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Looking to start a series? Check out Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson December 6, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries.
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“Half vampire. Half werewolf. All trouble.”

This is one of the taglines for Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson Guardian Series. She recently released book No. 8 — BOUND TO SHADOWS — in the series, which wraps up next year with book No. 9. Yup — she says she’s ending the series with book No. 9. (CLICK HERE to read my interview with her.) The final book in the series, MOON SWORN, will be out May 25, 2010. You can read more about it on Keri’s site HERE, but she warns folks who haven’t read BOUND TO SHADOWS not to read it because there are major spoilers! If you’re looking for a series to start  over the holidays, check this out. Here’s a short synopsis:

What the series is about: Riley Jenson is a “dhampire” — part vampire, part werewolf. (In vamp lore, a dhampire is usually the offspring of a vamp and other being. Could be human. In this case – werewolf.) She works for Melbourne’s Directorate of Other Races. The Directorate protects humans from the supernatural races, so there is a ton of world-building, unusual cultures and personalities throughout the series as she solves various cases. Riley has a twin brother, Rhoan, who also works for the Directorate.  He appears in many of the stories, especially early in the series.

Riley has not yet met her soul mate — at least early on in the series — and so she tends to have a lot of sex with others when her wolf side heats up. However, there is hope in the romance department for Riley! A vampire named Quinn. He is a key love interest. Of course – he’s not the only one in her life. But throughout, Riley has some serious decisions to make about who she wants to be with. And sometimes, her heart might say one thing, but her wolf nature says another.

What’s decent about it: Lots of action. Riley is a strong, smart and capable heroine. She’s a guardian so she has a purpose in life and loves what she does. Her line of work makes for some interesting plot lines and battles. But little details in the series are also a kind of weird and goofy at times. For example: Riley can shift into a sea gull … which I think is totally funny. (I forget to ask her in my interview how she came up with that!) And one of her ex-lovers is a horse shifter. I mean — c’mon. How weird is that?! Not sure if the author meant for it to come off that way but makes it interesting. And of course, there’s lots of sex – which is OK but …..

Turnoffs: Riley’s multiple partners fit her werewolf nature, but if you’re a romantic, ick! Sometimes, ya just don’t identify with the girl’s wolf side!

You might like it: If you like Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake character — although the sex scenes are much more tame in the Riley Jenson series. But the heroine is super strong — like Anita.

Her books:

Riley Jenson Guardian

1. Full Moon Rising (2006)
2. Kissing Sin (2007)
3. Tempting Evil (2007)
4. Dangerous Games (2007)
5. Embraced by Darkness (2007)
6. The Darkest Kiss (2008)
7. Deadly Desires (2009)
8. Bound to Shadows (Oct 2009)
9. Moon Sworn (May 2010)


1. Diana McCabe - December 6, 2009

She has some other series as well (Nikki and Michael, Damask Circle, Ripple Creek and Spook Squad ) but I haven’t had a chance to check ’em out yet. Anyone read these?

2. Lisa Champ - December 6, 2009

I’ve read all of the Riley books, but none of her others. I definitely want to explore some of her other work at some point.

3. Christina - December 7, 2009

I love the Riley series. It isn’t quite as page turning as some of the others, but definitely good and entertaining characters and plots.

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