Title: River Walk
Author: K. C. Kendricks
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: White Deer Enterprises
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Paranormal / Mystery
Length: 41,000 words
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Worrying times for Fallon and Sundown as a reality check intrudes on their wonderful and intriguing relationship.
Blurb: The sequel to Amber Allure’s Best Seller Beneath Dark Stars…
Detective Fallon Roxbury has a big problem. A twenty-year-old cold case turned hot threatens to expose his secret—shapeshifters exist and they’re living in Montgomery Circle under his protection. Between a new witness and a group of fanatical alien watchers, Fallon’s scrambling to uphold the law and keep his promises intact. He already knows no power on earth can keep his shapeshifter lover from stepping into the mix.
Sundown has come into his own with his human lover by his side. Fallon is his compass, and shield, as he seeks to keep his Clan united and teach them most humans can be trusted. A catalyst, Sundown is rare among his kind, a descendant of heroes. The status of his Clan rests on him and he’s determined to see his people prosper on this world owned by humans—without the humans knowing shapeshifters walk among them.
Secrets have a way of being exposed. Fallon’s not the only one who knows about Sundown’s kind. A cop used to right and wrong being black and white, Fallon struggles to learn shades of gray. Their relationship is tested as Fallon and Sundown race against the clock to find a kidnapped shapeshifter before the Clan takes matters into their own hands. Because if they fail, Fallon knows his lover will be forced to stand with his people and act against him.
This very appealing relationship between Fallon, a cynical detective and Sundown, a shape shifting alien with unexpected charm and a particular kind of animal magnetism began in The Back Stair and was further developed in Beneath Dark Stars. Both books have been reviewed on this site. River Walk could be read as a stand alone, but I feel you would be missing out on a lot of fun if you didn’t start at the beginning. I really enjoy these characters, they rise way above the novelty value of alien / human coupling and create real tenderness, intimacy, understanding and of course heat. When I read these words from the new book, I was immediately back in their company.
I took the metal steps two at a time all the way up to the fourth landing. The door opened and I stepped into Sundown’s gypsy room and breathed the mingled scents of sandalwood, patchouli and fresh brewed coffee. I cupped the back of his head with my hand and drew him to me for a quick kiss of greeting.
In this episode issues that have been touched upon in the previous stories push their way out into the open and cause problems for the easy continuation of the relationship. Fallon’s friendship and loyalty to his long term work partner Juny comes under stress.The secretive and protective elders of Sundown’s Clan are directly involved in a case that impacts on Juny, his brother and Fallon. I liked the way it became clear that there are no easy answers for Fallon and Sundown, their relationship is organic, a work in progress. While there is conflict between them it didn’t feel artificially created, but rather almost inevitable. Moreover the resolution also felt inevitable because of the strength of the tangible bond between them. I completely believe in their connection – no suspension of disbelief required here.
We learnt more about Sundown’s race, history and language including space wide translation of the word fuck. This all added nicely to the world building. However there is also the new knowledge that there is a possible future threat to humanity. Suddenly it felt like the local neighbourhood was being shoved out into a really large universe. I thought this rather chilling intimation of trouble ahead was a valid development as the overall atmosphere felt a little more sombre than the previous books. However to balance this, there were some good personal developments to be taken from all the action, and the cute scene with the youngling gave a rather sweet and hopeful end to the book. I am really looking forward to my next meeting with Fallon and Sundown.