Eventide (Dark Ink Chronicles #3) by Elle Jasper
Urban fantasy*Paperback, 1st Edition, & e-book, 336 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Signet
Newly-bitten tattoo artist Riley Poe feels herself changing in unimaginable ways. Eli Dupre, her vampire lover, has seen the change in her and fears for her humanity. His rival, Victorian, tells her she must see the patriarch of the vampire cult that attacked her to save her soul. In the vampire cult's fortress in Romania, Riley will face her worst fears-and the dark powers threatening to destroy her. And she'll have to do the one thing she's been determined not to do—put her trust in Eli.
I enjoy tough, gutsy, kickass females in urban fantasy and that's why I enjoy reading about Riley Poe. Smart-mouthed, fierce, independent and loyal, she's a tattoo artist with a heart of gold and some mean hooks. In the third book, Eventide, she's struggling with the strigoi blood of the Arcos brothers now inside her own body, influencing her--and to her horror and those who love her--changing her.
Good guy Victorian Arcos merely wants to help Riley so he abducts her with the intention of taking her to his father Julian's castle in Romania. The eldest Arcos has the means to help Riley handle this transition and deal with the bad seed of the Arcos tribe, Valerian, the other strigoi responsible for infecting many of the residents of New Orleans with his blood so he can create his own mob of newlings. In true he-man fashion, Eli Dupre rescues Riley from Victorian.
I can't help liking both of these vampire guys. Victorian is the regal, soft-spoken, gentleman type while Eli, motorcycle-driving, smoking hot, is highly possessive of his soulmate, Riley, and either man can't help their feelings for her. Eli can't stand that she has an unexplainable fondness for Victorian and this time we see Eli actually accept Riley's feelings for his competition. Meanwhile, Victorian waits patiently, the quiet one in the corner, watching, observant and speaking to Riley through the telepathic bond they share. Both men only want what's best for her and I enjoyed watching them work together to ensure Riley doesn't succumb to the trappings of Valerian's power over her.
I would like to thank Elle Jasper here for creating Riley and gang. In Eventide I truly get a sense of who she is, what she wants and where she is going. We spend a good amount of time in her head and as a character I respect her. Her relationship with Eli grows even more intense and their reunion scene in Romania was not only hot but incredibly tender. Riley and Eli are a couple to adore.
The author has created a 'family' of characters from Riley's extended Gullah folks to the Dupre family, her brother Seth and best friend Nyx. I welcomed seeing all of them again. While I found the latest situations with Riley (as usual) interesting and entertaining, there were parts where her grappling with her inner turmoil or battling vampires seemed redundant. But....then the story took a different spin, went in a different direction, and introduced a whole slew of new characters. Is this the end of lifelong New Orleans resident Riley Poe, tattoo artist and owner of Inksomnia? It's obvious she will be joining the supernatural-filled organization of fighters, WUP, since she is now this weirdly powerful human hybrid with vampire/strigoi blood, power and tendencies, plus this group personally recruited her.
The story spent a lot of time with Riley's change and Valerian's plan to have her join him and by the time the big showdown between the two of them happened, it was over too quickly and I was left puzzling over why the info about her mother's death still seemed unanswered.
I've invested my time and loyalty in this tough chick and her group and I'll be looking forward to reading more of her adventures with Eli, Seth and the WUP group in book four of the Dark Ink Chronicles, Black Fallen.
Favorite excerpt: "He retrieves a large quilt thrown over the back of a sofa, and he lays it on the floor in front of the fire. Kneeling there, he grabs a poker and stokes the embers, adds a log until the flame grows. I stand silently, watching the play of light lick his face, his jaw, and throw his eyes in shadow. To me he is the most breathtaking soul I've ever laid eyes on. Then Eli rises and turns. His eyes lock on to mine. We say nothing. Only stare.
Everything freezes in that moment as Eli stands, staring, the light from the fire glinting off his hungry eyes. Ancient eyes that know secrets, have powers, have seen so many things. He could have anything and anyone in the world that he wanted. A rich, high society, untarnished young woman, maybe.
Yet, he chooses to be here, with me. With me and all of my tarnishes."
Cover comment: Fits in perfectly with the first two covers of this series featuring different poses of Riley and a new setting.
Book source: Purchased.