Kiss & Hell
Berkley, Jun 2009, $15.00
Fifteen years ago Delaney Markham met the devil and sort of survived with her soul intact. Since that hellish encounter, Delaney has been able to communicate with spirits at the cost of friendships and boyfriends as everyone who meets her assumes she is playing electronic hearts with herself. Her only pal is Marcella the kindhearted demon.
Of course there is Clyde Atwell, a rookie demon, who the devil has sent to harass Delaney. Though she feels sorry for the tyro, she wishes he would return to whence he came. However, he refuses and not because his superior vows to burn him for eternity if he fails at his mission; ironically he has fallen in love. For that matter Delaney is beginning to realize there is more to Clyde than meets the devil’s eye and decides his contention that he does not belong in hell or a hand-basket might actually be true; so how the hell did he end up there.
Delaney with her amusing sarcastic asides makes for an entertaining romantic fantasy with a wonderful mystery subplot. The story line is breezy from the opening chime and never slows down as Markham knows the world is in a hand basket traveling to hell. She never slows down even when she is passionately kissing her significant other, which has quite a meaning in this fun tale. Readers will relish this lighthearted jocular frolic while humming "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band even though the heroine’s herb store is in Manhattan’s East Village. Harriet Klausner
Berkley, Jun 2009, $7.99
In Seattle, Menolly D’Atigo still adjusts to being a vampire while working with her sisters Camille the witch (see DRAGON WYTCH) and Delilah the shapeshifting Death Maiden (see NIGHT HUNTER) for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. However, while cleaning the bar where she works, she finds fascinating items left behind by the elf bartender who returned to Otherworld. A diary the elf kept insists he felt he was stalked and implies he may have been killed instead of going home.
However, while Menolly considers what to do, a new radically different demonic assault begins to absorb the life force out of the fae. There appears no counterattack to prevent this threat from succeeding and evidence mounts that a quisling human group is abetting the demon Lord Shadow Wing.
The latest Otherworld urban romantic fantasy is a super entry as Menolly leads the charge this time. Once again there is a ton of support players allies and villains that make the well written numerous subplots even more complex. Fans will enjoy the latest D'Atigo sister's take on their adventures as this time the trio tries solve the mystery of the bartending elf while also attempting to keep two worlds safe from the demon horde. Harriet Klausner
Berkley, Jun 2009, $7.99
In 1933 Edmund Fitz Clare conceals the fact that he is a shapeshifting vampire from everyone. He hides his secret from the orphans he has adopted, from his best friend, and mostly concealing it from his buddy’s daughter Estelle Berenger who he is attracted to. His goal is redemption to make up for nefarious deeds he once committed. He remains ignorant that Estelle hides her new odd abilities she gained ever since lightning hit her.
In London, hostilities are growing amongst vampires. War seems imminent. To survive along with his wards, Edmund and Estelle will need to depend on one another. Togetherness in Bedford Square allows their attraction to become love.
The latest “Midnight” historical urban romantic fantasy is a terrific tale that plays on several fronts including M15 Graham Fitz Clare’s activities as well as the above. The story line is fast-paced, but even with paranormal species and elements, Emma Holly provides her audience with a strong sense of time and place. Edmund and Estelle are fabulous lead characters whose love seems impossible to turn into a relationship as time means something different for the pair. Ms. Holly writes another winner in her strong saga (see COURTING MIDNIGHT). Harriet Klausner