Title: Bound to Shadows
Author: Keri Arthur
Page Count: 400 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Copy for review compliments of Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.
50 words or less: It's drama-rama as Riley balances her job as a guardian with her life- her soul mate, Kye, is back in town; her brother and his mate make her an offer she doesn't want to refuse, and Quinn, her real love, shows sides that are new. What's a girl to do?
I freely admit, this is the first book in this series that I've read, although there are indeed seven previous books. I had no idea what to expect, I didn't know whether no background knowledge would be a help or a hindrance; hell, I didn't know whether I would even like the book. I'm pleased to say that everything came up roses by the end of the series and I am now definitely a fan.
Riley is a half-vampire, half-werewolf, which means she's not bound by the "rules" of either group and instead kind of meanders between them. She works as a guardian, which means her job is protecting people from the things that go bump in the night, even when people would rather not have that protection. That's the story going on here- patrons of clubs where they can feed their addictions to vampire bites are getting drained; vampires are ending up dead
(beheaded, no less) and now the big question is, who's behind the killings? It's a tense situation and one Riley would like to clear up sooner rather than later.
In the midst of all that, her wolf soul mate, Kye, reappears on the scene. Normally I'm a huge fan of shifters and find myself in that camp; that was decidedly not the case here. Kye is a douche, and a murdering one at that; Riley can't stand him, and one of the most unique parts of the book is her trying to resist him, not because she's afraid of their relationship or any of the tropes that are so common in PNR and urban fantasy books, but because she does not like him and wants nothing to do with him, and as a matter of fact, she loves someone else. Even though things don't always go as planned, Riley remains true to herself and genuinely tries to do the right thing, both for herself and for the people she cares about.
To make matters more complicated, Quinn, her lover and the one who truly holds her heart, has a much more complex role in the crime wave sweeping through the vampire community than Riley had thought. This ends up working in Riley's favor but it does call her attention to elements of her world that she was not aware of before.
There is one scene, near the end of the book, that made me cringe; as a rule, nonconsensual sex is not my thing and doesn't work for me as a plot device. I understand why it was included in the book and I definitely see what it does to move the story to its conclusiong, and hey, Kye is a bitch and bitches, as they say, get stitches, but as a rule that kind of stuff doesn't work for me.
Bound to Shadows is a good introduction to the series and will make you want to go read the previous seven installments if you haven't already. Word is that the next book will be the last one for the series so it'll be interesting to see how everything wraps up.
Overall Grade: A-