|By Stephanie Julian|
Plagued by nightmares. Stalked by kidnappers. Tamra McMillan needs a safe haven. When tattooed bad-ass Kyle Rossini steps into her life, she didn't expect to find sanctuary from her demons or hot sex. But appearances can be deceiving. His tender touch and the hunger in his eyes brands her his for life. But otherworldly forces are afoot and death hovers… Etruscan werewolf Kyle Rossini is a loner. The king’s assassin with a killer’s instincts. The last thing he needs is a mate. Until he meets the one woman who needs him more than he needs his solitude. When Tamra stumbles into his world and his bed, she captures his heart. And nothing will keep him from her.
Kiss of Moonlight is an exciting introduction into Stephanie Julian's world of Etruscan shapeshifters and ancient magic. It is an emotionally gripping story as well. Tamra is a young woman struggling to heal from a violent rape. Hiding from the world for the past six months, she ends up living alone in a secluded cabin once owned by her great-grandfather. The closest neighbors to her cabin are Kyle Rossini and his teenage daughter, Cat.
Despite the pain and mistrust she carries as a result of her attack, Tam is drawn to both of them - Cat as a friend and confidante, and Kyle as the first man to stir her libido she thought was permanently damaged. What Tam doesn't know is that Kyle and Cat are wolf shifters, a secret revealed to her by accident when Kyle saves her from a kidnapping attempt. Tam is the first woman to ever touch Kyle's heart, and he is determined to protect her at all costs, especially when it is discovered that the people after Tam have ties to the magical community.
The characters really sucked me into this story. I loved that Kyle was the father of a 15-year old girl. Being a parent added more depth to his character, and we could see just how loving and protective he was underneath the alpha exterior. I thought his daughter Cat was an important addition to the story. Even though Cat was a shifter, she was also a bright and spirited teenager. She was there to help nudge Kyle and Tam together, because they were both hesitant to get close to someone else. And, wow, Tamra's backstory was heart-wrenching. But this was not a case of the hero saving a broken heroine with his prowess in bed (which Kyle did have!). No, Tamra was a strong survivor. She came to Kyle on her own terms because she was ready to take the next step in healing.
Kiss of Moonlight sets a solid foundation for the Lucani Lovers series. We are introduced to the major players of the Etruscan world and learn about their lore and history. The plot was fast-paced with an element of suspense as well as plenty of steamy sex. My only complaint was that the book ended on a big cliff-hanger, and the major conflict in the story was not resolved. I wanted to learn a little more about the villain(s) than what we were given. I'm hoping to find out more in the next book Moonlight Menage. I am a devoted fan of werewolf stories, and this is a promising start to an intriguing series.