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Mortal Danger    by Eileen Wilks order for
Mortal Danger
by Eileen Wilks
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Former homicide detective Lily Yu has gone through life changing events over the last few months. Not only is she bonded for life to a werewolf prince, she's also become a member of the FBI's Magical Crime Division. Her current assignment is to find a missing magical staff with unknown powers. Lily had hoped for guidance from her grandmother, but the elderly woman's sudden decision to visit old acquaintances in China stymies that plan. When Rule offers his and his Clan's assistance, Lily agrees. But the charismatic cult leader who's stolen the staff has been making diabolical bargains of his own. And his first order of business is putting a stop to Lily and Rule's interference. Harlowe orchestrates a direct confrontation, using Lily's youngest sister as bait.

Once the magical dust settles, Harlowe is dead, the staff has vanished, Lily has been robbed of her soul, and Rule is presumed dead. The earthbound Lily and a member of Rule's Clan (who also happens to be a powerful sorcerer) are the only ones who believe that Rule might still be alive and trapped in a Hell dimension after he tried to thwart the kidnapping of Lily's hell bound half. The longer she and Rule remain trapped in Hell, the less likely it is that he'll ever be able to regain his human form - or that either the earthbound or hell bound Lily will survive.

Though a number of paranormal romance series were released in 2005, I would have to say that Eileen Wilks' contribution thus far ranks with the most promising. Her premise and world building are meticulous and very imaginative. Her equally thorough character building is centered on Rule and Lily, who are bound together for life, but have yet not been given much chance to learn about each other. Wilks makes getting to know them a real pleasure. A strong cast of secondaries and otherworldly creatures (including an amusing little demon) add even more depth to the story. Mortal Danger - filled with everything paranormal fans crave - is a stellar sequel to Tempting Danger.

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