In Melbourne’s urban underworld, there’s a nightclub for every fantasy and desire. But for Riley Jenson, one such club has become an obsession. Riley, a rare hybrid of vampire and werewolf, hasn’t come in pursuit of pleasure but of an unknown killer who’s been using the steamy nightspot as his hunting grounds.
Leave it to Riley to find the only ticket into the heavily guarded club: Jin, a deliciously hot-bodied bartender who might just provide the key to unmasking a killer unlike any other in the Directorate’s experience. Taunted by a former colleague turned rogue, distracted by an ex-lover’s attentions, Riley follows Jin into a realm of pleasure she could never have imagined. And as danger and passion ignite, a shocking mystery begins to unravel—one where Riley herself becomes the ultimate object of desire….
“I’m not saying don’t ring for information. Just asking if you’d be less of a bitch when you do so.”
“In case it’s escaped your notice, I am a bitch. Born and bred.”
This is the first book in the series after we had ended the last arc. We are transitioning from a series where there is a specific goal (find and get rid of the would be genetic mobster), to just a plain old urban fantasy detective series. We are also losing the science fiction aspects of the story. There are no clones, there is no genetic modification talk, (though the laser weapons and vid phones are still around). This is just about finding a supernatural serial killer, and that is pretty much it. There isn’t anything really special about it, but at least it isn’t full of really bad science.
The plot really is just about a serial killer to be found. Well, and a lot of sex. It does take us to an underground extreme BDSM club. Dangerous Games is pretty much everything I’ve come to expect out of urban fantasy. And kind of boring. The biggest portion of the book, to me, was actually the relationship drama. Of which there is a lot, and cemented my hatred of Quinn.
Seriously, the guy that is grooming her to be killed by a god treats her better than the guy that claims he loves her. Quinn is such a massive asshole this entire book. All he does is try to control Riley the entire time. I don’t care how much you might love a person, it doesn’t excuse someone literally controlling you with their powers and long-term influencing your thoughts, just so they can get their way. It is inexcusable and irredeemable in my opinion.
The world is expanding, though. The first three books were focused on vampires and werewolves and the clones of vampires and werewolves, and that was just about it with the exception of some truly bizarre lab creations. Dangerous Games jumped from that focus to a more kitchen sink approach. Almost every other critter that you can find in urban fantasy shows up in this book. We have a lot of new things dumped on us, but very little of it is fully explained to us. Then again, it isn’t fully explained to Riley, either, so this isn’t as a big a deal as I could make it to be. Pretty much everything else that shows up is extremely rare, thought to be extinct, or thought to be myth (or all three).
Riley is put through hell this book. I said in the review for Full Moon Rising, the first book of the series, that Riley is just one of those characters that is going to go through hell for your enjoyment. That is becoming increasingly true as the series goes on. While she goes through a lot in the first three books, I feel like Dangerous Games takes it a step further. It is personal. It is trying to break her. This is only the first book where she is doing the actual job, and not just her revenge story, and she is already showing signs of cracking. I love characters that go through hell, it makes the story so much more memorable.
Dangerous Games isn’t the best book in the series so far. It is showing growing pains. The characters are even less likable. BUT, there is still room to grow. This isn’t the doom of the series. Just a small hiccough.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Riley Jenson, Guardian series page!