust in himself. Marcus is used to fucking his food, not to viewing a human more than a source if his pleasure. He had to learn how to care for his human and Liam his Master. The hook of their D/s relationship and how their dynamics play into their roles made this story quite the experience.

“In other circumstances, Marcus may well have used and discarded Liam like he would any other human. But, while he was in his coma he had no choice but to listen to Liam–to get to know him the way he’s never known another human and learn to see him as something other than a blood supply.”

Why not 5 hearts? I wanted to know more about the paranormal world created. Are vampires only born? Can they change humans into vampires? I want these two to be together forever and ever.

This story is definitely 5 hearts up until 40% then it goes to about 4 hearts until 80%. The last 20% was yummy and definitely 5 hearts worthy.

The sacrifices Marcus made, the patience and care…all while being an alpha Dominant. He’s never considered anyone else but himself so reading him fall was everything.

“Liam didn’t need freedom. He didn’t need independence. And he didn’t need a master who was willing to give him those things either. Liam needed protecting.”

Solid writing, excellent relationship, definitely one of my favorite Dare couples…right up there with Ori and Reynard.

Highly recommended!

We’d like to thank Kim Dare once more for being out October AOTM. We hope you checked out her giveaway and interview!

Note: Review cross-posted from Boy Meets Boy Reviews with permission.

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