"Death had come calling on a windblown wintry evening. It smashed past the deadbolts lining the front door, and grabbed the living with unparalleled glee, sucking the life from them until there was nothing left but husks. Then it tore the remains apart, as if determined to erase any evidence of humanity."
That certainly caught my attention and I was hooked. Circle of Death is the second book in Keri Arthur's Damask Circle series. If the book sounds familiar, it's because it was previously published in 2002. The series is being re-released with the third book Circle of Desire coming out in April. I'm glad that I had the chance to add a new paranormal romance series to my never-ending list of fun escape reads.
Circle of Death is set in present day Australia. It starts off with a horribly brutal murder and features some rather frightening and bloodthirsty shifter creatures called manerei. The manerei are after our heroine Kirby Brown as well as some of her friends from her days at an orphanage. The dapper Doyle Fitzgerald is dispatched by the Damask Circle to find and protect Kirby.
In the spirit of paranormal romance, Doyle is attracted quite early on to the lovely Kirby even though they need to stay a step ahead of the manerei and the power-hungry witch that hunts Kirby and the other girls. Doyle is an interesting character: a thief in his previous life, he has been with the Damask Circle for 12 years. Oh, and get this - he's a shifter, too. A black panther shifter - just awesome. Kirby suffers from trust issues and as more of her background is revealed, understandably so.
The romance in the story felt a little rushed. I can understand that being chased by things with sharp teeth and claws would heighten emotions, but I still felt that Doyle fell for Kirby a little bit too fast. Once these two finally get a chance to be together, they are hot!
I do like the originality of this series. The magic is intriguing and the variety of paranormal creatures keeps the series interesting. I love the idea of the Damask Circle, a group of paranormal creatures who police their own kind.
While Circle of Death did not wow me like the previous book, I am still going to continue reading the series. I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. Arthur's books in the future.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Bantam Books for a review copy of this book
Review posted on Badass Book Reviews. Check it out!