The Darkest Kiss
Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 6
By Keri Arthur
Riley's focused on two cases this time around, and I loved the action scenes while the hunts grew. Riley's smarts and instincts get the job done. Arthur makes good use of the paranormal elements of her world and creates some formidable killers - for one, the bakenecko, she draws on Japanese lore to add complexity to the character. She also adds another flavour of vamp to her world, an emo vamp who feeds on emotion, the power hungry Vinnie promises to be a nemesis Riley is sure to encounter again in the future.
Kellen had left her feeling alone, and she struggles quite a bit with that. She truly did love him, but I believe that, if a man truly loves you, he won't ask you to change. While it hurt that he left, I believe that she's better off. This story sees the welcome return of Quinn, the Old Vampire who couldn't cope with Riley sharing her attentions with other men. Riley seems to be settling down, however, so that when Quinn walks back into her life there's possible some kind of a future for them. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks - I think that while Quinn may be stubborn, it may work out just between them. Like any woman, Riley is being cautious; she doesn't want to get hurt again, and I can understand that.
We get even more between Rhoan and Liander, and Rhoan's inner struggle where Liander's concerned. I really like the banter between Kade and Riley, even though she refuses to let it go anywhere. In true Riley form, she gives the excuse that Jack would get mad about it. We know better. She's not ready for it, but she won't admit it to anyone but herself. And I wonder if anything will come of the banter between Cole and Riley. I think he's very attacted to her and fighting it tooth and nail. It will be interesting to see if anything happens between them.
This book will appeal to those who have read the previous books and I did enjoy it, particularly the Australian rather than American/British/Irish setting. Another excellent novel and I can't wait for the next.