Part of a blog tour. Steamy, gritty, urban paranormal with smokin' hot characters. Review to come! This series is HEATING UP. Sadly, this one starts with the murder of Tasha’s best friend and roommate, Annette. Her body is found in the trunk of Darian’s car, framing him for the murder. Tasha, Xavier, Warren, Matthew, Elise, Sergio, and their supernatural allies together have only 7 days to prove his innocence before Darian will be executed per law. (Supernaturals are not privy to the same rights as humans, even though humans can be more monstrous. :( )Now that we have all the players from book one and their backgrounds, there is much more action in this book. I think many would call this world hedonistic, and it is. I mean…if you have lived for hundreds of years, wouldn’t you revel in pleasures as you can take them, too? I’m already hoping that something happens to Tasha to make her live a longer/immortal life. Human lives are just too short. She nearly died in the first book while helping out on an investigation! In this book, she is in harm’s way lots of times, but so is everybody else. Back to the hedonism: this book is a guilty pleasure filled with Tasha’s curiosity, her honest questions, her blatant interest in how sexual a vampire’s kiss can be, etc. It’s very human in that it’s so focused on sex: so many humans are focused on sex. Now here’s the strange part: despite many scenes of sexual nature, it does NOT take over the book. Once again, it’s seamlessly woven in so that it isn’t the main focal point. The main point is tracking down the bastards who are framing Darian. And it gets worse…shifters are turning on their own kind all for the sake of…Ah. No spoilers for you. Natasha and Xavier’s relationship develops further, and her experiences in Russia seem to help her open up to other possibilities. I’m enjoying reading and seeing these developments. Favorite passages from this book: “In reality, there was no more danger from shape-shifter children than there was from other, fully human children. I thought it would be good for the schools to be integrated. It would allow the human and shape-shifter children to interact with each other. Kids weren’t born with prejudices; they were learned from their parents. If you enlightened both the children and their parents, then the world would grow to be a better place.” Pg 9 Didn’t I say how I felt it was disgusting how quickly humans slam others and one another into second-class citizenship roles? “Being five-feet-two has its disadvantages as well as its perks. I’ve never had to reach for high things. I just looked for a tall person then acted helpless; it never failed.” Pg 71 I liked this one because this is my mom (she’s Korean and 4’10”. She has perfected the “look helpless” way of getting people to do things for her)“Well, I hold the act of making love in high regards. I don’t think you should just screw anybody just because you’re hot for them. People should treat themselves with more respect than that, especially women. I know some people may call me a prude, but that’s how I feel about it. A lot of heartache in this world is due to people giving themselves away far too easily. …people put so much emphasis on sex, like it’s the end of the world if they don’t get any. And it’s the actions of the irresponsible people engaging in these shallow sex acts that cause so much trouble. The vast spread of AIDS, herpes, and other STDs, not to mention unwanted pregnancies and abortions, can be contributed [sic] to some people who just wanted to have sex simply to have sex. People kill people over sex, people betray others over sex, and it’s ugly.” Pg 170-171 I couldn’t agree more. In my opinion, this is why people break up so often, why there’s so much divorce, disease, and that feeling of unfulfillment no matter what. There’s no connection. It’s just fucking. Well, I’ll let you read. I gotta get onto book 3, THE ROYAL FLUSH.