A Kiss of Shadows (Meredith Gentry Series #1)

A Kiss of Shadows (Meredith Gentry Series #1)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345490650
Publisher: DK Games
Publication date: 03/28/2006
Series: Meredith Gentry Series , #1
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 4.22(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series and the Merry Gentry series. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family.


St. Louis, Missouri

Date of Birth:

February 19, 1963

Place of Birth:

Heber Springs, Arkansas


B.A., Marion College

Read an Excerpt

TWENTY-THREE STORIES UP AND ALL I COULD SEE OUT THE WINDOWS was grey smog. They could call it the City of Angels if they wanted to, but if there were angels out there, they had to be flying blind.

Los Angeles is a place where people, those with wings and without, come to hide. Hide from others, hide from themselves. I'd come to hide and I'd succeeded, but staring out at the thick, dirty air, I wanted to go home. Home where the air was blue most of the time and you didn't have to water the ground to get grass to grow. Home was Cahokia, Illinois, but I couldn't go back because they'd kill me if I did, my relatives and their allies. Everyone wants to grow up to be a faerie princess. Trust me. It's overrated.

There was a knock on the office door. It opened before I could say anything. My boss, Jeremy Grey, stood framed in the doorway. He was a short, grey man, four feet eleven inches, an inch shorter than me. He was grey from his dark Armani suit to his button-up shirt and silk tie. Only his shoes were black and shiny. Even his skin was a pale uniform grey. Not from illness or age. No, he was a trow in the prime of life, just a little over four hundred. There were some lines around his eyes, along the thin mouth, that made him appear mature, but he'd never be old. Without the aid of mortal blood and pretty serious spell, Jeremy might live forever. Theoretically. Scientists say that in about five billion years the sun will expand and engulf the Earth. The fey won't survive that. They will die. Does five billion years count as forever? I don't think so. Though it's close enough to make the rest of us envious.

I leaned my back against the windows and the thick, hanging smog. The day was as grey as my boss, but his color was a cool, crisp grey, like clouds before a spring rain. What lay outside the window felt heavy and thick like something you would try to swallow, but you'd never get it down. It was a day to choke on, or maybe it was just my mood.

"You look gloomy, Merry," Jeremy said. "What's wrong?" He closed the door behind him, making sure it shut. Privacy, he was giving us privacy. Maybe it was for my benefit, but somehow I didn't think so. There was a tightness around his eyes, a set to his thin, well-tailored shoulders that said I wasn't the only one in a bad mood today. Maybe it was the weather or the lack of it. A good rain shower or even a good wind would have cleared out the smog and let the city breathe again.

"Homesick," I said. "What's wrong, Jeremy?"

He gave a small smile. "Can't fool you, can I, Merry?"

"No," I said.

"Nice outfit," he said.

I knew I looked hot when Jeremy complimented my clothes. He always looked impeccable even in jeans and T-shirt, which he only wore if he absolutely had to be undercover. I'd seen Jeremy do a three-minute mile in Gucci loafers once, chasing a suspect. Of course, it helped that his dexterity and speed were more than human. When I thought I might have to actually chase someone, a rare occasion, I got out the jogging shoes and left the high heels at home.

Jeremy put into his eyes that look a man gives you when he's appreciating the view. It wasn't personal, but among the fey it's an insult to ignore someone who's obviously trying to be attractive, a slap in the face telling them that they'd failed. Apparently, I hadn't failed. I'd woken up to the smog and dressed brighter than normal to try and cheer myself up. Royal blue suit jacket, double-breasted, silver buttons, a matching blue pleated skirt that was so short, it was only a fringe across my thighs underneath the jacket. The outfit was short enough that if I crossed my legs wrong, I'd flash the tops of my black thigh-highs. Two-inch patent leather high heels helped show off the legs. When you're as short as I am, you've got to do something to make your legs look long. Most days the heels were three inches.

My hair was a deep rich red in the reflections of the mirrors. A color more red than auburn, a color that had black highlights instead of the usual brown that most redheads had. It was as if someone had taken dark red rubies and spun them out into hair. It was a very popular color this year. Blood auburn it was called in the high court of the fey royalty. Faeroe Red, Sidhe Scarlet, if you went to a good salon. It was actually my natural color. Until it became popular this year and they finally got the shade right, I'd had to hide my true color. I'd gone for black, because it looked more natural than human red with my skin tone. A lot of people getting the dye job made the mistake of thinking that Sidhe Scarlet compliments a natural redhead's coloring. It doesn't. It's the only true red color I know of that matches a pale, pure white skin tone. It's the red hair for someone who looks great in black, true reds, royal blues.

Table of Contents

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What People are Saying About This

Diana Gabaldon

I've never read a writer with a more fertile imagination.

Jayne Ann Krentz

She blends the genres of romance, horror, and dventure with stuning panache.

Jayne Ann Krentz

She blends the genres of romance, horror, and adventure with stunning panache.

Alice Borchardt

A wonderful excursion into the magic of desire.

Customer Reviews

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A Kiss of Shadows (Meredith Gentry Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 878 reviews.
8149 More than 1 year ago
The first in an ongoing series; this book was simply amazing. Hamilton's imagination is astounding. This book, as well as its subsequent parts, is definitely for the adult reader.
The story is very unique and very action packed and definitely sexy! Some say that her Anita Blake series is better but I find this series to be so imaginative that it blows everything else out of the water. (mind you all of her books are good!)
This book lays the ground work for all of the rest and the story just keeps getting better and better! A MUST read if you enjoy Paranormal Fantasy Romance!
MaGicAllyGeNuisJ More than 1 year ago
My twin sister got one of her books from the library. And she was telling me about what kind of author she was. And at first I thought her book was going to be lame, and about vampires. And it wasn't, it was totally different then what I aspected. I really enjoyed this book,but a WARNING for anyone who never read her writings before. If you do not like erotica books. DON'T GET IT!!! This book is a non stop read. LOL. I read ths book in 5 days, I would have read it quicker. If it wasnt for me working. But if you have low expectations about this book. Please give a shot and try it out. Because believe me, I thought the same thing.
preciselyjen More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of hers that I have read, but I know much about her others series. I am hooked completely on this author now! She combines fantasy with sex so beautifully. (It's the mystical lusty sex that all women dream about!) :O) On top of that the story line is very good, and keeps you wanting to know more. Can't wait to progress further in this series and soon the 'Anita Blake' series also!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disappointing in the extreme. She stopped any pretense of plot or character development.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can read these books over and over!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a lover of paranormal/horror/and romance, I love the books. I tried this series after reading the Anita Blake novels, which I love more. I am far from a prude, but there is a little too much sex with too many different people even for me. (That is why it is a 4 instead of a 5) I'd rather she just stick with one or two. The story line, and the characters, though? I love them. Her Aunt "The Queen of Air and Darkness," is horrifying and demented. Laurell K. Hamilton is some author! She has quite an imagination! (I'll bet she's pretty open-minded, kinky, and has some dark fantasies in real life!) P.S: If you like this you will like the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels. And there is at least 20 of them!
Enjoys_Paranormal More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Laural K Hamiltons Anita Blake series and thought I would check out her less complicated (as in lead character) Merry Gentry series. I was plesantly surprised. It started off a little bit slow for me but I think that was only because the Fey vs Vamp differance. It didn't take me long to get hooked. It has the adventure, death threats, crazy family, and wonderful sexual tention. I highly recommend this book.
flowersophelia More than 1 year ago
Kiss of Shadows, the first book in the Meredith Gentry series, starts out a little slow. You have to get a few chapters in before it really starts to pick up but it is well worth it. The series is great fun. Every book has humor, and I mean laugh out loud humor, at least once in it, usually several times spaced through out. The sex is graphic, but so much a part of who the characters are that it is all just part of the story being told. I recommend this series to anyone looking for a good time, but keep away from children. LOL Enjoy!
msuchoas More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up because I was dying for more or LKH Vampire Books. I thought it was very well written and engaging. She is a very creative writer no matter what the topic. The characters are great, the plot is imaginative and I will definitely pick up the next book.
Peekajinx More than 1 year ago
I found this book while surfing the shop on my nook and the title sounding interesting, so I thought I would check it out. I was pleasantly surprised and found that I could barely put my nook down while reading this book. I really enjoyed Laurell K. Hamilton's writing style. It did seem odd that the story completely twisted away from what I thought it would be after the first couple of chapters, but it was still a very fun read. I hope to read more from this series, and have already added them to my ebook wishlist! I certainly recommend this book to anyone looking for a break from the ordinary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read over 50 paranormal romance books. I have been making my way reading all the different series in this catagory. I did all the Anita Blake books, the first 6 or so were good, then went down hill fast. I was leary to read the Gentry series and was very suprised, it was original.I tend to look for vampire/were stories, this is all about the Fae world. I felt the books were far more "thought out" and put together better than the birdwalks that Blake had. Hamilton seems to write with purpose in this series. Merry is far more likeable than Anita, and her world is colorful. I must say I couldn't wait for the kids to go to bed to pick it up every night. This series shows a softer, more sweet side of Hamilton.
kitkat3ny More than 1 year ago
There are over 300 reviews for this book already, so my review will be brief. I've never read anything from this author before but decided to take advantage of the free download from Kindle. Even though I'm sure some of the complaints concerning Laurell's writings have merit; I let a lot of the negative reviews surrounding Laurell's books get in the way of me discovering a fantastic author. If you are disturbed by multiple sex partners or frequent sexual activity, I don't recommend you read this book. This book was a very exciting, creative, dark and dangerous fantasy that completely delivered. I enjoyed this book so much; I greedily devoured it and could hardly put it down. I am always looking for dark urban fantasy books that involve the fae and cater to adults, and I very pleased to be able to add Laurell's Meredith Gentry series to my short list. I highly recommend this book to dark urban fantasy readers and look forward to reading the next book A Caress of Twilight.
3monstersmom More than 1 year ago
I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this series. Being a fan of Hamilton's Anita Blake series I was familiar with her writing style and thus wasn't shocked by the amount of sexual context. It's not a series for the prudish or squeamish, if BDSM freaks you out you might have trouble seeing past it and to the entertaining plot line. I highly enjoyed this series and can't wait for the release of future books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG!!! This is AMAZING! I can't stop...I finished this book in 1 day! i was just soooo into the story and the SEX!!! WOW! I better stop and breath now. LOL. Am defenectly Hooked on this one, am going to start the second book right now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put this book down for a second! Normally im a fast reader and can read a book of about 600 pages in 2 days, but this book of about 470 pages i read in one afternoon! It was that great. I usually dont go for the books that have real settings, but this was just too great a book to not read. Youll have a lot of fun reading this because of merry's character. and some of you will be panting over the guys, i know my friends were. even the straight guys were. this was a great read!
Anonymous 4 months ago
C.Ibarra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a good book but there is an abundance of secondary characters. I sometimes feel that a large cast of characters can make it difficult to connect with them. That was the case with A Kiss of Shadows. I plan to give the second book in the series a chance and hopefully by the time I¿m done, I¿ll be able to keep Merry¿s male admirers straight :)
shelleyraec on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
More fantasy (and more erotic) than the Anita Blake series started with but there are strong similaraties between the lead characters - not only physical descriptions but also in terms of what drives Merry and how she handles what she faces and discovers about herself. Having said that it is quite different to the Anita Blake series and expecting more of the same may lead to dissappointment.While I prefer fantasy more grounded than it is in the Gentry series, I picked this up and could not put it down, hence the four stars, and have the next 3 books ready to read and hope they keep me as interested.
ReadingFever on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Merry Gentry is in hiding, living in Los Angeles as a Private Investigator of supernatural crimes, she is doing pretty well. That is until one case reveals her as Princess Meredeth NicEssus, the lost Princess of the Unseelie, or Faerie court. She is brought back home, to the place where she had been running from for the past three years. The place where attempts on her life had been overlooked by the Queen, and even accepted by some of the nobles. It had been made very clear that she was wanted dead. Merry knows she will be assassinated when she returns home but Andais, Queen of Air and Darkness--Merry's aunt--has other plans for her.----I wanted to love this book; I really did. The imagination and thought that Laurell K. Hamilton put into this book is amazing. She created a world where humans and Faerie (or Sidhe) live and cooperate together. Her Fae are imaginative, unique, and glorious; my favorite Fae characterizations yet. I love the plot and premise, and Laurell's writing style only adds to the story.That having been said, I can only give this book three stars. Why? The main reason is that I felt as if the story ended in the middle of the book. There were a couple of things that happened which made it suspenseful, but the book had no real story arc. I felt cheated at the end, as if there should have been more to the story. I loved the characters in this book, but I feel as if I didn't get to know them well enough. Merry moved from one man to the next, then back again so fast that we only got to see the personalities of a few men. I loved the imaginative way the intimate scenes were described, but the feeling of detachment we often received afterward was offsetting. It was as if those moments meant little to Merry, so they meant little to me. This book had the potential to be one of my favorite paranormal romances, but I don't think it pulled it off. Though it came short of being a great book, Laurell K. Hamilton's descriptive writing and interesting world are too tempting, and I am still interested in reading the next in the series.
steenface on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps I'm jaded from reading the Anita Blake books first but Merry Gentry is very similar in many ways, especially compared to Anita's later years. And I swear, there are some lines and paragraphs that are directly from the other books. While the story seems to be a bit cliche in some aspects, it's an interesting world of fey politics and I'll keep reading to see how an independent free-thinking half-blood fits into the very regimented courts.
jimmaclachlan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great series, very imaginative new world, but the sex is overpowering. This one isn't as bad as the rest for that, but some of the later books in the series (7 now?) are 1/2 sex - more than it needs, although sex/fertility is the main driver.
seane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Way back when I used to find that these books were too sexed up, to the point that it was annoying and repetitive. But now, with perspective gained from the most recent books in this series ( Lick of Frost, Swallowing Darkness), I think I can appreciate why the author put so much in. Aside from that, très, très, magnifique!
boxlady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This series is a lot like the other series she writes the sex is just about the same, the men change and they are faeries so i guess in a way its different but it reminds me of Blake. Its readable if you like her other stuff if you dont you will not like these i have read all the way up to 7...
sdtaylor555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like this new series of Ms. Hamiltons!
Yvensong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found I liked this book more than I thought I would and will look for the next book in the series. Hamilton uses a very vivid imagination in creating her characters.