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REVIEW

"an immensely gritty, lustful and passionate story"

From the first scene that takes place in the late eighties when NYPD police officer Ray Watts is summoned to Chinatown to retrieve juvenile delinquent, Japanese-American Daisuke Matsui, who has gotten himself into yet another altercation, Dark Whispers establishes itself as an intense and fast-paced story promising just as intense and sensitive interpersonal relationships that it certainly delivers.

Cut to present day and Dai has carved out a successful career as an NYPD Detective working in the gang unit, redeeming his painful distant past when poverty and domestic and street violence were the orders of the day before Watts rescued him and his abused mother and little brother Wei, from a fate worse than death or prison.

Though Dai has come a long way from this hopeless time in his life, he is still hounded by guilt at the death of his first mentor and the feeling that he has failed his brother. Wei is entrenched in some dangerous and illegal action in Chinatown's underworld, despite all Dai's best efforts to make sure his brother doesn't follow the same path Dai was heading down a decade previous.

Enter the dark and mysterious Sakurai who finds Dai's passions and attachments strangely alluring and powerful despite Dai's being mortal. You see, Sakurai is a centuries-old chaing shih, a vampire, and he doesn't do mortals, not for more than the time it takes him to garner sustenance from their blood and be done with them. There is something, however, about Dai's fervor for life, but especially his fervor on the job, that keeps Sakurai coming back for more, slipping into Dai's dreams and bonding with the human against all reason.

There is a violent push-pull, pain-pleasure dynamic between Dai and Sakurai from their first meeting. Dai is in denial of the vampire's very existence, but more he fears the kinky desires that Sakurai elicits whenever he is near and even when he's not; fears the depths to which he will sink to fulfill his dark desires and needs.

Dai's aversion to the ancient being is further exacerbated when he discovers that Sakurai's enemies are courting Wei. Soon both brothers are caught up in a treacherous sting operation that threatens not only Dai's career when he is faced with the evidence of his same-sex escapades on tape, but one that threatens the brothers' very lives when Dai learns of the vampire gang's mutinous and murderous activities.

When tragedy strikes close to his home and heart, Sakurai is forced to shed the cold unfeeling world in which he has insulated himself for the last four-hundred years, despite his own personal code of not getting involved with humans and their affairs and against all of Dai's protests; his emotions have been engaged and nothing can prevent him from helping Dai with his grief and quest for revenge. But is Dai willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to get retribution?

Sheridan and Cain have penned an immensely gritty, lustful and passionate story of betrayal, loyalty and lost innocence that leaves nothing to the imagination where sex and violence are concerned and is definitely not for the weak or squeamish. The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns and ripe with the possibility of a continuing series or at least another book (this reader can only hope ). The narrative is tightly-woven and smooth and the main and secondary characters are engaging and well-drawn. Dai and Sakurai especially are colorful and have incendiary chemistry. Their encounters are at once brutal and erotically sensual; their repartee is fresh, sharp and realistic.

I look forward to reading more of this duo's work and highly recommend Dark Whispers, particularly for fans of man-love stories and dark romance liberally spiced with action and suspense, and driven by complex, rich characters for which the reader can boo, cheer or cry. Excellent reading!

Reviewed by Gracie McKeever
Posted April 19, 2008

SUMMARY

Mired in centuries-old customs and rigid traditions carried over from their mortal lives, the chaing-shih elders of New Yorkís Chinatown donít quite know how to deal with the upstart Russian vampire, Mistress Viktoria. With their existence in danger, the Elders call upon an ancient blood tie and summon the aid of their kinsman, Liu Sakurai.

Though he appears to the world as a sensual young man in his mid-twenties, Sakurai is one of the oldest and most powerful chaing-shih to walk the Earth. He sees humans as not much more than weak playthings and food, and no one is more surprised than Sakurai himself when NYPD Detective Daisuke Matsui manages to capture his attention. Dai is a strong one, full of an inner fire and unusual sexual appetites that Sakurai cannot resist.

In the mysterious and arrogant vampire, Dai finds the type of person he's been longing for his entire life--someone with a strength of will and determination that matches his own, and a skill to dominate him in ways that make him burn. While trying to unwind the ties his half-brother has to Chinatownís underworld, Dai is confronted by creatures and events he thought only existed in the legends and stories told by old men. His life is on the line, along with everything he holds dear, but Sakuraiís dark whispers promise a passion Dai is powerless to resist.

Genre: Paranormal
Length: Novel

Special Content Alert: Male/Male, Non-consent/reluctance, graphic violence

Buy From Publisher

 

Dark Whispers
by Barbara Sheridan, Anne Cain

Noble Romance Publishing
April 1, 2008
Available: April 1, 2008
ISBN #1605920010
EAN #9781605920016
e-Book
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Other Books by
Barbara Sheridan

Lost Souls
Alliances
The Dragon's Disciple
Parallel Process
Sweet Medicine
Silk and Poison
Soul of the Night
Under a Silver Moon
I Do
Orange Moon
Soul of the Night
Winter Song
Bittersweet Surrender
Timeless Wish
The Dragon's Disciple
Blood Brothers
Silver Rain


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