Serpent’s Kiss Blurb
While searching for their missing sibling, Zaiden and his sister, Kaandhal come across the last pure blooded psy-clairvoyant of their kind. Unfortunately for them, Darian has no idea what he truly is and isn’t much interested in learning, or in helping them locate their brother, Zxex.
A bounty hunter by trade, who’s been all but banished from his family due to his visions, Darian’s a bit cynical about his ability to be of any assistance to them. Never-the-less, Zaiden brings him back to their home Rhumba, where Darian discovers that very little is what it seems.
With plots unfolding all around them and discoveries about his own heritage leaving Darian reeling, he is left with the choice of whether to embrace who and what he is, or spend every moment with them a prisoner on the fringes of their society.
Add in a pesky little bond that only seems to grow the more time he and Zaiden spend together, and several factions looking to gain possession of him and Darian is left wondering if his visions just might be the least of his troubles.
It took him back to another time, to home, when he was still too young to fully understand just how differently he was being treated. In those days, when the flashes of the future he glimpsed showed moments of sadness, he did everything he could to cheer the other person up. When he caught glimpses of troubled times, he attempted to give warnings, going so far as to throw himself between his older brother and a heavy piece of iron seconds before it fell. His leg had been broken for his efforts, but it was better than the vision he’d received of his brother with a huge, bloody gash in his skull, twitching in the hallway.
Blinking back the memory, he drew away from her touch and its warmth. “It only seemed to scare them more,” he admitted.
“But that was no fault of yours,” Kaandhal insisted. “The fault lay with them. Everything you attempted to do was out of love for them, and they repaid that love with scorn and fear, pushing you aside for it. You did not deserve that. Now we are giving you a second chance, but this time, it is up to you to take it. You can hold on to the pain that you carry, you can continue to lash out at the world over the actions of a handful, or you can stand up and be a man and do what you were born to do.”
He was silent for a moment, studying her.
“And if I choose not to use my gifts?” he asked. “If I choose to keep burying them, then what? Your brother seems convinced that someone is going to come hunting me. I’ve got nowhere to go. Will you throw me out of here if I don’t do what you want?”
Tight lipped she shook her head, regarding him sadly. “No. This is your home for as long as you choose to live in it.”
The shock must have registered on his face because her expression changed. “I am so sorry that you’ve grown up to be so skeptical of people.”
“I…” he stammered, shocked at the honest emotion in her voice. “Thanks.”
She smiled then, a soft one, honest and kind. “I have faith in you, Darian. You are capable of great things and I know you will help us bring Zxex back home where he belongs.”
“I wish I was as sure of that as you are,” he admitted. “Kyle…Zxex and I had one hell of a falling out.”
“Might I ask what it was about?” she asked.
Another heavy sigh escaped him as he sank down on the edge of the bed and buried his head in his hands. “He saw me the same way that you do, but more than that, when I looked into his eyes I accidently saw the future, my future and how it related to him.” Darrell shook his head. “I couldn’t handle it, the trust, the expectation. You do know what I do for a living, right? Why there were guns all over my place?”
“Yes,” Kaandhal acknowledged. “You are a bounty hunter, or were, you will not need to make that kind of a living here.”
“And you know that I use my gifts to help me find the people I’m chasing,” he prompted. “That I dig around in the heads of their friends and family until I find the clues I need to locate them. Then I bring them in and I collect on their misfortune.”
“You regret it.”
“How can you tell?” he asked. “Reading my mind again?”
“No, it is in the sound of your voice and the sorrowful look in your eyes. It’s in the way you are curling in on yourself, as if you wish to hide. You do not have to be ashamed here either, Darian. None will hold your past against you. This is a clean slate. All you need to do is embrace it.
I loved this story, just as I love all stories by this great author. The emotion in every page took me on a roller-coaster ride. I was crying tears of sadness for a child losing his carefree childhood, then I was laughing at the reactions of the ‘snakepeople’ to bad language and a sassy attitude.
Darrell/Darian has been through a lot and I felt the character had done very well to have survived and to have actually been able to still trust when he needed to. I cried over how his parents and other family members treated him, and I laughed at Zaiden when he tried to get Darian to censor his language. I would be cussing up a storm too if I’d been through what he’d been through.
I do think that Zaiden and his father get off lightly. The father should have been punished for punishing Darian without even hearing both sides of the story. That was unforgivable, no matter how much he wanted to protect his son. No, I’m not giving details you’ll have to read it to see what I mean 😉
Zaiden should have been made to grovel a whole lot more than he had to when Darian found out how he’d manipulated him. Zaiden to me came across a bit stuck up and arrogant, and although he does lighten up I think he is too hard on Darian and pushes too hard and fast a lot of times, without even apologizing after.
The part that brought that home is when in the cells Darian reaches out for the first time and Zaiden pulls away. It would have taken a lot for Darian to do that he throws it back in his face saying essentially ‘now you know how it feels’ that is childish and someone should have smacked him upside the back of the head for treating his venerable bonded that way.
My favorite part is when Darian is talking to the king in the presence of the Doc.
“Like I just got my ass kicked,” Darian grumbled forgetting to watch his language.
“I will forgive your words, this time,” [Doc] remarked. “But mind your tongue in the presence of the king.”
Snorting, the king regarded Darian kindly. “Bullshit, these ears have heard far worse…
This is the part when I decide I really like the king.
I would highly recommend this book and would really recommend you have a box of tissues nearby. Five stars.
US Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
UK Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
DE Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
JP Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
CA Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
About the Author
LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.
Layla Dorine can be found at:
Author Website: layladorine13.wix.com/layladorineauthor
Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814124.Layla_Dorine