Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: love it. My boyfriend recognized the Harley from a distance.
Stormwalker Janet Begay, proprietor of the Crossroads Hotel, a place where the paranormal stop for a safe night's rest, discovers the hard way that a slayer is targeting Ansel, a Nightwalker who's become a more-or-less permanent resident.
When Janet and her boyfriend Mick intervene to save Ansel's un-life, they find that the attack is the beginning of an oncoming storm. Janet has her hands full already with the upcoming marriage of her father, her crazy half-sister, the return of a woman who claims to be Coyote's wife, a couple dragons on her back, and her worry about Mick, who's behaving strangely again.
But it seems that everyone is after Ansel, who fears he killed the woman he loves in a Nightwalker frenzy. Janet must choose between protecting Ansel or facing the most powerful magical beings in the world, who are willing to destroy Janet, Mick, her hotel, and everyone she cares about to get to Ansel and his secrets.
I’ve been looking forward to reading this new book for a while, and when it finally arrived, signed and all (yeah!) I did not want to start reading it immediately, I just wanted to savour it, admire the cover. Sometimes, you just need to have a book ready that will be a guaranteed great read, and for me Jennifer Ashley / Allyson James is one of those authors. But after 2 days, I just had to read it!
Janet wakes up to some noise outside the hotel, and sees someone trying to kill her resident Nightwalker, Ansel. Ansel is a vampire who tries very hard to suppress his Nightwalker part, drinking cowblood only. He is a shy and kind of awkward person, a collector of stamps and antiques. His Nightwalker part is way different, aggressive, bold and cocky. After they chase the would-be slayer away, the question arises: who has put a price on Ansel’s head, and why? Ansel claims he has no idea, but he is very much afraid that he killed his beloved. He woke up in the desert a week ago, alone, with blood on his clothes, and no memory of what happened after he went to dinner with Laura.
Apparently they were in business together, Ansel searching for antiques, and Laura selling them in her shop.
When another slayer is coming for Ansel the next day, and even the Dragon’s come searching for him, Janet is determined to get more answers out of him. Drake burned down her Saloon, killing her magic mirror in the process! Drake will pay for that, but first she needs to know the truth, one way or another.
Dragons, slayers, mages, Coyote, bad guys, everyone seems to be after Ansel and the object he found in the museum in Flagstaff. What is so special about it, that even Coyote and her Grandmother warn Janet against it? She needs to find it, and, if at all possible, destroy it.
Okay, I am not going to spoil anything about this story. It captivated me from start to end, and I loved it very much. Ansel is under their protection, and both Janet and Mick will do whatever it takes to keep him safe. Unless he turns in a Nightwalker frenzy and kills humans, then they will hunt him down and kill him themselves. They won’t give in to slayers, nor to dragons or powerful mages.
Janet spends a lot of time on her Harley Softail, trying to find answers, trying to find the missing Laura, and the artifact. She sure loves her Harley, and prefers it much over flying with Mick, her boyfriend. But sometimes speed is essential, and she has no choice. I always love it when Nash is at the scene, the magical null, who negates all spells and magic. Janet really needs him this time. Then of course there are her grandmother and half-sister Gabrielle, who both have powerful magic of themselves.
I also loved the small parts with Bear, Coyote’s wife, who looks like a big and powerful Indian woman when in human form. They play some strange games together.
The story is fast paced, filled with all kinds of magic and magical people, and some Native American lore. Allyson James has a fluent writing style, and a sense of humor, that is exactly right for me. I love her characters, her original and unique worldbuilding, the way she draws me into the story, and live it.
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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian