- Title: Dancing with the Devil
- Author: Keri Arthur
- Series: Nikki & Michael #1
- Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
- Format: ebook
- Source: Free ARC
- Reviewed by: DarthVal
- Rating: 2 out of 5
Description: Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there’s nothing left to surprise her. All that changes the night she follows teenager Monica Trevgard into the shadows-and becomes a pawn caught in a war between two very different men. One fills her mind with his madness, the other pushes his way into her life-and her heart. Nikki knows how dangerous love can be, but if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in a man who could easily destroy her.
Michael Kelly has come to Lyndhurst determined to end the war between himself and another brother of the night. For 300 years he has existed in life’s shadows, gradually learning to control the life from death cravings of a vampire. Nikki not only breaches his formidable barriers with her psychic abilities, but makes Michael believe he may finally have found a woman strong enough to walk by his side and ease the loneliness in his heart. But will his love be enough to protect her from a madman hell-bent on revenge? Or will it drive her into his enemy’s deadly trap?
Only together can they overcome the evil threatening to destroy them both. But the secrets they keep from each other might prove to be the greatest threat of all.
Review: I am perpetually on the look-out for exciting new Urban Fantasy series, hence my excitement at receiving a digital ARC for Dancing with the Devil. I knew this one might lean more toward Paranormal Romance than I typically like, but I was willing to take the risk. The concept sounded really good to me.
One thing that I really liked about this book was the cover. It is not trying too hard to be sexy. It is a good urban fantasy depiction of a tough looking gal with a mysterious vibe. The red color was plays well into the Dancing with the Devil title. It has great use of fonts. It really looks like a book that I would enjoy. Alas, sometimes the adage is true about judging books by their covers.
I was expecting a story with a strong female detective, instead I discovered a stupid chick with the maturity of a bean sprout. Throughout the book, Monica (the heroine of the tale) runs headfirst into danger rather needlessly. Often this was a passive-aggressive response to being angry at someone, because it totally makes sense when you are mad at someone to risk your own life in the most dangerous scenario possible. Not. For a supposed detective, she was quite incapable of getting clue. I mean, the signs that Michael was a vampire were totally obvious. How long did it take Nikki to figure it out? Can you say, duh?
So, then there is the insta-lust between Nikki and Michael. I don’t want to label it insta-love, because most of the time they did not even seem to like one another. Or maybe that was just because both characters spent the majority of the book in over-reaction mode. Sheesh, maybe they need some anger management.
And speaking of anger, Michael was a bit of an anger ball. He always get angry that she does not trust him, like REALLY angry, yet he gives her NO REASON to trust him. Did he really think his approach was going engender trust in her? Let’s check his actions against the trustworthy check list. Would you trust a guy who tells you nothing while making it obvious that he is concealing a lot of information? I didn’t think so. How about if he constantly promises not to control you, but repeatedly does so (even if it is to save your life)? Maybe not. I know, maybe you’d trust someone who would conceal his true nature from you and will lie to you about his ability to love? Not working for you? Well, maybe you should just get angry back and run headfirst into danger!
Beyond the characters themselves, the mythology seemed a little inconsistent to me. Nikki was able to open doors and break the necks of zombies using her psychic force, but she was unable to use it to open a car door? Smells kind of fishy to me. Worse, though, were all of the times when Nikki drained her power completely, yet she was always able to conveniently tap into more (unless Michael conveniently save her, making her angry).
The plot itself was kind of blah. After the first couple of chapters, the mystery is gone. We know who the bad guy is and what he wants. The rest of the book, the author seems to draw things out in a series of silly encounters. Nikki and Michael run into Jasper, Monica, and zombies, they fight, they scamper away, lather, rinse, and repeat.
I am still up in the air about whether or not I will this series another shot. I recognize that first books are not typically the best of the series. It would be pretty low risk, since I have received a digital ARC for the second installment.
*Disclaimer: a digital review copy of this book was provided to me free of charge by the publisher through Net Galley.