Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Dell (October 27, 2009)
Main Characters; Riley Jenson - Quinn - Kye.
Book Origin: Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.
In the darkness, demons come out to play . . . and someone must bring their sins to light.
Part vampire, part werewolf, Riley Jenson knows what can happen when vamps don’t play well with others. But she’s never seen anything like this: a series of brutal murders surrounding the latest hot spot for vampire-human hookups—and the victims aren’t just killed, they’re beheaded. Now Riley is launching into action, toying with a seductive—and highly suspicious—club owner, and finding herself in the middle of another mystery: women being killed one by one, without a trace of violence.
For Riley, solving multiple cases—in a world going mad with human and vampire passions—would have been tough enough. Instead she has two jealous lovers on her hands: Kye Murphy, the amber-eyed werewolf who makes Riley’s wolf blood howl—and Quinn, the cool, elegant vamp who has over a thousand years’ experience at fulfilling women’s desires. While she’s busy juggling these two sexy beasts, Riley’s detective work takes a stunningly violent turn. Finding a murderer is now a matter of life and death. Especially since the killer has long since found her . . .
A savage murder calls Riley Jenson away from a warm bed and her gorgeous vampire lover Quinn and she isn’t all that happy about this part of her job description as a Guardian. The moment she arrives at the murder scene one question after the other rises and she is introduced to the highly seductive club owner Dante Starke. As Riley tries to figure out all the participants and puzzle pieces another investigation gets entangled with hers and the mystery deepens.
Now Riley has not only to juggle with various types of murders, but also has to get a grip on her emotions regarding Dante Starke, the club owner, Kye Murphy, her werewolf soul-mate and her vampire lover, Quinn. Things are bound to get vicious and dark with Riley in the middle of it all…
It’s not like I haven’t heard of Keri Arthur but her series is already so well advanced I kind of wanted to steer away from this one. Still, fate can be a fickly creature because when I received the opportunity to review BOUND BY SHADOWS I just was unable to resist the lure. Now that I have met Riley Jenson I want more of this ‘coffee loving, quirky humorous, fierce and loyal, blatantly sensual, torn between her vampire and werewolf side’ female. This is one character that does not give you a dull moment throughout the entire three hundred and forty-six pages of the story.
Since this story is told from Riley’s point of view I got to know her as a person who is half werewolf and half vampire and all her doubts, fears, passions and the fierceness of her love that comes with her personality. I also got to know her as a Guardian, one that is good in what she does and who allows me to feel the camaraderie among the colleges she works most with. Of course I missed some information on the how and why certain things came to be but when push came to shove I got all the vitals and then some. What captured me so much in her was her view on life, family and love, and the way she felt torn between her vampire and werewolf side. There are two men, Kye and Quinn, who are attached to either side of her and while she experiences a passion and a bond with both, it is apparent that only one has her true hearts of heart.
Key got his fair share of attention due to the case Riley was working on and he rubbed me the wrong way, intrigued me too at times but in the end I just wanted to clock him one in the face. Quinn is about everything a vampire should be; vast in his powers, secretive, wealthy, centuries old, has an Achilles heel and in love with Riley. Their relationship is one I would like to read about from the beginning in how various things came to be in this novel. The highly sensual triangular relationship between Riley, Quinn and Kye is difficult at best and disastrous at its worst. It made Riley’s inner conflict understandable and work so well for me. If there is one thing BOUND TO SHADOWS is besides well-plotted then it is highly sensual. Riley embraces this side of her, is flirtatious at times but never crosses the boundaries that make her unbelievable in her feelings towards her mates.
While the plot steamrolls along, uncovering pieces of information and as I had my suspects alongside Riley, it was a surprising ending which delivered some nail biting moments. The mystery was good and kept me engaged but what I first and foremost fell for is Keri Arthur’s ability in fabulous characterization. Riley is so utter likeable and yet intricate at the same time that I totally forgot it was a story written from the first person. The supportive cast is also rock solid, Riley’s twin and his mate Lianders infuse the story with a bit of manlove that I am dying to read more about. Their interaction already speaks that they know each other for quite some time now. The boss of Riley, Jack, is just a grumpy man who has a secret or two of his own but looks out for his Guardians. Cole and his acerbic tongue delivered some great conversations with Riley and then there’s Kade, a stallion shape-shifter with a dozen or so mares to attend to. He is the most direct colleague of Riley and he is all charm, grins, has a sultry come-hither look and gets away with it all. I fell for him on the spot. Supporting character galore in this novel but I enjoyed each and every one of them and the effect they had on the overall story.
Keri Arthur has a powerful voice in her writing which delivers colorful and unique characters and a well thought-out plot. BOUND TO SHADOWS is the kind of novel that instantly made me want more of Riley Jenson and her overall story arc.
…no matter what excuses I’d given myself, I’d come here for this. I might blame the wolf but the wolf, like the vampire, wasn’t the sum of me. And if there were two parts of me at war, then it wasn’t the wolf and the vampire, but rather heart and soul. Right now, locked in this man’s embrace, I wasn’t sure which part of me would win. Or which part I wanted to win. And that was a scary thought.