Embraced by Darkness (Riley Jenson Guardian Series #5)

( 291 )

Overview

Part vamp, part werewolf, Riley Jenson plays by her own rules, whether it's her stormy love life or her job as a guardian. But when her family's alpha male demands that she solve the mystery of a vanished girl, Riley can feel a trap closing in around her. Because the job comes with a catch: if Riley fails, her own mother will die.

Now the stakes are raised, and the hunt is on. And when more women vanish, Riley is caught between a lover who demands that she give up her work, a ...

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Embraced by Darkness (Riley Jenson Guardian Series #5)

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Overview

Part vamp, part werewolf, Riley Jenson plays by her own rules, whether it's her stormy love life or her job as a guardian. But when her family's alpha male demands that she solve the mystery of a vanished girl, Riley can feel a trap closing in around her. Because the job comes with a catch: if Riley fails, her own mother will die.

Now the stakes are raised, and the hunt is on. And when more women vanish, Riley is caught between a lover who demands that she give up her work, a serial killer who knows no boundaries, and a club where humans and supernaturals mix—at their own peril. Thrust into a realm of seduction and violence unlike any she could have imagined, Riley has to battle to save everything she holds dear. But the ultimate hunt has only just begun.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Packed with fast-paced action, paranormal intrigue and passion at every turn, Embraced by Darkness is a steamy addition to this thrilling series." —-Media Boulevard.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452650050
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/13/2010
  • Series: Riley Jenson Guardian Series, #5
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Dawe's work includes film, television, theater, and improvisational comedy, as well as audiobook narration. Among Angela's recordings are The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry and Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts.
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Read an Excerpt

Embraced By Darkness


By Keri Arthur

Dell

Copyright © 2007 Keri Arthur
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780553589610

Chapter 1


The only trouble with getting away from it all was actually getting away from it all.

Six weeks of lazing around on secluded and luxurious Monitor Island, with nothing to do except eat, drink, and lust after the occasional hot-bod sounded like heaven itself. And it was.

For the first three weeks.

But now, with the fifth week done and dusted, the wolf within hungered for the company of my own kind. Werewolves are not, by nature, solitary souls. We tend to live in packs just as much as our animal counterparts.

My pack might now only consist of my twin brother Rhoan, his lover Liander, and my lover Kellen, but I was missing them all something fierce.

Especially Kellen. He'd been here for the first three weeks, and the result had been a deepening and strengthening of our relationship. I might be totally capable of looking after myself, but it was an absolutely delicious sensation to have such a big strong wolf wanting to take care of me. In some ways, he reminded me of an ex. Talon might have been as crazy as a March hare, but he'd also been a wolf who knew what he wanted, and who went to great lengths to get it. Kellen was built in that mode, but he was far more caring than Talon ever could have been. Add to that the fact he was a great lover, and you had an overall package that was nigh on irresistible. At least to this wolf.

Even so, I hadn't reallyexpected to miss him this much. Not after only a couple of months of being together—and especially considering we'd probably spent more time apart than together in those months. Of course, I knew now that a lot of that separation was due to Quinn, the enigmatic vampire who swore his feelings for me ran deep—even as he used me to achieve his aims of killing the people who had destroyed his lifelong friend and creator. Even now, despite the feelings I had for Kellen, part of me still hungered to be with Quinn. Would probably always hunger to be with him.

Because I had a connection with Quinn that I'd never found with any other man. Not even Kellen.

But Quinn was out of my life for the moment—maybe even permanently—and I couldn't really regret that. I'd never condoned force in any relationship, and that's basically what Quinn had done when he'd used his vampire wiles to curb my nature. His methods might have been psychic rather than physical, but in the end, it was the same thing. Anything that forced someone down a path they would not otherwise have taken was abuse, no matter how prettily the situation was wrapped.

What I needed to do was forget him. Just get on with my life, and stop remembering he was ever part of it. Even if the very thought made my soul weep.

But the last two weeks alone had left me with nothing to do except think about the people in my life and the events of the last ten months. In fact, all that I was supposedly here to forget.

I rubbed a hand across tired eyes, then leaned my forearms on the balustrade of the small patio lining the front of my pretty little villa unit.

The breeze coming off the sea was cool, teasing my short hair and sending goose bumps fleeing across my bare flesh. I briefly thought about going inside to grab a shirt, but in the end, I couldn't be bothered.

I let my gaze roam across the waves, watching the foam hiss over the white sand. It was a peaceful sound, as peaceful as the night itself, which made me wonder what the hell had woken me in the first place.

Certainly there was little noise coming from any of the other villas that lined this half-moon section of beach. Not even the newlyweds were stirring, and they'd been at it nonstop since their arrival five days ago.

And they thought werewolves had stamina.

I smiled and plucked a leaf from the nearby eucalyptus branch that draped over the railing, then flicked the leaf skyward from the stem, watching it twirl all the way to the ground.

What I wanted was to go home. To get on with my life and my job. To spend more time with Kellen. But I had just under a week of vacation left, and while I might be going slowly insane with boredom, I couldn't just pack up and leave. Rhoan and Liander had given me this holiday as a gift to help me rest and recuperate, and I couldn't—wouldn't—hurt their feelings by returning before my time was up.

"Riley."

My name whispered across the wind—a demand rather than a mere attempt to get my attention.

I straightened quickly, my gaze searching the moonlit night for some sign of the caller. Some hint of where the voice had come from.

A difficult task when it seemed to come from everywhere and yet nowhere at once.

"Riley."

Again the voice rode the night, stronger than before, and clearly male in its resonance.

It wasn't a voice that belonged to any of the men who inhabited the five other villas in this small cove. Nor did it belong to any of the staff members who looked after the villas or who worked in the main resort complex one beach over.

But there were three other accommodations scattered across the island, and I hadn't really had much to do with their guests or employees. But even if it had been one of them, why would they know my name? And why would they be calling me in the dead of the night?

It was odd—and the mere thought of something odd occurring had excitement racing through my veins.

Which was a rather sad statement about just how bored I was. Or perhaps how addicted I'd become to the adrenaline rush of being a guardian. Hell, I'd give away the killing any day, but not the thrill of the chase. The hunt was everything to a wolf, and no matter how long I might have denied it, I was a hunter—every bit as much as my brother.

I studied the night for a moment longer. The wind whispered through the trees, void of any voice but its own. I could sense nothing and no one near, and yet something was. The electric charge of awareness raced across my skin, making the small hairs on my arms stand on end.

I spun on my heel and walked back into my room. I didn't mind walking around sans clothes, but most of the guests currently on the island were human, and humans tended to get a little antsy about the whole naked thing.

Though up here in Queensland, that attitude was a whole lot less noticeable than down in Victoria. Of course, the weather in my home state often precluded the desire to strip down, simply because the weather was about as predictable as a tiger snake during mating season.

I pulled on a low-cut T-shirt and a baggy pair of shorts, then returned to the patio.

"Riley, come."

The voice swirled around me, rich and arrogant. A man who used—and probably abused—power. And my wolf soul reacted to the command in that voice, but not in the way I expected. Not fiercely, with anger, but meekly. As if she wanted to do nothing more than tuck her tail between her legs and cower.

And there could be only one reason for that.

The voice belonged to a pack member. And not just any pack member, but the alpha. The wolf who ruled the pack as a whole.

Only the voice didn't belong to my alpha, the man who had ruled the pack for as long as anyone could remember. I would have recognized the voice of my own grandfather.

So what the hell was going on?

Frowning, I walked down the steps then strode through the trees and out onto the moonlit sand. The wind was sharper out from under the cover of the eucalyptus, and filled with the scent of the sea.

And nothing else. No musky male scent, no hint of wolf. Nothing to suggest there was another soul awake and aware out here on the beach.

A shiver ran down my spine. Maybe I was imagining it. Maybe this was nothing more than a dream, and any minute now I'd wake up and laugh at my own stupidity.

After all, our pack had threatened to kill us both if we ever contacted—let alone went near—any pack members. And not even our mother had dared to contradict that particular order.

Not that I thought she'd tried. Though I had no doubt she loved us, she'd always seemed as relieved as the rest of the pack to see the back of us.

"Riley, come."

Again the order ran across the night, stronger than before. I closed my eyes, concentrating on the sound, and tried to define just where the voice was coming from.

After a moment, I turned around and padded up the beach. The villas gave way to thicker strands of eucalyptus and acacia trees, the strong scents filling the night.

It didn't matter. I wasn't relying on my olfactory senses to track this particular trail, but rather my "other" senses. The senses that were new and somewhat unreliable.

The part of me that could see souls rise.

Of course, seeing—and hearing—the souls of dead people wasn't a gift I particularly wanted. Hell, I had enough trouble dealing with the living dead without having to worry about the actual dead popping along anytime they pleased.

But as was often the case in my life of late, it seemed I had little choice in the matter. The experimental fertility drug I'd been forcibly given by Talon had not only kick-started some latent psychic abilities, but had given them a little twist, just for the fun of it. Clairvoyance had been one of those latent skills—until recently, anyway. Seeing dead people walk through the shadows was the not-so-tempting twist.

And I was hoping like hell it was the only twist the drug caused. I didn't want to be like the other half-breeds who'd taken the drug. I didn't want to gain the ability to shift into any animal or bird form I chose, simply because while such an ability might be a buzz, it came at a price. Every one of the others had lost their ability to retake human form. I might love being a wolf, but I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in that shape. Or any other shape, for that matter.

Seeing dead people wasn't that bad by comparison. And until tonight, the dead hadn't contacted me long range. I'd only seen them close to their bodies. Well, mostly, I thought, shivering as I remembered the lingering, insubstantial wisps in Starr's bloody arena.

Not that I was entirely sure I was hearing the dead now, but it just seemed odd I couldn't see or smell anyone else. My senses were wolf-sharp. If someone had been close, I would have known.

I padded along the white sand until I reached the peninsula rocks. The wind here was sharper, the sea rougher, slapping across those rocks and sending white foam flicking skyward. The tide was up, so I'd be getting wet if the voice wanted me to clamber around to the next cove.

I stopped and scanned the horizon. This section of the main island was closest to Lighthouse Island, the larger of the two small islands that sat within swimming distance of Monitor. It housed the Monitor Island Research Center, a joint government and private concern that was investigating the sea life and the reefs. I'd done the tour last week, and had been bored to tears. Sure, reefs were pretty. So were the myriad of fish that lived amongst them. And we surely had to know why they were all disappearing. But hey, I just couldn't get all worked up about the science. Wolves are hunters by nature, not conservationists. We usually haven't the patience for occupations that involve long hours of inactivity.

Awareness tingled across my skin, as sharp as needle stings. Whoever the voice belonged to, he was close.

"Riley, turn around."

For the first time, memories stirred. I'd known that voice in the past. I turned and studied the trees.

A man stood amongst them. Though at first glance he appeared solid, a more careful study revealed an almost gossamer look to his hands and feet. As if, by the time he got to his extremities, he didn't have the strength to maintain the illusion of substance.

He was a tall man, rangy in build, with strong arms and blunt features. Not attractive, not ugly, but somewhere in between. But even if he'd been the ugliest spud on the planet, it wouldn't have mattered, because the sense of authority and power that shone from his gray eyes was all that would ever matter to a wolf.

And this wolf wanted to hunker down before it.

But I wasn't just wolf, and the other half of my soul bared its teeth and got ready for a fight. I locked my knees and skimmed my gaze up to his hair. Thick and red. Definitely red pack. Definitely my red pack. But who?

As I dropped my gaze to his, recognition stirred again. I knew those eyes, knew the cold superiority behind them. But I'd be damned if I could dredge up a name.

"Why are you calling me?"

Though the question was soft, my voice seemed to echo across the silent night. A tremor ran down my spine, and I wasn't sure whether it was due to the chill wind hitting my bare arms and legs or the sudden sense of trepidation creeping through my soul.

Amusement sparked briefly in the translucent gray depths. "You do not remember me?"

"Should I have any reason to remember you?"

This time, the amusement reached his thin lips. "I would think you'd remember the wolf who threw you off a mountainside."

Shock rolled through me. Oh my God . . .

Blake.

My grandfather's second-in-command, and the wolf who would have killed both Rhoan and me if he could. The wolf who almost had when he'd thrown me off that cliff. Ostensibly to teach Rhoan a lesson about never back-talking the pack second.

Hate followed the shock, swirling thick and sharp. I clenched my fists, and found myself fighting the sudden urge to punch the cold amusement from his lips. But he wasn't here, he wasn't real, and I'd only look like a fool. So I simply said, voice low and venomous, "What right have you got to call me?"

"My right is pack-given."

"The Jenson pack ceded its rights over me and Rhoan when they kicked us out."

"Pack rights are never surrendered, no matter what the situation. Once a pack member, always a pack member."

"You threatened to kill us if you ever saw us again."

"A statement that still stands."

Continues...

Excerpted from Embraced By Darkness by Keri Arthur Copyright © 2007 by Keri Arthur. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 291 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(187)

4 Star

(72)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 293 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 23, 2009

    Always a winner!

    I am hooked on Riley Jenson! This series is great!! It is for adults not for teens. She kicks butt, and comes out looking great. And the sassy come back lines! Fantastic! I enjoy each book as it comes out. Keep them coming Keri Arthur!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    Half werewolf, half vampire Riley Jenson is now a full fledged guardian in the Directorate of Other Races. She has no choice because her powers are growing and changing thanks to a drug she was forced to take. If she wasn¿t in the directorate she would be involved with the military like others were forced do. Right now Riley is taking a well deserved rest on Monitor Island when her alpha leader Blake tells her that that she is to find out what happened to his granddaughter Adrienne who disappeared just like other young women before her.------------ All disappeared within weeks of leaving home and all knew bartender Jon D Riley is forced to help because if she doesn¿t Blake will kill her mother. When she arrives home she is given another assignment. Females are being torn apart by something evil and preternatural although nobody knows what is actual doing the killing. Once Riley puts a stop to the murders she swings her attention to the club Mirror Image where shifter and humans are allowed to dance with the end game beings sex. Women connected to the club have disappeared and Riley believes that was the story Adrienne was working on. Now she has to retrace her footsteps and hope she and her twin brother Rhoan don¿t get killed by two human with supernatural powers.----------------- The latest Riley Jenson Guardian novel is a fantastic enthralling supernatural thriller that focuses on the need to solve the case quickly before more people die. In Riley¿s world, vampires, weres-shifters, and other supernatural entities are taken for granted and co-exist with humans. Riley¿s new powers are a shocker to her and she knows she will have to stay with the directorate so they can help her and so she can stay out of the military clutches. Keri Arthur is one of my top favorite supernatural writers with this strong work validating why.----------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Riley Jenson Series

    Love the series.. Would recommend to readers who like paranormal stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Supernatural

    Keri must be a Supernatural fan. Jensen, Jared and Misha are characters in her book.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    Good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    "I looove this series!!!!!"

    This is one of my most recommending series, especially for those who can't get enough of supernatural fictional characters.Keri Arthur sure knows how to keep readers interested.I can't wait to get the next book!!!

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book

    Not as good as the rest but still very good and keeps you entertained!!!

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  • Posted February 14, 2010

    The Most Dangerous Game

    The most dangerous game gets a cop and shifter twist. The ending was totally worth the mild sandpaper parts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2009

    Keri Arthur is always a good read....be prepared to go into a different world!!

    Always a great read and a very different plots than I normally read! Love them!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 16, 2009

    Great Book

    I had to get all of the books in this series. They were excellent.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Great One!

    This novel was fast-paced and very gripping right from the start! I thought this one was a wonderful continuation of Riley's story, and I honestly can't wait to find out what happens next! The characters in these books are strong and the plots are well-developed, which is why I think the Riley Jensen series is one of my all-time favorites!

    If you enjoyed this series, you will probably also like the "Anita Blake" series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Too Hot to Handle

    I was glad to see the story came back a little from the darkness of the previous book even if it was only a little. I just can't get enough of this series...what a remarkable writer Keri Arthur is. In spite of the fact that the violence and darkness of the stories repels me, I just keep reading and enjoying the stories one right after the other.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My favorite escape from reality

    Riley Jenson always amazes me with every chapter of her life. Each novel in this series is full of different surprises but everyone will have you wanting more. Keri Arthur's books are my favorite place to go to escape reality.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a good read

    This book is sexy and very dramatic, I loved this series, it was a way to look into the world of werewolves, I love this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2009

    Good Addition

    Embraced by Darkness is a good addition to the Riley Jenson series. Within the story we discover more about Riley's past and get a better idea of who Kellen really is. Riley faces hard decisions in her working as well as her personal life. This book is a great way to escape the world for several hours.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    A reviewer

    I love the Riley Jensen series! She is such a unique character and the men in her life...WOW! Riley is smart, funny and kicks a**. I have a hard time waiting for the next book to come out. Keep the books coming Keri!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2007

    One more

    I really loved this book. Don't stop writing about Riley though. I would love to hear some more about Quinn. I will wait with anticipation for more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2007

    broken heart

    I just loved everything about this book! like all the others great!!! it had action!!! she's the kind of person that takes her life in her own hands and just goes with it!! got to love the women!!!! don't stand in her way because she would move you!!---those twins never had a chance with miss Riley Jenson got to love the way she bluffs at theses crazy men it's so cool!! for me the best part was with Blake and Patin!! she spared no words or no punches!! that alone was the best just sweet revenge!! but what broke my heart and yes!!! broke!!! I cried was when Kellen walked, like how could he do this to her!!! why!!!! the man said he loved her!!! he truly loved her and he walked i just could not stop crying!! I just felt her pain all the way down to her soul!!! I was thinking were was Quinn!! At that moment she needed him!!! Please don't let this be the last Riley Jenson Story just one more bring Quinn back and let her live a very happy life!! she deserves it for everything that she has gone through!!!!! for anyone that whats to read a book with a strong women great sex action packed that women is Riley Jenson got to love her!!! thank you Keri Arthur you kept me up at night and i never put your books down!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 293 Customer Reviews

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