by Keri Arthur
Series: Nikki & Michael #1
Published on July 30, 2013 by Dell
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
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.
I think I found yet another urban fantasy to add to my shelf. Dancing with the Devil is a mystery, a manhunt, for a creature Nikki James didn’t. Believe existed. Her and her partner/boss Jake run a private investigator business in the town of Lyndhurst. Their most recent client is a father worried about his teenage daughter and is very determined to get her back. But when Nikki finds her, she learns there’s more than psychics roaming the streets. Enter her new temporary partner, a man who can read her mind, lives in the shadows, and sparked an instant connection with her that neither one of them understand. His job: protect Nikki. With her and Michael on the case, the bad guys better watch out.
I enjoyed reading this book, but it took a while to get into. The beginning moved slowly but had picked up by about halfway through. Overall, I liked the story but there were aspects of it that got to me. It stems mainly from the characters. I like Nikki but she has so many issues going on that make it harder for her to close the case. All of her trust issues and guilt in her past seemed a bit over-the-top in that I only saw it adding more tension instead of depth to her character. And then there’s Michael, there to help her fix her issues. I liked him too, but he had other issues with not wanting to let anyone in. Both characters had character faults that got them in trouble more than once, whether with the villain or between each other, yet they never learned. While I appreciate the stubborn personalities, I think it went to the extreme here as they knew better but chose not to acknowledge the other’s reason.
I liked the world Arthur created. We see that the supernatural beings exist but are mere myths to most humans. This book introduces us to psychics and vampires, where the vampires are either civilized and drink animal blood or are hunted as criminals. With this world, there isn’t a strong focus on the supernatural in that, while Nikki and Michael are hunting a supernatural being, the world doesn’t revolve around secret vampire hang-outs or werewolf pack “dens” and the like. Instead of drowning the reader in the supernatural, there’s plenty to keep it interesting but not enough to choke you in all the nuances of creating an alternate universe.
This book definitely provided the details to continue the series. While the beginning started slow, I was hooked by the end and moving onto book 2 (which I read, along with book 3, in the same day because I just couldn’t stop). Dancing with the Devil is a fairly short read for an urban fantasy and readies the reader for potentially steamy romance and more action-packed adventures. I’ve never read any of Keri Arthur’s other novels before but I’ll definitely be checking them out in the future. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a light urban fantasy read, with the knowledge that there are three more books to come. Action, adventure, and an obvious upcoming romance? Check it out!