Lynn Viehl’s newest book, Private Demon, is a continuation of the Darkyn series. It begins several months after If Angels Burn ended and the story continues at a fast pace with a new hero, heroine, and a host of characters from the first book.
Thierry Durand is a vampire on the run. He knows he is close to losing the very tenuous hold he has on his mind. He accepts his fate but has one task to complete before he lets go. On the hunt for a killer, he connects with Jema Shaw. Jema also knows she does not have much time left and is living life on her own terms, much to the chagrin of her overbearing mother. She works days in the museum that her father’s discoveries helped to build, and at night she moonlights as a crime scene investigator.
When Thierry and Jema first meet, he can not control himself; he feeds from and instantly bonds with her. Thierry’s mind is confused and he doesn’t exactly know what is going on, so he sends Jema away but moves in next door to keep an eye on her. He starts to visit her at night wherein he invades her dreams. In her dreams, she is healthy and whole, and they create a universe just for themselves. Things continue in this way until Jema realizes that things are more than just a dream.
As Jema and Thierry connect in her dreams, the rest of the book continues on at lightning speed, setting their blossoming relationship in the background. Alexandra and Michael’s story continues and readers get to see their HEA minus a few bumps along the way. The Brethren is still a major part of the story and are still trying to destroy the Darkyn. John reappears and has given up the priesthood. And another man admits his love for Jema, creating a love triangle in which Jema must choose between her dream lover and a very different man.
This book explodes with characters and story lines, and at times it’s hard to keep track of what is going on. Thierry and Jema’s love story acts as a backdrop for this very complicated book about the Darkyn’s fight with the Brethren, so that it reads more like paranormal fiction with a romance tie-in than a straight romance novel about vampires. The universe Viehl created continues to grow in this book – there may be more characters introduced than a reader really wants to get to know.
My only other qualm with the book is that the end moves at a super fast pace. The story is satisfactorily moving along, and then – wham! – a ton of action and a resolution that leaves the reader breathless. That alone makes this Darkyn book a success and I, like the rest of Viehl’s fans, cannot wait for the third installment, Darkness Has No Need.