Reviewed by: Margaret
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Jane and the boys at Yellowrock Securities are busy preparing for an upcoming visit from the European vampires when one of those things that she knew would come back to bite her does it in a big way. The ancient original vampire that Leo kept chained in his basement breaks out. While trying to stop his escape Jane suffers a magical injury and is unable to prevent his killing spree. Now Jane and her team are working with the police to stop him and the citywide anti-vampire movement he caused. She’ll need help from both the witches and vampires, who may not all be on her side.
This is one of those worlds that I feel happy to back in every time I pick up a new book in the series. It took me a few books to get to that point, but now I just feel comfortable there—like Jane and her crew are old friends. Dark Heir revisits several events from earlier in the series as Jane starts to understand the vampires’ political maneuvering and the implications of everything she’s seen. She regrets the “kill first and ask questions later” attitude she once had and wonders if she could have prevented anything by acting differently. Her new attitude is more mature in some ways, but I felt like she spent a lot of time beating herself up.
Jane is also maturing in her personal life. I really like the way her relationship with the Younger brothers is developing. She and Molly make some progress in repairing their friendship as well, though Molly’s struggles with dark magic make Jane reluctant to trust her completely. Even Jane’s relationship with Beast is changing. They’ve soul bonded and Jane now has a half-form so she doesn’t need to shift to Beast as often. In fact, there’s not a lot of interaction between Jane and Beast at all compared to previous books.
I realized while trying to organize my thoughts about Dark Heir that I love the men in this series. Well, except maybe Rick. And I’m not usually one of those people who gushes about book boyfriends. I love Eli (and his new leather pants) and he’s by Jane’s side throughout the book. And I love Edmond, the former clan master and current servant to Leo. Jane learns a little bit more about his situation and the two seem to genuinely like each other. I’m curious about how that relationship will develop and about his story. The B twins have always been favorites of mine. They haven’t been around much in the last few books, but they put in an appearance here. Even Leo is mostly likable in this book. However, the first half suffers from a serious lack of Bruiser. He almost makes up for it by the end though.
Despite all those positives, the book dragged a little for me. That might be because it doesn’t have a second villain. The secondary plot threads all involve research, politics and preparing for the Eurovamps, so there’s not a lot of action.
Ultimately, I don’t think the situation is any better at the end of the book than it was at the beginning. I feel like the series plot doesn’t move forward in Dark Heir so much as it goes back and explains what happened before. But I love my supernatural politics, so I found it all quite intriguing. I’m looking forward to seeing it all play out when the European vampires finally arrive.
Sexual content: sex, reference to rape