Title: When Darkness Hungers
Author: J.K. Beck
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Shadow Keepers (Book 5)
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback, 368 Pages
ISBN-10: 0345525655 (Bantam Dell)
ISBN-13: 978-0345525659 (Bantam Dell)
Reviewed by: Candy
FBI agent Alexis Martin knows that vampires exist—because one of them killed her sister. Assigned to investigate a series of bizarre homicides in Los Angeles, Alexis believes the murders are the work of rogue vampires—perhaps even the monster responsible for her sister’s death. Now she finally has a chance for retribution. Even better, Alexis receives unexpected help from a sexy stranger as hungry for rogue blood as she is.
Serge is a centuries-old bad boy who stays off the grid—keeping his secrets, his hunger, and his heart safe from exposure. A new breed of vampire that feeds off other shadowers, Serge finds sweet torture in Alexis’s arms. Loving her is a chance to be free from the hiding, the loneliness, the secrecy. But the truth about what he is, and what he’s done, may banish him to the dark confines of his own private hell—and destroy the beginnings of their love.
Quick & Dirty: There is something for everyone in this story — murder, revenge, romance, vampires, and much more. Alexis is trying to find her sister’s killer and Serge is trying to find a way to save his soul.
Opening Sentence: The two vampires moved with steady purpose, the low fog curling around their ankles as if the oily darkness of the moonless night were caressing them.
Alexis Martin thought the only bad guys out there were human until she finds out her sister has been murdered and that it was no human who killed her. Alexis’ sister Tori, was the victim of a vampire attack. Now Alexis has made it her mission along with her witch friend Leena to catch and destroy the monster that killed her sister. She tracks Tori’s murderer to Los Angeles where she meets Sergius, better known as Serge. Serge was once a vampire but after a curse was placed on him he became something much more. Together Alexis and Serge track down rogue vampires who have been leaving a string of dead humans in their wake. Unfortunately, Serge has a past that may ruin everything between him and Alexis.
I really enjoyed this book for the most part. The plot was intense but you do figure out who is behind the string of deaths fairly early on and it is very easy to figure out what Serge is hiding. Also, I was not a big fan of Alexis. Alexis is supposed to be hunting down her sisters’ killer when she meets Serge. She does not know anything about him except that he is a vampire who saved her life. She does not know why he has saved her life or whether he is a good guy or not and she is instantly in love and having dreams about him. They do explain the dreams in the story but it still seems too fast. Then her friend Edgar tells her that he has learned that Serge is dangerous. She ends up sitting in a sewer with Serge all day and when a friend of hers ends up dead after talking about Serge she just jumps into bed with him. Granted Serge does turn out to be a good guy but at this time she is not so sure. She loves him to the point of almost dying for him. Then to top it off her friend starts acting strange and Alexis does not seem to find it weird at all. She was very unobservant.
I did like Serge. He is the typical tall, dark and handsome, tormented vampire, or is he? It turns out Serge is not a vampire at all but something that no one has a name for. He has vampire like tendencies but he does not drink blood — instead he eats peoples’ life forces. This may make him sound evil but he is not. Serge only drains the life force out of rogue vampires. Unfortunately, this has put him on the radar of the Preternatural Enforcement Coalition or PEC for short. Serge is guilt filled, fighting what he has become and trying to become a better person. When he meets Alexis he finds someone who can calm the beast he has become. Because of this he starts to fall in love with her. Unfortunately, because of his secrets and his past he may just loose the one woman who could save him.
The other person I must mention is Leena. She is Alexis’ best friend and also a witch. Without her, Alexis would never be able to track down the rogue vampires she is hunting. Unfortunately, Leena has a dark secret that is a part of her family’s past and she is not even aware of it until the end. Leena starts to act strange, one minute she is her usual loving and friendly self then she is a cold distant woman who Alexis has a hard time even talking to.
I really enjoyed how detailed the plot was. Beck made it so I felt like I was a part of the story. I could picture everything so clearly. Like when Alexis confronted Serge for the first time and he pretty much begged her to kill him, I felt his anguish and her indecision. Even though I was not a big fan of Alexis, I could still feel for her as she learned what had happened to her sister. There were so many intense scenes where I wanted to get to the next part just to figure out what would happen.
I recommend this book to all adult paranormal readers. J.K. Beck introduces a new type of immortal that I have never read about and it is interesting to learn what Serge is capable of in his new form. There is romance which is a little hard to get into but the rest of the story is a very intriguing read.
To her horror, she realized that she’d moved out from behind the pillar and that she stood directly in his line of sight. “Go ahead,” he repeated, pushing himself to his feet and spreading his arms wide, baring his chest like a target. “Dammit Alexis, do it.”
She dropped her gun arm. For a moment, he only stared at her. Then his lip curled into a sneer that didn’t quit meet those warm, gray eyes. “You’re a fool,” he said, then turned his back to her.
The Shadow Keepers Series:
FTC Advisory: Bantam Dell/Random House provided me with a copy of When Darkness Hungers. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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