Danger turns her on.
Desire turns her dangerous…
Riley Jenson hunts evildoers—and does it with a style all her own. With vamp blood coursing her through her veins, and a werewolf’s uncanny instinct for danger, Riley wears snakeskin stilettos and pure, in-your-face attitude when she plunges into her latest case: hunting down a killer whose victims are high-society strumpets—and the rich and powerful men they’ ve dated.
But for Riley, the case takes a chilling turn when a second killer starts trailing mutilated bodies of his own: a crazed young vamp choosing victims from a past marked by tragedy. Riley knows she’s got the skill and cunning to catch two serial killers at once…until one of them strikes inside her own tight-knit clan—and a sexy beast of a vampire reenters her life to aid in the hunt. His name is Quinn. He’s lived forever, shed blood, and shared pleasure…and he’s the only man over whom Riley has absolutely no control….
“Chocolate, coffee, and ice cream were far more reliable when it came to providing a good time, and at least they would never disappoint me.”
Melbourne really has a serial killer problem. Once again, we’re looking for a serial killer on the loose, and once again Riley is the only one that can look for it, or is it them? After the introduction trilogy to the series, the plots have really gotten a bit predictable, but this series just isn’t about that. This series is about Riley and her many love interests, and how much we can make her suffer in the meantime.
The thing about these serial killers is that they’re just not something you see often, so it makes them really interesting. For a series that features vampires and were creatures and shifters of all sorts so heavily, it can really throw some really random things you just don’t see elsewhere. The Darkest Kiss manages to combine a creature from India and a creature from Japan in a truly unique way. While they’re both far from home, they rely on myth for their creation, a creation that could happen anywhere.
This book also throws a new vampire type at us! It actually isn’t entirely new. Emotional vampires were actually hinted at in earlier books, but this is the first time they show up. Now, emotional vampires aren’t the most uncommon thing in urban fantasy. They add something to this series, though. It isn’t something the series was missing by any means, but it is improved by their addition. It is improved because it has forced Keri Arthur to do something she seemed a bit reluctant to do up until this point: actually expand our knowledge on the vampires of this series. The forcibly mysterious, yet extremely populus group.
There is a big change for Riley this book. She is without a lover for most of the book. Instead she mopes around all depressed the entire time. It is all directed inward, like there is something wrong with her. I love it. Mopey characters have their place, and most people don’t like the mopey character. Yet, Riley doesn’t feel like that at all to me. She feels like she is just reassessing her life…while being depressed. These are real emotions that people experience! The only emotion a main character is displaying for once isn’t just anger! There is also a new and reformed Quinn. He has had a character shift since we’ve last seen him, he is a lot more tolerable. I still don’t think it excuses what he has done previously. But, I don’t really want him to go way anymore, either.
The highlight of The Darkest Kiss is actually the relationship between Riley’s twin, Rhoan, and his soulmate Liander. I haven’t really brought them up until this book because they just hadn’t been a main part of the story until now. Mostly Rhoan has been skittish of commitment this entire time, and Liander has had to fight tooth and nail (😏) to make him commit at every step of the journey. Now we see a greater cohesion between them, and how they work with Riley. It.is.adorable!
A book with interesting new things to explore, and a main character being put through her paces. This works for me.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Riley Jenson, Guardian series page!