Wrath is the second book in Denise Tompkins’ Niteclif Evolutions. The story takes up immediately, and I do mean immediately, where Legacy leaves off. (This review contains spoilers for Legacy, book 1 of The Niteclif Evolutions. If you haven’t read Legacy, check out my review, then go forth and read Legacy. It’s a terrific and necessary introduction to the Niteclif supernatural world of Wrath.)

As Wrath opens, Maddy Niteclif’s new life as the supernatural investigator for the High Council has fallen apart before it had fairly begun. The prophecy that she and her newfound love, Bahlin Drago spent all of Legacy trying to avoid seems to be coming true in the worst possible way.  Their dreams are in tatters, and Maddy’s trust in everyone in her new world is shattered.

The death-curse of Bahlin’s rival has left Maddy sick, weak and dependent: she’s now an invalid who needs a full-time attendant just to make it to the bathroom!

She’s not even capable of doing her job as the Niteclif, and someone in the supernatural community has turned serial killer. The murderer clearly has some kind of grudge against Maddy, since all of the victims look enough like her to be her twin.

And into the middle of this mess steps yet another prophecy. The first prophecy said that whichever male member of the High Council managed to get Maddy into a sexual relationship would become Head of the High Council. That man was also fated to love Maddy and lose her. Bahlin and Maddy spent all of Legacy hoping to thwart the prophecy, but prophecies do not readily accept being thwarted.

That High Council had three men sitting on it when Legacy began. Tarrek, the fae prince, met his fate by the end of Legacy. Bahlin was the other contender for Maddy’s hand. But what of the third?

During Legacy, the last man, Hellion the wizard, was not “in play”. He had a mate. By the time that Wrath begins, Hellion is available, but still angry at Maddy for her part in in his mate’s death.

However, there’s another prophecy…

Can Maddy manage to get over her betrayal by one man (even if he is a dragon), long enough to figure out if she’s ready to trust another (even if he is a wizard)? Can she stop railing at her fate long enough to listen to her heart? Can Maddy stay one step ahead of the killer long enough to figure out who it is before he kills her and makes all her other problems go away–permanently?

Escape Rating B: There are parts of Wrath that I absolutely love, and parts that made me want to shake Maddy until her teeth rattled.

The whole concept of this supernatural world, and that someone like the Niteclif has to straddle the two, is a terrific concept. The idea that Maddy’s great-grandfather was Sherlock Holmes still gets to me. Maddy has to maintain her balance between the worlds, otherwise she’ll just fade away into fiction like great-grandad. That’s cool…and eerie at the same time. Maddy knows there’s a fiction writer already prepped and waiting in case she fails.

On the other hand, Maddy’s love life definitely has its ups and downs, and not all of them between the sheets. While I understand that Bahlin’s betrayal would make her rather gunshy when the prophecy about Hellion comes along, I found the constant angst a bit much. Especially the repeated refrain of how seldom Maddy had sex until after she become the Niteclif but now she’s supposedly a bed-hopper.  Then she’d have some internal debate and “give in” to Hellion again, as though he or the circumstances were responsible instead of Maddy being responsible for her own actions.

Not that the romance and the sex weren’t sizzling hot, but I wished that Maddy would take more responsibility for her personal actions sooner in the story. As the Niteclif, she can be judge, jury and sometimes executioner in criminal cases. I wanted to shake her when she kept pretending that circumstances were in control in her sex life for so long.

But I’m really enjoying Maddy’s evolution and I can’t wait to see what happens next! I have some guesses but the next book, Vengeance, doesn’t have a pub date yet. Now I wish I could find a prophecy!


What if you found out your great-grandfather really was Sherlock Holmes? And that you’re supposed to take up his legacy of sleuthing? For most people, it might sound like a dream come true. For Madeleine “Maddy” Niteclif, it’s only one of a series of surprising revelations that the world she thought she knew will never be the same. Her journey into paranormal investigations makes for one compelling story.

Legacy, by Denise Tompkins, is the first book in The Niteclif Evolutions, and it is definitely the story of Maddy Niteclif’s metamorphosis into a special kind of criminal investigator. Maddy’s story begins at the end of her old life, when she’s ripe for a change.

Maddy doesn’t even know why she is driving around England in the dark, compelled to find Stonehenge. She’s not sure why she felt compelled to splurge her vacation money on a trip to England in the first place. What she does know is that she is weighed down by grief at the loss of both her parents in a car accident just a few short months previously.

This trip is her attempt to shake off her crushing depression. But driving around southern England in the dark, on the “wrong” side of the road, directly after getting off a trans-Atlantic flight, trying to find Stonehenge mostly without a map, is not the way to find anything except exhaustion.

Maddy finds a stone circle. She believes its Stonehenge. Except she is able to walk right up to the standing stones. She’s certain Stonehenge is fenced off, but this just feels right. Inside the circle, under the stars, Maddy asks, wishes, prays for a changed reality. She wishes to be her old self again; strong, quick-witted, adventurous. And for love to find her. As soon as the wish leaves her heart, she feels the stars spin, and a voice comes out of the darkness, whispering in Gaelic, “Let it begin”.

It begins indeed. Maddy makes her way back to London, only to be confronted by two men as soon as she falls asleep. Bahlin and Tarrek invade her dreams. Either or both are more than charming and sexy enough to be her dream man, but two of them?

When Maddy wakes, she discovers that her dream introductions were real! Bahlin Drago invades her room, and her life. Drago for dragon. Bahlin is a shapeshifter, and a member of High Council that governs supernatural creatures.

Confused? So was Maddy. She was having a hard time believing everything that Bahlin had to tell her, both before and after he magically opened the door of her hotel room. However, it was necessary that Maddy believe. Why? Because her family wasn’t just Niteclif, she was THE Niteclif, the office responsible for investigating crimes among supernaturals, and between supernaturals and humans.

That was how great-grandad got to be Holmes. He was the previous Niteclif investigator. Now it’s Maddy’s turn. As soon as she figures out what she’s supposed to do. And how she’s supposed to do it.

Bahlin is more than willing to help her. After all, he played Watson to her great-grandfather’s Holmes.

But there’s this one tiny problem. Maddy is the first female Niteclif to take up the office. And there’s a prophecy about whichever male member of the Council manages to get her into his bed, he’ll become the Head of the High Council.

There’s that old saying, you know the one, “Power corrupts”. So is Bahlin courting Maddy and being so wonderful because he genuinely wants to help her, or because he wants to be Head of the High Council?

And then there was that other dream man. Tarrek is a fae prince and also on the High Council. What game is he playing?

It’s not just Maddy’s life on the line, it’s her heart.

Escape Rating B+: Maddy’s late evening drive through the English countryside made for a slightly strange start, but once she hit that hotel bed and started dreaming, the story had a breakneck pace with lots of compelling twists and turns. Reading how an author starts with a prophecy and then has the characters subvert it instead of going meekly to their fate is angsty but makes for great reading.

I did figure out who one of the bad guys was long before the end, but not the other one, nor did I get quite how far around the bend things were. I always give “points” for fooling me. I got caught up in the romance and missed some of the clues about the evildoers. Excellently done!