Monday, June 15, 2009
Reviews from Harriet. She has a lot of books to read and has speed reading down to an art. I'm honored to have her sharing her reviews with me.
Berkley, Jun 2009, $7.99
Four hundred years ago Cwen the sorceress cursed marauding Viking warriors; the cursed ones live half of a day as human and the other half as a beast; each being a different animal. Ivo is a daytime eagle (see IMMORTAL WARRIOR); Brand is a daytime bear, Ari is a nighttime raven; and Steinarr the Proud spends his night roaring as a lion while roaming Nottingham Forest as the king of the beasts. He avoids human contact as much as possible as he knows they are a treacherous lot.
When he meets half-siblings Marian and Robin Fitzwalter, he learns they seek a concealed treasure that will prove the lad is the rightful owner of his family’s lands. Marian asks Steinarr to help them, but his distrust of humans leads to his refusal. She kisses the lion king and implies passion will follow. Though he expects betrayal, he helps them even as a legend of the outlaw Robin Hood and his band of merry men grows. As Marian falls in love with Steinarr; Cwen the sorceress plans to kill the half beast.
The second Immortal Brotherhood medieval romantic fantasy uses a spin on the Robin Hood- Lady Marian legend to tell the tale of Steinarr. The story line is filled with action in Nottingham as the Viking King of the Beasts falls in love with the legendary Lady Marian while Cwen is coming to destroy both of them and the Merry Men. The audience will relish Lisa Hendrix’s enjoyable entry while wondering if literary greats like Sir Gawain and Ivanhoe will join future half beasts. Harriet Klausner
Touched by Light
Berkley, Jun 2009, $7.99
Adam Masters needs the help of Dr. Julia Reynolds on his quest to find a sentinel. Her precognitive skills are critical as they enhance his extrasensory gifts. However, Adam also knows the highly probable cost to her if he loses to his deadly enemy; Julia will die horribly.
Julia wants nothing to do with Adam or any man for that matter as she struggles with knowing the animal who raped her has just been freed from prison. However, she understands Adam’s plea and reluctantly agrees to help him. Adam feels guilty that he may be endangering this kind woman he is attracted to while Julia struggles between her fear of the male beast and her attraction to her new teammate.
The latest Sentinel “Touched” paranormal romantic suspense (see TOUCHED BY FIRE and TOUCHED BY DARKNESS) is an enjoyable thriller starring two interesting lead characters. Julia is especially a fresh face as she is at times is out right nasty towards the hero though she likes him, desires him, and supports his goal. Adam is somewhat similar in personality to the Sentinel heroes of the previous tales Damien Morgan and Luke Paxton. Fans will enjoy this fine entry yet ponder why Julia’s precognitive skills work so well to help her and Adam have a chance at surviving his quest, but failed to warn her about the rapist. Catherine Spangler provides an engaging tale in her strong Sentinel saga. Harriet Klausner
The Widow Season
Berkley, Jun 2009, $14.00
Sarah McConnell sees her husband wearing his Yankees cap at the grocery store. She is shocked as David drowned kayaking three months ago though his body was never found. Later Sarah senses David is near and is not scared because she knows he will not harm her. She realizes as she sees him on the couch, she is not mourning him, but what they lost in the last few years of their marriage. He tells her they need a revival like what happened to him on the river when the storm suddenly hit and tipped over his kayak. He got to shore and made it back to their cabin, but felt it was too late to call Sarah. Instead he started painting.
Her brother-in-law Nate and Sarah are there for each other in grief but soon make love, but she is upset in the morning filled with guilt. Sarah comes to the cabin to see David and pick up paintings for a show a gallery owner is putting on of his works. David is thankful Sarah has not given up on him while Sarah is thankful she has a second chance to spend time with David until he asks her if he is dead to her. David wants Sarah to join him in a warm spot, but will she?
The premise of this fine paranormal contemporary, his visiting his widow after his death, is intriguing and well executed so that readers will believe David came back. The cast is extremely strong especially the lead characters and the brother. Though Sarah’s affair with her brother-in-law is intended for the audience to understand two grieving people finding some solace with one another; instead it feels more of a shocker device to upset David. THE WIDOW SEASON is a wonderful relationship drama as a couple drifting apart in life reached out to each other in death. Harriet Klausner
In the Flesh
Zebra, Jun 2009, $6.99
For five years, the daughter of the Army’s top general, Sapphire the concubine has been numero uno with the King of Sari. However, her popularity with the monarch means Sapphire has a powerful enemy, the queen orders her out of the palace. Her exile to her lavish home includes servants so Sapphire feels good that she no longer is a sex toy.
Crown Prince Wulfric of warring neighboring D'Ashier arrives at her home badly injured. She realizes who he is and once he heals they make love. He wants her in his home, but she is loyal to her nation. However, he rejects her refusal and takes her to his palace where he makes her his top concubine over her second objection. However, as they fall in love, Wulf begins to wonder who the prisoner is.
The first Sapphire other world romantic thriller is a fabulous tale starring a delightful courageous heroine and the stubborn Prince she conquers. Sub-genre fans will appreciate the fast-paced story line from the moment that the Sari Queen exiles her greatest rival into an affluent banishment and never slows down as the heroine is abducted by the royal she saves. With vivid detail to her exotic world that feels like an entry found in the Arabian Nights, Livia Dare provides a strong opening entry in what looks like a wonderful saga. Harriet Klausner