26 March 2011

Book Review Number 55: Tempting Evil by Keri Arthur

Tempting Evil is the 3rd book in the Riley Jensen series.  (Sadly, my library doesn't have the second book so I've had to skip that one.)  The hunt for the person in charge of the cloning project has been found, but he is incredibly well guarded.  Because of the death of one of her former partners, Riley wants in.  And "in" happens to be the man's well guarded pleasure palace.

Riley and Rhoan both attempt to make their way inside, with a plan for getting close to the man and killing him and his lieutenants.  But as any good reader knows, plans have a habit of going haywire.  

Originally, Riley plans on coming in as a prostitute to service the lieutenants and guards.  Rhoan plans on coming in under the security detail, the pool of men that Deshon Starr (the villain of the piece) picks his bedmates from.  But Riley's "chance" meeting with the woman who procures prostitutes doesn't go as planned when an attack is made on the woman's life.  Rather than come in as a prostitute, the woman (who later admits that she knows who Riley is and who she works for) agrees to bring Riley in as a fighter.  That's where the lieutenants choose their lovers from... because only these woman could be strong enough for the depravity that these two men have in store.

There's one catch, however.  Riley is asked to get the woman's daughter out of there.  Starr has been holding the fact that he has her over the woman's head to make sure he isn't double crossed.  Against Jack's requests, Riley becomes determined to help save this child as well.

Quinn isn't supposed to be part of the team, having a very personal vendetta that could jeopardize everything. But, being the 1200 year old multi-millionaire that he is, he finds a way.  And that's not the only possible danger.  Deshon Starr seems to know exactly who and what Riley and Rhoan have in store for him, and lays some traps of his own.

I thought this was another good book in the series.  We get to see Riley grow, not only as a Guardian (which she's still trying to avoid being) but within her powers.  In the first book, she'd been given a fertility drug by one of her lovers in an attempt to create the perfect child with her.  Rather than making her fertile, the drug, which was known to be dangerous on mixed-race women, it enhanced many of the powers that she already had as a dhampire and added others that she hadn't previously had.  There is one scene in particular in which Riley, pissed at something that Quinn has done, manages to tear through his mental shields.  It's not something she should have been able to do to a vampire that old.  (And I love to watch her kick ass like that.)

There's pretty good action and the sex scenes aren't too bad... though most of them aren't sex for pleasure or exactly what they seem.  The characterizations are also brilliant.  You can't help but hate Starr's lieutenants, or feel sorry for some of the women that are part of the fighting ring as well.  

As with the one previously reviewed, this is a very sexy book and sex scenes are described.  So if that kind of thing bothers you, I wouldn't suggest this series.  But if it doesn't and other races are your thing, go for it!  I think you'll really enjoy it!