Desert Isle Keeper
Full Moon Rising
I don’t know how I managed to miss the boat on this author. Happily, I plan to check out her backlist immediately as I can hardly wait for the next book in this series. I wanted to read this book in one sitting, and was terribly offended that the real world intruded on my reading time!
Riley Jensen and her twin brother Rhoan are dhampires (half werewolf, half vampire – and very unique) who both work for the Directorate of Other Races, an agency that oversees the non-human races. Rhoan is a Guardian, who polices the non-human and serves, if needed, as as judge, jury, and sometimes executioner. Riley has no desire to become a Guardian, since she does not enjoy killing, but she has all the necessary skills to join her brother. However, Rhoan has gone missing, and it is mere days away from the full moon. Even half werewolves cannot resist the sexual lure of the full moon. Special night clubs allow the werewolves to find partners and fulfill the moon lust without hurting humans.
On the heels of her brother’s disappearance, vampire Quinn O’Connor shows up on Riley’s doorstep naked and bruised, stating he is a friend of Rhoan’s, but has fuzzy memories on his arrival at her apartment. Determined to locate her brother, Riley tries to ignore Quinn’s appearance. Her boss, Jack, however, has plans to make Riley a Guardian, and investigating Rhoan’s disappearance with Quinn’s help fits in nicely with that goal. Riley doesn’t trust Quinn, and even with the moon lust riding her, wants to ignore his offer of assistance.
Once the circumstances around Rhoan’s disappearance are revealed, it is clear that Quinn’s help is needed. A much larger picture appears. Someone is experimenting on the non-human races, and not in a good way. Riley’s moon fever is also acting up more than usual, and both of her two werewolf moon partners are acting strangely. Even though Quinn has an unhappy background involving relationships with werewolves, he is much more supportive than either Talon or Misha, and willing to help Riley find her brother.
I loved the interaction between Quinn and Riley. Even though there is not a monogamous relationship between them, within the framework of the story, Riley’s actions are believable. Until a werewolf finds a soul mate, the moon fever burns in them strongly, and if not calmed, the moon fever turns to blood lust, a very ugly situation for everyone involved. Quinn and Riley are a great team, though, and more than the moon fever burns between them. Although this is not the beginning of a romance series, I can’t wait to see more of their relationship.
As they race to find Rhoan and protect Riley (as it is clear she is in grave danger), they fight some nasty creatures along the way. Rhoan’s moon partner Liander joins in the search as well. Riley and Quinn are both strong characters, and Riley is upset but stays clearheaded when she realizes she has been fundamentally betrayed and kidnapped.
Inevitable comparisons can be made to the Anita Blake, Kim Harrison, and Kelley Armstrong’s books, but I think Ms. Arthur has a clear voice of her own and her characters speak for themselves. I do have a couple warnings: Readers who prefer monogamy or strictly heterosexual relationships in their characters would be warned to look elsewhere, as are those who may be squeamish. This is not the cuddly version of vampires and werewolves; situations often get violent and bloody.
Personally, I am so glad this author has an extensive backlist (although this is her first mainstream published book, a dozen of her earlier books were published by ImaJinn), because I plan on buying every single one of them. Perhaps that will hold me over until the next book in this series is released, because I am hooked!
Buy it on Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo
|Review Date:||April 30, 2006|
|Book Type:||Paranormal Romance | Shapeshifter Romance | Urban Fantasy|
|Review Tags:||shifter romance | Vampires|