Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dark Dealings

Title: Dark Dealings
Author: Kim Knox
Publication Date: November 26, 2012

Received from Carina Press via NetGalley

Description from NetGalley:

There are monsters in the city. And one of them is her…
Ava Kalle's empty soul devours magic. And her hunger is deadly. She's sharp, quick and can live in shadow, making her work as a spy for the Mages a natural choice. She lives on the fringes of society and likes it that way.
When the man she loves takes another woman for his mate, the darkness in her heart unravels and she'll do anything to get him back. She makes a dangerous deal with a fire elemental, Heyerdar, who has a vested interest in agreeing: together they'll use forbidden magic, harnessing their sexual energy to drive the couple apart.
But soon their pact pushes them both into a dark sexual obsession. One that Ava may not be able to control…

This book caught my attention with the blurb. It sounded pretty interesting and I hadn’t read much paranormal lately, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’m so glad I did! This book had everything I could want...great world building, well drawn characters, suspense, sharp banter between the main characters, and strong sexual tension with a fantastic payoff!

The world includes magic, elementals, mages, thieves, civil servants, and humans. Mages are not fond of thieves and since thieves can eat you until there’s nothing left but your husk, this is understandable. The city is ruled by the Emperor. The Emperor has a Right Hand, Highest Mage Reist, and a Left Hand, Heyerdar the elemental. Thieves are feared, obviously, so the mages ward against thieves being able to enter the city but somehow one was dropped on the doorstep of The Institute, where the mages live.

This thief, Ava, has grown into a woman while living in the Institute and working for Reist. She fancies herself in love with him and is thrown off-balance when Reist begins a serious relationship with a new lover.

To complicate matters, she’s “lent” to the Left Hand to assist in an investigation of a string of deaths at the hands of thieves. And since she struck a deal with the Heyerdar to assist in some sex magic meant to break of Reist and his new lover, lots of tension flows.

To further complicate matters, since Ava was a virgin when she and Heyerdar execute their deal, she now has a connection to Heyerdar that enables him to turn her into a quivering mass of need at the smallest touch. Yeah, it’s that good...

I really liked the main characters of Ava and Heyerdar, and to a lesser degree, Reist. I truly enjoyed the banter and tension between Ava and Heyerdar as their feelings for one another developed. It was interesting to see how Ava she realized what she thought she wanted wasn’t what she wanted or needed. Not that I didn’t like Reist but there was just something about Heyerdar...he definitely had that alpha male draw going for him. =)

And the mystery kept me guessing. I didn’t see the twists and turns coming. I thought I’d figured it out but then the author threw me a curve ball. The author did a fine job of incorporating the investigative element (crime scenes and interrogations) in with the love story.

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