6-10 of the 10 coolest things about Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson Guardian series
6. Memorable hero entrance. I loved the entrance of Talon in Book #1, Full Moon Rising, for its over-the-topness. Setting: werewolf nightclub. Talon’s way across the club and up on the stairs, but our heroine, Riley, feels the sexual energy radiating off him, turns to see. “He walked down the steps, stripping off his shirt as he did so and tossing it casually toward an empty table.” I love that he throws off his shirt. Insert the requisite description of leather pants and erection, then, “The force of his aura rolled before him, hitting the women nearest him like a tidal wave. Sighs and stares followed in his wake, but he didn’t stop, his gaze on mine as he strode toward me.” Ah, the classic nightclub entrance. It sort of reminds me of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. But in a good way. “He stopped when there were still several feet between us, his gaze sliding casually down my body before rising to meet mine again. The lust that surged between us caressed my skin until I felt like I was glowing.” And then they have sex like nine times. I believe the term “inferno of lust” is utilized at one point.
7. Quinn, an excellent and complex lead. Though it is understandable that certain astute readers are becoming fed up with the recurring problems between Riley and Quinn (cue the Richard and Anita music - I think about Van Morrison for some reason) but there is one significant difference for me: whereas Richard, in a way, yielded up his treasures early on, and went on to become a somewhat dried up automaton, our secretive and mysterious Quinn has yet to yield up his riches. I believe the solutions to many problems are within him, and within his and Riley’s relationship - their interaction and growth. That’s my big hope, anyway. Plus, I like him. He’s a secretive and mysterious badass. 8. Keri Arthur manhandles the reader on setup. I don’t know that this qualifies as cool, but I’m putting it in because it’s interesting to me as a writer. Like, if there is something she wants you to know, she’ll repeat it all over the place. I suppose sometimes it feels redundant, but it’s way better than when writers just expect you to have an encyclopedic knowledge of their every musing, and they bury important stuff in the middle of a paragraph on page 8, and then on suddenly on page 199 you’re like, WTF? If there is a key thing you have to get, Keri Arthur goddamn makes sure you get it. She’s taking care of the reader in her own manhandley way.
9. The blurbs on the cover. Who is writing these? Keri? The publicist? Some of them are great. Like, “Half vampire, half werewolf, all trouble…” I love that one. Or this: “Desire. Temptation. Seduction. Let the night begin.” That one’s great too. But this one is sort of crazy: “Between desire and bloodlust is the sweetest sin of all.” That’s a whole lot of tundra between bloodlust and desire for a human like me, in fact, I think it would encompass every sin, sweet and not. For a werewolf vampire, however, I’d imagine the spectrum between those concepts is razor thin. And you never quite find out what that sin is! This inquiring mind wanted to know! Okay, and this last blurb earned endless derision from my husband: “In a realm without inhibitions, there’s nothing more seductive than temptation…” The “nothing more seductive than temptation” part is really what got him, but really, when you think about it, the entire blurb is sort of insane. And now that I think about it way too hard, in a realm without inhibitions, temptation probably wouldn’t exist, because it relies on forbiddenness.
10. Strong supporting cast. I especially like Riley’s gay brother, Rhoan, who is a fully drawn badass and all-around fun fellow with his own robust relationship drama that I’m sort of getting into. I also like the boss, Jack. Like Quinn, I believe he has treasures to yield. The next book, The Darkest Kiss (!) comes out in April 2008! Color me definitely reading that one.
I write romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of adventure and romance published by Random House, Samhain and the indie route. My man and I live in 1920s condo with two loving cats. During rare moments when I'm not at her computer, I can be found reading in bed, running, or helping animals.