Bound to Shadows
I can think of very few series out there that really need more than about three or four books to make them complete. However, the Riley Jenson books are still going strong as of the eighth book in the series and, even after reading Bound to Shadows, I’m hoping to see more.
A quick word before I get into discussing this particular book. In addition to spoilers of earlier books in this review, this book is not the place to start the series. Though I discovered this series midway through and read books out of order, things will make sense much faster if you read the books in sequence.
As this book opens, the dhampire (half-vampire, half-werewolf) Riley has been called out at 3:00 in the morning to view a crime scene. A beheaded vampire has been found in the parking lot of a seedy club catering to blood whores, humans addicted to vampire bites. It’s charismatic vampire owner immediately starts trying to work his seductive powers on Riley.
As Riley starts working on this case, she learns of a string of vampire killings, and her evidence keeps leading her back to the seductive club owner she wishes to avoid. In addition to working on very intense cases, Riley also contends with her private life. Though involved in a steady relationship with vampire Quinn, her werewolf soulmate Kye will not let her go without a fight. This plot twist could have seemed somewhat Twilight-ish, but to Arthur’s credit, she makes it nothing of the kind.
As this plot should tell you, there is a lot of action and emotion packed into this book and this is where the author’s superior plotting skills come in. Though we move from Riley’s personal life to her investigations and then back again frequently, transitions are made smoothly. Having a story told in the first person helps with this, and I did often feel as though I was living this story (including some unexpected twists and turns) right along with Riley.
Another strength of the book lies in the developement of sexual chemistry. Though the sex scenes are hot and steamy, they didn’t feel superfluous. The author skillfully uses both sex and sensuality to create mood, to reveal facets of character, and to show readers what is going on in relationships. I’ve seen the author compared to other authors, but Keri Arthur’s writing really puts her in a class of her own. Not only does she write intense action, she creates characters with so many layers that even after eight books, readers still have more to learn about them. In this book, Riley shows a side of herself that is a little less kickass than some might expect, and I suspect this will leave readers very divided.
Though having someone show a more vulnerable side makes them more approachable and multi-dimensional, the manner in which that aspect of Riley’s character was handled rendered the book not quite a DIK for me. It was just a little too much for me to accept. Bound to Shadows still came incredibly close to being a keeper, though, and I enjoyed reading it. The series as a whole has been quite well done, and this is a very worthy entry.
I enjoy spending as much time as I can between the covers of a book, traveling through time and around the world. When I'm not having adventures with fictional characters, I'm an attorney in Virginia and I love just hanging out with my husband, little man, and the cat who rules our house.