Archive for the ‘Fantasy Romance’ Category

The Goddess Inheritance-Aimee Carter

February 28, 2013

The Goddess Inheritance
Aimee Carter
Harlequin Teen, Feb 26 2013. $9.99
ISBN: 9780373210671

Kate Winters spent the nine months of her pregnancy in captivity. For most of her incarceration, her beloved Henry was led astray by Walter and Ava to believe Kate accompanied James searching for the missing Rhea. Kate believes her Henry finally knows the truth re her fate. Everyone seemingly wants the unborn as perhaps the most powerful being ever since Cronus the Titan claims the fetus is his (though Henry sired the child) and the Queen of the Gods Calliope makes sacrificial plans for Kate’s baby once born.

Kate knows she can do nothing against either super God as Calliope takes away her newborn Milo. Cronus offers her a deal he knows that she cannot refuse. He will spare her and her newborn Milo and limit human collateral damage in the war of the gods if she pledges her total loyalty to him. She understands the cost of committing to Cronus means Henry, her mother and the Gods will die; failure to pledge means Milo is gone forever and she, much of mankind and her loved ones will probably die.

The final Goddess Test urban fantasy (see the Goddess Test and Goddess, Interrupted) is a strong twisting ending to a fabulous series as a distraught Kate finds herself caught between the love of her family and saving the world by self-sacrifice. Fast-paced and loaded with action, fans of the trilogy will enjoy the final confrontation though they will question Kate’s terrible decisions even factoring in the protagonist’s Olympus levels of stress and depression. Still Aimee Carter provides an engaging end to an entertaining thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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How To Seduce An Angel In 10 Days-Saranna DeWylde

February 27, 2013

How To Seduce An Angel In 10 Days
Saranna DeWylde
Kensington Brava, Feb 26 2013, $9.95
ISBN: 9780758269171

Irate Falcon Cherrywood believes his punishment does not fit the crime. He admits he shot that pest Cupid in the butt with a fireball, injuring the pink-winged angel. However, he feels replacing Cupid is cruel and anti-angelic punishment since he does not believe in love. To make matters worse, he also is assigned Parole Officer duty.

His criminal is Drusilla “Tally” Tallow, who was sentenced for ten days for knocking the temporary love angel off his broom out of frustration of always finding love in the wrong places with the worst heavenly misanthropes. As Falcon and Tally fall in love, she fears the replacement Cupid will prove a pain in the ass; she’s just not sure whose.

The latest amusing “How to … in 10 Days” romantic fantasy (see How to Marry a Warlock in 10 days) is an amusing madcap tale. A lighthearted frolic, fans will laugh at the antics of Tally and Falcon; as each has strong reasons to ignore their attraction.

Harriet Klausner

Blood of the Sorceress-Maggie Shayne

January 9, 2013

Blood of the Sorceress
Maggie Shayne
Mira, Jan 29 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778314219

In 1501 BC in Babylon, the king’s favorite slave Lilia the witch fell in love with the ruler’s right hand man and best friend Demetrius. When the monarch learned of his beloved’s betrayal of his heart, Demetrius kills him to save Lilia. After a search of the harem, Lilia and her two sisters Indira (see Mark of the Witch) and Magadalena (see Daughter of the Spellcaster) are thrown off a cliff to the rocks below. The High Priest Sindar deploys dark magic to strip Demetrius of his soul and banish him to a formless nonexistence in the Underworld.

After three and a half millennia, her two reincarnated siblings returned parts of his soul to Demetrius who has escaped his horrid incarceration. As Lilia sees him for the first time since that bloody day in ancient Babylon, she knows her chance to return and complete Demetrius’ soul has finally arrived. However, he no longer wants his soul even if that means eternal damnation or her love, and besides Sindar, now a demon, stalks them.

The final Portal romantic fantasy is a fast-paced thriller starring a strong lead female, a PTSD male struggling to adjust to a physical world and worse his refurbished feelings besides his only companion for ages: rage, and a powerful diabolical demon. As with the previous trilogy entries, Maggie Shayne casts a spell on her audience.

Harriet Klausner

Hearts Of Darkness-Kira Brady

July 26, 2012

Hearts Of Darkness

Kira Brady

Zebra, Aug 7 2012, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420124569

 

Norgard assigns Hart the mercenary werewolf to obtain a necklace.  He watches the grieving human, alleged wearer of the necklace when Hart notices the ancient adversaries nearby.  He muses over the bloody war between the self-proclaimed human protectors Kivati and the Drekar while detesting both sides but feeling the latter are honest in what they want.

 

Nurse Kayla Friday flies from Philadelphia to Seattle to identify the body in the morgue; her pregnant sister Desi lies dead on the slab.  Stunned Kayla begins to do something that has Hart warning her to stop before she dies.  He demands she give him the necklace he claims she stole from his employer while shocked that she is human.  Hart finds the card of nasty Kivati Raven Lord Emory Corbette amongst Desi’s final possessions.  He tells her to run back to Pennsylvania, but his advice proves too late when Rudrick and his thugs enter the morgue.  Soon they are teaming up investigating her sibling’s murder, seeking the necklace and falling in an uneasy love that shakes the Aether.

 

This is an exciting romantic urban fantasy that has a horde of diverse paranormal running wild in the streets of Seattle.  Fast-paced, sub-genre fans will enjoy this thriller from the moment Hart tells Kayla to run and never slows down to even a walk as Kira Brady provides a fabulous first act.

 

Harriet Klausner

Shadow Rising-Kendra Leigh Castle

July 18, 2012

Shadow Rising

Kendra Leigh Castle

Forever, Jul 31 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781455511648

 

The Grigori vampire clan resides in strongholds in the deserts of the West.  This mysterious group knows their destiny is watchers observing others but forbidden to intrude on the activities of the other bloodlines or the humans.

 

Sammael vanishes, but Grigori leader Sariel makes it clear to the clan not to follow him.  Ariane, Sammael’s best friend, defies the decree as she does the unthinkable and sets out to find the wayward vampire.  The House of Shadows commissions egocentric shapeshifting bounty hunter Damien Tremaine to bring in the rogue vampire.  The pair collides and agrees to team up in their search for Sammael.  Neither anticipated the attraction nor the evil chaos that stalks them and the Dark Dynasties of the United States.

 

The third Dark Dynasties romantic urban fantasy (see Midnight Reckoning and Dark Awakening) is a super star-crossed thriller starring two fascinating individuals coming from polar-opposite backgrounds inside of a deadly divided United States.  The action-packed story line grips the reader from the moment a determined Ariane disobeys her leader (not an easy act) and never slows down as heated star-crossed lovers confront their respective hearts and a vicious ancient.

 

Harriet Klausner

Heart Secret-Robin D. Owens

July 17, 2012

Heart Secret

Robin D. Owens

Berkley, Aug 7 2012, $15.00

ISBN: 9780425253144

 

On Celta the Iasc sickness spreads rapidly killing everyone except private investigator Garrett Primross.  Although he lived through this lethal plague, Garret grieves the loss of his woman and her baby while also struggling with survivor guilt.  Celta healers want to learn why he lived when everyone else dies; he just wants to forget the nightmare but the Iasc sickness returns with a vengeance. 

 

Several years ago healer Artemisia Mugwort Panax’s life imploded when her family was wrongly accused of participating in the Black Magic Cultist murders.  Her blood went underground while she struggles to make a career out of being a healer as she is tainted by association.  Garrett reluctantly agrees to be infected while Artemisia will serves as his only healer.  Each knows they are HeartMates, but he remains in denial and rejection is a way of life for her.  When the last missing Black Magic Cultist is executed, the pair and their Famcats are forced to investigate.

 

The latest Celta romantic fantasy (see Hearts And Sword and Heart Search) centers on two HeartMates, who are so traumatized they reject relationships as each knows even destined love hurts.  The pair makes the tale as the guinea pig and the tester must learn to relate if they are to find the cure and identify the killer.

 

Harriet Klausner

Tide Walker-Belva Rae Staples

June 17, 2012

Tide Walker

Belva Rae Staples

CreateSpace, (May 14 2012, $20.95

ISBN: 9781475230277

George O’Dell is going through the papers of his beloved late mentor Miss MacAlpin when he finds manuscripts about Oceanus in Kriterion.  George notices peculiar parallels to his life.

In underwater Oceanus, Serena the mermaid breaks one of her father King Neptune’s strictest taboos when she heard a human crying.  She knew no contact with surface dwellers is allowed by her sire, but Serena could not ignore Captain Gabe drifting in a dory as he considers killing himself.  She touches his head and knows him; and soon believes he is her true love.  Neptune is irate at his daughter’s behavior.  His rage causes an underwater earthquake that frees Lotan the leviathan who Neptune orders to kill Gabe.  Meanwhile the leader of Kriterion, The Ancient Man is disgusted with Neptune’s overreaching reaction.  He sends the angry hybrid human-fallen angel Tide Walker to punish Neptune.

The latest The Kriterion Saga (see The World Between) is a string oceanic fantasy starring a strong cast with difficult decisions to make between self-gratification and saving a kingdom.  Action-packed from the moment Serena and Gabe meet, fans will appreciate this character driven sea thriller as anger, superego and obstinacy may topple a realm though redemption and caring of others may save the kingdom.

Harriet Klausner

Night Seeker-Yasmine Galenorn

June 13, 2012

Night Seeker

Yasmine Galenorn

Berkley, July 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425250327

 

Owl shifting Wind Witch Cicely Waters rescues her soul mate Fae Prince Grieve from the Indigo Court Fae Queen of Winter Myst (see Night Veil).  However, her success comes with a cost greater than her biting fee she owed her instructor Fae Lannan Altos. The Summer Queen Lainule ended their alliance and the vampiric fae are raging and marching killing anyone in the path.  Worse Grieve struggles with his mind as Myst still has a grip on him

 

A desperate Cicely leads an expedition to find the Summer Queen’s heartstone while the Winter Queen begins a nefarious avenging counter strike on the New Forest.  For them to succeed, Cicely has to voluntarily change into something else regardless of the outcome to her.

 

The latest Indigo Court romantic fantasy (see Night Myst) is a complex tale as each of the lead protagonists are willing to die to insure their soul mate and others live.  Their willingness to sacrifice reminded me of the Gift of the Magi by O’Henry only on a metaphysical otherworldly realm.  Filled with action and plenty of lethal roadblocks, readers will enjoy trekking the dangerous Galenorn mythological world.

 

Harriet Klausner

Destroyer of Worlds-Mark Chadbourn

May 18, 2012

Destroyer of Worlds

Mark Chadbourn

PYR, May 22 2012, $17.95

ISBN: 9781616146177

 

The universe is at a crossroad in which life on earth, the Land of the Dead and other realms will survive barely but changed or more likely die in a big crunch extinction event.  Even the recently awakened ancient Gods in all probability will find their existence Void. 

 

Champion of Existence Jack Churchill is the last hope.  He and his horde, the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, understand they must attack the Fortress of the Enemy in what is a suicide mission to get to the enemy The Burning Man.  Though these brave souls would prefer to run for their lives instead of confronting the seemingly invincible Destroyer of Worlds in a hopeless cause as several fear that Jack is not the Champion of Existence but as the prophecies imply soon will metamorphose into a malevolent Champion of Nonexistence.  Betrayal from within from those who fear Jack could change into the evil ender of life and pray for a miracle that they did the right thing (though the deities will unlikely not answer the plea as they are in trouble too).  This complicates the perilous mission as Jack and his supporters must destroy the Burning Man (or as some think Jack) before this essence turns the universe into the Void. 

 

This is a super finish to the multi-mythological Kingdom of Serpent fantasy trilogy.  Starting with the Caretaker’s brief synapsis of what happened in the precious tales (see The Burning Man and Jack of Ravens) fans will feel they are inside an incredible realm created by Mark Chadbourn.  Readers will enjoy his escapades leading e Brothers and Sisters of Dragons on a suicide mission in which doing nothing is death anyway.

 

Harriet Klausner

Where There’s Smoke-Karen Kelley

April 28, 2012

Where There’s Smoke

Karen Kelley

Sourcebooks, May 1 2012, $14.99

ISBN 9781402263866

 

In 1959 Destiny Carter died and went straight to hell.  Vetis the demon informs Destiny that she must destroy the soul of a mortal in one week before she can achieve demon status; she does not want to know what failure denotes.  Vetis sends her back to earth.

 

In Fort Worth, Texas near the stockyards, Destiny enters the Stompin’ Ground bar where she chooses lonesome cowboy Chance Bellow as she assumes he is an easy mark.  Chance the nephilim has waited in the dive for the demon apprentice to arrive so he can show her what she failed to read in the fine print of her deal with Vetis.  However, from the first smoldering touch, Chance and Destiny are so hot for each other; hell seems to have frozen over.  As they fight for control, they fall in love, but there is no room for such a wasteful mortal emotion in hell.

 

This is a fast-paced urban fantasy romance starring two enticing paranormal engaged in a holy gender war.  Although the ending seems too simplistic for the protagonists’ journey, this somewhat tongue in cheek lampooning of capitalist religious dogma will have fans cheering for the rookie demon and the heavenly hybrid to light their respective fire.

 

Harriet Klausner