Australian author Keri Arthur is a dab hand at striking that balance between
action and seduction and has won herself a whole swag of romance and fantasy
readers for it. Her creation Riley Jensen is just enough of the girl we
all know and also just enough of the girl we'd like to be or know, set in an
alternate urban landscape that literally seethes danger and the promise of
deadly deeds. Riley and her fantastical compadres stalk the night and
struggle to keep the monsters, which are really not so different from
themselves, away from unsuspecting Melbourne urbanites.
DEADLY DESIRE is the 7th book in a series that has pretty gone at much the same
tickety boo pace since conception with few hiccups along the way. It is
difficult to maintain sexual tension in a series where they are pretty much all
at it like rabbits (or if you prefer, wolves most of the time; doubly so when
you are this many books into the series. So Arthur instead keeps a simmer
on romantic tension, in that Riley must decide whether the heart or the
hormones are going to be the deciding factors on how she is going to conduct
the rest of her life. She may be with someone right now, but is she going
to remain with them forever when her genetic inheritance may dictate that she
can't? Riley has the hardest task of all on her hands with how to keep it
all together as she is a vampire, werewolf, general shape shifter
extraordinaire and developing psychic all rolled into one.
At some point the author is going to have to call a halt into turning Riley
into some kind of superwoman as superwomen aren't that interesting; we'd rather
see the heroine actually have a bit of a struggle on her hands when she's in
combat. Likewise with introducing new fantastical beasts and demons into
the series. It is hard enough to keep straight all the creature rules and regs
straight, particularly if you read a lot of urban fantasy books.
DEADLY DESIRE features a lot of brutal fight scenes which Arthur excels at
describing and tones down the sexual content as well in this book, which is a
relief really. In this fantasy world, the werewolves call it
"dancing". Keri Arthur's alternate world is a fun place to
escape to, even if we do sometime seriously doubt that Riley only keeps the
stilettos for spiking into bad guys when there's no other weapon handy.