Rafael Santiago's squire, Jeff, has just published what he thinks is a great fantasy novel. Unfortunately, he decided to use Rafe and the Dark-Hunters as fodder for the story, and now he's in major trouble with the Squire's Council because of it. Blood-Rites Squire, Celena, is sent to haul Jeff before the Council, but Rafael won't give up his squire quite so easily. He's a loyal boss, but more importantly he's had the hots for Celena for a long time, and just can't pass up a possible opportunity to get closer to her. Rafe makes a deal that the straight-laced Celena will work for him for one week and if he can make her break just one squire's rule within that time, she will let Jeff go. Knowing that Rafe could easily hide Jeff for a very long time, she agrees, but Rafael may have gotten more than he bargained for when Celena nearly drives him insane with her safety precautions before he even has a chance to seduce her.
A Hard Day's Night-Searcher was a pretty typical Dark-Hunter story, but an extremely short one. The most unique thing about it is that it features two persons of color as the hero and heroine, which in my experience is pretty unusual for a popular, mainstream romance series. Otherwise, there wasn't anything particularly new or groundbreaking in this novella that hasn't been seen before in the Dark-Hunter series.
I liked both the hero and heroine in this story. Rafael first appeared as a secondary character in Sins of the Night, and like that book, A Hard Day's Night-Searcher also takes place in Mississippi. In his human life, Rafael was a pirate, but in his three centuries of being a Dark-Hunter, he has mellowed considerably. Celena is a squire for another Dark-Hunter, Ephani (also from Sins of the Night), but Rafe takes advantage of a situation with his own squire to get Celena to work with him for a week. It was pretty amusing how Celena was so anal about her job that she nearly drove Rafael crazy in a matter of days, but when he learned why she was that way, it was a rather touching moment. However, the novella is so brief, there isn't really any space for meaningful character or relationship development. Celena was apparently already in love with Rafael long before the story began, and Rafe went from lust to love literally in the span of a heartbeat.
Rafael and Celena did get to have one quick but wild adventure, accidentally crashing an Apollite wedding reception, but as I mentioned before there wasn't much else besides the usual Dark-Hunter stuff going on here. It pains me to say so, but even Acheron's appearance was a bit lackluster. Since this novella didn't add anything to the overall mythology or story-arc of the series, it could easily be read as a stand-alone or possibly even skipped, but for those readers who prefer to read series in order it falls between Dark Side of the Moon and The Dream-Hunter in the Dark-Hunter chronology. Considering the brevity of the story, this novella was a decent and fairly enjoyable read for what it was, but still didn't really reignite my enthusiasm for the series. A Hard Day's Night-Searcher can be found in the anthology, My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding.
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