A Kiss of Shadows

Mass Market Paperback | February 26, 2002

byLaurell K. Hamilton

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Meet Merry Gentry, paranormal P.I., and enter a thrilling, sensual world as dangerous as it is beautiful, full of earthly pleasures and dazzling magic, and ruled by the all-consuming passions of immortal beings once worshipped as gods . . . or demons.
Merry Gentry, princess of the high court of Faerie, is posing as a human in Los Angeles, working as a private investigator specializing in supernatural crime. But now the queen’s assassin has been dispatched to fetch her—whether she likes it or not. Suddenly Merry finds herself a pawn in her dreaded aunt’s plans. The job that awaits her: enjoy the constant company of the most beautiful immortal men in the world. The reward: the crown—and the opportunity to continue to live. The penalty for failure: death.
Praise for Laurell K. Hamilton and A Kiss of Shadows
“One of the most inventive and exciting writers in the paranormal field.”—Charlaine Harris
“Sexy . . . Merry’s adventures are engaging and keep the reader turning the pages.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Stunning . . . steamy . . . an exciting and original world.”San Jose Mercury News
“I’ve never read a writer with a more fertile imagination.”—Diana Gabaldon

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From the Publisher

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   Meet Merry Gentry, paranormal P.I., and enter a thrilling, sensual world as dangerous as it is beautiful, full of earthly pleasures and dazzling magic, and ruled by the all-consuming passions of immortal beings once worshipped as gods . . . or demons.   Merry Gentry, princess of the high court of Faerie, is ...

From the Jacket

""My name is Meredith Gentry, but of course it's not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of the Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don't even know why." Meredith Gentry, Princess of the high court of Faerie...

Laurell K. Hamilton is the author of the Meredith Gentry novels and the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, with her family.

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackPublished:February 26, 2002Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345423402

ISBN - 13:9780345423405


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful start to series This bok does a wonderful job of luring you into Merry Gentry's world. You quickly develop kinship with the main characters, feeling and understanding their hapiness, anger, and fears. I look forward to continuing my relationship in future books.
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Kiss of Shadows Great book lots of action, great characters interesting world. Love the story line. Can't wait to read more
Date published: 2014-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from All hail the Kingdom of the Fae Love this series. I had to reread it. This is the story of Merry, a Fey Princess in hiding for her life. Until she is found and taken back to court, where all is revealed as to why she is brought back with open arms.....somewhat. This book has many players, good and bad. But who can Merry trust? MerryMeredith-Princess, niece to Queen And a is Doyle-Darkness-black as ebony Galen-of green hair Barinthus-with hair that moves and is the colors of the seas Frost-The Killing Frost Rhys-with white wavy hair Sholto-King of the Slaugh....with his extra....bits Queen Andais-Queen of Air & Darkness Cel- Price, son to Queen And a is Kitto- lowly common Goblin Goblin King (forgot his name) This book has suspense, a little bit of a thriller, a little bit horror, yet even though all that Merry has been threw she is strong, feisty, caring and loyal. She is compassionate yet don't cross her. She won't hesitate to do what must be done. She is comfortable with her sexuality...but then what Fey isn't.
Date published: 2014-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Kiss of Shadows Well written, a wonderful read that keeps the reader engaged from start to finish.
Date published: 2014-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great beginning, great series I love Laurell K. Hamilton, I have since I read Guilty Pleasures way back when it was 1st released. This was a reread for me, I needed a break after finishing George RR Martin's Storm of Swords, and I've always read Laurell's books as they are released. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the Merry Gentry series, the descriptions of the guards is so spot on that I can easily picture them in my mind. And they are all so interesting, and flawed, that I can't pick my favorite... Such fun books to read, I used to recommend them to costumers all the time when I worked in a bookstore, and with the next book coming out in June, this is the perfect time to reread them all.
Date published: 2014-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this series I have read this series too many times to count and it never gets old. Love it!
Date published: 2014-04-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Merry books are great! I love her characters.
Date published: 2013-10-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A LKH series with potential I wasn't planning on starting this series as I love the Anita Blake one, and I heard bad reviews about this one... how it was similar to the Anita Blake series after it became more about the sex than story. Besides, I wasn't entirely interested in the world of faerie until that is, I read books by Karen Marie Moning and Patricia Briggs. I figured that since I've enjoyed two versions of the fae already, why not give LKH a chance? Book one started out with what I thought was potential. It had an interesting set up with the main character being Meredeth (Merry) Gentry, who was hiding in LA pretending to be human from the faerie royals because of previous attempts on her life. Merry is part royal unseelie sidhe (with some brownie blood), part seelie, and part mortal. The last thing she expected was to be in line for the throne... but that's a little later in the book and the series. One of the things that annoyed me was the massive cast of characters that are introduced so quickly in book one. Surely it was necessary to understand Merry's world, but half way into the book you realize that the entire first half (and the characters you just got acquainted with) don't really matter for the rest of the book, or the next 4 books if you will. Because soon you'll be introduced to another huge list of characters while Merry is in the land of Faerie, and the troubles she ends up in there. Overall, book one wasn't bad and it perked some interest in what should happen next. I'm sorry to say I can't recommend it or this series in general, but I'm using it as a time killer til other books on my wish list are out.
Date published: 2011-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Imaginative, Complex, Fabulous! Reading "A Kiss of Shadows" was like stepping into the middle of the Anita Blake series when things first started heating up - but that is what I liked about this book! The characters that Laurell Hamilton creates are so wonderfully complex and the land of faerie that she creates is just beyond imagination. I found myself devouring book after book, I just could not stop reading about Merry Gentry and her men! (Maybe I'm a little elf-struck? lol!)
Date published: 2010-02-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring After reading the first 7 chapters, I had no choice, but to stop. The writing was all over the place and the characterization was slow and choppy.
Date published: 2009-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Easy Read I read "The Caress of Twilight" in a fantasy class at university before I read any of the other books in the series. The first time I read it, I thought it was totally cheesy, but the second time I read the book I fell in love with the characters and wanted to know what happened next. I then started reading the rest of the series and eagerly anticipated the next books as I awaited their release. I was even willing to pay for the hard copies I was so excited to find out what happened to her fabulous characters. The books are not rocket science, but they catch your imagination, make you blush at times and you either laugh or cry as the stories unfold and you fall in love with the characters. Don't read them if you are expecting great literary talent, but as far as story line, creativity, sexuality and fun, I would recommend to anyone who enjoys reading for the love of reading.
Date published: 2009-03-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Pass on This It was like stepping into the middle of the Anita Blake series... after it started sucking.
Date published: 2008-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Laurell K. Hamilton Rules! This is the first Laurell Hamilton book I ever read, but I love it and already have a eye on a few more. I love the characters especially the main character. this story actually had my holding a chuckle or two while reading out in puplic.
Date published: 2007-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! This novel is a fantastic way to start off a new series. Hamilton knows exactly how to captivate her audience with a mixture of fantasy, suspense, and romance. Just try it and you'll be hooked!
Date published: 2006-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awsome! First book of the series, there are about 4 books. the 5th book will be out later this year. AMAZING read! I loved this book so much! I sugest reading it to anyone who isnt a little shy of sexual content. there is a little bit, so I am warning you, to those who might be prude. lol
Date published: 2006-06-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spellbinding I was so impressed with this book, I had never read any of her works before. I read this book in less than a day and re-read it the next. I've never done that before. I love the characters, and reading this book really felt like a movie in my mind. I loved it. Definately worth the read, both times.
Date published: 2006-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An interesting book ... This novel is the first in a trilogy - which is great because I really enjoyed it and have already read the second in the set. This tale has a very unusual setting as it mixes the worlds of faerie/fey and human, but is not an overtly feminine romance as it has adventure, suspense and a bit of everything in it. It is also quite erotic, blending magic and sex in some interesting scenes, with many verbal pictures of gorgeous fey men. It has definite undercurrents of SM swirling through much of it, perhaps with the sexual meeting of faerie and human demonstrating the ultimate power exchange.
Date published: 2004-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazingly addictive The book is an incredible work of fiction. The story and the characters catch your attention from the very first page. It was impossible for me to put the book down. I literarily did not get any sleep or got any work down untill i read the last page. Now i cannot await to read more of Meredith adventures in the new upcoming book Seduced by moonlight . The story is as addictive as it is imaginative. It has everything - intrigue, crime, adventure, sex, magic....and lots of room for more books to come. Good job! I recommend it to all of you who loves a good read.
Date published: 2004-01-14

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Chapter 1Twenty-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 a 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. Faerie 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 complements 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.The only things I still had to hide were the vibrant green and gold of my eyes and the luminosity of my skin. I used dark brown contacts for the eyes. My skin—that I had to tone down using glamour, magic. Just a steady concentration like music in the back of my head, to never let down my guard and start to glow. Humans don’t actually glow, no matter how luminous they may be. No glowing, which was why the contacts covered my eyes. I also wove a spell around myself like a long familiar coat, an illusion that I was just a human with lesser fey blood in my background who had some psychic and mystical abilities that made me a really excellent detective, but nothing too special.Jeremy didn’t know what I was. No one at the agency knew. I was one of the weakest members of the royal court, but being sidhe means something even on the weak end of the scale. It meant that I had successfully hidden my true self, my true abilities, from a handful of the best magicians and psychics in the city. Maybe in the country. No small feat, but the kind of glamour I was best at wouldn’t keep a knife from finding my back or a spell from crushing my heart. For that I needed skills that I didn’t have, and that was one of the reasons I was in hiding. I couldn’t fight the sidhe, not and live. The best I could do was hide. I trusted Jeremy and the others. They were my friends. What I didn’t trust was what the sidhe might do to them if I were discovered, and my relatives found out my friends had known my secret. If they were truly ignorant, then the sidhe would leave them alone and only hurt me. Ignorance was bliss on this one. Though I thought that some of my very good friends would see it as a type of betrayal. But if the choices were them alive, with all their body parts intact, but angry at me, or dead by torture but not angry at me, I’d take angry. I could live with their anger. I wasn’t sure I could live with their deaths.I know, I know. Why not go to the Bureau of Human and Fey Affairs and get asylum? My relatives would probably kill me when they found me, but if I went public and aired our dirty laundry for the world media, they would most definitely kill me. And they’d kill me slower. So no police, no ambassadors, just the ultimate game of hide-and-seek.I smiled at Jeremy and gave him what I knew he wanted: the look that said that I appreciated the slender potential of his body under his perfect suit. To humans it would have looked like flirting, but for the fey, any fey, it wasn’t even close to flirting. “Thanks, Jeremy, but you didn’t come in here to compliment my clothes.”He walked farther into the room, running manicured fingers along my desk edge. “I’ve got two women in my office. They want to be clients,” he said.“Want to be?” I said.He turned, leaning against the desk, arms crossed over his chest. Mirroring my stance at the windows, either unconsciously, or purposefully, though I didn’t know why. “We don’t usually do divorce work,” Jeremy said. I gave him wide eyes, pushing away from the windows. “Day one lecture, Jeremy: The Grey Detective Agency never, ever, does divorce work.”“I know, I know,” he said. He pushed away from the desk and came to stand beside me, staring out into the fog. He didn’t look any happier than I felt.I leaned back against the glass so I could see his face better. “Why are you breaking your cardinal rule, Jeremy?” He shook his head without looking at me. “Come meet them, Merry. I trust your judgment. If you say we stay out of it, we’ll stay out of it. But I think you’ll feel the same way I do.”I touched his shoulder. “And how are you feeling, boss, other than worried?” I ran my hand down his arm, and it made him look at me.His eyes had gone dark charcoal grey with anger. “Come meet them, Merry. If you’re as angry afterward as I am, then we’ll nail this bastard.”I gripped his arm. “Jeremy, relax. It’s just a divorce case.”“What if I told you it was attempted murder?” His voice was calm. Matter of fact, it didn’t match the intensity in his eyes, the vibrating tension in his arm.I moved back from him. “Attempted murder? What are you talking about?”“The nastiest death spell that’s ever walked into my office.”“The husband is trying to kill her?” I made it a question.“Someone is, and the wife says it’s the husband. The mistress agrees with the wife.”I blinked at him. “Are you saying that the wife and the mistress are in your office?”He nodded, and even through all the outrage, he smiled.I smiled back. “Well, that’s got to be a first.”He took my hand. “It might be a first even if we did do divorce work,” he said. His thumb rubbed back and forth over my knuckles. He was nervous, or he wouldn’t be touching me this much. A way to reassure himself, like a touchstone. He raised my hand to his lips and planted a quick kiss on my knuckles. I think he’d noticed what he was doing, that his nerves were showing. He flashed me a white smile, the best caps money could buy, and turned toward the door. “Answer one question first, Jeremy.”He adjusted his suit, minute movements to tug it back into place as if it needed it. “Ask away.”“Why are you scared of this?”The smile faded until his face was solemn. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this one, Merry. Prophecy isn’t one of my gifts, but this one has a bad smell to it.”“Then pass it by. We aren’t the cops. We do this for a very nice paycheck, not because we’ve sworn to serve and protect, Jeremy.”“If after you meet them, you can honestly walk away from it, then we will.”“Why is my vote suddenly a presidential veto? The name on the door is Grey, not Gentry.”“Because Teresa’s so empathic she couldn’t turn anyone away. Roane is too much the bleeding heart to turn tearful women away.” He adjusted his dove grey tie, fingers smoothing over the diamond stickpin. “The others are good for grunt work, but they aren’t decision makers. That leaves you.”I met his eyes, trying to read past the anger, the worry, to what was really going on inside his head. “You’re not an empath, and you’re not a bleeding heart, and you make dandy decisions, so why can’t you make this one?”“Because if we turn them away, they won’t have anywhere else to go. If they leave this office without our help, they’re both dead.”I stared at him, and finally understood. “You know we should walk away from this one, but you can’t bring yourself to pass judgment on them. You can’t bring yourself to condemn them to death.”He nodded. “Yes.”“What makes you think that I can do it, if you can’t?”“I’m hoping one of us is sane enough not to be this stupid.”“I won’t get you all killed for the sake of strangers, Jeremy, so be prepared to walk away from this one.” Even to me, my voice sounded hard, cold.He smiled again. “That’s my little cold-hearted bitch.”I shook my head and walked toward the door. “It’s one of the reasons you love me, Jeremy. You count on me not to flinch.”

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Laurell K. Hamilton and A Kiss of Shadows
“One of the most inventive and exciting writers in the paranormal field.”—Charlaine Harris
“Sexy . . . Merry’s adventures are engaging and keep the reader turning the pages.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Stunning . . . steamy . . . an exciting and original world.”San Jose Mercury News
“I’ve never read a writer with a more fertile imagination.”—Diana Gabaldon