Hearts in Darkness (Nikki & Michael)

Hearts in Darkness - Keri Arthur Nikki has been apart from Michael for 6 months, 6 months while Michael slowly relearns to control his hunger and 6 months when Michael resolves to stay away from Nikki. His life, his world, his job is just too dangerous for her and he is determined to keep her safeUnfortunately for him, one of his jobs coincides with one of hers – she has another missing teenager and a lost contact’s family member, neither of which she is willing to ignore and she’s certainly not going to leave it because Michael asks her tooThey are thrown back together in an exclusive resort trying to find a slew of missing people – and finding surprises both magical and personal waiting for them and an entire species depending on them for survival. After the last book, I was a little dubious about this series, I was still waiting for something more unique to happen to set it out. While the character interactions pretty much fit some very long established moulds, the plot of this book broke out of the tropes. We had some completely new creatures and a twisty plot line that made use of them in a pretty new an interesting way that lead to a pretty original story and definitely one that could not be entirely predicted since so much was hidden and hidden well. It was a plot that had elements I have not seen elsewhere and put the series on my mental map as a unique creation with its own exclusive items that are both intriguing and fascinating – and make me want to read the next book to see where the author’s imagination will take me next and how much further this world will expandThis world is still played very close to the author’s chest. In some ways I like this – like the first book the writing style is pretty well handled in terms of descriptiveness. I don’t think the fight scenes necessarily work brilliantly, often giving me the feeling of people queuing up for battle and a few anti-climaxes, but they do work well. We do have some overly emotional monologues but, again, they’re pretty restrained to what I’ve seen elsewhere and even in the first book. The writing is careful, it has hiccoughs but they’re slight – it controls description and unnecessary exposition though I have to say I would like a little more world building about vampires and the organisation Michael works for. But the fact the hints encourage me to learn more is a good sign in itself.There is also a considerable improvement in the relationship between Michael and Nikki. Now, it isn’t perfect, but a lot of what isn’t perfect is also challenged, at least to a degree. I’ve said before a hundred times how much I hate rushed relationships – and Nikki and Michael lamenting how they cannot possibly live without one another despite only having known each other for a week is definitely rushed. I just never get the sense of foundation to this relationship. Even Michael lampshades it with this line:“We barely even know each other. We may share thoughts and we may share passion, but we have never once shared our dreams or our desires for the future. I don’t know your favorite movie or color or food or even what you like to read. And you know as little about me.”I cheered when I read this line. And I cheered that Nikki was talking about finding these out –because that would be great, them deciding they have good potential and it would be worth seeing if they could build a relationship and develop it further. I was on board for that, even with Nikki angry because Michael wouldn’t try to see if they could have a relationship.Read More