Archive for December, 2011

Borrowed Heart-Linda Lamberson

December 28, 2011

Borrowed Heart

Linda Lamberson

LAOL, Dec 2 2011, $8.99

ISBN: 9780615498768

 

The psychic Madame Sasha tells Evie Sanders things about herself and her family very few people know.  She also warns her that she has been marked with The Curse of Three, which will include two near death experiences and something worse.  Evie awakens from a bad dream that seemed so real because she met Sasha two years ago.

 

After class, Quinn Harrison introduces himself to Evie and asks for her notes from a session he missed.  He asks her to come to a party, but she is dating her Michigan boyfriend Ryan Walker though they are apart as she attends IU and he goes to Illinois.  Still Evie is attracted to Quinn so she and her two BFFs (Lisa and Rachel) attend the party.  However, due to a drunk, Evie dies in a car accident after seeing Ryan with another woman in Champagne.  Five days later she awakens to a Peter informing her that this is no longer Bloomington and he will guide her in her transition into being a rare chosen Shepherd to help humans.  As she learns the rigid Rules, Evie has one problem with obedience, Quinn.

 

Book One of the Evie Sanders series is a terrific romantic urban fantasy starring a fascinating heroine who at sixteen realized she had a gift and welcomed it rather than running from it.  Evie holds the entertaining storyline focused with help from her mentor and her beloved.  However, what makes this strong opening act work is the unique Lamberson mythos that sub-genre fans will appreciate and want more.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Lord Of Illusion-Kathryne Kennedy

December 28, 2011

The Lord Of Illusion

Kathryne Kennedy

Sourcebooks, Feb 7 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781402236549

 

In 1774, hybrid Lord Drystan Hawkes wants to free England from the vicious Elven lords, which includes his despicable sire.  To do this he must open the portal to Elfhame that will force these evil abominations from his country; and he believes he finally has the key. 

 

In Elfhame, Camille Ashton the slave possesses the means to open the portal.  Drystan also realizes she is his soul mate, which makes him wary of placing her in danger.  Drystan goes to rescue his beloved and obtain the key.  When they meet, she finds her attraction to him enhanced by her first encounter with a pure soul while he realizes somehow his magical skills are enhanced by his mate.  As they fall in love while risking their lives, Camille and Drystan fight the malevolent elf lords.

 

The latest Elven Lord historical romantic fantasy (The Fire Lord’s Lover) is a wonderful tale as the heroic protagonists are prepared to die for their noble cause while each is willing to sacrifice themselves for the other.  The story line is fast-paced throughout as love exponentially amplifies the skills of the lead couple, but that may not be enough to overcome the wicked elf lords in an engaging good vs. evil battle.

 

Harriet Klausner

King Of Darkness-Elisabeth Staab

December 28, 2011

King Of Darkness

Elisabeth Staab

Sourcebooks, Feb 7 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781402263156

 

Isabel Anthony lacked any power so she was ridiculed by her vampire peers as a nonentity freak until she left.  She masquerades as a human; becoming the last shift DJ at Club Insomniac in Orlando.  As she takes a bite out of Venus, Thad Morgan and his bodyguard Lee arrive seeking the female who will help the former meet the prophecy that will save his periled race from extinction.  He realizes she has the mark of his destined mate as described by the oracle, but neither Thad nor Lee expected her to be in to females.  However, instead of welcoming her king, Isabel flees.

 

Thad catches Isabel and explains they are destined mates who share a common mark that when they mate will release powers to save their species from the insidious wizards.  In combat, she becomes a believer when her latent skills surface.  As Isabel ponders her changing situation, she vanishes, which has her beloved mate and his subjects panicked that the vicious wizards have taken their queen.

 

This is a complex superb romantic urban fantasy in which the first venture into the Staab mythological universe seems genuine due to anchoring places like Orlando and the fact that innocent humans are collateral damage in the cross-species war.  Filled with action from the moment a stunned Thad enters the late night human bar and never slowing down, readers will enjoy the vampire king seeking his soul mate in order to save his species from the wrath of the wizards.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Cat Star Chronicles: Stud-Cheryl Brooks

December 28, 2011

The Cat Star Chronicles: Stud

Cheryl Brooks

Sourcebooks, Feb 7 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781402251689

 

Though the species is near extinction due to ethnic cleansing, throughout the galaxy, Zetithian males are renowned for their sexual prowess of giving pleasure to females of all races.  The legendary king of sexual pleasure is Tarq Zulveidinoe; women cherish his special touch.  Ironically he lacks esteem outside of sex; so his mission to save his race is to take care of females everywhere.

 

On Talus Five, Lucinda Force has lived a lifetime being told by her selfish family that no man will ever desire a plain looking woman like her.  Working at her father’s Mediterranean-style restaurant, Lucy wants romantic love, but expects to live and die alone.  Tarq smells her before entering the restaurant.  When she asks what he wants, he says a “full order of you.”  She recognizes him from his TV commercial of offering to service human females in order to repopulate his dying species.  However, he knows he can no longer get his double joint up for other clients since he smelled his Lucy.

 

The latest Cat Star Chronicles Zetithian science fiction romance is an exhilarating entry that reads like a gender twisting of the previous tale Virgin.  Since the overarching theme of the early chronicles involving who committed the atrocity of the pandemic destruction of a race and their planet was resolved in Hero, this Zetithian focuses on the relationship between a Stud who as the hero knows Colonel Sanders’ secret formula and a Virgin who knows Greek and Italian cuisine.  Series fans will enjoy the latest sexcapades in the Brooks galaxy.

 

Harriet Klausner

Deliver Me From Darkness-Tes Hilaire

December 28, 2011

Deliver Me From Darkness

Tes Hilaire

Sourcebooks, Feb 7 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781402236434

 

After God created the earth, several angels volunteered to live and protect humans from the Fallen led Lucifer.  However, over the millennia, the purebred Paladins have dwindled with no females left.  Still there remains their offspring with humans fighting with less power to defeat the evil demons and vampires.

 

Nine decades ago, Roland the Paladin was changed into a vampire, which means execution.  For ninety years he has struggled to retain his essence but each year has become increasingly difficult in spite his best friend and former partner Calhoun’s help.  In New York City when he meets a previously unknown female Paladin Karissa who is unaware what she is as she comes to his door, Roland feels God is punishing him as she is his soul mate but he is no longer worthy to have her as his.  Meanwhile paladins, demons and vampires stalk Karissa with Roland vowing to die to keep this naive female he cherishes with what is left of his soul safe.  She instinctively knows vampires are wicked, but only with Roland at her side does she feel safe.

 

The first Paladin Warrior romantic urban fantasy is a wonderful thriller in which the paranormal Hilaire world is firmly established so that readers understand who’s on whose side of the war while believing that demons, vampires and paladins walk the streets of Manhattan.  Fast-paced, fans will enjoy the star-crossed romance between the female paladin and her vampiric soul mate.

 

Harriet Klausner

Kiss of the Vampire-Cynthia Garner

December 25, 2011

Kiss of the Vampire

Cynthia Garner

Forever, Jan 31 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780446585118

 

The Moore-Creasy-Devon Comet passes the earth every seventy-three years; causing a temporary opening in the rift between the human realm and that of the paranormal, allowing parasites to cross over to the earth.  These alien entities enter human hosts becoming various supernaturally creatures who have gained legal rights though the natives resent them.

 

Violent murders of vampires increase the tension between races.  The Council of Preternaturals assign special agent Tobias Caine the vampire to lead the investigation.  Half-human/half-demon Nix de la Fuente is part of his team.  They had a heated history but he abruptly ended it and has no plans to renew it until he sees her for the first time in several years.  Their desire distracts each of them from their inquiry and leaves them at risk from a diabolical serial killer.

 

The first Warriors of the Rift romantic urban fantasy is a refreshing look at the origin of vampires, werewolves and other myths.  Fast-paced, the romantic and police procedural subplots deftly balance a strong storyline that starts off with an Arizona newspaper editorial condoning the killing of a vampire and never slows down as Cynthia Garner provides a fascinating take on the supernatural. 

 

Harriet Klausner

Shadows In Flight-Orson Scott Card

December 25, 2011

Shadows In Flight

Orson Scott Card

Tor, Jan 17 2012, $21.99

ISBN: 9780765332004

 

Julian “Bean” Delphiki suffers from a genetic alteration, in which his brain is light-years beyond genius, but his body suffers from extreme gigantism; he will be dead soon though he is only in his twenties.  He left behind his wife Petra and their normal offspring to leave earth in 2210; taking with him their three infant triplets suffering from the same Anton’s Key disorder (see Shadow of the Giant).  Over four centuries have passed on earth and his spouse and their kids dead; while on the vessel five years have passed.  Fourteen feet tall Bean is unable to leave the cargo hold.  Ender, named after his father’s friend, is a biologist seeking the cure for their genetic illness.  His sister Carlotta is the engineer who insures their ship Herodotus functions properly.  Finally the third sibling Cincinnatus better known as Sergeant is a soldier prepared for combat.  

 

 

The triplets find an anomaly of a Formic colony ship that revolves around a planet; inside the vessel they find the Hive Queen dead along with her soldiers.  However, they also find living things even as their dying father whom they call Giant reveals his master dream for them.

 

The latest Ender universe tale is an interesting character driven space odyssey.  Readers get inside the minds of the four weary travelers; as the three kids feel the hopelessness of their flight while the Giant hopes rest on a dream for them.  Series fans will appreciate the parallels between the earthlings and the Formic survivors while learning how the Hive actually thought when they Formic-formed China.  Although the action is extremely muted, Shadows In Flight is a fun tale filled with aphorisms like parents lie to their children for the latter’s sake.

 

Harriet Klausner

Deadtime Stories: Grave Secrets-Annette and Gina Cascone

December 25, 2011

Deadtime Stories: Grave Secrets

Annette and Gina Cascone

Starscape/Tor, Jan 3 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780765330659

 

Amanda Peterson hits the walk off homer, but neither she or her friends (Laura Baxter, Kevin Stewart and Jarrad Clark) celebrate as the ball lands inside 704 Shadow Lane owned by the creepy old witch ”Barnsey”.  Her mates tell her to forget the ball that landed right near the shred where Barnsey tosses rat heads by reminding her what the witch did to Luzard and French.  Amanda retrieves the ball but bony fingers grab her wrist while the tweener hysterically shouts at her friend to not let Barnsey take her into the dungeon.  Barnsey lets go, but a frightened Amanda panics as she lost her friendship bracelet.  The four tweeners fear Barnsey will use the bracelet to cast a spell on Amanda.

 

The friends search in Amanda’s yard, but find a dead squirrel.  They decide to bury the deceased in Amanda’s pet cemetery where Ralphie the hamster, Herman the goldfish, and Snitch the canary reside.  Jarrod digs a hole when they hear mama.  He uncovers a buried doll with no voice box.  Amanda learns from her parents the pet cemetery was land that once belonged to Barnsey.  The quartet uncovered a malevolence that makes little old lady-witches seem benign as they fear for themselves and Amanda’s five year old naive sister Robin.

 

The first Deadtime Stories is a terrific tweener horror thriller starring four children whose imagination runs wild, but does not compare to the realism of what they face.  While Amanda’s parents insist Mrs. Barnsey is a nice neighbor, the buddies believe she is a witch although Jarrod is a skeptic.  Fans will enjoy this entertaining tale from Team Cascone as the Youngers find out what evil truly is.

 

Harriet Klausner

A Devil Named Desire-Terry Garey

December 24, 2011

A Devil Named Desire

Terry Garey

Avon, Jan 31 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780061986406

 

Gabriel the Lightbringer archangel asks his fallen brother Samael Divine if taking Eve was worth the cost.  Sammy says yes but feels the Father was unfair to damn him but forgive the fools in the Garden.  Gabriel asks him if he ever loved; Sammy responds no but believes his sibling needs a realistic view of humanity.

 

In Atlanta web designer Hope Henderson slashed her wrists after two years of anguish over her missing younger sister Charity.  Sammy tells her Charity is alive, but Hope owes her life to him as she begged for the darkness when she tried to kill herself.  He offers her a deal.  She builds him a special web site by transcribing the Ars Goetia Key of Solomon that will enable his demons to cross over in exchange for her finding her sister.

 

Gabriel notices a woman with a bright halo and the darkness following her.  He follows her, but when Hope sees Gabriel she ignores him, which shocks the archangel.  He says he is a guardian and will protect her but unsure of from what. Gabriel is concerned with his feelings for Hope.  Sammy tells him Hope belongs to him.  Gabriel warns Sammy not to hurt Hope; as the archangel falls in love with this fallen human and he better understands why Sammy fell for temptation.

 

The story line focuses on the battle between Satan and Gabriel but contains several interesting twists including a deftly developed romance as Sammy knows there is a cost to comingling with the humans and a surprising offspring.  Although the action is somewhat muted by a deep psychological look at the key characters, fans will appreciate this creative archangel romance.

 

Harriet Klausner

Deep Sleep: If Your Secrets Don’t Kill You, Your Dreams Will-DyAnna Durbin

December 24, 2011

Deep Sleep: If Your Secrets Don’t Kill You, Your Dreams Will

DyAnna Durbin

P.L.U.M. Readers, May 12 2011, $12.95

ISBN: 9780615306339

 

In 2006, architect Joel Lee Keys inherited 72 acres in Beaufort, South Carolina.  He had no interest in the barrier island as his job and life kept him in Atlanta.  However, a promotion to the firm’s new Savannah office has Joel and his fiancée Holly moving into the Beaufort house.

 

After arriving on his ancestral island, they go skinny dipping; Holly feels welcomed while Joel feels rejection as if the water loathed him.  That first night while Holly sleeps like a baby, Joel suffers from a horrific nightmare.  Three days later Holly is comfortable while Joel is burning up and out of control.  He curses and chokes her.  In the mirror he sees James and Rosa Lee together in 1942 though Joel fails to comprehend who they are, the year or what he observes.  With the help of her best friend Adrian, his girlfriend Carmen and Erin, Holly begins the war for her beloved against an unknown malevolence; as his true family inheritance is the curse brought upon the clan by their wickedness culminating with the trial for his soul.

 

This is an exciting creepy horror thriller with a gothic location even if the house is 1970s, an odd seventy-nine years old native son Ned “Silent Night” neighbor, and the wickedness of the WW II era.  Joel is the target of revenge for what happened in the 1940s; courageous Holly and her brave dedicated loyal band risk their souls to save his.  Readers will enjoy the taut trial of Joel Lee Keys as Shakespeare says in The Merchant of Venice: “The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.”

 

Harriet Klausner