Half human, half daemon, Ryan Doyle is a driving force for justice. As an agent for the Preternatural Enforcement Coalition, he’s investigating murders linked to a Los Angeles fringe group bent on exposing the shadow world to humanity. He is a master of self-control, keeping his deepest hungers hidden beneath a veneer of cool professionalism. Until he crosses paths with sinfully sweet Andy Tarrent, a gutsy reporter who makes him crave all the pleasures he’s denied himself for centuries.
Tracking a band of conspiracy theorists eager to spill blood, Andy has uncovered the story of her career. Brooding, mysterious Ryan is an enigma—but their dance of seduction is hotter than any fantasy. As they race to stop mass murder on the streets, Andy knows that Ryan is holding back, keeping secrets. But getting close to Ryan means opening the door to a world that will challenge her deepest beliefs—including what it means to truly surrender to love.
“J. K. Beck’s new vampire series is exiting, fast-paced dangerous and romantic but not enough to keep you hanging and waiting for the next book to come out!”
Book six in The Shadow Keepers romantic urban fantasy series When Temptation Burns begins with the opening sequence of three humans stalking a werewolf and never slows down until the final confrontation. I really think this is the best installment in this series till now and that says a lot for the rest of the series. J.K. Beck writing is easy and sets a realistic setting for this fast-paced read. I liked both main characters, Andy and Doyle. But I’m still missing that something extra that pulls you in to a book. The hot romance between Andy and Doyle only makes the story a little better for me to finish the book. Although it is a nice read it’s not fantastic! But I do hope that When Temptation Burns is not the last book in The Shadow Keepers series and it will continue to be become better so we can ad another star next time
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“Your turn, Kevin!” Stu yelled, rubbing his fist, his knuck
les red from having just pounded the shit out of Jordan Lowe’s nose and jaw. “Go for the nose. Come on, Kev, nail the fucker!”
Kevin Whalton cringed; Stu’s shouts were making him even more nervous than he already was. He glanced around the darkened alley, half-hoping there’d be someone else in the shadows behind the locked-up laundromat. Nobody.
“Fucking hell, Kevin. Now.”
He jumped, scared as a rabbit, but he did what his friend demanded. He tightened his fingers into a fist, lashed out, and watched as his knuckles smashed into their victim’s nose.
No—not a victim. He had to remember that. Had to remember who was the dangerous one here. Because if everything Wes and Stu had told him was true, Jordan Lowe could never be a victim.
With a snap, Jordan’s head slammed back, making a sick crunching sound as it impacted the brick wall. He howled—literally howled. A low, pained keening that bounced off the wall and filled the dark space around them.
Kevin glanced back at Stu, who was miming punching movements and shouting, “Hell, yeah! That’s the way! Get in another—come on, man, show the freak what you’ve got.”
Wes stood a couple of yards from Jordan, his mouth pulled into a tight smile. “You fucked with the wrong people, puppy dog. We know what you are, and we are so going to take you down.” He swiveled his head to look at Kevin. “Another. Get in another.”
Kevin hesitated, a little sick to his stomach. Less than an hour before, they’d all been having drinks at a bar a few blocks down. Everything had seemed perfectly normal then. Hell, Wes and Stu actually knew Jordan pretty well; they’d been hanging with him for weeks. But tonight they’d pulled Kevin aside to tell him that they didn’t trust Jordan. That they were certain he was a mole. And that Kevin was going to want to see the shit that went down.
Then they’d put something in the guy’s drink. And when Kevin had asked Stu why, Stu had just grinned and said that if they didn’t dose his drink, Jordan would be able to rip all their fucking heads off.
At the time, Kevin had believed it, because why the hell would Stu lie about what Jordan was? About what he could do?
Now, though . . .
Well, now Jordan looked whipped. Like he couldn’t beat up a six-year-old girl, much less three college sophomores.
“Goddammit, Kevin. Are you a fucking pussy or what? Hit the mongrel bastard! Hit him!”
“Do it!” Wes added, and their voices bolstered him. Made his muscles tighten and his pulse quicken. “Goddammit, do it now—do it and I swear to God the unholy fuckwad will show you that everything we’ve told you is true!”
That did it. Kevin lashed out, his right fist connecting hard with Jordan’s temple even as his left jabbed into the kid’s gut. Jordan went down, doubling over as he clutched at his stomach. Then he looked up, and Kevin stumbled backward.
Holy fuck—Jordan’s eyes were yellow.
Yellow and wild and full of hate and anger.
Kevin shivered, not sure what he was seeing. Not sure what to believe. He’d gotten in with Wes and Stu and the rest of them because they’d told him what was out there—and that they needed his help to stop it. To stop them. But until tonight it had all been theory and conjecture and folks making speeches about what they knew and what they believed. Until tonight Kevin had never actually seen one of them. Hell, he hadn’t even been sure if he believed in monsters or if he just wanted to get on Wes and Stu’s good side.
But he believed now. Fuck, yeah, he did.
“Don’t fight it, pup,” Wes said, giving Jordan a kick. “We wanna see. Don’t we Stu? Don’t we Kevin?”
“Shit, yeah,” Stu said, bouncing like a boxer itching for a fight. He pulled out a knife, the blade glinting in the dim light from the alley’s streetlamps. “Scared, fucker? It’s pure silver. That’s gonna hurt.” He lunged forward, the blade aimed at Jordan’s stomach, but at the last second, Jordan thrust his arm up, moving fast considering how battered he was, and knocked the knife to the ground.
Quicker than Kevin could see, Jordan had Stu pinned on the ground. “Think you’re clever?” he rasped, his body bent over Stu’s. “How clever will you be when I rip your head off with my goddamned teeth?”
Jordan’s skin started to ripple, and Kevin could see his bones shifting beneath his skin. A loud roaring filled Kevin’s head, and his knees started to give out—fuckin’ A, he was about to faint.
Wes’s voice pulled him back, and he blinked, groggy.
“Get Stu’s knife, man! Now!” As Wes spoke, he was lunging toward Jordan with his own knife out. Kevin couldn’t move; he couldn’t do anything but stare at the creature in front of him. Holy shit; they’d told him what would happen, what the kid was. But telling and seeing were two different things. And seeing was fucking terrifying.
“Now, goddammit, or Stu’s dead!”
Jordan was clutching Stu’s head in his hand, and he slammed it against the asphalt with a sickening thud. The noise spurred Kevin to action, and he darted sideways for Stu’s lost knife, then rushed forward, leading with the point of the blade. He felt the resistance as the tip hit Jordan’s skin, then the give as it slid into the muscle, the full force of Kevin’s weight pushing it right to the hilt, right to the bone.
On the other side of the creature, Wes was jabbing, too, his mouth moving, his words a mishmash of unintelligible curses with only a few words like silver and fucking and werewolf coming out clear.
Another roar echoed—only this one wasn’t inside of Kevin’s head. It was coming from Jordan, who’d reared back, arms flailing as he knocked aside their knives and climbed to his feet. Kevin braced himself, certain he would need to do battle with this, this thing. But then Jordan turned and loped off down the alley, leaving Stu curled up in a ball and moaning on the pavement.
“Catch him!” Wes cried, pulling out a gun and firing it so close to Kevin’s head that for a moment he thought he was deaf. He wasn’t, though, and Wes’s shouts pushed through the cotton that now seemed to fill his ears.
“Goddammit, I missed the fucker! Catch him! Run! Shit, we have to catch him. If he gets away, we’re dead. We’re totally fucking dead.”
He was dead.
No other possible outcome. No other way for this to end.
He’d been stupid. Lazy and reckless, and somehow they’d found him out.
And now he was dead, or he would be soon enough.
Except he couldn’t die—not like this. Not without letting someone know how bad it was. How close they were. And how dangerous.
His legs pumped as he moved down the alley, the weakness unfamiliar after so many years of pure, glorious strength. He’d known about the dangers of silver, of course. What werewolf didn’t? But he’d been arrogant and foolish enough to believe they’d never get him with it. To believe they’d never find out about him. That he’d be smart. That he’d be safe.
He’d been an idiot, and soon he’d be a dead one.
Not once in his wildest dreams had he imagined that they would lace his drink with colloidal silver. But they had, and he’d drunk it down, and it had ripped his advantage away from him right then and there, weakening his muscles and making his mind fuzzy and confused.
Once he figured out what they had done to him, he managed to get away, pushing through the thick Friday night crowd to the kitchen, then out the back door through the alley. He’d run aimlessly in the dark, just wanting to put distance between him and his tormentors. He’d thought he’d lost them, had even leaned against a Dumpster to take a deep, self-satisfied breath.
And then they’d arrived with their taunts and their jeers and, most dangerous of all, their knives forged of silver.
He’d fought, but he’d been weak. Extraordinarily weak. That he’d managed to get away at all was a miracle. That they were following was a curse.
Right now he had only one thing to be thankful for—that Wes’s silver bullet had only nicked his heart. If it had pierced it, he’d already be dead, and all his warnings would be lost.
They still might be if he didn’t hurry. But he was weak. So damn weak.
He heard the footsteps pounding behind him and realized that he’d slowed his pace. Go. He had to get somewhere safe. Had to find a shadower.
For three months, he’d been deep undercover, trying to find out what the humans were up to. About four weeks ago, he’d managed to wrangle an introduction to Wes, and that had gotten him closer, because the frat boy human was poised to go far within the organization.
Jordan had spent this last month watching and learning and trying to get closer. Close enough to gain trust, to learn what they were up to. The humans who wanted him—and all the shadowers—dead and gone. If he couldn’t tell someone, then all that time would be for nothing, and he couldn’t let it be for nothing. Because then . . . because then . . .
His head was fuzzy, his thoughts crashing into each other. The silver.
Had to hurry. Had to move.
With concentration like he’d n…