Dark Time by Dakota Banks

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Little RED Riding Hood grows up

Posted by SDS Monday, February 23, 2009

Red (Mass Market Paperback)
by Jordan Summers

Release Date: Nov 4 2008

ISBN: 978-0765359148

Gina Santiago is a member of an elite tactical team in charge of protecting the world. She’s devoted her life to apprehending the most heinous criminals that prey on society—and now she’s after the worst one yet.
On her own, with no backup, the trail takes her to a dusty, tight-knit town on the fringes of society, where everyone’s a suspect. Even the sexy sheriff, Morgan Hunter, isn’t telling her everything. Gina knows he’s trouble, but she’s inexorably drawn to him.
The closer Gina comes to finding out the secret of this sleepy little town and its big bad sheriff; the closer she comes to catching the predator, the more scared she gets—because she’s beginning to realize that she has a secret too. A secret that will change Gina’s life… and make her the killer’s prey.

I like the cover of this book.  It grabbed my eye when I saw it on a website. 
What does the cover tell us?  A tough woman dressed in black with a gun and some cool boots;  a wolf howling on an open plain; a bare-chested, muscular guy in the silhouette of a moon.  The word Red splash across the page like blood splatter. The wolf and the hunky guy scream "Werewolf" and the woman's stance indicates a strong protagonist.

I liked this book with the opening line of the story: "Not many people can handle the pain of being ripped apart, of having your limbs twisted and morphed until you are convinced your mind will shatter into a thousand tiny shards. "

RED is a Science Fiction, Action Adventure, Paranormal Romance.  It's got a little of everything. 

Author Jordan Summers introduces us to Gina Santiago, A.K.A. Red, a highly trained member of  the International Police Tactical Team (IPTT) where she wakes up in bed  wearing her mud covered combat boots, tatter, blood splattered T-Shirt and mysterious scratches and cuts covering her flesh.   And this is Chapter Two after we spend Chapter One in the mind of a psychopathic killer as he hunts and kills a young woman.   This is a reader catching start.

The story takes place in a post apocalyptic world, where there is no United States, instead there are Republics fenced in against no man’s land where Unknowns and the fable Others reign.  The citizens of the Republics are all micro-chipped to identify the republic they belong to and the Unknowns are hunted down by the IPTT as hostiles.  The Others are unconfirmed former genetically altered soldiers that most believe do not exist.

Red is considered an outsider by the other members of her team.  In fact her whole life she has felt as if she were an outsider.  Raised by her Grandfather, who is also her boss, she has heightened senses that her Team leader, Bannon, dismisses.  In fact Bannon thinks she is just plain nuts and gives her a hard time and degrades her at every turn.  Finding the mutilated body of a young woman, who Red believes was murdered - a theory that her Tactical Team members do not prescribe to - Red sets out on her own to find the killer and get justice for this woman and her family.  

This takes her to a small bordertown called Nuria where she meets a handsome, former soldier, Morgan Hunter, now the town sheriff.  There is an instant attraction and sexual tension between the two characters but thankfully they don’t jump into bed from the start.  Author Jordan Summers arcs the romance between Red and Morgan throughout the story with conflict and deception.   Morgan even takes in a little voyeurism of Red while she is having a private moment Where she ends up crying out his name. *ahem*

It is clear that Morgan wants Red to be his mate.  Morgan is the town alpha but he knows that he must wait for Red to decided to want him.  He knows her even if she doesn’t know herself.  Red is confused by her attraction to him and her feelings that seem to come from someplace inside her that she has never touched upon before. 

When they do get together – graphic fireworks! *wheeee*

There are ensuing chapters, from the killer’s point of view as he hunts and kills and then gets fixated on Red, that keep the story from becoming just another paranormal romance. 

Morgan wanting to protect Red but needing to protect his town, works behind her back  to try and  discover the killer’s identity before she does.  Red’s confusion and mistrust sends her running from Morgan, just as her need to find this killer pulls her back.  Summers cleverly intertwines the children’ s Little Red Riding Hood fable into the storyline in a way that adds flavor to the plot.

Secondary characters that add to the story are a corrupt politician who has his own dangerous, hidden agenda that could adversely affect Nuria  and its citizens.  And the mysterious Raphael Vega who adds an interesting twist to the story.  He is sure to be in the follow up books of this series. And we can’t forget Rita, the navcom, mobile A.I. unit, Red wears on her wrist.  Rita adds humorous dialogue that embarrasses Red more than once.

I figured out who the serial killer was before it was revealed and most readers will but the ride to get there is a entertaining trip.  This book offers great characters, a great story and a really fun read. 

 RED is the first book in the Dead World Trilogy. 

Mirrored at Deven's Book Journal

Book Two, SCARLET is
scheduled for release on
June 1, 2009. 

Book Three, CRIMSON is scheduled for release on November 1, 2009. 


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