The Forever Kiss
Jane's Warlord
Master of the Night

Master Of The Moon by Angela Knight
(Berkley, $7.99, NC-17) ISBN 0-425-20357-3
Diana London is a very busy girl. Not only is she city manager of tiny Verdaville, South Carolina, she’s also a volunteer police officer. Oh, and she also just happens to be a werewolf. The chief of police is aware of Diana’s special talents, and uses her super-sensitive nose and strength to catch bad guys. Then a very, very bad girl comes to town and it’s up to Diana to protect the people of Verdaville. Mere mortals are no match for a serial-killing vampire.

Llyr Galatryn is King of the Cachamwri Sidhe – or in layman’s terms, King of the Fairies. He’s got enough problems of his own, what with his murderous brother out to assassinate him – but thanks to a pact with Merlin, he must go to mortal Earth and help Diana with her vampire problem. Naturally, it’s lust at first sight – and the fact that Diana is in her “Burning Moon” makes the attraction that much stronger. There’s no resisting a werewolf in heat. However, it’s when Llyr’s brother comes to town that things get really complicated.

One has to admire Knight for her creativity and ingenuity when it comes to her world building, but for the uninitiated it’s all rather confusing at first. For those of us who still have Master Of The Night sitting in our TBR piles, the first 50 pages are spent playing catch-up. Thankfully, when Llyr brings Diana up to speed, he also brings the reader up to speed.

The basic story here is really rather good. A female vampire who is blithely killing off men in Diana’s town is certainly page turning. It also helps that this vampire is power-hungry, has a villainous wry voice, and dresses like a hooker. Who doesn’t love fishnet stockings and handcuffs? Llyr’s brother is also a capable villain, having spent centuries trying to usurp the throne – killing off several of Llyr’s wives, mistresses and children in the process.

Unfortunately, the romance isn’t quite as interesting. Llyr and Diana first get together thanks to a gimmick – a rather insulting gimmick at that. Diana is in “heat.” When she doesn’t want to rip the heads off people, she wants to boink every man in the county. She doesn’t because she knows she could accidentally turn one of them werewolf. She has no such fear for Llyr though – since Sidhe and werewolf cannot conceive together, and Sidhe cannot become werewolf if accidentally bitten.

Also, these two seem to enjoy sex at the most inopportune times. With murderous happenings going on, all Llyr and Diana can seem to think about is banging the snot out of each other. Sure the sex scenes are hot stuff, but the timing of them felt awkward more often than not. Also, it’s very easy to understand why these two are in major lust, but the moment when they realize they’re in love doesn’t ring true. They seem to go from mind-altering sex, to deep, abiding love with a snap of the fingers.

That said, Knight does know how to write an interesting, page-turning story. Even with my initial confusion on the world building, I came to really enjoy the basic plot. The author has certainly gotten inventive with her Mageverse series, and there’s no denying it is something different among the current glut of paranormal books. Readers who liked Master Of The Night should certainly enjoy the return visit to Knight’s universe.

--Wendy Crutcher

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