Darkness Rising (Dark Angels Series #2)

Darkness Rising (Dark Angels Series #2)

by Keri Arthur

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Overview

The sexy, thrilling adventures continue in bestselling author Keri Arthur’s new Dark Angels series, starring half-werewolf/half-Aedh Risa Jones.
 
Risa will go to any lengths to avenge her mother’s murder—even if it means making a pact with the most evil vampire she’s ever met. Lethal and powerful, Madeline Hunter is leader of the vampire council, and will put her resources behind finding the killer—for a price. The venerable vampire requires the assistance of Risa’s psychic powers. Quid pro quo.

Someone—or something—is targeting the elders of the local council, cursing the immortal vampires to rapidly age, sink into madness, and die. Risa must track down the vengeful being responsible. But Risa’s father, a rogue Aedh priest, also enlists her in a dangerous mission. And not even the great Madeline Hunter may be able to protect her from the shadowy forces that desire nothing less than Risa’s destruction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440245735
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/25/2011
Series: Dark Angels Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 184,588
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About 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 Reviewer’s Choice Awards and recently won RT’s Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives with her daughter in Melbourne, Australia.

Read an Excerpt

THE HOUSE STILL SMELLED OF DEATH.
 
Two months had passed since Mom’s murder, but the air still echoed with her agony and I knew if I breathed deep enough, I’d catch the hint of old blood.
 
But at least there were no visible reminders. The Directorate’s cleanup team had done a good job of removing the evidence.
 
Bile rose up my throat, and I briefly closed my eyes. I’d seen her—had seen what had been done to her—and it haunted me every night in my dreams. But in many ways, those dreams were also responsible for me finally being able to walk through the front door today.
 
I’d done enough remembering, and shed enough tears. Now I wanted revenge, and that wasn’t going to happen if I waited for others to hunt down the killers. No, I needed to be a part of it. I needed to do something to help ease the ferocity of the dreams—dreams that came from the guilty knowledge that I should have been there for her. That if I had, I might have been able to prevent this.
 
I drew in a deep breath that did little to steady the almost automatic wash of fury, and discovered something else. Her scent still lingered.
 
And not just her scent. Everything she’d been, and everything she’d done—all her love and energy and compassion—filled this place with a warmth that still radiated from the very walls.
 
For the first time since I’d scattered her ashes in the hills that she’d loved, I smiled.
 
She would never entirely be gone from this world. She’d done too much, and helped too many people, for her memory to be erased completely.
 
And that was one hell of a legacy.
 
Still, despite the echoes of the warmth and love that had once filled these rooms, I had no intention of keeping the house. Not when all I had to do was step into the kitchen to be reminded of everything that had happened.
 
I walked along the hallway, my boots echoing on the polished marble floor. Aside from the few items of furniture placed to give prospective buyers an idea of each room’s size and purpose, the house was empty. Mike—who’d been Mom’s financial adviser and was still mine—had made all the arrangements, talking to the real estate people on my behalf and shifting most of the furniture into storage so I could deal with it later. Only the items in the two safes remained untouched, and that was a task only I could handle—although it was the one thing I’d been avoiding until now.
 
I drew in a shuddery breath, then slowly climbed the carpeted stairs. Once I reached the landing, I headed for Mom’s bedroom down at the far end of the hall. The air had a disused smell. Maybe the people employed to keep the house spotless until it sold hadn’t been as generous with the deodorizer up here.
 
But the soft hint of oranges and sunshine teased my nostrils as I walked into Mom’s bedroom, and just for a moment it felt like she was standing beside me.
 
Which was silly, because she’d long since moved on, but my fingers still twitched with the urge to reach for her.
 
I walked across the thick carpet and opened the double doors to her wardrobe. Her clothes had already been donated to charity, but somehow seeing this emptiness hit me in a way that the emptiness of the other rooms had not. I’d often played in here as a kid, dressing up in her silkiest gowns and smearing my face—and no doubt said gowns—with her makeup.
 
She’d never once been angry. She’d always laughed and joined the fun, even letting me do her face.
 
I swiped at the tear that appeared on my cheek and resolutely walked into the bathroom. Most people wouldn’t think of looking for a safe in an en suite, which is exactly why Mom had installed her second one here. This was where she’d stored her most precious jewelry.
 
I opened the double doors under the basin and ducked down. The safe was embedded in the wall and visible only because all of Mom’s makeup had been cleared away.
 
After typing in the code, I pressed my hand against the reader. Red light flickered across my fingertips; then there was a soft click as the safe opened.
 
I took a deep breath, then sat and pulled the door all the way open. Inside were all her favorite items, including the chunky jade bracelet she’d bought the last time she was in New Zealand, only a few weeks before her death. There was also a stack of Microdrive photo disks and, finally, an envelope.
 
There was nothing written on the front of the envelope, but faint wisps of orange teased my nostrils as I flipped it over and slid a nail along the edge to open it. Inside was a folded piece of paper that smelled of Mom. I took another, somewhat shaky breath and opened it.
 
I’m sorry that I had to leave you in the dark, my darling daughter, it said, and I could almost imagine her saying the words as I read them. Could almost feel her warm breath stirring the hair near my cheek. But I was given little other choice. Besides, I saw my death long ago and knew it was the price I had to pay for having you. I never regretted my choice—not then, and most certainly not now, when that death is at my doorstep. Don’t ever think I accepted my fate placidly. I didn’t. But the cosmos could show me no way out that didn’t also involve your death or Riley’s. Or worse, both of you. In the end, it just had to be.
 
Live long, love well, and I will see you in the next life. I love you always. Mom.
 
I closed my eyes against the sting of tears. Damn it, I wouldn’t cry again. I wouldn’t.
 
But my tear ducts weren’t taking any notice.
 
I swiped at the moisture, then sat back on my heels. Oddly enough, I almost felt better. At least now I knew why she’d refused to tell me what was going on. She’d seen my death—and Riley’s—if we’d intervened. And I would have intervened. I mean, she was my mother.
 
And as a result, I’d have died.
 
Her death still hurt—would always hurt—but a tiny weight seemed to have lifted from my soul.
 
I glanced down at the letter in my hand, smiling slightly as her scent spun around me, then folded it up again and tucked it into my pocket. That one piece of paper was worth more than anything else in her safe.
 
I scooped up the remainder of the jewels, but as I rose, awareness washed over me. Someone—or something—was in the house.
 
I was half werewolf, and my senses were keen. Though I hadn’t actually locked the front door, I doubted any humans could have entered without me hearing. Humans tended to walk heavily, even when they were trying to sneak, and with the house almost empty the sound would have echoed. But this invader was as silent as a ghost. And it wasn’t nonhuman, either, because in the midst of awareness came a wash of heat—not body heat, but rather the heat of a powerful presence.
 
An Aedh.
 
And he was in spirit form rather than physical.
 
My pulse skipped, then raced. The last time I’d felt something like this, I’d been in the presence of my father. Of course, that meeting had ended when two Aedh priests had gate-crashed the party in an effort to capture my father—who’d fled and left me to fight the priests off alone. Needless to say, the odds had been on their side, and I’d been taken and tortured for information. And while my father might not have led me into the trap, he still bore some responsibility for it. It was him they wanted, not me.
 
Hell, everyone wanted him. The Directorate of Other Races, the vampire council, and the reapers.
 
And they all were intent on using me to get to him.
 
Which pissed me off no end, but there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it. Especially given the deal I’d made with Madeline Hunter—the woman who was not only in charge of the Directorate, but also one of the highest-ranking members of the vampire council. Of course, she had managed to catch me at a vulnerable moment. She’d arrived uninvited as I said my final good-bye to Mom, had heard my vow for vengeance, and had all but blackmailed me into becoming an adviser to the council. In exchange, they would throw their full resources behind finding Mom’s killer.
 
I hadn’t walked away from the deal yet—not when finding Mom’s killer might well depend on the information the council could give me. They might be using me to get to my dad, but I sure as hell intended to return the favor.
 

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Darkness Rising 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Hybrid Helki werewolf (her late mom's side) Aedh (her dad's side) Australian Risa Jones mourns the death of her mother when her soul stealing father, whom she never met, arrives with demands. He needs her assistance to find a tome and the all powerful keys to the gates of heaven and hell. To insure she complies with his orders, the rogue Aedh informs his offspring he will steal the souls of her friends if she fails him. Vampire council chief Madeline Hunter also gives the besieged Risa an ultimatum. If she wants to live, she will learn why vampires are suddenly aging, losing their minds and dying. Her only ally is a reaper who has no feelings but she is attracted to him. The second Dark Angels urban fantasy is a superb thriller as the tsuris continues to avalanche the heroine who is not allowed time to grieve her loss. The next generation Guardian (to her Aunt Riley Jenson) struggles with what her father and the head Vampire demand of her, and with her feelings for an unfeeling essence; while also dealing with her mom's death. The sub-genre audience will appreciate this excellent entry but need to read Darkness Unbound first as this tale directly follows what happened in its predecessor. Harriet Klausner
SuzieSA More than 1 year ago
I must say I liked this novel even better than the first. It was clear Risa was less reluctant to do what needed to be done and more confident in herself. She still had some doubts in her abilities, but managed to overcome those by being willing to ask for help. She depended on Azriel even more heavily this time and he seems to be growing more attached to her. I enjoyed seeing the byplay between them. There is definitely chemistry there and the two are becoming much more aware of each other in ways that have nothing to do with their "duties". I'm hoping they give in to their needs soon as I think they could be really great together. Lucian's behavior is becoming more suspect, as I guessed might happen. Not enough for Risa to push him away, yet, but she is discovering there is more to him than she originally believed. This causes her to become frustrated because she realizes everyone, aside from her family and close friends, has an outside agenda and is using her for their own purposes. I could certainly understand her bitterness, though I also felt she was somewhat blind to certain realities. Regardless, Darkness Rising proved to be well worth the read. I enjoyed the action, character relationships, and world building that has made this series unique from others I've read. The story progressed further in most areas and came to a satisfying conclusion, even if it was expected to end on another cliffhanger. The Dark Angels series is excellent and not one to miss if you enjoy the urban fantasy and paranormal genres. I'll be ready for the next book, Darkness Devours, which is set to be released July 5th, 2012. The novel can't come fast enough, as far as I'm concerned!
Knobby More than 1 year ago
This is a paranormal book, which I love. The main character Risa is a strong woman who fight evil to keep her friends and ultimately the world safe. This series is one that kept me up at night reading. The serious page turner. I would definitely read more books by Keri Arthur.
dearheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Risa has a lot on her plate. The half werewolf/Aedh is still reeling from the death of her mother and now learns she might have made a mistake when the Directorate of Other Races (front for the High Vampire Council) offered to track down her mother¿s murderer in exchange for Risa to ¿Consult¿ for them. It turns out the High Council thinks she¿s too dangerous to live and gives her the task of finding out who/what is attacking members of the Council in their sleep, causing them to rapidly age. She¿s got to track down the culprit before anyone else or lose her life.Yet she still has to find the hidden keys to the portals that keep those in Hell from crossing back into this plane. Not only does her father (stuck in energy form) not know where they are but is threatening the lives of her friends if she doesn¿t find them. The trouble is many factions are looking for them for them for different reasons and Risa¿s life is constantly in danger by those who think she knows more than she does. Risa, while wanting to protect the people closest to her, is learning that she needs to ask and accept the help they can provide, even when it places them in danger. Aunt Riley and Uncles Quinn and Rhoan are on hand, as are her best friends/roommates Ilianna and Tao, although the first three are still more clean-up than fighting at this point.There¿s plenty of fighting action and emotions in this urban fantasy mystery. She¿s sexually addicted to Lucian mostly due to him being an Aedh, but Risa doesn¿t require as much sex as most werewolves. There¿s actually less in this series than in Riley¿s. But something doesn¿t feel right about his reasons for being with her and Azriel doesn¿t trust him. But even better in my mind is the sexual tension Risa feels when around Azriel. Risa knows she can¿t expect a relationship with an energy being, but the longer the Mijai reaper maintains a physical form, the more he¿s starting to feel human emotions, making it difficult on both of them. But he¿s committed to protecting her while she searches for the keys. I very much want this relationship to develop.There seems to be two story threads interwoven per book. So far one mystery gets wrapped up per book and the ongoing back story involving finding the keys to the portals of Hell. This would be a difficult story to follow without at least reading the first book, Darkness Unbound. It¿s even better if you¿ve read the Riley series, but not totally necessary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unable to open first book in series using Nook app. B&N couldn't resolve issue. Bought it twice, now I'm out the money and am figuring out background as I go. With that said, I did enjoy reading this book. Ms. Arthur has a new fan
TheHopelessBibliophile More than 1 year ago
Darkness Rising opens with Risa's father forcefully ordering her to find the keys that he created to open the gates to hell. Nice guy, yeah? Then Risa is essentially blackmailed by the head of the Directorate, Madeline Hunter, into doing Hunter's dirty work in exchange for help solving Dia's murder. Considering that's all crammed into the first chapter, you'd think that the action would be nonstop . . . and yet, not so much. At least it felt slow to me. It may have been because I listened to this one in audio, but I found myself oddly unable to focus on the story and probably missed a good quarter of it from zoning out on the narration. The big things that I was worried about while reading the first book came to pass: (1) Risa continued to trust the wrong guy, Lucian. He reminds me of a certain snakelike character from the Riley Jensen, Guardian series, and I don't much like him. (2) Risa failed to see what her reaper, Azrael, was thinking. He clearly has a thing for her, but she is only seeing her own perception of his actions and beliefs and not understanding why he is perpetually frustrated with her. Come on, girl, get it together! It's a little frustrating to see Risa repeating so many of Riley's mistakes, especially while she notes that Riley had spoken to her about these things. Risa trusts the wrong people, is ill-prepared because she lets people rush her and boss her around, and doesn't ask the right people for help because she is too worried about them getting hurt, even if their expertise means that they are more likely to not be hurt than she is. I wanted to shake her a few times. You know what else is frustrating? The lack of sex. Heh. There are a couple of scenes, but I was really hoping that this series would be a bit hotter than it's turning out to be. Here's what did work: Risa is clearly starting to come into her own. In Darkness Unbound, Risa is constantly turning to others for help because she doesn't have the skills or knowledge to do it on her own. That's not necessarily a bad idea, true, but it was nice to see her take a more prominent role in her investigation. The sword she acquires doesn't hurt her new badass image, either. Given my love of the prequel series, it's fairly obvious that I'm not going to give up after one lackluster installment. Really, it's not bad, it's just not quite up to par with expectations. Here's hoping that the rest of the series takes us on a sexy, fast-paced ride!
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KrazyKlown More than 1 year ago
I enjoy the main characters interaction with the others.
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This book rocks, been looking for a seires a like as much as the antia blake series and this autor takes th cake!!!!
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But there was no ending. I wish yhe author wrote more or has the 3rd book avail
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