Amazingly enough, I enjoyed MISTRAL'S KISS. After the farce that has become the Anita Blake series, I was worried that the Meredith Gentry series would inevitably take the same downhill dive. Thankfully, that wasn't the case.
This book is enjoyable, and does actually contain a plot. There are some negatives, of course, the first of which is the length of the book itself--or, more accurately, the lack of length. At only 212 pages, this story is 100+ pages shorter than the other books in the series. It would have made much more sense to make MINSTRAL'S KISS another 10 chapters or so in the previous book, A STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, rather than a stand-alone book.
Also, the book only covers a few hours, from midnight until dawn following the assassination attempt on Merry's life that came about in A STROKE OF MIDNIGHT. I had noticed with the Anita Blake series that the time frames for each book were becoming shorter each time, and such now seems to be the case with this series, as well.
The sex doesn't bother me in this series, either, since the entire "background" of the main plot line is that Merry must become pregnant before her cousin Cel impregnates someone to take the throne. Although the first 70+ pages of MISTRAL'S KISS are a sex scene, with yet again multiple partners, it does actually make sense to the story.
My biggest complaint about the book, by far, is the fact that there is a major, major, MAJOR development at the end of the book that is only given a passing explanation. In less than two paragraphs, a huge event takes place, and yet Ms. Hamilton only devotes a few words to it--almost as an afterthought. Logically speaking, this should imply that the next book in the series will expound on that event, but if you've been following either of the author's series lately, you'd know by now that Ms. Hamilton doesn't always seem to write logically.
Overall, I did enjoy the story, much more so than the last Anita Blake novel. It won't take you long to read this (it took me less than two hours), and you won't see a whole lot of progression, but the editing is tighter with this book, and you'll definitely appreciate a dose of the faery world.
The sex is steamy and the insights into Fey politics are interesting (if minuscule).
I like Merry and have come to care about the origianl guards, but I find the glut of partners that LKH has introduced to be distracting and I find myself wishing she would take the time to actually write out some of the plot/exposition that is hinted at between all the sex. The last two, maybe even three, entries of this series really could have been edited into one cohesive volume that moved the story forward instead of just being a sexcapade chronicle.
This is the fifth book in Laurel K. Hamilton's series about Merry Gentry, a princess in the Unseelie sidhe court of faery. It's good, but seems almost like a continuing chapter in the previous book (A Stroke of Midnight). If someone picked up this book and tried to read it without reading the other four, they would be lost. It advances the story, but not a lot. Since one of the main story lines is that Merry needs to get pregnant before her cousin in order to inherit the throne, there's plenty of sex (someone else told me it was 75 pages - personally I didn't count). Still a page turner, though!
good bridge from the fourth book in the series. You must read these books in order to get the full timeline otherwise you will be lost with this one. This ties up some loose ends with Sholto and Mistral then expands to get you prepared for the next book which will be even more tied in and finally get close to pregancy
I thought this story was really good, but just too short compared to the other books in the series. I was kind of bummed that it ended so soon!