DEADLY DESIRE - Keri Arthur
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.
Seduction that kills. Pleasure to die for. She just can’t resist…
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.