This week on the Reading Corner is nothing but the gritty, sexy, paranormal world of D.N. Simmons KNIGHTS OF THE DARKNESS series! Today is the opening book to the series: DESIRES UNLEASHED and you're about to meet Darian, Xavier, Natasha, Warren, Matthew, Elise, Sergio, and a host of other cats, wolves, and vamps who are all amazing!
Desires Unleashed is the first novel in the riveting, highly-addictive and sexually-charged Knights of the Darkness Chronicles. Experience the heart-pounding thrill of the chase in this electrifying page-turner as you uncover the mystery behind the series of gruesome killings that have been terrorizing the citizens of Chicago. When a grisly decapitated corpse pops up on a Chicago Street, drained of blood, the highly-trained, government-funded special police force assigned two of their best detectives to the case. S.U.I.T. Detectives Warren Davis and Matthew Eric delve deep into their investigation to discover just who or what is leaving mutilated bodies in public places. They soon realize that the killer or killers is one step ahead of them and if they are going to stop the menace before another innocent human is viciously attack, they are going to need help. Natasha Hemingway liked her life just the way it was... normal and supernatural-free. The vampires and shape-shifters were just where she wanted them to be--far away from her. All was going well until an unfortunate accident landed her in the hospital. It was then that she discovered she had an ability that could help her save countless lives. All of a sudden, she finds herself thrust into the dangerous and alluring world of the supernatural and into the arms of two very sexy and deadly vampires. Original, gritty and sprinkled with just the right amount of humor and wit, the Knights of the Darkness Chronicles will suck you in and take you for a ride you won't forget. You don't want to miss out on this amazing series! This book has been previously published and has been substantially revised from its original release.
Adjectives to describe the genre or what is in this book: Paranormal, crime/detective, with sexual situations (M/M, M/F), shifter, vampire, werewolves, urban fantasy
Wowza. Really, where do I start? I’m trying to make sense of my notes! This is a re-release after a re-edit by the author to correct grammatical mistakes and errors, etc. The author’s note tells you that in the beginning. There are no gross errors in this novel that throw you out of the (sacred) Reader Zone.
Warning: This book does deal with detectives trying to solve a gruesome murder case. If well-described gory scenes are not your thing, you’re going to have to skim those parts. Also, there are sex scenes of various natures, including M/M and M/F. This is definitely an adult-themed book with machinations of politics, violent crime, sex, and the grittiness of life.
This is the first novel in the series, however, so I was prepared for a ton of info-dumping. And it’s there, but this is info-dumping done RIGHT. There are full explanations, it’s told to us through conversations with questions and answers from characters, through different points of view from different characters. At first, it feels as if this is more than one story, and it is as we’re getting the different viewpoints. Unlike some other novels I have read that have shifting points of view, these transitioned seamlessly as a part of the storyline. Warren and Matthew are detectives in Chicago’s S.U.I.T. division (Supernatural Unit Investigative Team).
Vampires and shifters have been “outed” to the human population, and S.U.I.T. was the government answer to keeping everyone under control as much as they are able. Warren Davis is a natural-born werewolf. His partner, Matthew Eric, knows he is a werewolf, but it’s a secret they keep. While vamps and shifters are out, it’s not necessarily accepted. This bothers me (not the book or the plot line, but the human behavior). Simmons nails it: humans would not be able to tolerate the “difference” and therefore vampires/shifters/others are not granted full human benefits, especially when it comes to breaking the law. Humans trying to keep up with the supernatural have come up with their own defenses for law enforcement to use against misbehaving supernaturals: UV gel bullets, silver nitrate bullets, exploding bullets, and a pretty cool car that turns into a sunshine oven if they have an unruly vamp in the back seat. O.O
So, you meet the two detectives as they’re called in for a gruesome case. Through meeting them, you get the story behind Warren’s pack and Alpha, Xander. Next, we meet Natasha Hemingway, and her roommate Annette Balfour. Annette is a stripper at the vampire owned DESIRES UNLEASHED and Natasha is job hunting. I wasn’t sure I was going to like Natasha. The description of her is of a sweet , caring woman who was taught to try and help others when she can, but then she’s incredibly prejudiced against supernaturals, even referring to them as “scum.” So much for that bleeding heart? Luckily, she redeems herself in my eyes through the book.
I really liked the interactions and repartee of the characters, especially Natasha who seems to say exactly what is on her mind. You’ll like it, too. Simmons nails that friendly banter you have with your best friend and the joking that comes smoothly only after years of friendship.
The connection of Annette & Natasha to DESIRES UNLEASHED leads us to the introduction of the vampires: Darian & Xavier. Despite Natasha’s discomfort and desire to avoid the supernatural, it turns out she just can’t. After an accident lands her and Annette in the hospital, a visit from Annette’s boss, Xavier, brings Natasha onto his radar, and therefore onto Darian’s. Natasha learns that the medication she has been taking for over 20 years isn’t for migraines as she believed, but rather to suppress dreams. Those dreams lead her to call the police about the murders in the city, and she is connected to Warren Davis. And TAHDAH there are your connections from character to character.
So now that we have the basic plot and all the characters, what did I think? (You know I’m not giving you more information on the plot: I don’t do the whole spoiler thing! You’re just gonna have to read to find out what happens!) I think this book is a must-read for the paranormal + crime/detective + erotic sex scene loving reader.
Paranormal: you got vampires, shifters (so far wolves and leopards), and psychics/visionaries (Natasha).
Crime/detective: there are murders to be solved and the detectives are hunky, intelligent, and NON-CONDESCENDING. Seriously, I hate when someone goes in and the detectives treat them like they’re crazy. I really liked how Warren & Matthew took Natasha seriously from the get-go, without having a long period of time where she HAS to convince them.
The Sex: What’s great about the sex in this book is that it doesn’t take over the whole novel; instead it works seamlessly into the plot, demonstrating the emotions of the characters, while giving you the reader a little thrilling voyeurism. There is M/M sex, M/F sex, and discussions of future trios (M/F/M).
I liked the references to pop culture, our history, etc., that are ours but not ours. Al Cantone instead of Al Capone, Dave Lapelle Show instead of the Dave Chapelle Show, Solex watch instead of a Rolex, etc. Often, little twists like that can go awry, but here it made me view this world as …a parallel dimension to ours. It’s our world, but it’s not our world. Really well done.
Can I be done talking now about this book? Because you see…you’re kinda holding me up for the next one. *winks at you* Come back tomorrow to check out my review of the second book in the KNIGHTS OF THE DARKNESS CHRONICLES, The Guilty Innocent.
a Rafflecopter giveaway