Berkley, Apr 2010, $7.99
Director of the Bureau of Breed Affairs Lion Breed Jonas Wyatt knows the only person who could bring him to his knees is his assistant, Rachel Broen. He realizes she is his mate, but refuses to act upon his need as she deserves better than him. Still he wishes he was the father of Rachel’s baby daughter Amber instead of Devon, but is satisfied that the baby recognized his voice when she was still in the womb.
Philip Brandenmore of Brandenmore research kidnaps Amber as he plans to experiment on the infant to foster his goal of using Breeds to slow down aging in purebreds. Jonas rescues the baby, but not before she is injected with some unknown elixir. A raging Jonas, who believes in his soul that Amber is his child, goes berserk with plans of vengeance. However, keeping Amber safe comes first, so he moves his soulmate and “his” daughter into the Breed Sanctuary where he relocates to keep the two females he loves safe.
This is a great entry in the Breeds saga as readers get what we waited for as Jonas no longer can deny his feelings. The key to finally force him to accept the inevitable is not his kick-butt tiny mate, but her daughter; sired by someone else. With a major leap forward in the overarching series as well, fans fully appreciate Jonas turn to accept his mate, but will he also go against what is known of Breed and accept Amber too. Harriet Klausner
Signet, Apr 2010, $7.99
With a little more than two and a half years to zero date, the clock is ticking down to 12/21/12 when the Mayans predicted that demons will rise to destroy the earth. The only hope to prevent the demonic global meltdown resides with the Nightkeepers warriors who must find their mates to fulfill their magical potential while the Order of Xibalta have other plans to prevent their endeavors.
In Austin, Lucius still feels remorse for being possessed by an evil Makol that has since been exorcised from his body, but not his mental state. He obsesses over atoning for his failures by channeling the Prophet's magic, but is incomplete without sex magic.
Nightkeeper Jade wants to do more than just be a combat support person, but her clan only provides secondary services. Jade and Lucius are attracted to one another so she decides they both can get what they want through a sexual binding. However, as each denies their love while their attraction grows, their King orders them to hook up and to rescue the sun god from their enemy.
The latest Final Prophesy urban romantic fantasy (see Nightkeepers, Dawnkeepers and Skykeepers) is a fabulous entry that moves forward the overarching countdown while also providing a strong story line. The lead couple makes the plot work as each has powerful ambitions that could be achieved if they would embrace their attraction as being more than just sexual desire. Their “Not in Love” refrains while going to the Underworld to rescue the Mayan deity will have the audience appreciating the skills of master magician Jessica Andersen. Harriet Klausner
Shadows in the Cave
Tor, Mar 2 2010, $24.99
Galayi Tribal War Chief Shonan has banned the use of magic especially by his family ever since the events that shook him and his tribe several years ago (see Zadayi Red). Although he honors the Gods and knows his wife Meli has the power of shapeshifting and her grandmother is a seer who lately seems to talk to herself or some spirit no one else sees, he prefers earthly pragmatism over the mystical. Their oldest children are twin twelve years old, Aku and Salya. A male Aku has the maternal paranormal skill of shapeshifting that he yearns to use, but fears disobeying his father while his female twin ironically cannot.
Unable to resist Aku practices shifting by himself. However, as he begins to become proficient, the Brown Leaf People violently attack the Galayi’s five villages. Shonan and Salya are dispatched to the underworld Darkening Land while his sibling’s body is owned by a monster. There only hope to return to the living is Aku; who must find himself if he is to save his family members.
This is a superb coming of age Cherokee quest fantasy that grips the reader the moment the Brown Leaf tribe attacks. The story line focuses on the young hero whose reflective doubts are his biggest impediments to saving his twin and their father. Fans preferring some action intermingled with major moments of meditative pensiveness will enjoy Aku’s journey into his mind, heart and soul as he traverses the Shadows in the Cave of the Darkening Land. Harriet Klausner