Kiss of Pride - Sandra Hill The Seven brothers (Ivak, Trond, Vikar, Harek, Sigurd, Cnut and Mordr) each committed one of the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride) and were punished by God to become vampire/angels-in-training for 700 years with their sentence extended for every non-Christian act/thought. This is Vikar's story and he has been a vangel (yes that is what they call themselves) for 1162 years. I guess he's a really bad boy! His current task is to renovate a rundown castle in Translyvania, Pennsylvania for the use of all vangels in the fight against the Lucipires (Lucifers vampires or demon vampires). Their are some rather humorous laugh out loud spots in the book which I guess is needed to overcome the heavy religious feel of the story.

I absolutely loved Sandra Hill's viking romances (5 stars all the way) but this book just didn't work for me. My biggest problem with this book was the whole religion thing. It didn't mesh well with actual events. They don't use the Lord's name in vein, they pray every morning, they aren't supposed to have sex without marriage first yet they have near-sex (yeah right) and they are irreverent. They call Archangel Michael, Mike, and Gabriel, Gabe and Rafael, Rafe. Yes I understand it's supposed to be humorous but it just doesn't mesh with the whole religious feel to the book. I got heartily sick of the proselytizing about sin and redemption and crimes against God.

There was also way too many references to Sookie, Twilight, Anne Rice, etc. These were nonstop and irritating - name-dropping at it's worst. Many things were just overlooked or skipped. Like the actual fighting - the Seven go off to distract/fight the Lucipires and come back a few days later and that's it. WTH? Alexandra's ex-husband and child were murdered by a drug lord and though she's pretty much dropped out of life for two years, this event that changed her life is never discussed. One of the Seven is captured by the baddie Jasper and put through terrible demoralizing rape and torture and yet he returns as if nothing has happened and it is never discussed. Again WTH? These are the points in a story that draw the characters together as a team and yet here they were just ignored. The Seven are time traveling vampire warriors and their missions are mentioned once (9/11, concentration camps, bin laden etc), it's noted how devastated they are by these events and then never mentioned again. It seemed more like name dropping to get a reaction but they served no purpose at all to advance the story. Honestly I expected more from Sandra Hill. This is a series I won't be continuing.