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by Keri Arthur
Series: Dark Angels #1
First in the Dark Angels urban fantasy series that carries on from the Riley Jenson, Guardian series and is based in Melbourne, Australia.
Risa Jones is all grown up and living with a couple of roommates, Iliana, a horseshifter, and Tao, a fire-starting werewolf. Money is no object for any of them and they have outfitted their revamped warehouse to the max in security and high-tech bathrooms. They are also partners in a hot and happenin’ restaurant, RYT’s, specializing in burgers and pizzas.
Running the restaurant is Risa’s day job. On the side, she visits hospitals, very reluctantly. It’s her half-Aedh side that also allows her to walk the gray plains. Visit the sick on a plane of existence that allows them to communicate with Risa. Tell her if they need to go on or if they want to, or can, live. It’s a visit to check on the young daughter of an old client of her mother’s that clues her in to something wrong. Something very wrong when it can tear the soul from a living being. And introduces her to the sword-bearing reaper who’s been dogging her steps.
The father Risa never knew is in town and planning something that will doom humanity. It’s Azriel’s job to prevent her father’s shutting the gates.
Risa is her mother’s daughter—psychic within her half-Heli werewolf, half-Aedh mix. It’s this last half that allows her to see reapers. One reaper in particular, Azriel, has been set to follow her at all times in hopes her father will contact her. Iliana is a witch and a powerful clairvoyant as well as the only fertile daughter left to her parents and they are pressuring her to settle down with a nice stallion. She hasn’t the heart to tell them she’s gay. Tao is the brilliant chef behind RYT’s when the girls can get him out of some girl’s bed and into the restaurant!
Stane Neale is a cousin of Tao’s. He’s also a computer genius with a love for Bollinger. Lucian Dupont comes to Risa’s rescue when she’s fighting a couple of shapeshifters who just tried to kill Iliana. Not quite a full Aedh anymore. Not since the Aedh priests tore his wings and bound some of his powers millenia ago for killing the man who murdered his half-sister—Aedh don’t “have” emotions. Doesn’t stop him from putting the moves on the lovely Risa, though.
Yeah! We get to find out what’s happening for Riley and Quinn and Rhoan and Liander—five kids! Liana, Ronan, and Darci are three of them.
Director Madeline Hunter is a thousands-of-years-old vampire and she will do anything to get Risa to work for the Directorate. Dia Jones is Risa’s mother. A blind psychic celebrity.
The central theme for this series is a set of keys made by Risa’s father to control the gates. Only someone of his blood can find or destroy them. And her father has realized he was wrong.
Arthur has definitely kept up with Riley Jenson, Guardian with this new series start. The action on the street and in bed is just as hot and heavy as ever. I love that Arthur has brought Riley and company in on this series. Yes, they’re somewhat in the background, but it’s great to get the update on what’s happening. But, it’s clear that the core group is Risa, Ilianna, and Tao with backup support from Stane. I’m guessing that Lucian and Azriel will also be playing along.
I can’t wait for Darkness Rising!
The cover is rather ethereal with the blonde Risa Jones contemplating the embrace of the Aedh and the reaper as mystical symbols, wings, and the hands of a man embrace her in shades of deep purple to turquoise. The title is certainly apt as Risa must find a way to force this Darkness Unbound.