Review: Kiss of the Virgin Queen

Kiss of the Virgin Queen Kiss of the Virgin Queen by Sharon Buchbinder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book was the appetizer and this second book is the first main course. Kiss of the Virgin Queen starts off right after the first book, yet transports the reader back to ancient Egypt. I do not know how many books will be in this series, but it all the books are like this second one, this will be a full twelve course banquet. Ms. Buchbinder impresses me with the amount of history and supposition she blends into this world. From a world building perspective, Ms. Buchbinder pulls of a magical feat. For those who know a little of the King Solomon and Queen of Sheba tale, Ms. Buchbinder takes it to the next level.

When I was in my rebellious teenage years, I read the Song of Songs and quoted it to piss off my Sunday School Teacher. What started as an angry protest ended up as a lesson in humility for me. So for me, this specific book in the Bible, I remember quite a bit more than some of the other books. Ms. Buchbinder does what only one other romance novelist has done, pulled me back into reading parts of the bible for enjoyment and re-reading. Her interpretation of what could have happened with two pivotal characters in the Bible is masterfully done. This story is truly spellbinding for me because the material is appealing and in some ways, educational. It is thought provoking and depending on the year and country, possibly blasphemous. I like it.

The characters are well developed and bring a human side to both King Solomon and Queen Sheba. The juxtaposition upon the current day characters, Eliana Solomon and Arta Shahani is intriguing. I like the parallels. I like the entwining of these two eras. What was difficult for me was the jumping back and forth between the past and present. It was not always a smooth transition. It is clearly noted what time the book was references, it just fell too jarring. My one recommendation is for Ms. Buchbinder to work on her transitions between two separate storylines. Still, this story did keep me riveted from beginning to end. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Recommended to paranormal romance readers who enjoy a different perspective of historical events.

* Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

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