The Darkest Kiss
Keri Arthur
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Buy *The Darkest Kiss (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 6)* by Keri Arthur online

The Darkest Kiss (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 6)
Keri Arthur
384 pages
April 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Riley Jensen, part-wolf, part-vampire, works (initially against her will but perhaps not so now) as a Guardian, an enforcer for law in the supernatural world. She lives with her twin brother, Rhoan, and is still trying to come to terms with the fact that her lover, Kellen, walked away from her some months before.

It probably helps to have read the previous books in this series - Full Moon Rising, Kissing Sin, Tempting Evil, Dangerous Games and Embraced by Darkness - as the backstory isn't always completely explained. The Darkest Kiss sees the welcome return of Quinn, the Old Vampire who couldn't cope with Riley sharing her attentions with other men (and I don't blame him). Riley seems to be settling down, though, so that when Quinn walks back into her life, there's possibly some kind of a future for them.

The romance part of this book, however, is downplayed compared to the plot as Riley tries to uncover a serial killer with some strange powers. When various women get shredded by a strange animal claw, high-society men are left dead in public places, and then more people start to die with a rather different footprint, it seems that Riley has her work cut out for her. Might the killer or killers strike closer to home? Are they in fact some monsters she's never previously heard of?

Riley's a great character with her forthright but loyal nature. The interactions with her boss's PA, Salliane, are fun as usual, although with a rather different tone than in the previous books. Her relationship with Quinn is nicely written and not overdone. The Darkest Kiss is an enjoyable episode in this series, although the world of things-that-go-bump-in-the-night seems to be increasing rather rapidly and that sometimes feels like lazy plotting. 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.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2008

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