Monday, 3 September 2012

Beneath a Rising Moon by Keri Arthur

Beneath a Rising Moon by Keri Arthur is a werewolf-heavy paranormal romance. A copy of the book was provided to me by the US publisher for review purposes. I believe it was first published in 2008 (UK/Aus) and the edition I read was a US re-release.
This is the second book of Keri Arthur’s I’ve read, the first being Full Moon Rising, the first Riley Jensen Guardian book. Because I can’t help comparing, I’ll say I enjoyed Riley Jensen more, partly because she kicked more arse, partly because Full Moon Rising was set in Melbourne and partly for reasons I’ll get to shortly.

Beneath a Rising Moon follows Neva and Duncan as they investigate a series of murders in a small werewolf town in the vicinity of Aspen, and discover that they are soul mates.

Neva’s twin sister — to whom she is psychically linked — is head ranger and was attacked by the murderer but survived. While she’s in hospital, Neva decides to do some investigating of her own. As the full moon approaches, she goes to the Sinclair Mansion, renowned for its debauchery, and seduces the one Sinclair she knows can’t be the murderer, Duncan.

Duncan, meanwhile, has returned to Ripple Creek to investigate the murders that are somehow linked to his family (the dead girls were all sexual partners of his brothers). He quickly becomes suspicious of Neva’s motives in approaching him, believing her to be somehow linked with the murderer. So he decides to be an arsehole to her to get her to admit her motivations.

That was the point where the book lost a bit of appeal for me. While I understood what Duncan was trying to do, some of the ensuing sex scenes were a bit rapey (yes, I mean forcing her to have sex with him when she doesn’t want to and also while she’s asleep) and rather put me off. Then later, when everyone works out what’s going on, Duncan feels bad and tries to make amends but at no point does he sit down and apologise and explain to Neva. That she got over it anyway made me like her less as a character, although in general she was pretty good. Apparently they were destined to be together, but I would have liked to have more time spent on them overcoming their issues as a couple rather than just their personal issues (which were also plentiful).

Overall, Beneath a Rising Moon was well written and full of steamy sex scenes (except for those discussed above). If you enjoy paranormal romance and don’t think my qualms above would bother you, then give Beneath a Rising Moon a shot. Personally, I think other Keri Arthur books might be more my thing.

3.5 / 5 stars

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