From Melbourne’s gleaming skyscrapers to its throbbing nightclubs, Riley Jenson’s world is raging with danger and desire. A drop-dead-gorgeous werewolf–with a touch of vamp coursing in her blood–Riley works for an organization created to police the supernatural races. But when she wakes up naked and bruised in a barren alley, she knows only that she must run for her life.
Within moments Riley collides with the sexiest man she’s ever seen: steely, seductive Kade, who is fighting a life-and-death battle of his own. With old lovers and enemies gathering around her, Riley knows she is being pursued by a new kind of criminal. Because in Riley’s blood is a secret that could create the ultimate warrior–if only she can survive her own dangerous desires….
“I haven’t the answers, Riley. In all that I’ve learned over the years, no one has ever mentioned a force such as this. But whatever it is, I feel it for you. “
I’m once again happy with this book. It doesn’t have as good a start to it as the first in the series, which is surprising, but the rest is put together better. The science fiction aspects to this story are taking a bigger focus of the story this time around, which I like even though it is super fake science. Overall, it is interesting though.
The book starts with Riley having no recollection of the past week and having to escape. She finds a horse shifter, Kade, willing to help her escape, who just happens to have the right amount of skills and gumption to help her. This isn’t the best start I’ve read, mostly because I hate amnesia and this all felt like a massive amount of coincidence, but it was serviceable. This whole plot takes up probably about the first half of the book.
The second half was research mode, mostly. Riley, as well as the new guy, her lover from last book, Quinn, and her brother, Rhoan, are all looking to figure out who kidnapped her. They know the why, they just have to figure out who it is and where they are. This feels less like coincidence, and it is amazing. They actually have to put some work in and overturn the right rocks in order to find the information they are looking for.
The idea that the bad guys are wanting Riley because of her genetics and are willing to do quite a lot to get at her is interesting. The good guys already have her, and aren’t worried about getting her. While the bad guys wanting the main character for one reason or another isn’t rare by any means, it is uncommon to see this imbalance of desire. Typically, I see all sides looking to court the main character all at once.
The hardest thing for me to accept in the book is the things Riley gets into. Riley gets thrown into situations she has no right to be in. The kidnapping thing isn’t what I’m talking about, that can happen to anyone. I’m talking about her boss sending her in on undercover missions. That just… it is distracting. I know her boss is trying to court her to make her work for the Directorate so he is letting her do a lot of things to make her interested in the job. Yet, it is just impossible for me to believe. I kept thinking “But she doesn’t have the training to do this! Or the credentials! Why is she doing this??”
Also, her love interests are shit. There are two of them that aren’t assholes, and that is it. And one of them isn’t Quinn. There is a neat new alpha werewolf that we don’t know anything about except that he really wants Riley (and he is rich, can’t forget that bit). There is the horse shifter who is probably the sweetest we have come across so far. Everyone else is a shithead right now. Misha just wants to own her. Quinn hates what she is and constantly fights with Riley about it because he wants her but she hates something she cannot control. It is a mess and it is annoying.
I really like the combination of urban fantasy, with the werewolves and vampires and even the psychic powers, and science fiction, with the genetic modification and clones. It is something I wish I would see more often in the genre (in fact I have looked for “urban scifi” before with not much luck). The idea just sort of works.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Riley Jenson, Guardian series page!