• Darkness Taunts

  • Sensor, Book 2
  • By: Susan Illene
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (323 ratings)

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Darkness Taunts  By  cover art

Darkness Taunts

By: Susan Illene
Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
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Publisher's Summary

Melena Sanders has managed to avoid all things inhuman for most of her life, but after coming to Fairbanks, Alaska, to rescue her best friend from supernaturals, she hasn't been allowed to leave. That is, until her long-time nemesis comes to collect a favor she owes him. Lucas might be half angel, but he's all bad as far as she's concerned. Paying him back might get her out of town for a while, but her new destination will be anything but enjoyable. Mel's got to help the nephilim take care of a demon possession outbreak in Juneau. But working closely with Lucas is changing the dynamics of their hate-hate relationship - worrying her even more than the demons.

Contains mature themes.

©2013 Susan Illene (P)2014 Tantor
  • Series: Sensor, Book 2
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about Darkness Taunts

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really good sequel!

I was really hesitant about buying this one. On one hand, I loved the first book; on the other hand, quite a few of the reviews I read were negative and complained about things I absolutely hate. Luckily, I decided to give it a chance.

Minor complaints first: Right at the beginning, there were things that I thought were strange, mainly about Melenas behaviour and thoughts. Maybe it's just me, because none of the reviews I read mentioned them. Still: At the end of book 1, Melena comes to the conclusion that it is safer and therefore better for her and (especially) Emily to stay in Alaska with the sups. She agrees willingly - at least, that's how it seemed to me. But at the beginning of this book, we learn that she desperately wants to leave, but apparently is forced to stay by Nicholas and Lucas. She has even tried to escape twice and was dragged back both times. That just felt … off.
I also would have thought that maybe she'd at least think about a transfer to the university of Fairbanks, since she only had one semester left, but that was just my speculation (it's what I would've done). But she does have money problems, so there's that.
An then, Derek. I like him so much better than Lucas (not as much as Matt, but well, that ship has truly sailed). Of course, that's just a personal preference and not actually a complaint. Just, you know, … Derek.

Other than that, though, I liked the story. I can't even say that I liked the first book that much better, even though this one has a lot more steamy scenes and I'm usually none too impressed by them. But the reason for that is that way too often, the steamy scenes seem tacked on and if they were cut after the metaphorical bedroom door closes (metaphorical because, let's face it, in PNR the location for sexy time is seldom an actual bedroom…), the reader wouldn't miss a thing and the plot would not get one single hole. Here, all the sex scenes have a purpose, they further the plot and they have consequences - basically, they have everything I want in every other type of scene, too, so I did not feel like they were there just to pander to readers and/or the publisher. Big plus, that one.

What I really like about this series is that Melena is not made out to be a 'superhuman human'. What I mean by that is that it is stated very early on that she may have special powers (and military training), but that her physical strength is only that of a normal human – and then, the author sticks with that and its consequences. In so many PNR and fantasy stories with supposedly 'weak' (be that physically or magically) main characters, they somehow always manage to save the day or best some extremely powerful being by themselves or whatnot. You know, just 'somehow'. Not here. Melena is physically waker than the beings around her and if they want to force her to do something, they bloody well can. And do. Don't get me wrong, I would hate to be in that position – but so does she. And it is just rather realistic. She is not all powerful, so if Lucas wants to zap her away somewhere, there's nothing she can do. She also is not super strong, so when someone knocks her down hard enough, she stays down. And yet, it's not like she is just some silly damsel in distress. She is strong-willed and fights for herself and others, and while she does need to be rescued from time to time, she does plenty of her own rescuing (of herself and others). For me, this is as tough as a human woman without supernaturally enhanced strength can get. I like.

The narration was great, just like in the previous book. The narrator manages very distinct voices and also sticks to them throughout, even if the characters have very little dialog (like Aniyas mum).


***Slight spoiler***
One of the reviews that made me think twice about buying this said that Lucas forced his mark on her and that the logic to justify his actions was the same as the logic that is used to "justify" sexual assault. That would indeed have been extremely off-putting to me, and when that scene began, I mentally prepared myself to stop listening if it really turned out like that. In my opinion, it didn't. If you can suspend your disbelieve enough to accept a world with vampires, werewolfs and the like, and also a world in which they can 'mark' their partner magically so that every other supernatural being knows they're taken and keeps their paws off – then is it really such a stretch to accept that in that world, the marking only works if the person accepts the mark, even if they only do it subconsciously? Personally, I think not. But I also thought there was plenty of indication for Melenas feelings towards him (even if she spent a lot of time denying them).

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Would you try another book from Susan Illene and/or Cris Dukehart?

Probably not

If you’ve listened to books by Susan Illene before, how does this one compare?

The first book in the series led me to think this one would be good, but not so much.

Did Cris Dukehart do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

The narration was ok.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. The first book showed promise. I was hoping both the authors and characters would grow and evolve over time. They actually devolved.

Any additional comments?

The fantasy lore in the book is pretty decent, and the erotic aspects are also fairly tasteful. But the romantic and character development is flat. You have a several thousand year old creature and a woman with a combat background who have the emotional sophistication of 12 year olds. The author somehow mistakes their insecant bickering and lack of self awareness as a plot device. Adults don't act like this, especially ones who have lived so much. It really takes away from what is a potentially entertaining story. It is a painful listen.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

4 Darkness Taunts Stars

I read the first book as part of a book club I am in. And I wanted to continue the series but for whatever reason, I didn’t.

Well, I picked this book up and thought let’s give Melena another shot and boy am I glad I did. I really liked the back and forth between Lucas and Melena. It is what I loved best about book one, and this book had it in spades but it was more than that, their relationship grows and their connection only gets more intense.

They work so well together and their hate-hate relationship is starting to become something else.

I really enjoyed Cris Dukehart’s narration.

*You don't have to like my review but its 100% my opinion, and I am allowed to have it.*

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!

I am enjoying this series. I like the growing understanding between Lucas and Melena. Micah, Derek, Felicia, Amiya and Lizette are also very interesting characters too. Susan Illene is proving a very talented author. I also enjoy Chris Dukehart's performance with her various voices for the different characters. Very good overall. Cannot stop continuing the next book immediately after this one!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Less Sex More Plot

I really enjoyed the first book because there was an actual plot and well developed characters. However, the second book is completely opposite. Melana appears week, needy and sex obsessed through out the book. Lucas on the other hand is cold, insulting and domineering. Of course, this makes Melana want him more. I'm tired of books like this. It's not romantic. It's insulting.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

Really enjoying all the characters she brings into this story - good balance of suspense, horror and romance.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

to much sex.

story plot is ok I especially like the idea of a new race like sensors and Nephilim. but any novel that gets his into detail on the sex scenes as this series seems to do is going to have the same problem is Laurel K Hamilton did people aren't looking for p*** looking for a good story

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loving this series

I have enjoyed as much as I enjoyed the first book in this series. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t finish the second book in the series

The first book started out really well and I was excited about finding a new series to listen to. But I couldn’t finish this one and won’t pursue the rest. I just really got tired of the heroine being such a victim of her hormones and would allow the hero to walk all over her. She’s supposedly an Army veteran with a lot of chutzpah but can’t seem to be in control of her own life. And I got tired of her whining about it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good expansion of the story and series

Second in series has Melena helping resolve a demon problem. This book adds new characters and expands the world building. The overall story arc continues to develop. There is a relationship developing with Lucas, lots of action and Melena learns more about her sensor abilities. Melena is a strong woman with ethics. There are a few steamy scenes, lots of action and plot twists. This is UF with a darker feel. This is not a light, funny book. This is the second book in the series. I liked it better than the first one. I recommend reading the series in order. Although a single plot resolves itself in this book, there are developing characters and continuing storylines that build thru the series. Narration is solid, pacing is good. I listened at 1.25x.

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  • Debra
  • 04-06-15

Good story

Good story, narrator good with character voices but flat and one tone with the rest

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gaulty
  • 11-06-18

Darkness Taunts

I absolutely loved it! I can't wait for the next instalment in the Darkness series.