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I was first introduced to author Kresley Cole’s books about a year ago, and she quickly became one of my favorite authors. The books in her Immortals After Dark series are among my “go-to” books—ones I know I can read over and over again and never grow tired of reading them (in fact, with each re-reading, I often learn something new about a character or the plot).

Kresley happens to be friends with another romance author, Gena Showalter (I’ve reviewed a few of her books, as well), and the two have teamed up for a holiday collection called Deep Kiss of Winter. This month, I’ll review Kresley’s part of the collection, Untouchable, and next month I’ll tackle Gena’s contribution.

In Untouchable, we meet Daniela, a member of the New Orleans coven of Valkyrie who also happens to be part Iceren, or ice fey. But she’s not just any Iceren; she’s the heir to Icergard’s throne. Since she is Iceren, Daniela is unable to withstand the touch of any but her own kind without suffering unbearable pain.

Daniela meets Murdoch Wroth, one of the vampire Wroth brothers. Murdoch is disappointed to find that Danii is his Bride—the one female fated to make his heart begin beating again, a process known as “blooding.” Not only had he considered himself to be a confirmed bachelor with no need or desire for a wife, but now he has a Bride whom he can’t even touch. It’s hardly a match made in heaven, since Danii is also reluctant to become involved with a man. In addition to her condition, Danii spends most of her time dodging Iceren assassins who are intent on ensuring that she never reclaims the throne.

Over the course of the novel the two begin to warm to each other (pun most definitely intended), but can they overcome their differences to find love and, perhaps more importantly, release?

I have to admit that I found the assassin part of the plot to be clichéd and predictable. I much preferred Murdoch’s part of the story. Readers first met Murdoch in 2008’s Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, in which he attempted to rehabilitate his brother Conrad with the help of his other brothers. One of my favorite things about the Immortals After Dark series is that all of the books are intertwined, so readers often can get a new perspective on a plot line from a completely different book in the series. For instance, in Untouchable, it’s touching to see Danii helping Murdoch through the stress of Conrad’s struggle in Dark Needs.

As always I also found the love scenes to be incredibly hot, maybe even more that usual in this book because—thanks to Danii’s condition—there is a constant undercurrent of sexual frustration throughout the whole book, which makes the final, uh, climax even more satisfying.

I got a giggle out of the fact that Deep Kiss of Winter is considered a “holiday collection,” since the holidays really play only a minor role in both books. But, all in all, I’d recommend it—especially if you want an introduction to Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. I promise it won’t leave you cold.

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