DEADLY DESIRE - Keri Arthur

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Deadly Desire
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Riley Jensen
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Book Synopsis

Title: DEADLY DESIRE
Author: Keri Arthur
Published: 2009
Publisher:: Piatkus
Classification: Fiction - urban fantasy, paranormal
Number of pages: 352
Book info from Hachette Livre Australia:
http://www.hha.com.au/books/9780749909345.html
Reviewed by Andrea Thompson

It's mighty difficult keeping your mind on the job at hand at full moon.

Guardian Riley Jensen works at the Directorate of Other Races, using her
werewolf nose to sniff out the bad guys and her vampire senses to keep one step
ahead when the hunter becomes the hunted (this happens often). The good
(?) people of Melbourne mostly live out their lives unaware that the armies of
creepy crawlies out there in the night world have issues of their own.
They are not always choosing to use only humans as a handy food source and
sometimes turn on each other as well.

There's one dead guy who just doesn't smell like your average dead guy, and it
bugs Riley that she can't track him in the fashion that she ordinarily
would. Possessing not just your usual pungent zombie cocktail of
putrefaction and bad breath, this deadwalker smells so bad Riley feels he
should be scattering body parts as he shambles on his merry way. Yet he
isn't. Zombies are mostly empty vessels, and what makes them obedient
little dead slaves is that their minds are open to receive and fulfil the
wishes of others. Riley in her investigation determines that there is a
strong sorceress in town with her own divine team of zombies, killing to her
precise
orders. The new powerful witch has surrounded herself with creepy little
clones whose only wish is to serve every evil desire of their sinister
mistress.

Book Review

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.

A.T.

All Reviews of Books by this Author

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