13 January 2011

Lynn Viehl: Dark Need

Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Series and no.: Darkyn, # 3
Year of publication: 2006
Setting & time: Miami, Florida, USA; contemporary

Homicide detective Samantha Brown is a dedicated police officer living with the memory of a shooting that nearly killed her and is plagued by the fear that the colleague who was stalking her, and who she is certain was behind the shooting, will come back to finish the job. She meets the mysterious Lucan when the only clue to a horrific murder is a replica of a medieval cross bearing his name. Lucan, once a powerful Darkyn assassin and now a nightclub owner in Miami, is immediately attracted to Samantha, but he has a job to do and can’t allow himself to love her. Additionally there is a mutated, insane Kyn on the prowl and the religious fanatics who pose a threat to the Kyn are nearby and preparing to attack.

Lucan was a minor villain in the first book, If Angels Burn. He has a powerful talent: he can kill any living being with a touch, and when he loses his temper, glass cracks and breaks all around him, making him a very popular client with local glaziers and glass manufacturers. Having been dreaded and even hated by humans and other Kyn alike, Lucan doesn't like anyone getting close to him but uses human women for sexual relief. Samantha, however, awakens in him feeling he thought long dead, to begin with because she is the spitting image of a woman he once loved, but later he learns she is a totally different character and begins to love and respect her for those qualities rather than the resemblance to his long dead love. Samantha has trust issues, yet almost immediately trusts Lucan and even when he has betrayed that trust she still trusts him because she loves him, apparently because he is such a wonderful lover. This does not feel right. It seems as if one hit to the libido is enough to make the woman forget everything she believes in and cure her of a long-held anxiety problem.

For these reasons and others I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous two. This story is less focused and the plotting is somewhat disjointed and confusing, and it is saying a lot about a book when a side character (Sam's young neighbour) is more interesting than the protagonists. Therefore I can only give it 2 stars.

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