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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review: Tempting Evil (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Bk 3) by Keri Arthur

I finished this book late last night. Later than I intended, but this was one I couldn't put down at midnight when I only needed another hour to finish the book. I'll be dragging at work today, but that's okay. It was worth it.

The third book in the series did not disappoint. At all.

The premise of this book is that they've finally found the ringleader of all of the labs, but not the final lab. The ringleader brings in women to fight nude, with the winner of the fights being given huge payment incentives. Also, the winner has to spend the evening being further entertainment for his sex crazed lieutenants. Guess where Riley is going to go undercover?

But before she goes undercover we see a bit of her training, and we see a little of how her love life has gone in the two months since the end of the last book. And we see that she's still not going to compromise her own hopes and dreams in order to make someone else happy.

I also like that she's sticking to her own moral code in her role as Guardian. She isn't a full fledged guardian at this point, but we can all see the writing on the wall by now. She will be one, now she just has to make sure everyone understands the lines she is and is not willing to cross.

And the decisions she made in this book? I like them. And I like her. She both saves and kills in this book.

As for her men? I think I like them all. Quinn, Kellen, and Kade. It's too bad the horse and wolf thing won't work, because I think I like Kade best of all. But I get why they can pretty much only be friends and f*** buddies. And I'm glad Kade is her friend.

This book doesn't have as much sex as the first book, and again that is mostly because the setting is not the week before the full moon. That being said, there is still a decent amount of sex. And nudity. A lot of nudity. And hints at depraved stuff. We only actually see one sexually depraved violent thing, but we know that more goes on.

The one thing I didn't like is that we're given the reason for the fighters being brought onto the estate, but then there is never an actual fight between them in the arena. And no real explanation for why that might be. Do they only do them on the weekend and they never made it to the weekend? Or maybe the author wrote the fights out and the editor cut them because the didn't add to the story line? That's possible, these are fairly long books with a lot of detail and it would probably take 20 or more pages for this particular author to describe fight night. But, if that was the case then it would have been nice for there at least to be an explanation of why there was no fight. This isn't a huge deal, just one of those things that bugged me a little. I was expecting fight night, and it never came.

Book one in this series got an 8 and book two got a 7. I mentioned in my review of the second book that it almost felt like the middle of a book, and after reading the third I now know I was right. These three books could be read as one long book, and the second book indeed would be the middle. Also, after having read the third, I'm almost tempted to go back and change book two to an 8. It may not have been as good on it's own, but seeing it as the set up to book three makes it better now than when I first read it, I think.

This book, Tempting Evil, gets an 8 of 10, and I'm giving the series an 8 of 10 after having read the first three books. If the next book is as good then the series rating may go up, as I'm enjoying the series a good bit. I ordered the rest of the published books in the series over the weekend, can't wait for them to arrive.

Book Rating: 8 of 10
Series Rating: 8 of 10

1. Full Moon Rising (2006)
2. Kissing Sin (2007)
3. Tempting Evil (2007)
4. Dangerous Games (2007)
5. Embraced by Darkness (2007)
6. The Darkest Kiss (2008)
7. Deadly Desire (March 2009)

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