Favorite Lines: “He pressed me back against the wet, cool tiles, his mouth hungry against mine, the heat of him flowing around me, through me, burning my skin, and contrasting sharply with the coolness seeping from the tiles.” (p. 244 ARC)
In Embraced by Darkness Riley lost hope of a life with her werewolf lover, Kellin. In The Darkest Kiss, she shows trauma from the emotional blow, but can’t focus on healing as there are two psychotic killers on the loose.
High society whores and well-to-do men are being killed. The women are caught unawares and are consumed, while the men are killed during sex. The first man was a shapeshifter politician, placing the murder in the Directorate’s hand, thus right up Riley’s alley. The other victims include human men and women; one of the many strange parts of the crimes, is the absence of ghosts.
The other killer seems to randomly be stalking and killing men. The killer smells like a vampire, but is able to strike in the daylight. He tortures the men leaving them shredded and the only connection seems to be their friend Ben, a former stripper.
There is very little evidence to go on, but the path takes Riley to many creatures she never knew existed, a possible ally (or foe), and Quinn, a lover from her recent past.
Ms. Arthur has done a great job in keeping her characters true to those we first me in Full Moon Rising. They also show growth that only comes with the many different hells they’ve been in. They show that they’re capable of learning from mistakes made in the past and that despite the betrayals and role that nature plays in their lives, they will decide their destiny.
Riley is learning to deal with her new seagull form and is looking within herself, discovering that she wants more than sexual flings. She has imposed celibacy upon herself, with the exception of moon fever, so while there is a low burning heat smoldering within the book, actual sex doesn’t take place until slightly more than a hundred pages from the end. This is a huge difference from previous books, but it works because at the end of EBD she had been deeply hurt.
Ben, from the strip club, makes an extended appearance in this book, but after sharing personal information with Riley, disappears. I really liked him, and I know that he served a purpose as temptation, pushing the plot and providing information, but I wanted more of him. He was sexy and interesting; worthy of his own story. That takes me to Quinn.
I’m still mad at Quinn from previous books. He makes an appearance, but I’m still holding a grudge, unlike Riley. Things aren’t perfect and they don’t immediately hop into bed; they have a murderer to find and a relationship to deal with later (possibly).
The Darkest Kiss goes on sale April 29. It’s book six in the Riley Jensen series and to fully understand you should read all of the books.
(I didn’t pay any attention to the cover until I posted it, but damn it makes perfect sense with the story.)