"Better to dance in the dark than be devoured by it."
Cold, beautiful Johnnie Desrosiers has led a sheltered and pampered life since being adopted by the husband of a demented vamp wife who slaughtered his parents. Yes, really. He is in love with adopted brother (Yes, really), but they hate each other too. Feeling left out and lesser for being an ordinary human, he ventures out on his own (a little) and starts doing some investigative work. He runs into trouble, makes a few friends, but keeps getting strange visits in the middle of the night by a wanton, unknown creature in the dark.
The formatting isn't as off-putting as the first in the series, which was told through a mess of short stories out of order. That's true evil to do to a reader. Dance in the Dark has the crunch of a short story with sometimes abrupt change, but thank goodness it's IN ORDER and it follows a natural progression of storyline, interest, development and outright love/lust stuff.
Johnnie isn't perfect but he grew on me. At first he was even too cold for ME to latch on to, not just a façade, but he becomes a likable sort later. Sort of someone you have to discover and know to actually warm up to. Bergrin and the rest of the gang at the bar are top-notch 'friend' characters who add needed personality to the story. I also dug the weird bond Johnnie has with his adoptive, powerful father. Interesting dynamics at play.
“Perhaps love was worth any and all sacrifice, but that love was of no comfort to those who were sacrificed.”
The short stories are all mysteries of their own, but the tales tie into the main story eventually. Yes, we get some revisiting for the fun characters of the first book too.
The author writes well and I love her developing relationship here - it's authentic and true. She doesn't use plot gimmicks like too much sex to drown a potential plot - most of the bedroom stuff is hot but kept very brief and minimal. I will say I wish she'd stop rushing through the first experiences, because those really come across to me as the important stuff in developing relationships. Besides that though, can't complain on Johnnie's love life. Even the ending fight is sweet in a wicked way.
I enjoyed it more than the first, although the original was pretty good in itself outside a few annoyances. May continue with the series, but not sure. The stories are connected in a way but each book starts all over again with different characters too, and while Dance in the Dark chose to have it's stories in order, I'm not the biggest fan of the way the author is breaking these up for creativities sake.