Archeron

Dance With the Devil

Dark Side of the Moon

Dream Chaser

Dream Warrior

Kiss of the Night

Man of My Dreams

Naughty or Nice?

Night Embrace

Night Play

Night Pleasures

One Silent Night

Unleash the Night

 
Bad Moon Rising
by Sherrilyn Kenyon
(St. Martin's, 24.99, PG-13)  ISBN  978-0-3123-6949-1
****
The wolf and the bear know they're crazy and wrong, but something keeps pulling them together ...

Finally, Kenyon's created a story that's a little different from the other four hundred seventy-two Dark Hunter novels. There's some irony to that, since Bad Moon Rising harkens back to the early days of the Dark Hunter books, when Vane and Fury were hooking up with their mates, Julian had just met his therapist, and Talon is still hiding out on the bayou. Bad Moon Rising is finally - finally! - Amy Peltier's and Fang's story. Yeah, I know. Could've had a sexier or more common name for a hero, but it's oddly fitting once you get used to it.

Though it primarily and understandably follows familiar storylines, Bad Moon Rising takes readers much deeper into a relationship that until now had been on the mysterious side -and with good reason. Both Fang, a were-hunter wolf from a prominent pack and Amy, a secretly Arcadian bear and the only heir of her high-ranking mother, resist their attraction to the best of their abilities. And, despite Kenyon's usually lusty novels, that goes on for quite a long time.

Fang and Amy both know that the magnetism between them may very well mean the Fates have decided to make them mates - but sex will cement that, and neither one is prepared to deal with the consequences of a mixed-breed union. Never mind the fact that wolves and bears traditionally don't get along anyway, both Amy and Fang individually have prejudices against the other's animal form.

After losing his sister violently, Fang ends up camped out in a coma at her family's establishment, Sanctuary. Sanctuary's not just a pub, it's one of the very few places in the world where any species can come and know they're safe. The doctors and Fang's family can neither one seem to help him, but Amy is determined to follow up on the strange dreams she's been having about him. Turns out they're not so strange - Fang really is stuck in a hell dimension. What Amy doesn't know is that Fang has traded his soul to the son of the devil himself in order to protect her. Amy manages to draw him back out by slaying a number of demons, but things have been getting a little violent around and occasionally within Sanctuary, so Fang takes a job and a room there to help out instead of returning to his now-split pack.

The demons aren't going anywhere, and Fang knows it better than most, since he's now a member of an elite group that is forced to kill them. Unfortunately, no one told him the rules, and Fang has accidentally absorbed a demon that he cannot be rid of without an act of total selflessness.

When Fang is set up for murder and sentenced to death, he figures he's lost any reason to try to purge the demon and has created a number of more reasons to stay away from Amy, even though he can't stick to them. However, it comes down to a point where Fang has to make the decision to save his family or save Amy ... and forfeit his own life one way or the other.

The only thing in Bad Moon Rising that didn't gel properly was the timeline; since so much time has passed since Fang's and Amy's romance was introduced all those books ago. The reader will get lulled into forgetting that ... as, apparently, so did the author. At several points during the book, it's suddenly several months later. Other than that, it's nice to flash back to some of the Dark-Hunters before they were tamed, as well as picking up a thread that had been dangling for a long time. Bad Moon Rising certainly showed a lot more zing than most of Kenyon's books over the past few years.

--Sarrah Knight


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