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on 20 June 2008
Riley Jenson is an unusual character. She's part-wolf, part-vampire, working (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 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. This story 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, however, so that when Quinn walks back into her life there's possible 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 the previous books. Her relationship with Quinn was nicely written and not overdone. This was 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, to this reader at least, rather 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 for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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on 27 June 2008
I think that this is a series that is improving with every book. It is also good to see that the focus stays on the investigation in hand - Riley is an investigator after all - and isn't going for the easy sex-fest of LKH's Anita Blake. KA is much more comfortable (and credible) in her Australian location than the 2 earlier werewolf novels she set in the USA. The paranormal elements are well thought out and work well including the snippy Admin Vampire! Keep up the good work.
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Although this review won't contain spoilers for The Darkest Kiss as this is book 6 in the Riley Jenson series it will probably include spoilers for previous books. If you're new to the series or haven't read this far then I'd recommend checking out the reviews for book 1 Full Moon Rising. It is definitely an urban fantasy series that I'd recommend though.

This book picks up with Riley a couple of months after the ending of Embraced by Darkness and we find her still struggling to deal with a broken heart after her break up with Kellen. She is still working as a Guardian and when a politician is murdered she is called in to investigate. Soon she has a trail of bodies and realises she has a serial killer on her hands but before long it becomes clear that there is not just one killer on the loose. As if that wasn't enough to deal with Quinn is also back on the scene - can she capture the killers and protect her bruised heart at the same time?

This is a series I've enjoyed from the beginning but I have to say that I think it really is getting better with each new installment. Riley has come a long way since Full Moon Rising and although I've always liked her I'm pleased to see the changes in her. She still has her snarky, kick ass attitude but whilst nursing her broken heart she has become less interested in casual sex and she seems to have grown up more. She will always enjoy flirting - and has more than a few men who are interested in that and more - but she wants to find a partner who she can actually care about. It was also nice to see more about the new abilities Riley has started to gain, although they didn't help her much in this book I'm curious to see what happens next.

I wasn't sure how I felt about the fact that Quinn would be making an appearance, I really liked him at first but then his attitude started to annoy me and I'd completely gone off him. However, I was really pleased to discover that he has also changed since the last time we saw him. With his attitude adjustment and Riley's new outlook I can actually see a future for them again and it was nice to be reminded of what attracted me to him in the first place. I'm now back to being interested in seeing how things play out with them over the rest of the series.

As I've come to expect from Keri Arthur the plot was well thought out and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. I was on the edge of my seat at certain points mentally screaming "nooooooo
please don't let this be happening" but I can't really say more about that without giving spoilers so you'll have to read the book to find out if I was happy at the end or not. If you're a fan of the series then I'm sure you'll enjoy this installment. I'm looking forward to picking up Deadly Desire and finding out what happens next.
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on 26 June 2009
The Darkest Kiss is the 6th book in the Riley Jenson series by Keri Arthur, and it's my favourite so far (including Deadly Desire which follows it). It's a much more subdued Riley we find here, still hurting from her split from Kellen a couple of months before, and more than a little wary of being involved with anyone else, new or old. But Riley still has her smart mouth on her, and she's getting on with her job. She doesn't spend a lot of time whining as can happen in other books, so she's still a great character to read.

The plots through this had me hooked and it moved at a great pace. I guessed who the person within her group that got hurt was early fairly early on, but it didn't detract much from the tension. There isn't much seen of Rhoan, Riley's brother, until near the end which is a little unusual, but again, it didn't take anything away from the story. I've never been a big fan of Quinn, and I wasn't sure about having him reappear in Riley's life, but I actually found myself almost warming to him by the end. But Riley's desire to not have her heartbroken again has her staying away from the wolf clubs, and it means there isn't any sex in this book til near the end, and much less flirtation than normal as well. The book almost felt lacking for it, but down to it being unusual for there to be so little in a Riley book rather than it being odd for there to be so little sex in a book.

For me, the development of Riley through this book is what's made her a favourite for me, something she hasn't been until now. She's developed slowly to a more serious person, without losing her sense of humor or desire for fun. She's still talking back to those she shouldn't and doing things her own way to others frustration, stopping the books from becoming too dark. Overall, a really great read and the series is worth the not so good first few books to get here.
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on 20 June 2008
Riley Jenson is an unusual character. She's part-wolf, part-vampire, working (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 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. This story 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, however, so that when Quinn walks back into her life there's possible 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 the previous books. Her relationship with Quinn was nicely written and not overdone. This was 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, to this reader at least, rather 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 for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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on 11 November 2010
As I hoped, this book was much better than the last, though still not devoid of the little writing hiccups. I'm beginning to think that Arthur just can't help herself. There was still repetition of silly things ("I killed a dark god, of course I can kill you" x20), but there was much less of it this time.
My problem with this book was the plot. It didn't make sense. Why would a murderer kill his first victims and then only kidnap the rest? Because one of the rest is important to the main character - sounds like a plot hole to me.
Other than that, I liked it. I like Riley more than I did before. Quinn reappears in this book, and I like him more too because he shows off a little in here. I like Rhoan too, but since Kade is in this book, Riley pairs up with Kade instead of Rhoan. I liked it better when Riley and Rhoan fought together.
One thing that I think is odd about this series is that the werewolves don't use their wolves to fight. It might just be a preconceived notion from reading other books, but I would have thought that the wolf half might be better in some fighting situations. But Riley seems to think that being a wolf would be a weakness. It's weird because, except for tracking, they might as well not even be werewolves.
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on 3 December 2011
I absolutely loved this story. It had me totally gripped from beginning to end. Everything seemed to flow very well with "The Darkest Kiss" and I was pleasantly surprised to see Quinn is back. I really missed him.

The fight with Rhoan and Young was brilliant... loved it! It was just a shame he wasn't paired up with Riley more often. Love to see the twins fighting side by side. I think that was my only niggle.

One thing that did make me smile was Riley's attitude after breaking up with Kellen. I hate...HATE... when you read some novels and the heroines always seem to get over their long term partners with such ease (whether soul mates or not) Life doesn't work that way. Another thing I liked was the fact Young kidnapped the rest of the victims because the Directorate was hot on his tail. Some authors would make a scene like that drag on and on and on (you get the point) Killing each one of his victims would have had me skipping numerous chapters in boredom. Thankfully KA didn't do this and no chapters were skimmed or missed.

Looking forward to reading the next one.
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on 20 May 2011
Another 1 for my daughter who is totally hooked on keri arthur,she now wants another 1 ordering.
Amazon delivered it in perfect condition,can honestly say i use amazon more than ebay
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on 28 January 2014
She's done it again! Another nail biting, edge of the seat story! What's going to happen next is anyone's guess. So looking forward to the next in the series! Go Keri Arthur!
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on 1 March 2015
I'm desperately trying to avoid spoilers here so I will just say read and enjoy. If you haven't read the rest of the series then start at the beginning for full enjoyment.
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