Genre: paranormal romance
Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible, but Jon Barnett knows it's something far worse. To stop the killers in Taurin Bay, he becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice in the form of recluse Madeline Smith.
Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the psychic abilities she can't control-abilities that have killed. But when "ghost" Jon Barnett brings a warning of danger and her nephew disappears, Maddie has to leave her haven. She also has to learn to control the abilities she fears and place her trust in Jon Barnett, a man who is neither human nor ghost.
But as the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time, and the noose of sorcery threatens to kill Maddie and Jon, the greatest danger to them both could be the feelings they have for each other-feelings that they refuse to acknowledge.
I have tried a Keri Arthur book once before, and did not enjoy it at all. The random sex just for the sake of having sex is just my cup of tea. But this book is very different, and I did enjoy it.
The book starts with Madeline (Maddie) having a ghostly visitor who needs her help. She refuses to believe in him though, fearing she is going mad. But when he thinks her nephew is in danger, she has no choice but to believe him when her nephew does indeed disappear. Maddie’s family has always refused to believe in her psychic gifts, taking her from counsellor to psychiatrist and so on. But her gifts are real, and when her abusive husband tried to kill her, she killed him with her fire in self defense. Her brother in law, who is a police officer, does not believe her, and distrusts her. So when she warns about his son being in danger, he is certain that she is behind it. Didn’t she kill his best friend? He also refuses that his son has the same strange abilities that Maddie is, and his wife is not capable of standing up against him, although she knows what it did to Maddie when they were young girls. Maddie can only visit them in secret, when her brother in law is out of the house.
Maddie has become a recluse, living in a large farm house all by herself, content with growing and selling her roses. But now, for her beloved nephew, she will leave her house and try to find her “ghost”.
Jon Barnett is a shape shifter, working for the Damask Circle, an agency governing paranormal creatures who threaten to expose their existence to the human world, and who abuse their powers. He is investigating the strange disappearances of teenagers, who are found dead with no blood in their body. An evil sorcerer or sorceress is using them in a blood magic ritual and he will need to stop him or her. But before he can begin his investigation, he is left for dead in a well on a farm, with a wooden arrow made of white ash in his body. Someone knew just what he was, as white ash is deadly for shape shifters. To rescue her nephew, Maddie will need to find and rescue Jon first. Jon does not want to work with Maddie, he works alone. But when he finds her in the hotel room he has previously rented, he knows it can’t be avoided, he needs her help. Maddie doesn’t trust the night clerk of the hotel, he really is creepy, and why does he insist on searching her room when she declares everything is all right?
Jon and Maddie will have to work together, and keep an eye out for the other, especially when Maddie’s brother-in-law puts out an APB on her, making her a target for all the police searching for the missing kids as well. They can’t afford to waste the time it will take to convince the police that she is innocent and only wants to help.
I enjoyed this story a lot, it is more a paranormal mystery than a romance, and it was original. I have not come across this kind of paranormal world before, so I enjoyed that part. The bad guys are really bad and creepy, and I loved the end, the fight, the magic.
After the adventure is over, there is no immediate happy ending, with “I love you”s and “will you marry me”. It takes longer for that to happen, and I do like that. Although he could have contacted her sooner ...
I look forward to reading the next book. I have been assured it is even better than this one.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian