Declan And Tori
by Shiloh Walker, fantasy (2003)
Ellora's Cave, $5.95, ISBN 1-84360-663-1

It is amusing to discover that the book that spawned Shiloh Walker's popular The Hunters series actually has a simple title of Declan And Tori, heh. Or that what eventually becomes a urban fantasy series with Berkley begins life as a romantic erotica romp that doesn't stray too far from the characters' private parts, if this book is anything to go by.

Our PI heroine Tori McAdams doesn't know what to think when a young girl named Dana approaches her claiming to be hunted by a vampire. Dana has bite marks and bruises to show, but then again, a vampire need not be the cause of those marks, right? Feeling concerned nonetheless for Dana, Tori lets her stay at her place.

It turns out that Dana was bitten by a crazy vampire at the strip joint where she works. Tori realizes this when she visits the strip joint in question and ends up hiding in her office from the crazy vampire in question, heh. Tori realizes that she has no choice but to request aid from the cop she has known for a long time, Declan Reilly. Just the thought of Declan is enough to make her underpants wet but alas, Tori feels that he is off-limits to her because she doesn't date cops.

Declan rescues her in the nick of time, but she has already been bitten. This leads to Declan turning into his wolf form and masturbating in front of her as he tells her that she is feeling horny because she's been turned into vampire. Maybe it's just me but if he's trying to discourage her from shagging him, won't putting on his pants and keeping his chubby out of sight be more effective in discouraging her? Of course, he's in his tall hulking wolf form, which suggests to me that he resembles that hirsute stud in An American Werewolf In London, so I suppose it has to be those crazy vampire hormones that make a sane woman go hot for the wolf man here.

I find the urban fantasy elements of this story pretty good. There is a giddy exuberance in how our main characters rip and bite apart those silly fools who dare stand in their way. Even when the author introduces pack politics that aren't anything new, I still have a great time reading about Declan's immersing of Tori into the spook world of the Hunters, werewolves, and vampires. However, I am not as excited about the sex scenes in the story as I am about the more action-driven aspects of the story. There are threesomes and plenty of sex marathons here but I find myself giggling at how ridiculous many of these scenes are. That masturbating wolf man scene I've described above is my favorite because of how subliminally absurd it is.

Therefore, I can only say wow to the action fantasy aspects of The Hunters: Declan And Tori and try my best to forget the silly sex running rampant all over the place.

Rating: 70

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