Emmy Duivel believes in true love: heart-stopping kisses, candlelight dinners, and a connection that lasts forever. But not the kind of kisses that land your date in the hospital. Emmy always knew she was different, but not in the supernatural sense. Not in the succubus sense.
Paul Andinn is a Watcher who had only one job: make sure Emmy doesn’t expose the supernatural world. It should have been easy, but when he looked away for one second, she kissed that guy, and everything changed.
He should be more upset. But he can’t. Not when he’s falling hard for her.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
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Kiss Me, Kill You
By Larissa Hardesty, Jenn Mishler
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Larissa Hardesty
All rights reserved.
How my best friend Lily Huang could possibly consider the piece of red cloth she'd given me a dress, I'd never know. It covered less than my T-shirt.
"Do you have it on yet?" she called through the door. "Come on out. I wanna see it."
I gave the cotton hem one more tug, but it was as far down as it was going to get, which was less than five inches from my underwear and way too short for public viewing. Then I had to tug the top again, since every time I pulled on the bottom, the top came down, too. This dress was not made for someone with junk in the trunk and goods in the hood. I give up.
I stepped to the door, when what I wanted to do was take the stupid thing off and put my T-shirt and jeans back on. Sadly, I didn't have much of a choice. If I didn't come out, she would insist, loudly, and by the time she got her way, there'd be a crowd.
With a sigh, I opened the door and stepped into the dressing room hallway. My bare shoulders curled in as I tried to keep as much of my body inside the "dress" as possible.
"Oh, honestly, Emmy. Stop hunching. You look fabulous." She grabbed my shoulders and pulled them up and back so I stood straight, then she pushed me in front of the three-way mirror at the end of the hall. "See? You are totally hot."
I looked, but all I saw was way too much of my own skin. Especially standing next to Lily. Tall and willowy, with long, glossy black hair, she seemed like an exotic super model. Then there was me. Short with messy brown curls. Not fat, exactly, but ... definitely not skinny, either. I called it pudgy, but Lily always yelled at me for saying it.
"Now all you need is somewhere to wear it."
My eyes widened as I met Lily's gray ones in the mirror. "Uh, I am so not getting this thing."
Ignoring my objections, she turned me around and sent me back to my stall. "Now try on the skirt and tank."
I rolled my eyes but complied. I wanted to go home, but it wasn't worth the argument — I'd just end up doing what she wanted anyway. It was a lot easier to do it, and then either dump these "clothes" in the back of my closet and forget about them or give them to Mom and have her return them. And, if I was honest with myself, I liked — even needed — her bossiness. If it weren't for Lily, I'd spend my life curled up in bed with romance novels and never experience anything.
While I changed, she talked through the door. "So, I've been thinking you need to get out there."
I tripped putting my leg into the skirt and almost fell over. "What?"
"You know, go clubbing with me. Get out there. Meet guys. Act like you're almost sixteen, not twelve."
Wow. Thanks a lot. "Uh, why?"
"Because you're almost sixteen." She sighed. "And I want someone to go clubbing with, Em." Her voice took on a familiar whine. "Your mom goes with mine all the time and they have a blast. Just think of how much fun we could have — dancing, drinking, picking up hot guys ..."
Another stall door closed, and I hoped whoever was in the dressing room with us didn't go to our school. This conversation was embarrassing enough without an audience. The last thing I needed was people at school talking about me. I shuddered.
Lily tapped on the door. "Get that outfit on and get out here. I need to check on something really quick." The purr in her voice told me what she wanted to check on was a guy.
Shaking my head, I shimmied into the skirt then groaned. The skirt was shorter than the dress had been. It wouldn't even cover my rear if I sat down.
But Lily wouldn't care about that. She'd just tell me not to sit, or that looking hot was worth the sacrifice. Sometimes I wondered how we were best friends, but then I'd remember she was my only friend. Every other girl I'd tried to be friends with ended up distancing herself within a few weeks of hanging out, and boys just didn't notice me at all. Well, except for Paul Andinn.
Yeah, that's just because he sits next to you in U.S. History and he has to notice you.
I stepped out of the stall with a sigh, glancing around for Lily. She was over by the entrance to the dressing room area, kissing some tall blond guy. Of course. I watched her for a moment, trying to figure out what the appeal was. What I could see of him was cute enough — board shorts, surfer or swimmer-type body. I'd say he was her type, except she didn't have one. Any guy was fair game to her. She said she was openminded. I wasn't allowed to have an opinion because I'd never even been on a date. Either way, I didn't get her need to kiss any and every boy she ran into. I cleared my throat.
She broke the kiss and turned, smiling. "Hey, Em. Be right there." She turned back to the guy. "Thanks."
I shook my head. She sauntered over to me, and the guy followed, but froze when a girl came out of one of the other stalls. She glanced around, then glared at Lily. Without a word, she grabbed the guy's arm and hauled him out of the room, the guy stumbling as he tried to keep up.
"Lily, what were you thinking?" I gasped.
She waved my question away and eyed my outfit, beaming. "Perfect. Now you need someone to wear it for." She pursed her lips. "What about that Paul guy you're always pining after?"
I sucked in a breath. I could never wear something like this in front of Paul. Could I? Trying to be objective, I watched my reflection in the mirror. The black lace cami flowed to my hips, emphasizing my curves without being too tight. The skirt was snug in contrast, in addition to being short, but because the top was flowy, it wasn't as revealing as I'd thought. I expected to hate it. But I didn't look bad. Actually, it made me feel a little sexy. Maybe ... I shook my head.
"I don't think he's interested, Lily." That wasn't exactly true. He was always watching me. But that could be wishful thinking, too. He'd never actually said anything to make me think he'd want to go out with me. The thought of going on a date with Paul made my heart skip and my stomach churn at the same time.
Lily gave me a Look. "He's totally interested, and so are you. So, ask him out."
"What do you mean, he's totally interested? How do you know?" Then I realized what she'd suggested, and my pulse sped up. "No way. I can't do that."
"You can, and you will." She bumped my shoulder with hers. "You know you want to. I see the way you look at him. And if you don't, I'll have to do it for you." Giving me a knowing smile, she pushed me toward the dressing room again. "You can thank me later."
And that was the end of that. If I didn't ask Paul out, she really would do it for me, which would be utterly mortifying.
I guess I'm asking Paul out tomorrow.
Contrary to the feeling in the pit of my stomach, I watched my lips lift into a smile in the mirror.
* * *
The next day, I moved through school in a daze, able to focus on nothing but asking Paul out. I don't even think I slept. My mind flitted through multiple scenarios, increasing my nervousness. Would he say yes right away, or would he have to think about it? What if he said no?
By the time I got to U.S. History, my mind was throwing the no scenario at me more than the others, and I thought I might throw up. I slid into my seat, thankful for the weird scheduling conflict that caused this class to be held in a lab classroom instead of a standard one. Mr. Petersen liked to assign partner work, so it was a perfect situation for him. Paul had sat next to me on the first day of class, so it was a perfect situation for me, too.
Just then, Paul came into the classroom, smiling when he met my eyes. I tried to keep my hopes in check. I watched him walk toward me, his dark hair wavier than usual, giving him a just-rolled-out-of-bed look. He kept his eyes on mine as he made his way to our table. He wouldn't look at me like that if he just liked me as a friend, would he?
"Hey, Em," he said as he sat next to me and reached down to pull his books out of his backpack.
My mouth went dry. "Hey," I managed, giving him a little smile back. Should I ask him now, or wait until after class?
He leaned closer. "What's new?"
There was my opportunity. "Uh, well, I wanted to ask you something." My pulse raced and I tried to slow my breath to keep from hyperventilating.
"Go for it." He gave me another warm smile.
"Okay, well, I was wondering if maybe sometime you would, um, like to go out with me. On a date." Holy crap, I cannot believe I just said that.
As the words left my mouth, I stared at his face. At first, my heart leapt as his smile broadened. But then something passed through his eyes and he shook himself. When his eyes met mine again, I knew what the answer would be.
"I — I can't, Em. I wish —"
I turned away, embarrassment burning my cheeks. "It's no big deal." I pushed the words over the lump in my throat. Why the hell had I even listened to Lily? What guy would want to go out with me?
Even with my back to him, I felt him reach out to me, and jerked to avoid his touch. Whatever he had to say, I couldn't listen to it. The last thing I needed to hear was the "I like you as a friend" speech, or worse, the "I have a girlfriend at another school" speech. Either way I didn't want to know. I wanted to sink into a hole and disappear.
I felt him reach again, and turned back abruptly. He sat with his arm stretched out, concern on his face.
Deciding avoidance was the best defense, I opened my folder. "So, did you get the homework done?"
He frowned. "Yeah, but, Em —"
"That's good. I, uh, didn't finish the last question." I flipped my book open and leaned over my paper, blocking him out of my sight.
He can totally see that you're lying.
Yeah, well I could totally see that he didn't want to go out with me but did want to talk about it like I was some pathetic loser.
You are a pathetic loser.
Ignoring my inner voice, I focused on tracing over my answer to the last question on the homework. And pretending Paul wasn't sitting next to me, waiting for my attention. He wasn't going to get it.
Finally, the bell rang, and I sighed in relief. Mr. Petersen didn't tolerate any talking in class unless we were working on a project.
"Today, we will review the presidents, and your homework will be a report on your favorite. Two pages, due tomorrow. Then we will start a week-long partner project. You and your seat partner will be assigned a state and will present it to the class next Friday. I will give the assignments and more details tomorrow, and we will have class time to do some research. But I highly encourage you to spend some time at the library with your partner this weekend to get a head start."
Grabbing a piece of chalk, he turned to the board. "Now, can anyone name the first five presidents?"
I tuned Mr. Petersen out, my heart in my throat. There was no way he just assigned a giant partner project. Right after I'd asked Paul out and he turned me down. No. Freaking. Way.
My life sucks.CHAPTER 2
Watching Emmy's reaction to Mr. Petersen's assignment, I wasn't sure whether to be amused or offended. Her cheeks, which had just been bright red with embarrassment, drained of all color, and her mouth dropped open. The idea of working on a big project with me clearly horrified her.
I didn't blame her. I wouldn't want to be in forced proximity with someone who had just rejected me, either.
I tore my gaze from her lips, and for the fourth time that day, I questioned my ability to do this job. Not that I had a choice. It was this or give up everything I believed about myself and become a killer. Lying to someone I liked sort of paled in comparison.
I glanced back at Emmy and sighed. Her eyes were closed and her hands were clenched in her lap. Petersen was forging on with his lecture on the presidents, and I knew Emmy would be pissed at herself for missing some of the notes. Like grades mattered when you weren't human and would be taken care of for the rest of your life — but she didn't know that.
I scooted my chair closer and nudged her shoulder with mine. "Hey, you okay?" I whispered, leaning closer than I needed to. I had to stop doing that.
When our shoulders connected, she jumped, then shrugged. "Fine." She paused for a moment, then lifted her head to meet my gaze. "I just really do not want to do a partner project with you." Her eyes flashed gray for a millisecond, which meant one of two things: either she was getting ready to feed, or she was releasing pheromones.
She took a deep breath, and I had to force my gaze to stay on her face. Yep, she'd unwittingly released pheromones for the first time since I'd known her. And apparently, I wasn't the only one affected by them, because at least three of the guys nearby turned toward her. And they didn't bother to keep their eyes on her face.
Clearing my throat, I focused on her words. "I understand. I hope you don't mind if I feel the opposite."
Her brow furrowed, and I mentally kicked myself for giving mixed signals. It didn't help that I was giving myself mixed signals. I needed to focus on the task at hand. Emmy was my job, not my girl. I was here to make sure she transitioned safely and quietly, and that would certainly involve other guys being interested in her.
Love wasn't for creatures like us. I had already learned that lesson the hard way, and I had to make sure Emmy learned it before she made the same mistake. Whether she liked it or not.
As soon as class was over, I snuck out to my Jeep to call in. One of the worst parts of this job — besides purposely deceiving Emmy — was contacting demonic creatures. I snorted. "Demonic" was the only real way to describe them, but they were nothing like humans' idea of demons. They had nothing to do with any religion or anyone's "God." They just were. I wasn't sure I'd say they were pure evil — my perceptions of good and evil had died along with Caroline — but they were as close to evil as anything I'd seen or heard of. Whatever they were, wherever they came from, I had to report to The Powers at least once a week.
I pulled the bowl and incense from my bag and psyched myself up for handling The Powers' presence. It was always worse in the car because of the cramped space. Plus, my handler, Z, had been rough on me the last couple of reports, and, even though I was calling in with what they would consider good news, Z often lashed out before I had even finished my report.
After setting the bowl up in the passenger seat, I lit the incense and recited the incantation that would invoke Z. They filled the car with an invisible presence, their scrutiny making me feel like an ant under a magnifying glass on a sunny day. Uncomfortable was an understatement.
"Well?" The pressure of Z's voice rumbled through me, and I resisted the urge to squirm. They had once told me they liked that — not in a good way, but more like a cat playing with a mouse.
I cleared my throat. "She is showing signs of coming into her powers, Z — sir." I gulped. I had almost used my nickname for them. The last time I had slipped up like that, Z let me know — painfully — that they didn't like their servants calling them anything but sir or master. "It won't be long now — her mom must teach her soon."
Z made a sound that would have been a snort, if a snort sounded like threatening thunder. "That is why you are here. Melinda has failed before, and you are to make sure she doesn't fail again." They ran an invisible claw down my cheek, enough to sting, but not enough to leave a mark.
"Do not interfere, but make sure Emmy doesn't make the same mistake you made and expose us. We will expect a report of any developments from now until this assignment is complete."
"Yes, sir." Before the last sound left my lips, the weight of Z's presence lifted, and I was finally able to take a deep breath.
I only hoped Emmy's mom, Melinda, would help in that department. She had to tell Emmy what was going on soon. It was clear Emmy knew nothing about what she was, and if the gazes of the guys in class were any indication, her time sliding along under everyone's radar was coming to a halt.
Excerpted from Kiss Me, Kill You by Larissa Hardesty, Jenn Mishler. Copyright © 2017 Larissa Hardesty. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In this darling little YA romance, the author captured the trials and tribulations of being a teenager falling in love perfectly. It's a "coming-of-succubus-age" story where the drama, the angst, the feeling that everything in the world is against you all brings back memories from when I was a teen (minus being a succubus, of course!). It's also a story about learning what your feelings mean, your way around a new world and new experiences, and how to find your own voice in the chaos. Can't wait for the second one!
Fantastic story. Everything I never knew I wanted in a teen succubus story. Fast paced and I loved the different take on paranormal.
Kiss Me, Kill You by Larissa C. Hardesty is a YA paranormal romance that completely caught my interest when I read the first line of the synopsis, “First kisses should be legendary- not deadly.” Ms. Hardesty’s novel is about almost sixteen, hopeless romantic, Emmy Duivel who has a giant crush on her US History partner, Paul Andinn, ever since he sat next to her on the first day of class. However, after asking Paul out on a date only to be turned down, she ends up blindly accepting a rebound date from one of the school’s most popular guys. This one decision and her pending sixteenth birthday soon propel the story forward as the truth about her and her family come out…Emmy is a succubus! Add in the forbidden love aspect between Emmy and Paul, who is supposed to only watch Emmy and make sure she doesn’t expose the supernatural world, not date her, or risk being punished by the Powers that Be (or worse), and Ms. Hardesty’s story just became a lot more interesting. I found Kiss Me, Kill You to be a unique story on the succubus/incubus mythology. Ms. Hardesty does a great job in her writing, especially in her details and keeping the pace from getting too slow. I also adored her main characters of Emmy and Paul. I liked the chemistry between the two and the scenes with them together were my favorites. I also liked how relatable the two characters were. My only issues came from the villains (too obvious) and lack of resolution. I had questions left unanswered so I hope there is a sequel! Overall, Kiss Me, Kill You by Larissa C. Hardesty is an enjoyable novel that combines both the usual and the unusual in a way that allows you to connect with the characters and is one I would happily recommend to read. (I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
in lauren hardesty's debut paranormal ya, kiss me, kill you, the supernatural beings at the heart of the story are succubi and incubi. not your usual paranormal heroes. at least, not the paranormal stuff i've read. anyway, a romance with a succubus is going to be a tragedy, right? poor emmy has no idea why people are starting to look at her funny. or why guys seem to give in to her every demand, well almost all guys. paul andinn, however, seems to have no problem saying no. and he's the only guy she is actually interested in. of course her mom and her best friend, lily, keep telling her there's no reason to settle for just one guy. and there is no such thing as love. but she's read enough books to know that no one would spend as much time writing about love if it wasn't something real. when she asks paul out and he declines she is so mortified that when the school playboy asks her out on a date she says yes. and suddenly, even though everyone in her life had been telling her to play the field, they all warn her against kissing. paul knows she should be kissing anyone. she's untrained, she doesn't know or understand their heritage. she is a succubus, he is the incubus in charge of watching her. and the demonic powers that require they collect souls as payment for their very existence on the mortal plane, are watching both of them. because when paul kisses a girl to feed his own hunger, emmy kisses jake. and when he passes out mid-kiss because she has no idea what her power does, paul has to help her fix things. once emmy is finally clued into her heritage the action really picks up. paul has to admit that he has strong feelings for emmy. but they both have to get away from the powers all-seeing eyes. they learn that they can't trust anyone but each other. the journey that they take, the danger that they are in, the stakes are so high. because neither of them is a killer, it doesn't matter that their very existence demands they kill humans. somehow they will make things work. because what they feel for one another means more than everything else. the story closes and their future isn't clear and the danger is real. there's no cliffhanger, but this does have series potential. **kiss me, kill you will publish on june 12, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (digiteen) in exchange for my honest review.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Kiss Me, Kill You by Larissa C. Hardesty! Emmy is a succubus but she has no idea that she is because her mother has kept her in the dark, even though it's her job to teach and train Emmy. Emmy feels like an awkward teenager and the only guy she's interested in, (Paul), turned her down when she asked him on a date. Emmy is changing due to being a succubus and guys are noticing. She goes on a date with Jake, has her first kiss and he ends up in the hospital. Emmy is freaked out and her mom and best friend, Lily, are finally telling her the truth. She fights against her succubus duties and struggles with her feelings for Paul. There is a boost in the amount of swearing in the last part of the book, so I give it a rating of 4.5 stars. Kiss Me, Kill You fits in the supernatural genre and it's fun and fast moving and kept me so entertained that I didn't want to put it down; I read it straight through.
Kiss Me, Kill You is told from dual points of view and follows the story of Emmy and Paul. Emmy is your typical 16 year old girl. She wants nothing more than to be swept off her feet and fall in love. Emmy has always been different and just kinda faded into the back of things. She was never the center of attention. But, now that Emmy has hit 16, her entire life is about to be turned upside down...Once upon a time, Paul believed in love and romance. But, that was never in the cards for him. Now, Paul has found himself saddled with the job of making sure Emmy transitions into the supernatural world without drawling attention. This should have been the easiest job for him, but he never truly saw Emmy coming....Will Emmy settle into this new life? Is being a succubus all it's cracked up to be? Can there be love in the supernatural world? Overall, I thought this book was a quick and easy read. I thought the story-line was fresh and unique. I really liked the idea of it and was intrigued by the characters. I liked the paranormal aspects mixed with high school life. I enjoyed watching Emmy trying to adapt to her new life and all that comes with it. I thought Paul was interesting and I enjoyed learning about his past and the succubus lifestyle. I thought Emmy and Paul were cute together. They had kind of a slow building romance. Yes, the chemistry was there, but they had a few things to overcome before finally getting together. I thought Kiss Me, Kill You was a cute read. Definitely a book that you can finish in just one sitting. I thought it had a nice balance of paranormal aspects, angst and romance. Great if you are looking for a lighter YA Paranormal Romance.
“Kiss Me, Kill You” is one of the best YA supernatural romances I have read in a while! We follow Emmy and Paul in alternating viewpoints. Paul is an incubus who has been following Emmy for “The Powers” (which seem to be some sort of demon). Emmy is a succubus who doesn’t know it- but she’s about to come into her heritage when she turns 16 in a week. Her mother, Melinda, is also a succubus but has raised Emmy to be a normal teenager. All of that is about to change. Emmy doesn’t know anything about her or her family/friend’s true natures, and she has a huge crush on Paul. When he turns her down, she’s so disappointed that she accepts a date from another guy at school, Jake. The date goes awry when Emmy’s powers kick in and he falls over when they are kissing. Thrust into a new world, Emmy is resistant and doesn’t know what to believe anymore, but she is unwilling to do the forced killing once a month for a soul to give to The Powers. To add on, she knows she shouldn’t want Paul, but it’s really hard to stay away. Paul is dealing with similar feelings- he must answer to the powers, but his feelings for Emmy are growing out of control. The romance between Emmy and Paul was incredible, and this part of the book really shines. Considering Emmy is 15 years old, her attitude was pretty accurate. She seemed older in some ways and really young in others- for instance, although she can weigh relationships and her own feelings very well, she refuses to listen when anyone tries to tell her the truth about things and is constantly running away from them. The world building here was pretty limited for mostly that reason. We get feelings/tidbits about the world in which the succubae/incubi exist and The Powers that control them, but we have relatively little information about their existence and why they have to serve The Powers (e.g. just that they will torture them if not/why do they need souls?). There are a lot of questions about the situations and their existence/purpose that are not really clear. The ending was pretty open, so I am really hopeful that the sequels will contain more information about their existence/history and links between The Powers and them. As a heads up, this book may be better for older teens as there are some pretty intense making out scenes (no sex though). There is also a hint of a would-be date rapist that others shrug off and is supposedly related to being a succubus, but this is stopped by someone else- a good warning to have though for people who might be sensitive to it. Overall, I really enjoyed it, and it definitely stands out in the YA supernatural romance category. I will eagerly anticipate sequels!! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
I liked the thought that love conquers everything and that Paul and Emmy fight for their love. But it felt a little rushed towards the end of the book. It can’t be that easy to get away and hide from the evil, that’s determined to get them in line or destroy them. And how can Emmy not mourn her mother’s death? I understand that she felt betrayed, getting lied to her whole life, but she loved her mother. She have to be devastated and angry. But there is just acceptance that her mom is gone. That just doesn’t feel right and it’s why I don’t give a higher rating. The writing was good and I liked most of the characters and I would love to read more about Paul and Emmy and get some questions answered. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing!