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Harlequin Nocturne\Nightsiders

Phoenix Stryker is of mixed species, dhampir and human. Once very deeply in love with Aaron Shepherd, she must now go undercover into the outpost of San Francisco to help uncover an assassination plot, one that may mean bringing him down. Once she is in place and meets her target, Drakon, Phoenix begins to question everything she was told by the agency.

An instant and strong attraction develops between Phoenix and Drakon. Each of them has a painful past. Phoenix lost her parents and Drakon has lost a wife and child. As they circle around one another trying to avoid their animal attraction, it becomes apparent there are two sides to this story and a lot of paranoia. Several of the secondary characters add plenty of tension because the reader will not know who is telling the truth, half-truths or outright lying.

I found this novel, which is the third in the series, to be a very fast paced story that was almost like a paranormal thriller. Certainly there are elements of Urban Fantasy and paranormal romance, but there is also a mystery and a taut race against time, plus we learn politics hasn't changed for the better. It's pretty much business as usual in that regard. I loved all the plot twist. Just when I thought I could trust someone... Wow!

The chemistry between the star crossed lovers, Drakon and Phoenix, is perfect. They are both damaged and will have a lot of things they have to work out and the struggle is far from over, but we know they will come out on the other side together.

While there are many vampire /Urban Fantasy novels out there some of them are just the same story with different character names. Ms. Krinard's plot is very original and I found myself totally immersed in this dark and edgy world she created.

Phoenix and Drakon are well developed characters with tons of baggage and major trust issues who will have to learn to trust each other and fast!! Phoenix is no shrinking violet and Drakon is more sensitive than he lets on.

The book had an open ending making a fourth book in the series something I will certainly want to check out.

I recommend this book to lovers of dark paranormal romance, Urban Fantasy and even to the dystopian fans out there.

This one gets a 4.5 star rating.

Book Blurb for Shadowmaster

Humans and vampires stand on the brink of war in this gripping series by New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard 

In the crumbling outpost of San Francisco, a fragile truce is threatened by an assassination plot. Half-dhampir agent Phoenix Stryker has the beauty, brains—and blood—to infiltrate the vampires' secret society and save the city. But once she's in, she finds that her target, the assassin Drakon, is not the monster she expected. Handsome, honorable and irresistibly attractive, Drakon will stop at nothing to save his people—and protect the woman he needs even more than the blood that keeps him alive. Now the key to the world's survival may lie in their dangerous alliance….

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2014 4.50