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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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Deadly Desire (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 7) by Keri Arthur

This review has no major spoilers for the book being reviewed, but if you haven't read books one through six in this series then there are spoilers in this review for those earlier books.

Kerry Arthur has once again written an incredible book. This book gets a 1o of 10. Excellent plot, excellent camaraderie with friends and coworkers, and excellent, uh, well, I guess I can't say that last part since I don't want to give spoilers.

When I made it to the end of Deadly Desire I immediately went to the computer to see when the next book will be out: October 27th of this year. Seven months. There was good closure on this book, so I can live with that. I mean, sure, I want to know what happens next. But, there were no cliffhangers, and I am very happy. 10 out of 10, happy.

Where do I start with the actual review? How about I start with the blurb:

Guardian Riley Jenson always seems to face the worst villains. And this time’s no different. For it’s no ordinary sorceress who can raise the dead to do her killing. But that’s exactly what Riley expects to find at the end of a trail of female corpses used—and discarded—in a bizarre ritual of evil. With pressure mounting to catch one fiend, another series of brutal slayings shocks the vampire world of her lover, Quinn. So the last thing Riley needs is the heat of the upcoming full moon bringing her werewolf hormones to a boil—or the reappearance of a sexy bounty hunter, the rogue wolf Kye Murphy.

Riley has threatened Murphy with arrest if he doesn’t back off the investigation, but it’s Riley who feels handcuffed by Kye’s lupine charm. Torn between her vamp and wolf natures, between her love for Quinn and her hots for Kye, Riley knows she’s courting danger and indulging the deadliest desires. For her hunt through the supernatural underworld will bring her face-to-face with what lurks in a darkness where even monsters fear to tread.

I figured some of the plot points out before Riley did, but that's okay. It wasn't the annoying "how dumb can you be?" kind of thing where I figured it out and she was clueless. It was just me putting two and two together a step or two before she did.

Riley is in her moon heat during a portion of the book, but there isn't as much sex in this book as there has been in the previous books that took place during the week leading up to the full moon. This book is mostly about 1) the two serial murder cases, 2) Riley and Quinn working towards making a relationship work (both of them working at it this time, which was a nice thing to see) and 3) Riley having to deal with Kye showing up when she's tracking down leads.

Deadly Desires picks up a few weeks after the end of the previous book, so Riley and Quinn haven't gotten too much farther along the relationship path than they were at the end of The Darkest Kiss.

As for Kye... do you remember Kye? The bodyguard working for the packleader and his son back in Embraced by Darkness? Well, this time around Riley finds herself trying to get Kye off of the serial murder case without having to arrest him. It looks like this is going to be yet another series with a killer-for-hire type in it. There is Edward in the Anita Blake series, Cormac in the Kitty Norville series, and now Riley Jenson has Kye. The whole will-kill-for-money thing makes for an interesting character, that's for sure. Maybe that's why Kelley Armstrong decided to create a series based around contract killers.

As usual for the Riley Jenson Guardian series, Deadly Desire has a fair amount of blood and gore and body parts not attached to a body, though not as bad (or as disgusting) as in some of the previous books in this series. In the "mythical creatures" rundown we see the hellhounds again, and there are sorcerers again, and zombies.

We again see a decent amount of Cole and his crew, and the light banter that I love so much between Riley and Cole is still there. I actually hope those two can eventually become friends.

There are even a few friendly words between Sal (Jack's assistant) and Riley. Which was nice, because their constant bickering in past books was beginning to get on my nerves.

Kade the stallion is around a little, though not much. Mostly office chit chat. Same with Iktar the spirit lizard, but less chit chat. Come to think of it, there isn't a whole lot of Rhoan and Liander, either, just a few conversations here and there.

I've talked before about how the great thing about a series (for me) is being able to watch the characters grow and change and learn. I've truly enjoyed watching Riley change from the liaison we met in Full Moon Rising to the full fledged Guardian we see in Deadly Desire. It's not just the transition from liaison to Guardian, though. Much of her growth has happened on a personal level, and I really don't want to have to wait another 7 months to find out what happens next. At this point I'm really just happy I don't have to wait a whole year, though.

I'm giving Deadly Desire a 10 of 10 and I'm elevating the series to a 10 of 10 as well.

Book Rating: 10 of 10
Series Rating: 10 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)
8. Bound to Shadows (October 2009)

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