Dancing with the Devil (Nikki and Michael Series #1)

( 42 )

Overview

BEYOND THE SHADOWS
 
Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there’s nothing left to surprise her. But all that changes the night she follows a rich man’s daughter into the shadows and finds herself caught in a war between two very different men. One is a madman, intent on destruction. The other has his own heart of ...

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Dancing with the Devil (Nikki and Michael Series #1)

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Overview

BEYOND THE SHADOWS
 
Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there’s nothing left to surprise her. But all that changes the night she follows a rich man’s daughter into the shadows and finds herself caught in a war between two very different men. One is a madman, intent on destruction. The other has his own heart of darkness.
 
For three hundred years, Michael Kelly has existed in life’s shadows, gradually learning to control his vampire cravings. He is convinced that no one can breach his formidable barriers—until he meets Nikki. With her powerful psychic abilities, Nikki swiftly invades both his mind and his heart. Nikki knows how dangerous love can be . . . but if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in this man who could easily destroy her. For only together can they overcome the evil threatening to destroy them both.

Includes an excerpt of the next novel in Keri Arthur’s Nikki and Michael series, Hearts in Darkness

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440246510
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/30/2013
  • Series: Nikki and Michael Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 302,522
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Keri Arthur, author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson Guardian series, has now written more than twenty-five books. She’s received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and recently won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives with her daughter in Melbourne, Australia.

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Read an Excerpt

One

Someone followed her.

Someone she  couldn’t see or hear through any normal means, but whose presence vibrated across her psychic senses.

Someone whose mission was death.

The wind stirred, running chill fingers across the nape of her neck. Nikki shivered and eyed the surrounding shadows uneasily. She’d never been afraid of the dark before—had, in fact, found it something of an ally, especially in the wilder days of her youth. But tonight there was an edge to the silence, a hint of menace in the slowly swirling fog.

People disappeared on nights like this. At least, they did here in Lyndhurst.

She returned her gaze to the slender figure just ahead. This was the second night in a row Monica Trevgard had come to the park after midnight, and if the teenager had a reason for doing so, Nikki sure as hell hadn’t found any evidence of it. Her actions to date made very little sense. The only child of one of Lyndhurst’s—and possibly America’s—richest men, Monica had spent most of her life rebelling against her family and their wealth. And yet, ironically, it was only thanks to her father’s money that she was free to walk the streets tonight. Though nothing had ever been proven, it was generally acknowledged that John Trevgard had at least one judge and several police officers on his payroll.

Nikki smiled grimly. Trevgard would probably have been better off keeping his hand in his pocket and letting his only child spend some time in jail. Maybe a day or so locked behind uncompromising concrete walls would shock some sense into the girl.

It sure as hell had with her.

Shoving cold hands into the pockets of her old leather jacket, Nikki let her gaze roam across the fog-shrouded trees to her left.

He was still there, still following her, the man with darkness in his heart and murder on his mind. But not her murder, or even Monica’s. Someone else’s entirely.

She bit her lip. With two knives strapped to her wrists and her psychic abilities to fall back on, she was sufficiently protected. At least under normal circumstances. But the man out there in the darkness was far from normal, and something told her none of her weapons would be enough if he chose to attack.

Maybe she was as mad as Monica. Four women had already disappeared from this particular area. She should play it safe and go home, let Jake—her boss, and the man who’d become more of a father to her than her own damn father had ever been—take over the case. A teenager looking for trouble was going to find it, no matter how many people her father hired to follow and protect her.

Only, Jake had enough on his plate already, and his night-sight had started deteriorating since he’d hit the big four-0 several years ago.

The sound of running water broke through the heavy silence. Though the fog half hid the old fountain from sight, Nikki knew it well enough to describe every chipped detail, from the wickedly grinning cherub at the top to the embracing lovers near the bottom. It was amazing what became interesting when you had nothing else to do but watch a teenager watch the water.

Only, this time, Monica didn’t stop at the fountain. She didn’t even look at it. Instead, she glanced quickly over her shoulder—a casual move that raised the hairs on the back of Nikki’s neck.

Monica knew she was being followed. Tonight she was the bait to catch the watcher.

The bitter breeze stirred, seeming to blow right through Nikki’s soul. She swore softly and ran a hand through her hair. It was nights like this, when she was caught between common sense and past promises, that she really hated being psychic. She would have run a mile away from here had it not been for her gift, which warned that death would claim Monica’s soul if she wasn’t protected.

And because she couldn’t stand the weight of another death on her conscience, Nikki had no real choice but to follow.

They neared the far edge of the park. Streetlights glimmered—forlorn wisps of brightness barely visible through the trees and the fog—and Nikki’s discomfort surged. Monica wasn’t heading for the street or the lights, but rather toward the old mansion on the far side of the park. The place had a reputation for being haunted, and though she wasn’t particularly afraid of ghosts, the one night she’d spent there as a kid had sent her fleeing in terror. Not from the ghosts, but from the sense of evil that seemed to ooze from the walls.

Of course, it might have been nothing more than a combination of knowing that a family had once been murdered there, and an overactive imagination. But still . . .

Monica squeezed through a small gap in the fence and cast another quick look over her shoulder. There was no doubt about it, the kid definitely wanted to be followed.

Nikki stopped and watched her walk up the steps to the back door. Her common sense told her not to follow, and her psychic sense told her danger lurked inside. She clenched her fists. She could do this. She had to do this. For Monica’s sake.

Because if she didn’t, the teenager was doomed.

She stepped forward, then froze. No sound had disturbed the dark silence. Even the breeze had faded, and the fog sat still and heavy on the ground. Yet something had moved behind her. Something not quite human.

Throat dry, Nikki turned. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a hint of movement—a hand, emerging from darkness, reaching out to touch her . . .

Yelping in fright, she jumped back and lashed out with a blast of kinetic energy. Something heavy hit a nearby oak, accompanied by a grunt of pain. She stared at the tree. Despite the sound, there was nothing—or nobody—at its base.

Yet something had to be there. It didn’t make any sense—bodies didn’t just disappear like that. She swallowed and ran trembling fingers through her hair. Disembodied hands couldn’t emerge from the darkness, either.

Had it simply been her imagination, finally reacting to the overwhelming sensation of being followed? No, something had been there. Was still there, even if she couldn’t see it.

Not that that made a whole lot of sense.

She turned and studied the dark house. Trouble waited inside. But so did Monica.

Ignoring her unknown watcher, Nikki climbed through the fence and ran across the shadowed yard. Edging up the steps, she slipped a small flashlight from her pocket and shone the light through the open doorway.

The entrance hall was small, laden with dust and cobwebs that shimmered like ice in the beam of light. Faded crimson and gold wallpaper hung in eerie strips from the walls, rustling lightly in the breeze that drifted past her legs. The house really hadn’t changed much in the ten years since she’d been here last—except for one thing. The creeping sense of evil felt a hell of a lot stronger now than it had before. In fact, it almost seemed alive. Alive and waiting.

She swallowed heavily and directed the flashlight’s beam toward the stairs. Motes of dust danced across the light, stirred to life in the wake of Monica’s passing. She’d gone up. Up to where the sense of evil felt the strongest.

Gripping the flashlight tightly, Nikki walked through the dust, toward the stairs. The air smelled of decay and unwashed bodies. Obviously, it was still a haunt for those forced to scratch a living from the streets. It was odd, though, that there was no one here now—no one but Monica and whoever it was she’d come here to meet.

A floorboard creaked beneath Nikki’s weight, the sound as loud as thunder in the silence. She winced and hesitated. After several heartbeats, someone moved on the floor above.

It wasn’t Monica. The footfalls were too heavy.

Reaching into her pocket, Nikki turned on her phone. If things started to go bad, she’d call for help. Trevgard might not like the publicity a call to the cops would bring, but if it meant the difference between life or death—her life or death—then he could go to hell.

The staircase loomed out of the shadows. Nikki shone the light upward. Something growled, a low noise almost lost under the thundering of her heart. She hesitated, staring up into the darkness. It had sounded like some sort of animal. But what animal made such an odd, rasping noise?

One hand on the banister, the other clutching the flashlight so tightly that her knuckles began to ache, she continued on. The growl cut across the silence again.

It was definitely not an animal.

She reached the landing and stopped. The odd-sounding snarl was much closer this time. Sweat trickled down her face and the flashlight flickered slightly, its beam fading, allowing the night to close in around her. Nikki swore and gave it a quick shake. The last thing she needed right now was for the light to give out. It flickered again, then became brighter.

She moved on but kept close to the wall, just in case. At least she could use it as a guide, even if the peeling remains of the wallpaper felt like dead skin against her fingertips.

The hallway ended in a T. Moonlight washed through the shattered window at the end of the left-hand corridor. On the right, the darkness was so complete that the flashlight barely penetrated it. And while she knew it was little more than a result of shuttered windows at that end of the hall, it still seemed oddly unnatural.

It wasn’t a place she wanted to go. Unfortunately, her psychic senses told her that Monica was down there somewhere. But that odd sound had come from the opposite side. Whatever it was, she had to check it out first. She wasn’t about to risk being attacked from behind in a place like this. So she turned left.

Two doors waited ahead—one open, one closed.

Was it fear or instinct that warned against entering either of the rooms?

The wind whispered forlornly through the shattered window at the end of the hall, accompanied by a low moan that raised goose bumps across her skin.

It was definitely more human than animal. And it wasn’t Monica. The teenager still waited in the darkness of the right-hand corridor. Nikki crept forward and peered around the door frame. The room was large, with a line of windows to the right, but the glass was so filthy it allowed little moonlight to filter through. She couldn’t immediately see anything waiting in the shadows, but something was in there. The sense of malevolence was so overwhelming she could barely breathe.

So why don’t you turn around and run?

The thought whispered into her brain, featherlight but hinting at anger. Nikki froze, fear squeezing her throat tight. Just for an instant, her mind linked with another. She tasted darkness and concern and the need to kill. This was the man she’d half seen near the fence, the man who’d followed her through the fog.

Turn around and leave. You cannot help the child now.

No. Why could she hear this man’s thoughts? Telepathy had never been one of her talents, even though she’d been able to receive Tommy’s thoughts well enough. And who the hell are you to tell me what to do?

I am merely trying to save your life. You will not like what you find here. Not in that room, and not with the teenager.

Yeah, right. Who was this person? A would-be prophet of doom? Hell, for all she knew, he might even be the source of the darkness she sensed waiting, even if her senses told her otherwise. I have never run from anything in my life, and I don’t intend to start now.

The lie gave her courage. She took a deep breath and stepped into the room.

Michael Kelly hit the fence in frustration. The little fool had gone in, despite his warning. Or perhaps because of it.

She knew that danger waited. He could taste the fear in her thoughts, despite the distance between them. So why wouldn’t she run? Why did she continue this fruitless pursuit? Given the strength of her psychic talents, she had to know the child was well beyond salvation.

He let his gaze roam to the far end of the house. Hidden by the darkness, evil waited for his next meal, ably served by his young companion. Unless he intervened, Nikki James would become the fifth woman to go missing.

Had it been anyone else, he wouldn’t have cared particularly—not given the identity of the man who hunted her, a man he’d long hunted himself. But he’d been sent here tonight to save a life rather than trap and kill a murderer, and as much as he might want to do the latter, he could not. But Nikki’s abilities added a dangerous dimension to his task. It was for those abilities, more than for her blood, that Jasper hunted her.

He turned and walked to the end of the fence. The sudden movement caused pain to shoot through his head, but he resisted the urge to rub the lump forming near his temple. He had deserved that—and more—for being so careless. But he hadn’t expected the fool to use her kinetic abilities against him. Why, he couldn’t say. He smiled grimly. Maybe senility was finally setting in.

He walked through the gate and headed for the garage. While he generally couldn’t enter private homes uninvited, that restriction didn’t apply to houses that had been long abandoned. He could go in unhindered, and do what he was sent here to do.

But Jasper was not in that house alone. Not only did he have the teenager at his command, but his living dead as well. Six against one were not the best of odds, even for someone like him. What Michael needed was a distraction. He slipped past the remains of the garage door and his gaze came to rest on an old gas can. He picked it up; liquid sloshed within.

Jasper hated fire. Feared it.

It might provide enough of a distraction to save Nikki James.

The room smelled awful—a putrid mix of stale urine, excrement and death. Nikki cupped a hand over her nose and mouth and tried not to gag as she swept the flashlight’s beam across the room.

Something slid away from the light—a hunched, humanoid shape that smelled like death.

Nikki backed away. She didn’t know what hid in the shadows and didn’t really care to find out. She’d learned long ago that there were some things best left unexplored, and she very much suspected this was one of those moments. Perhaps if she retreated and closed the door, whatever lurked in the room would leave her alone. She knew from past experience that all the doors in this old house creaked; it was one of the things that had spooked her as a teenager. At the very least, it would give her warning if the creature decided to move.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog DAN

    ~Reviewed by ANN & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    DANCING WITH THE DEVIL took me by surprise. As a Keri Arthur fan, I have loved both her Riley Jensen series as well as her Dark Angels series. So when I found out that she was rereleasing this series, I jumped at the chance at reading it.

    All of the great characteristics you expect in an Arthur book is present. There’s fabulous worldbuilding, incredible action sequences and strong characters that have a lot of room to grow. However, there was one thing that really stood out for me with this book. It was the writing.

    I’ve always that that Arthur was a good writer, but for some reason the writing style resonated with me more in this series. The tone reminds me a little of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. It’s a little more serious, especially when in Michael’s POV. More details are explored in terms of descriptions and also, I felt that this book was very tightly written, especially where the action sequences were concerned. Overall, I just thought this book was a very well plotted out and well-written book so kudos to Arthur for that!

    Nikki is a psychic Private Investigator. To be honest, it took about two chapters to warm up to her. I could already tell that she would be independent and kickass, but I was also looking for something that would make me relate to her. As the story progressed, I got that connection that I wanted. After employed to find a missing teenager named Monica Trevgard, Nikki is then thrust into a world that is far more complicated than the job initially let on.

    She meets Jasper, a guy who is absolutely crazy and an enigma. A lot of the focus is on her fear for him and I thought that made for an edge-of-your-seat read because if you’re kickass character is scared, then you can sense that as well in your own feelings as you read.

    Of course I have to talk about Michael who really intrigued me from the beginning. Arthur spends a little more time with his character, just doing some ordinary things like drinking wine and taking the time to understand his mind a little more. Other times, even when in his POV, she keeps readers in the dark about his intentions. It truly makes for an interesting character that I was dying to know more about. I liked her way of stringing readers as if on a leash, getting us to walk exactly where she intended us too. That being said, I found this book impossible to put down.

    If you’re wondering if this Urban Fantasy is worth the shot, I think it is. A lot of the time it’s hard to find something fresh in the genre after having it be around for so long. If you enjoy the tone of Nalini Singh’s writing, but like the tightly-written action scenes of Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed books, then I think you’ll enjoy this series as much as I have.

    Arthur’s take on UF in this series feels totally different than her others, which makes me eager to read the next book, HEARTS IN DARKNESS!

    *ARC provided by Netgalley

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    What happens when a man who cannot love and a woman who will not

    What happens when a man who cannot love and a woman who will not love must join forces to battle evil?  Nikki, who is no stranger to unusual phenomena, is out of her league when a vampire turns the client she was hired to protect.  Michael appears out of nowhere, sent to protect Nikki against an evil vampire named Jasper with whom he has a long, violent history.  Will Nikki and Michael be able to defeat Jasper with their lives--and hearts--in tact?  One thing is certain--even if they survive, neither of them will ever be the same.

    I have never read any other books by Keri Arthur before, but her other series are now definitely on my "to read" list!  I'm anxious to read number two in this series.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing turn the next page kind of book!!

    I just finished reading this book and am about to start the next series. Nikki and Micheal make an a great pair for heros. The villians give a great punch to the story you must read. I hope the next book brings the couple's together and have Jake up the action too. If vampires and zombies are the new thing on your list to read also read the others from Keri Arthur they are mind blowers!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2014

    Great

    Great author

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  • Posted January 18, 2014

    Nikki has a power of her own but in some ways is still surprised

    Nikki has a power of her own but in some ways is still surprised when she comes face to face with a vampire. Michael is after Jasper a very powerful madman and he ends up being close to Nikki. She challenges him and can be very head strong. She has been hired to find a missing teenage girl and the man behind it is the same man Michael is after. While Michael wants Nikki to stay safe she has a job to do and Jasper seems to have secrets she wants to know about Michael. They have to see if they can stop Jasper and if things will work between them.




    There is things I liked and things I disliked about this book. What I disliked is sorry to say at times Nikki. She acted tough many times and you heard how she grew up on the streets. However many times she showed no street smarts and put herself in danger. She is attracted to Michael and wants him and at other times in some ways she is scared of him. Understandable since he is a vampire. I guess you can say at times she got on my nerves. Michael I really liked. He is a vampire but doesn't want to live as one. He wants to stop evil not become it. Jasper is a crazy madman to put it simply. I love the action and flow of the story as something is always happening and you keep turning pages to see what next. There is some steamy scenes but not a whole lot. It is more about the plot and that is good. I think this book really just laid the ground for the next books in this series and we will see Nikki and Michael grow closer but that is my guess. If you like a book with a good plot, lot of action and paranormal beings you may enjoy this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Kevin

    Hello?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    Highly Recommended - Must check it out!

    I loved all the books in the Nikki and Michael series! I love all the books by Keri Authur, she is great! I can't wait until the next book in the Nikki and Michael and the Dark Angels series comes out. I have read all the Riley Jensen series and I absolutley loved them! Keri Arthur is one of my vaorite writers! I'm now reading the Ripple Creek series and I'm enjoying that as well.

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an

    I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    My Initial Reaction…
    I read Keri Arthur’s Riley Jensen series years ago, so I jumped at the chance to read this series. I was pleasantly surprised to find most of what I loved about Arthur’s style mingled with something somehow very different in Dancing with the Devil.

    The Characters…

    Nikki James is my favorite kind of heroine; she’s got a rough past that has left her emotionally damaged, but incredibly tough. As a private investigator with a psychic ability that packs more than a little punch, she lives a high-risk life and, when combined with nagging guilt from her past mistakes, she’s as dangerous to her enemies as she is to herself. Nikki doesn’t know the meaning of “can’t” or “no” and I love her for it. But that’s all part of her tough exterior; she’s much more complex than she’d like you to know. At one point in my reading, I wrote in my notes “man! she is a kick-ass chic, hot seductress, and trembling child all rolled into one.” And that pretty much sums up the complex character that is Nikki James.

    Nikki may have a rough exterior, but that does little to fool Michael Kelly, who has some psychic gifts of his own. The story switches periodically between his and Nikki’s point of view, but even when in his mind there’s so much mystery to him – clearly we’ll have to get to know him better in future books. I think what comes through most clearly about Michael is his internal conflict; he’s had to conquer a lot in his past – that much is clear – and it’s left him unwilling to attach himself to anyone, even Nikki, to whom he has an immediate psychic connection. We learn so little about him in Dancing with the Devil and I for one can’t wait to learn more about this mysterious and oh so sexy vampire.

    I couldn’t leave this section of the review without giving a quick shout out to Jake – Nikki’s boss and father figure. He’s a character that grows on you instantly. He’s so fatherly toward Nikki and, despite having no supernatural abilities of his own, he’s holding his own. He get’s caught in the crossfire and refuses to be the victim; he looks out for Nikki – not just as a boss or friend, but like a father – and that wins him serious bonus points in my book.

    The Story…
    Dancing with the Devil opens with Nikki working on her current case, trailing Monica, the rich, spoiled brat of her client, when she lands herself into something much more dangerous than she even knew existed. Suddenly tracking down Monica is more than a job, but about saving innocent lives, including her own. Thankfully fate has inexplicably dropped Michael into her lap to help her. If only she knew more about him, why he was there helping her, and his history with the vampire behind all the trouble – James.

    Dancing with the Devil is everything I want from Urban Fantasy – high paced action, kick-butt heroes/heroines, and that little bit of sexual tension that drives you bonkers. The action scenes are pretty great, especially since Arthur is playing with psychic abilities that pack a serious punch. More than a few times I drew in a breath of marvel from something the characters were able to do psychically. And Arthur is incredibly gifted at those teasing moments between Nikki and Michael. She really utilizes their psychic bond to heighten the sexual tension in all the right ways.

    I wish I could say I was hooked from beginning to end, but I can’t. Unfortunately it took me longer than I would like to get invested in the characters and the plot. For one, I felt like the world building was a bit haphazard and some crucial information about that world came later than I would have liked. And I rolled my eyes a few times at the instant trust that Nikki has for Michael – which became even more infuriating later in the book when he’s challenging her to trust him. She went back and forth on the trust way to fast for me – I think I got a bit of whiplash! But the last 50% at least had my glued to the page, so it’s worth the wait and occasional whiplash.

    Concluding Sentiments…
    Overall Dancing with the Devil didn’t disappoint. I loved the action and the Arthur shocked me with her ability to tease and drag on that sexual tension so artfully (considering her Jensen series was NOT about the tension!) I’m looking forward to the next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    I enjoyed this book. I read all of The Riley Jenson Guardian ser

    I enjoyed this book. I read all of The Riley Jenson Guardian series, so I was extra happy to find out the Keri Arthur started this one. The amount of development she put into the characters was great, because I find that I need that in order to care about what's going on plot wise. The plot is a little on the simplistic side, but I'm assuming that the next books in the series will get deeper.

    Also, another plus to this novel is that you can play a drinking game. One shot for every time you read "darkness" in a chapter. Some chapters will get you completely wasted! LOL...okay, I'm joking, but I did notice that Keri was a little heavy on her use of the word "darkness" in this novel.

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  • Posted August 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Nikki is a psychic private investigator, she is able to throw ki

    Nikki is a psychic private investigator, she is able to throw kinetic energy, and able to sense things most people cannot. Her job is to find Mr. Trevgard's daughter and bring her back. While following Monica Trevgard, Nikki gets the feeling that she is being followed and even goes into a house that she feels isn't safe. This is where her eyes are opened to the fact that there are things that go bump in the night. Zombies, vampires and crazy people, oh my!

    Michael is in town to kill a bad guy that he has a history with. He is also there to protect Nikki from said bad guy. I think the main part of the book for me was the fact that I knew it would come down to this. Would Michael be able to put aside his history with the bad guy in order to save Nikki? The story was a tad bit predictable, but I did enjoy it. Since I was really intrigued by Michael's character, I was glad to see that the story was told in both Nikki and Michael's POV. Dancing with the Devil didn't go super in depth on his past so I'm hoping book two will shed more light on his character.

    I've read both the Riley Jensen series as well as the Dark Angels series by Keri Arthur. So when I saw this series which I didn't really know much about on NetGalley I jumped and requested it immediately. This series is actually a re-release of her previous work. This book leans heavily towards Urban Fantasy with little to no Paranormal Romance. This could change with book two, I'm not certain if the entire series will follow suit. If you're a Keri Arthur fan, or even a Urban Fantasy fan you will probably enjoy this book.

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  • Posted August 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Read from August 02 to 03, 2013 Book Info  Paperback,



    Read from August 02 to 03, 2013




    Book Info 




    Paperback, 368 pages
    Expected publication: July 30th 2013 by Dell (first published March 5th 2001)
    ISBN 0440246512 (ISBN13: 9780440246510)
    edition language English
    original title Dancing with the Devil
    series Nikki & Michael #1
    characters Nikki James, Michael Kelly
    Source:Netgalley EARC




    Book Buy Links 




    AMAZON 




    B&N 




    BOOK SYNOPSIS








    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.




    My Thoughts








    As a longtime fan of author Keri Arthur and her Myth and Magic series and the Riley Jenson Guardian series it was with great anticipation that I dove into Dancing With the Devil, book 1 in the Nikki and Michael series, which was originally published in 2001 and has been reprinted with new covers in late July 2013.




    Although the style is more along the lines of a horror novel the paranormal romantic suspense elements shine through and I absolutely can say that am looking forward to reading the entire series to explore further the relationship between the main characters that ended on a rather abrupt note in this first book leaving the reader wondering where the author would take it in further stories.




    This is a story of facing ones demons, literally and metaphorically as both Nikki and Michael have had things in their past scar them deeply mentally. The hunt for the madman whose deadly psychic abilities allow him to create an unbreakable connection with Nikki that could lead to her death if he manages to overcome her formidable will to survive, her only hope is that Michael manages to find her in time and together they defeat their foe before it it too late for them both!




    The action is quick and brutal at times, the buildup of tension and suspense will keep you interested and the relationship that slowly gathers momentum between Nikki and Michael is perfectly balanced as it develops fully over the course of the investigation. The final showdown is almost over too soon and the way things end with Nikki and Michael pretty much tears your heart out. Good thing the rest of the 4 books are released already because just knowing that this is part of a series following the two main characters leaves me with the hope that not only will things work out to mend the rift between them but that the rest of the stories build more on the past that crafted the characters personalities into who they are so more questions are answered in a manner that gives readers full insight into why they are at odds.




    Like everything else that I have read by the author so far this books promising beginning delivered and am starting the next book Hearts In Darkness anticipating it will be just as enticing and enjoyable.




    [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]

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  • Posted August 3, 2013

    This is a perfect example of how an author should and can evolve

    This is a perfect example of how an author should and can evolve as a scribe.
    This one of Keri Arthur's early works. It doesn't do justice to her talent and excellent way of spinning a paranormal tale. Her [[ASIN:0749955872 Full Moon Rising: Number 1 in series (Riley Jenson Guardian)]]series is superb for example.
    In this one the author is just cutting her teeth.
    A lot of the scenes are a little predictable and tedious. There is no real connection to the characters, perhaps because they lack the depth to create empathy.
    The main character has the annoying habit of running into situations, despite being warned and constantly plays the helpless female. So if you like your heroines strong and independent this one might be a tad disappointing.
    I can only repeat that her later books are quite exceptional, so I would recommend not giving up entirely on this author if this book isn't quite up your alley.
    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    Cassi

    Then close your eyes. When they did, a 3D image appeared all around them, as if they were actually there. They were in the special box seating, and could see celestia and luna clearly. They were still young, much younger than twilight when she became a princess, and you could tell both were nervous. The royal assistant was standing next to them, and a crown-bearer brought the crowns in. They were both identically sized and were the same style. The assistant said a few words, then placed the crowns upon celestias and lunas heads. The crowd cheered, but not a sound was heard from cassi, who was sitting, silently, watching the proceedings, a depressed mood surrounding her. Rachel penelope and rita opened their eyes again. Cassi shrugged. So did you enjoy it?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    R &alpha v e n

    Raven used a spell. The whole gym blew up. <br>
    "Oops," Raven smirked. <p>
    ~R &alpha v e n

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Leigh

    Walks in the room and looks around, twisting her long pigtails nervously.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Daniel

    Looks around

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Austin

    Stands up. "Isobel. Im sorry. You dont have to pretend or whatever. Im sorry i dragged you into this." He leaves.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Avril

    *walks in with a short black strapless dress that is ripped up and ruffled at the bottom she has laced up black boots on and a skull necklace and earings in her hair is down and straighten*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Cedric

    Walks around

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Ashton

    *sighs and sits down in a corner*

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