Hearts in Darkness (Nikki and Michael Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview

PASSION WITH A BITE
 
Private Investigator Nikki James has a lot to contend with. Her lover, Michael Kelly, walked out without so much as a goodbye, and what seemed like a simple case of stopping a runaway teen brought her face-to-face with another clutch of deadly vampires. But if that seemed bad, it is about to get a lot worse, because when Michael returns, it is not ...
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Hearts in Darkness (Nikki and Michael Series #2)

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Overview

PASSION WITH A BITE
 
Private Investigator Nikki James has a lot to contend with. Her lover, Michael Kelly, walked out without so much as a goodbye, and what seemed like a simple case of stopping a runaway teen brought her face-to-face with another clutch of deadly vampires. But if that seemed bad, it is about to get a lot worse, because when Michael returns, it is not for her, but for the case.
 
Wealthy men are starting to vanish from a resort in Jackson Hole—which is exactly where Nikki’s runaway teen seems to be as well. Something nefarious is going on at the luxury spa, but what? The last thing Michael needs is a confrontation with Nikki—especially when his control over his bloodlust is still so tenuous. But posing as a newlywed couple at the swanky resort may be the best way for both of them to solve their respective cases. This time, Nikki is determined to make Michael see that life apart is worse than death. Yet before she can make him see the light, a specter from Michael’s past rises that could destroy any hope she has of a future with him. Because this time the threat isn’t physical. It’s a matter of the heart.

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

From the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345538710
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Series: Nikki and Michael Series , #2
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 22,572
  • File size: 3 MB

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

The breeze whispered around her, its touch like a furnace. Sweat beaded her skin, staining her T-shirt and dripping from her ponytail.

Around her the night pulsed—a bass-heavy rhythm. The air was rank with the scent of sweat, alcohol and chlorine.

Nikki stood in the shadows of an oak and sipped a lukewarm soda. Below her, on the main pool deck, bodies writhed in time to the music, unmindful of the heat or the closeness of others.

They had to be mad. If she had any choice, she would be in the pool, allowing the cool water to wash the heat and sweat from her skin. But instead, she was stuck here in the shadows with a lukewarm cola, awaiting the next move of a wayward teenager.

It was an all-too-familiar feeling. Six months before, she’d followed another teenager and had found herself caught in the middle of a war between two vampires.

Pain rose like a ghost and she bit her lip hard, blinking away the sting of tears.

It was her own stupidity that had driven Michael away. Her refusal to trust, to admit what she’d felt—until it was far too late—had worn him down as surely as the sea wears down a rock. Of course, allowing him to feed on her in an effort to save his life hadn’t helped all that much, either. According to Jake, it had left his hard-won control over his blood lust in tatters—at least when he was around her. She wasn’t entirely sure whether to believe it, though, because surely three hundred years could not be so easily undone.

But what hurt the most, perhaps, was the fact that he’d left without saying good-bye.

She’d looked for him, of course. She’d spent the first two months after she’d awakened in the hospital doing little else. But America was a big country, with lots of places to hide. And when the man she was hunting lived most of his life in the shadows, what hope did she really have of finding him?

None. Not that it really mattered. She’d keep looking until she found him—though what happened then would very much depend on how he reacted.

The two-way clipped to her lapel squawked. “Nik, are you there?”

It was Jake, her boss and her best friend. He sounded as bored as she was. Nikki pressed the button. “No, I’m at home enjoying a nice, cool bath.”

“Forget the bath. A cold beer would go down beautifully right now. The kid still in your area?”

She scanned the crowd. Matthew Kincaid, a redheaded, jug-eared teenager, stood out from the mob. But it wasn’t so much his looks as the fact that he towered a good foot or more over his peers. Basketball material for sure—if someone could teach him to catch a ball. Or throw it. But then, given he was a computer whiz with a genius-level IQ, he really didn’t need to be risking life and limb—or at least limb—on the basketball courts.

“Yeah. He’s hovering near the bar, trying to convince some of the adults to buy him a drink.” She hesitated and took another sip of her cola. The warm liquid slithered down her throat and she shuddered, upending the rest into the dirt. “He’s not acting like a kid on the verge of running away from home.”

“I know. But his mom’s paying us to watch him, so watch him we will. Besides, we need the money.”

“When don’t we?” They’d been working together for close to ten years, and she couldn’t remember a time when the business hadn’t been strapped for cash. Private investigators didn’t make a lot of money—not in Lyndhurst, anyway. And Trevgard—a former client, and the one potential windfall they’d had in recent months—had died before he’d paid them. “Why is Mrs. Kincaid so convinced he’s going to disappear tonight?”

“A conversation she overheard when passing his bedroom last week. Apparently, he’s been chatting with this girl over the Internet and has formed quite a relationship with her. He arranged to meet her during the party.”

Nikki frowned. “That doesn’t explain why she thinks he’s going to run away.”

“The kid’s unhappy at home. Hates his dad, who’s an alcoholic, and argues constantly with his mom.”

“He sounds like your average teenager to me.”

Jake laughed softly. “Yeah, I guess. But lately, the kid’s apparently been saying that he doesn’t need them anymore, that he’s found someone who understands him.”

Nikki raised her eyebrows. “The Internet friend?”

“Maybe.”

“Has Mrs. Kincaid talked to Matthew about this?”

“Yeah,” Jake said, voice dry. “And the reply is one I’m not about to use over the two-way.”

She grinned. “Has she tried going into his computer when he’s at school?”

“He’s password-protected and encrypted both his email and chat logs.”

“Clever kid.”

“Doesn’t take a genius to do that sort of stuff—which he is, remember.”

Maybe it was standard procedure for the kid and Jake, but computers had never been her strong point. “That doesn’t explain why he’s going to such lengths to stop his mom from reading his emails. I would think a kid with his—let’s be polite, and say unusual—looks would be letting all and sundry know he’s in contact with a hot girl.”

“We don’t know that she’s hot.”

“We don’t know she’s not, either,” Nikki retorted. “But maybe he lied about his looks. Plenty of people do on the Net.”

“Yeah, but there’s no indication he’s done that, either.”

Maybe, but given his height, his coloring and those ears, it was more than likely that he had. The Internet would have given him not only anonymity, but also the ability to reinvent himself.

So why would he risk all that to meet this woman and reveal the truth? And why did Nikki have a feeling that it could all go so horribly wrong?

She glanced at her watch. “It’s close to eleven thirty now. Does his mother have any idea when the meeting was going to happen?”

“Midnight, apparently.”

Witching hour. The time when all things dark and deadly came out to play. Things like Michael. Or Jasper.

She shuddered and rubbed her wrist. In the worst of her dreams, she could still feel Jasper’s touch—in her thoughts, and on her skin. But Jasper was dead, burned to ashes by the sun’s heat. His evil could never touch her again.

Michael, on the other hand . . . Thanks to the events surrounding Jasper’s capture, her life was now linked to Michael’s. As long as he remained alive, so would she. But wherever he was, whatever danger he was embracing, if he died, then she would, too—out of the blue and with utterly no warning.

A chill ran through her. She hated being dependent on anyone—and especially on the man who had broken her heart. But, on the positive side, nothing short of decapitation could kill her as long as Michael lived—and her psychic senses told her she’d be in need of such protection tonight. Because she couldn’t shake the certainty that evil of another kind was on the move in Lyndhurst. And if that were true, then Matthew Kincaid could be a target. From what she’d seen, evil liked preying on innocents.

The bass-heavy pounding faded, replaced by a gentler, more romantic song. On the pool deck, the teenagers drew close. There was probably more kissing going on now than dancing.

She looked across to the bar. Matthew was staring at the crowd, his expression a mix of envy and anger. He slammed his drink onto the counter, then walked away.

“Heads up. He’s on the move.”

Jake sounded relieved. “Where?”

Matthew had disappeared behind the tent that housed the bar. Nikki broke into a run, keeping to the shadows as she skirted the sweating mass of slow-dancing teenagers. Matthew came into sight, his arms swinging as fast as his legs as he strode along the path.

She slowed, not wanting to get too close and attract his attention. “He’s heading for the back gate.”

“Is anyone else in sight?”

“Not unless you want to count the teenagers getting busy under the trees.”

Jake snorted softly. “I’ll bring my car around. Keep me posted.”

“Will do.”

Matthew reached the gate and stopped to unlatch it. She stepped behind a tree. The kid threw the gate open, then glanced over his shoulder. His look was petulant, like that of a child grabbing at candy he knows he shouldn’t have.

It wasn’t his family making him run, she thought with a grin. It was his hormones.

He headed out and turned right. She pressed the two-way, informing Jake, then followed the teenager out the gate.

Matthew’s long strides had taken him a good way down the street. She crossed to the other side, then broke into a run, closing the distance between them. The slow beat of the music began to fade and silence closed in, broken only by the occasional roar of a car engine or the blast of a horn.

Matthew strode on, looking neither right nor left. She swiped at the sweat dripping from her chin and studied the street ahead. They were in the Heights— a ritzy and very expensive section of Lyndhurst nestled in the western edge of the mountains that ringed the town. Below them, lights blazed—a neon sea of brightness that outshone the stars. Matthew could have been heading toward any one of those lights, but her gaze stopped at the docks.

That’s where he’s going, she thought.

The two-way buzzed softly. “Nik, I’m in the car. Where are you?”

She pressed the receiver. “Ocean Road, just past Second.”

“I’m parallel on West. Let me know if he changes direction or meets a car.”

“Will do.”

They continued on—Matthew striding out, Nikki half running to keep up with him. Boxlike shapes began to loom up around them as houses gave way to factories and warehouses. The faint wash of traffic seemed to die completely and, in the silence, her breathing seemed strained and harsh.

Ahead, Matthew stopped in the puddle of an overhead light and glanced at his watch. He looked briefly to his right, then turned left, heading into a small side street. Nikki pressed the two-way. “He just turned into an alley. He’s heading your way.”

“Last cross street?”

She frowned, thinking back. “Sixth.”

“Just passed it. I’ll park and wait.”

She stopped near the street entrance and peered around the corner. Matthew was nowhere in sight.

Swearing softly, she hurried down the street, keeping an eye on the fences lining either side of the road, looking for gaps or gateways the teenager could have used. Nothing. But halfway down, on the right, she came across a small street. Matthew was a dark shadow moving quickly away.

She sighed in relief. “He’s turned off again,” she told Jake. She glanced up, studying the unlit street sign. “Heading down Baker’s Lane toward the docks.”

“That street comes to a dead end.”

She hoped it was just a figure of speech and not a reality. “It’s a rather odd place to meet an Internet friend, don’t you think?”

“If it is a friend he’s meeting, yes. But all sorts of perverts go trawling the chat rooms looking for innocents like Matthew.”

She kept close to the fence on the off chance that Matthew might turn around. At least in the darker shadows lining the fence, she’d be harder to spot. “The problem is, I’ve got a feeling it’s not your average pervert we’re dealing with.”

Jake groaned. “That’s all we need. I’m heading in—and bringing a gun.”

“Be careful, Jake. I really don’t like the feel of this.”

“Then maybe I’ll call the cops, just to be safe.”

“And tell them what? That I’ve got a feeling?” Even Col MacEwan—a senior detective and the officer who’d helped them during the mess that was the Trevgard investigation—wasn’t likely to come running over something like that. He might believe in her psychic abilities these days, but even he would want something more concrete than a feeling.

Jake grunted. “Don’t do anything stupid until I get there.”

Meaning she could do something stupid after? She grinned, though it didn’t ease the tension knotting her stomach. “You do remember that I really can’t die, don’t you?”

“If Michael is to be believed,” Jake retorted. “And even if he is, that’s no reason to needlessly throw yourself into danger.”

“Trust me, I’m really not planning to do that anytime soon.” Because while it might be hard for her to die, she could get injured—and badly enough that she might wish to die.

The street narrowed, and the warehouses on either side seemed to loom in on her. She skirted several Dumpsters and screwed up her nose. Judging from the amount of garbage overflowing onto the street, they hadn’t been emptied in several weeks. Combine that with the heat of the last few days, and the result was revolting.

Matthew stopped. She ducked behind a stinking Dumpster, holding her breath as she peered around the side. He was studying the buildings to either side, but after a few seconds he turned and ran toward the fence on the left. She waited until he’d disappeared over the top, then followed.

“He just climbed a fence. Third warehouse from the end.”

“Wait for me.”

“I might lose him if I do.”

Jake swore. “Damn it, be careful.”

“You be careful. I’m not the one most at risk here.”

“But you’re not immortal, either, and I’m positive Michael didn’t tell you everything about his gift of life everlasting.”

She smiled grimly. Michael had never told her more than what he thought she needed to know. Bare facts, and nothing more—especially when it came to anything concerning his past or what he did for a living. Or how greatly he’d risked both their lives . . .

“I’m heading over.”

She grabbed the chain link and pulled herself over the fence. Dropping to the ground on the other side, she crouched, her gaze sweeping the darkness. The building had to be some sort of produce warehouse. Packing crates were lined in neat rows, those closest containing the limp remnants of lettuce leaves.

Matthew could have gone anywhere, so she stayed where she was, listening intently. The wind moaned through the silence, raising the hairs on the back of her neck. She rubbed her arms, then reached down, withdrawing a knife from her right boot. Made of the purest silver, it was one of two she’d had specially designed after her encounters with Jasper. If an old kitchen knife with only the smallest amount of silver in it could stop him, her new knives should stop just about anything. That’s what she was hoping, anyway.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    Wow... i might read it.

    My name is nikki and my brothers name is micheal.
    Tempted to read it,but if a boy and girl with the same name fall in love i might not read it...
    me and him dont get along so well.

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  • Posted January 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Michael had vowed to keep away from Nikki to protect her from th

    Michael had vowed to keep away from Nikki to protect her from the dangers that threatened both of their lives. However, that's easier said than done because their life forces have been bound together. In this second volume in the series, Nikki is investigating the disappearance of another teenager, and things get interesting when she discovers a connection with a vampire from Michael's past. Michael is investigating several disappearances of millionaires at a resort in the same area that Nikki is tracking her missing teenager. They have no choice but to team up, especially when they realize that both of their cases are linked to the same person. Can they continue to find the bond they share while trying to stay alive and defeat the evil vampire behind the disappearances?

    Michael got on my nerves for most of this book. Every five minutes he was whining about how he and Nikki must never be together, how they can never be happy together, etc., etc. Finally he shut up at about page 155 and got with the program. Geesh. No one seems to really know what being a "thrall" means for Nikki, and in this book we see some interesting new talents emerge that no one can quite explain. It's make you wonder what's next for this crime-fighting duo. On to the next book!

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  • Posted September 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

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

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

    HEARTS OF DARKNESS is the second book in the Nikki and Michael series. I am so glad that the publisher decided to rerelease this series because I think it’s quite good. As a fan of Arthur’s other series, I found that this gave me an opportunity to read her older titles. I think this will help readers discover this series or perhaps reminds loyal fans just how talented Arthur is.

    This book continues off from where the last book ended. Nikki is now forever connected to Michael after having letting him feed from her. They share a connection that is unique. However, it means that if Michael dies, then so does Nikki. This puts on strain on Nikki as she knows that Michael lives a dangerous life, no matter how experienced or resourceful he is. She doesn’t like the idea of being dependent on him, especially since he has the power to hurt her greatly.

    I found that I am really, really enjoying their dynamics. Every time Michael enters the picture, I get a little more excited because their chemistry is potent and enthralling. However, I don’t think it ever takes away from the plot of the series.

    Arthur pens a very tightly-written mystery subplot that incorporates action and suspense in a way that pulls the story forward. If you enjoyed the first book, then I think you will enjoy the second. Yet, this installment seems even better than the first.

    Fans of Nalini Singh’s writing will enjoy this series. I found the writing to be similar, incorporating an old-ancient feel to it that makes it feel grander than what it really is. As a result, you get a story that is rich in description, vivid in emotion and strong in its character building and plot.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this series so far and am looking forward to read more of Nikki and Michael’s adventures!

    *ARC provided by author

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  • Posted September 12, 2013

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    Private Investigator, Nikki James returns in book two of the Nik

    Private Investigator, Nikki James returns in book two of the Nikki & Michael series, she is back to her normal job of solving crimes. Her current investigation is to find a missing person (child) which leads her to a resort in Jackson Hole. On an unlikely stroke of luck, Michael is told to team up with Nikki because their paths will cross while he's investigating rich men going missing at the resort. After the events that happened in book one, I was worried they would just automatically be okay/make up and everything would go back to normal. I should have known better, KArthur had them overcoming their awkwardness with one another and also finding a way to manage their feelings all while solving the case(s).

    I'll be honest, I was worried this book wouldn't be what I'm used to getting out of a Keri Arthur book. Book one in this series wasn't what I expected, though I did enjoy it. Luckily, Hearts in Darkness has a lot more of the KArthur vibe that I remember from the Riley Jenson series. While it's still lacking on the smutty goodness, I have to admit this book kept me interested. I wasn't sure who the bad guy(s) would be, but one thing I'm glad is the same is the paranormal aspect.

    Just in case you missed my review of book one here's the heads up again: this series is a re-release, so if you've read this before, don't get confused. While you don't necessary have to read this in order so far, I would highly suggest it so you know their past together. If you're a KArthur fan or even just someone that enjoys Urban Fantasy with a slight romance twist I suggest this series.

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  • Posted September 10, 2013

    An early series by Arthur and most certainly not her strongest.

    An early series by Arthur and most certainly not her strongest. It also isn't indictive of her talent. Full Moon Rising (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 1) books are much better.
    This is the second in the Nikki and Michael series. It still suffers from a dilly dallying heroine, who acts like an awkward heroine in a black and white silent movie.
    Throughout the book there seems to be a cycle of events.
    Nikki seeks out the villain, Nikki suffers from some sort of fainting energy sucking weakness, Michael swoops in and then storms off and Nikki disappears and is suddenly back again from wherever she went. Repeat cycle. Add the odd 'why we should be together but aren't together dialogue' and wait for the next cycle.
    It is amateur, vague, lacks character depth and a decent plot. All of that can be forgiven knowing that Arthur is actually capable of writing really good para-sup. stories, so I just chalk this down to the fact it is her early work.
    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    WOW WOW WOW! This book was a page turner for sure, I didn't want

    WOW WOW WOW! This book was a page turner for sure, I didn't want to put it down. Even though this is the 2nd book in the series I didn't feel completely lost about the relationship dynamic between Nikki and Michael. And it seems like their lives are linked forever no matter how much Michael wants to keep Nikki out of his. They share a life source so if he dies, she dies also...but if she dies, he doesn't. I don't think that is fair but it makes since due to him being a vampire.



    After no communication for 6 months, it seems they are brought together to work on a case of missing people who just mysteriously disappear from this fancy resort. Plus Nikki feels the kid she was hired to protect might be there as well. So as they are trying to get to the bottom of the disappearances, someone from Michael's past shows up which kind of puts a small wrench into his relationship with Nikki. I do plan on reading book 1 of this series and I am anxious to see what happens next in the 3rd book.

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  • Posted September 2, 2013

    This slowly developing romance between Nikki and Michael is defi

    This slowly developing romance between Nikki and Michael is definitely an awesome way to move through the series. It ties the two together even as Michael is trying so very, very hard to keep them apart.




    Once again, Michael is sent to Nikki by the mysterious Seline because if he doesn’t go to her and she continues on with her current investigation (one which had already landed her partner/employer in the hospital in critical condition), she’ll end up dead. If he goes with her/works with her, she has a chance to survive.




    We got further introduced to the paranormal world in this book, meeting Fire Imps of a sort, capable of being bound to a human body, though it doesn’t turn out well for the human body involved (there were multiple meltings, which I have to say played out most awesomely!).




    Michael’s sire, Elizabeth, makes an appearance and I was pleased to see how he ultimately dealt with her. I like the complexity he had to face, trying to deal with the woman he truly loves (now) versus the one he turned to vampirism/eternal life for (who he thought he loved at one time). While Elizabeth was definitely not an innocent by any stretch of the imagination, she certainly got a raw deal when dealing with the uber-villain of the book, a recently-turned (within a couple of years) vampire/mage. One thing bugged me about Elizabeth though, and that was the continuity about her character. At one point, Ms. Arthur comments that Elizabeth was familiar with Roman gladiators and the like, yet it was repeated many times that Elizabeth was only (only…hmmm, I’d like to only be 900 if I could still look 30) about 900 years old, well after the period of Roman gladiators. Minor, but it stuck out to me.




    The fire beings were a lovely addition, and they were being horrendously mistreated. I’m glad how things worked out for them.




    Nikki of course was strong-willed and utterly unwilling to let Michael protect her or shelter her in any way. When he tries to go all alpha-protector on her, she smacks him right back down and reminds him she’s her own person and she’ll go on with or without him. Wisely, he chooses to stay with her rather than trying to force her to go home and leave the Las Vegas investigation to him.




    Nikki’s powers continue to develop, thanks it seems in part to the lifeforce bond Michael pushed on her in the first book. We got a further look into the vampire master/thrall connection in this book, and I’m looking forward to continuing on learning more about them.




    Things wrapped up well and I’m happy to see Ms. Arthur isn’t totally torturing the pair/dragging out the relationship moving forward further than she has to. I’m sure she’ll have new curve balls to throw at these two in the next book (or two), and I’m eager to get to them on my Kindle.




    Thank you so much for letting me read this. I totally give this a 5-star rating!




    Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Hearts in Darkness is a dark and gripping vampire tale. Nikki an

    Hearts in Darkness is a dark and gripping vampire tale. Nikki and Michael are once again forced together to face a terrible evil. Battling with the thrall mental bond and blood lust, Michael has left Nikki broken hearted for 6 months. Now Michael is back but he is fearful of the danger his presence causes.

    Can Nikki and Michael find the evil threat and save the missing boy before the evil takes them?

    I loved watching Nikki break away at Michael's desire to keep her at arms length. 

    As I stated above this is a very dark and sinister paranormal romance. The plot was suspense filled and although I was routing for the HEA, the odds are against the couple especially when an old relationship comes in play. I found myself drawn into the conflict and mystery behind the antagonists which was completely original and intriguing. I am anxiously waiting to read the next story in this series. Once again Keri Arthur created a story that pulls you into the world of her fabulous imagination.

    This ARC copy of Hearts in the Darkness was given to me by Random House Publishing Group - Dell in exchange for an honest review. Publish Date August 27, 2013.

    Written by: Keri Arthur
    Series: Nikki and Michael 
    Sequence in Series: 2
    Paperback: 336 pages
    Publisher: Dell 
    Publication Date: August 27, 2013
    ISBN-10: 0440246520
    ISBN-13: 978-0440246527
    Rating: 4
    Genre: Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy
    Age Recommendation: Adult

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    Once again I have to state, you simply cannot go wrong when you

    Once again I have to state, you simply cannot go wrong when you pick up a book by Keri Arthur!!!




    If you have not read Dancing with the Devil, I have to highly recommend that you do, because although this book could be read as a standalone, it would be best absorbed if you have read the first and know everything that has already happened between Nikki and Michael.




    I feel that Keri stayed very true to Nikki and Michael’s characters from one book to the next. They are both still strong willed, sometimes pigheaded, and the chemistry is still amazing between them. The storyline is just as action/suspense packed if not a little more because in this one we are introduced to even more entities, that give this story that little extra wow factor for me. This is a DEFINITE must read in my opinion and I can’t wait to read the rest in the series and all future books from Keri!!! I give Hearts in Darkness 5 out of 5 stars!!




    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Read on August 21, 2013 Book Info  Paperback, 336 pages


    Read on August 21, 2013




    Book Info 




    Paperback, 336 pages
    Expected publication: August 27th 2013 by Dell (first published December 31st 2000)
    ISBN 0440246520 (ISBN13: 9780440246527)
    edition language English
    URL 
    series Nikki & Michael #2
    characters Nikki James, Michael Kelly
    Source:Netgalley EARC








    Book Buy Links 




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    BOOK SYNOPSIS








    Life has never been so insane for Nikki James. There's another teenager missing. She has another vampire to contend with. Her partner and best friend Jake is in the hospital dying. And a madman is kidnapping the wealthy. Just when it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, Michael returns-but not for her. This time, however, Nikki has no intention of running from either the case or from what still lies between her and Michael. And she isn't going to let him run, either. The last thing Michael Kelly needs is a confrontation with Nikki-especially when his control over his bloodlust is still so tenuous. But when a kidnapper steps up his agenda to murder, he's forced into a partnership with Nikki to keep her safe. Soon Michael discovers the biggest danger he faces may not be from his need to "taste" her, but from his desire to make her a permanent part of his life-a life that is sure to get her killed. Nikki is determined to make Michael see that life apart is worse than death. But before she can make him see the light, a specter from Michael's past rises that could destroy any hope she has of a future with him. Because this time the threat isn't physical. It's a matter of the heart. Nikki must compete with the woman-the vampire-for whom Michael gave up life.




    My Thoughts








    As in the previous book Nikki James is a magnet for all kinds of danger, if it is out there she somehow manages to find trouble. This time it is found at the very beginning in a warehouse where she tracks the young teenage boy she has been hired to find, she and her partner Jake find themselves outnumbered by a group of vampires under the command of an older female vampire who apparently decides Nikki is to be spared but the same does not hold true for Jake and he is grievously injured. 




    Having gotten Jake to the hospital Nikki is torn between staying with him in case he loses the battle to live and her duty to find their client, to complicate matters she has also been asked by one of her allies in the local police force to find his missing niece. Turns out the dilemma for Nikki becomes even more unsettling with the return of Michael Kelly, the two find themselves working together and this time Nikki makes up her mind no matter what that she and Michael will work out their differences and stay together when the case is over!




    The entire time that Nikki is working towards convincing Michael to give their relationship a chance his continued stance that the two "could never be" just about drove me up the wall, they obviously have bonded beyond simply being lovers and yet because he has some outdated notion that his vampire bloodlust is too dangerous to take the chance on their being together he is determined to leave Nikki behind once again.




    Between the tension that the two generate with their need for each other and the intensity which permeates their dangerous joint investigations this is another page turner that leaves the reader wishing for answers to come sooner and yet it also moves the action along fairly rapidly so that you never feel bogged down in any particular moment.




    For a second book in a series it also has to be said that you do not have to worry if you start with this one, Keri Arthur very nicely covers the back story from the previous book allowing this one to be enjoyed in full with very little feeling of being uninformed of prior events. 




    [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]

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