Review: Touch of Temptation by Rhyannon Byrd

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Adobe Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Primal Instinct, Book 6
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Kellan Scott
Heroine: Chloe Harcourt
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 1, 2010
Started On: March 8, 2011
Finished On: March 9, 2011

The Primal Instinct series by Rhyannon Byrd is one of the two paranormal/urban-fantasy series that I indulge in. I didn’t start out with this series from the 1st book itself, but rather took the plunge with book 4 in the series Touch of Seduction which hooked me onto the series and its fabulous set of characters who all seem to be finding their happily ever afters in the midst of a war that continues to wreak havoc on their society of preternatural beings who coexist with the human race who are mostly unaware of their existence. It is difficult to write a review for this series without including some amount of spoilers in the review, so consider yourself fairly warned before proceeding.

Touch of Temptation is the story of the ultra-bad boy Kellan Scott who sums up his character in four words – watchman, werewolf & world-class fuckup. 27 year old Kellan is a member of the Watchmen, a highly skilled organization of shape-shifters whose job it is to keep watch over the clansmen and women. Kellan is not proud of the playboy lifestyle he has led till now, the way he has pursued meaningless sex unlike anyone else in his group, something which had landed him in hot water when he had unknowingly slept with the enemy and nearly destroyed the life of an innocent woman in the process which had finally served up as the wake up call he had needed. Being the younger brother of Kierland, the leader of the Watchmen who is one of the most righteous badasses around, Kellan is doubly critical of himself, wanting to make amends, turn his life around so that he could turn into someone that others can rely on in times of need and necessity. So to make amends and to start off the new year with a bang, Kellan sets off to rescue the youngest Harcourt witch who has been imprisoned by the psychopath known as Ross Westmore.

It has been several months since 24 year old Chloe Harcourt was captured by Westmore who is more than responsible for bringing in the Casus, one of the most violent of the ancient clans who for the past 1000 years have been rotting away after being imprisoned for their crimes against humanity and another rival clan. A half Merrick and half Mallory witch, Chloe possesses an unusual power that tends to heighten the emotions of those she is around to extreme levels. For this reason, Chloe tends to shy away from companionship and men, preferring her lonesome existence rather than subject anyone to her powers and submit them to her will of wanting to abate her lonely existence. Westmore’s aim in keeping her is a simple one, present Chloe to Anthony Calder, the Casus leader who would rape, kill and feed from her in her full Merrick form in order to receive the power charge that would propel him from his holding grounds onto Earth.

Kellan’s fascination for Chloe is an unexplainable one. Right from the very first moment that Kellan had laid eyes on Chloe’s picture, it is as if the primal wolf deep within him wants to stake its claim on the witch with the perfectly smooth pale skin, sleek dark hair and fey face. Making his way across the Wasteland, a mystical region created by powerful magic which is a cold dangerous place where family units of vampires are exiled after judgement has been passed against them, Kellan is infected with a poison that is bound to kill him slowly within a couple of weeks. It is Kellan’s plan to find the witch, protect the witch and save the witch. Lusting after the witch and wanting Chloe to belong to him for now and forever never figured into his plans though that is exactly what the animal inside of him wants and hungers for.

Chloe, not one to trust anyone to be able to resist the lure of her powers is wary at best when she encounters the sinfully handsome and virile Kellan. With his rugged features and over six foot tall, one who has a tendency to look more than a little dangerous; Chloe can’t help the hunger that spikes through her which has the Merrick inside of her clamoring to possess and be possessed by the man who has literally traveled through hell to come to her rescue. Though Chloe believes that no one can really want her for herself, she can’t help but want Kellan in his most primal form before the day is through.

With danger from all sorts of creatures and enemies that seem to come forth in abundance, Kellan knows he would die fighting for to protect Chloe till his last breathe, something which is most likely to happen on its own before their journey through the Wasteland is through. Characters from previous stories make their forays into this one, making this a well rounded story with enough kick-ass action to keep the pages turning.

With stories by Rhyannon Byrd, you can always be assured that she would deliver in spades in the sensuality department with scorching hot scenes that can make you hold in your breathe for a minute or two. Likewise, Kellan sets the pages afire with the burning need that rages inferno inside of him whenever Chloe is by his side.  And with Chloe’s need to feed all types of hungers that keep weakening her abilities, Kellan’s noble instincts of keeping his unworthy hands off of her seems to fly out the window. Though I skipped a couple of the explicit sex scenes towards the end, I still liked the intensity of the connection between Kellan and Chloe which in the end is what saves them all from being  annihilated by a mutual enemy.

Though this is not my favorite in the Primal Instinct series, I still enjoyed the adventure, the romance and some of the explicitly drawn out scenes of love and possession between Chloe and Kellan. For those who are fans of the series, the continuous explanation of the creatures and the very well done paranormal world in the series, it can be slightly exhausting reading through all the details. But it does lend the story the ability to be picked up and read as a standalone because you really won’t be missing out much by not starting from the very 1st book in the series.

I am very much interested now in reading book 7 of which I have an ARC which features the psychic vampire Raine who was captured, raped and tortured by Westmore and Seth the human soldier who used to be a vampire hunting soldier until the war that is about to emerge in full throttle had made Seth turn around and double check whether he was fighting on the right side all along. If done well, Rush of Darkness can prove to be a very good read which I can hopefully start right after I get back home from work today.

I end my review with one of most explosive scenes in the story where Chloe’s unwavering hunger for Kellan has Kellan’s noble intentions flying right of their jail cell. YOWZA!

Need her fangs, the wolf seethed, prowling beneath his skin as Kellan lifted her against his chest, her face nuzzling against the side of his throat, where the wound made by the poisoned Deschanel had finally healed. Need her strong.
“Do it,” he growled, wanting it so badly he could taste it. “Make the bite, Chloe.”
She groaned in response, flicking her tongue against his hot flesh, then sank her fangs deep, the piercing sensation shooting all the way to the head of his c#ck. Kellan choked back a rough shout, fingering her deeper, her inner muscles pulling on him tighter…and tighter. She cried out against the side of his throat, her body tensing as she fisted her hands in his hair, and then she crashed full force into a violent, shattering orgasm, the deep, rhythmic clenching around his fingers damn near pulling him right along with her.

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