The first thing I need to let you know about this new book by Keri Arthur is that it is the seventh book in a series, the Riley Jensen, Guardian series. As such, you really, really need to read the first six books before this book should be on your plate, as there’s a lot that happens in them that you need to know before some of the things in this book will make full sense. That being said, this volume in the series doesn’t have any major advancements on the subplots, and only a little in Riley’s personal development both personally and in her relationships.
The Riley Jensen, Guardian books are set in Australia sometime in the not too distant future. Vampires and werewolves are known to exist and are a part of society. They even have their own branch of law enforcement that deals with ‘supernatural’ crimes. If the crimes are committed by humans against humans, that’s a matter for the standard cops. But when it is a ‘supe’ that is the victim, and especially when it is a ‘supe’ that is the perpetrator, that’s where the Directorate becomes involved.
Riley Jensen is part of The Directorate. When the series started she was just the sort of executive secretary cum police detective that worked for the head of the Directorate. But over the course of the books, she becomes a Guardian, which is to say she’s authorized to use deadly force against other supernaturals that are breaking the laws of the land. And she’s able to do this because of her unique 1/2 vampire, 1/2 werewolf ancestry. You’ll have to read the early books to find out how someone can be ‘half’ vampire, but she is. So is her brother, who is a Guardian for The Directorate before she even becomes one.
Werewolves in this world are slightly different than expressed in other ‘urban fantasy/paranormal romance’ books. When it gets close to the full moon, werewolves get lusty and rambunctious. It’s only on the night of the full moon that the need to really wolf-out and run and hunt. And even when it’s not near the time of the full moon, werewolves, as well as some of the other weres, have a reputation as being rather over-driven by sex, and loose in their morals.
Over the course of the books, Riley has a number of events, relationships and adventures. In this book she’s sort of settled down in her relationships and is in a good one with her vampire lover, Quinn. It’s nearing the time of the full moon and someone is using one or more zombies to murder women, while on another front rich successful vampires are being murdered rather gruesomely. So Riley is but on both these cases and crosses the path of a rogue werewolf bounty hunter from a prior adventure by the name of Kye Murphay.
Riley’s lusts flair, danger crests, and the hunt is on for the killers or those behind the killers, all the while repeatedly stumbling across Kye, who seems to be after the same people she is, and isn’t backing off when told.
All in all, it’s a good addition to the series. It does progress her relationship with Quinn a little, and there are revelations related to Kye that will have to wait for another book to be fully resolved. Nothing is every truly easy in Riley’s life, even when they are going well.
This book lightens up a little on the amount of sex that has been in the series, turning more to the story as the focus, which seems to be doing good things for the writing. If you have read the other books in the series, this is a must read. If you haven’t read the other books, but are interested in the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genre and like things lusty but with a stronger focus on the story then on the sex, but still with sex as a strong part of a strong female lead character, then this set of books will be for you. I’ve enjoyed every book in this series, and while this one was not the best of the seven books so far, it’s still quite good.
I just wish the US release had used the UK cover found on Keri’s website, which I have placed below, as this volume of the series is less a romance, and more the paranormal adventure with romance thrown in, and the UK cover conveys that much better.