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Jaid Black: One Dark Night

 

Crescent Blues Book Views Berkley Sensation (Paperback), ISBN 0-425-19526-0

Book: jaid black, One Dark Night
Dr. Nicole Adenike leads a busy, high-stress life as a Cleveland surgeon. But all the professional success can't mask her loneliness or fulfill her submission fantasies. She tentatively posts a personal ad on Dom4me.com, a site designed to pair up masters and submissives. After a month of exchanging e-mails with Richard, she agrees to meet face-to-face, only to nearly be abducted, raped, tortured and murdered by Lucifer, a serial killer with a grisly body count. Fortunately, the prophetic dreams of Nikki's best friend Kim help save her life.

Nikki's survival gives the police department new insight into Lucifer. Detective Thomas Cavanah nurtures his own obsession -- an obsessive desire to put Lucifer away for good. Thomas also finds himself attracted to Nikki. Subsequent e-mails from Lucifer convince Nikki (and everyone else) that he still plans to attack her, so Thomas hauls her off to Cincinnati to keep her safe. The attraction flares between Thomas and Nikki -- as part of the investigation, he read the steamy e-mails she exchanged with Lucifer, so he knows exactly how to please her.

Meanwhile, the news from Cleveland strikes the bleakest possible note. Everything points toward Lucifer being Thomas' partner, James. This betrayal hits hard because Lucifer also killed Thomas's daughter, Amy.

James soon ends up in jail. Thomas and Nikki head for home, the relationship between them awkward and tense. James breaks out of jail mere hours before the abduction of a senator, and Lucifer, still obsessed with the one who got away, takes Nikki as well. Thomas races to find her with help from another of Kim's dreams.

Jaid Black, the pen name of Ellora's Cave owner and founder Tina M. Engler, writes a compelling mystery/romance in this book. She tosses out enough false leads to keep Lucifer's identity a secret until almost the end of the book, though a few earlier plot twists can be spotted rather far off. Steamy sex and plenty of harrowing scares keep the pages turning quickly. Although heavy on the angst, Black fleshes out the characters and gives them plenty of depth. But the way Thomas immediately takes to being the master in his relationship with Nikki, as well as the speed with which she hops into bed after her near-abduction, seem just a bit too pat. All in all though, One Dark Night makes for a great read.

Jen Foote

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