Tree Tunnel Press, Apr 2010, $21/95
Aerdem Princess Jenren hears the whispers in the wind that warn her something horrific is coming. Out of fear for the safety of her family and friends, the princess runs back home. Her brother Prince Dash and his fiancée her BFF Bit take the omen seriously because they the malevolent Queen Naryfel is back. Her father tells them don’t worry, be happy. In fact to affirm his belief he insists they all attend Count Pompahro's gala honoring the debut of Lady Vieveeka and Dash’s birthday. Disaster strikes when someone abducts the queen and princess, and the king and prince are magically incarcerated in an odd tangle of branches that no one else can enter, nor the royal pair exit.
Jen tries to escape, but struggles to do so because she refuses to leave her mom behind. At the same time, though she still feels unworthy of Dash’s love, reticent Bit, with the help of Countess Pet, seeks the one person who might be able to rescue her beloved fiancé and her future father-in-law who are unaware what she needs to hope to succeed on her quest. Meanwhile Naryfel continues to move forward on her diabolical scheming.
The story line rotates subplots as Bit stars in trying to rescue the men and Jen tries to escape taking her mom with her. Both are excellent as the heroic females, so different in personality with one an introvert and the other an extrovert; personalize their particular quest to try to rescue their loved ones before dealing with the bigger threat of saving the kingdom from the evil queen. Wyndano’s Cloak is a superb young adult fantasy. Harriet Klausner
Wolf Tales 10
Kensington Aphrodisia, Jun 29 2010, $14.00
In Montana, Eve Reynolds knows that when she was a human she was a doormat; but now as a Chanku she has become a strong female. Her soulmate Adam ells her he loves her though both are upset that she remains non-pregnant. Eve drives to town but loses track of the road and crashes. Her last thought was a cry to Adam. Anton informs Adam Eve died. Adam blames himself for not going with her.
Eve wakes up to see the Goddess Liana and asks why she failed her, but gets no response. There is room for one Goddess and the Mother has selected Eve. She visits Adam while he sleeps and tells she has a new purpose and he must move on. Adam tries to commit suicide but Eve and Liana save his life. Eve tells Adam to teach Liana how to live as a mortal. Liana knows the pack loath her; she regrets not looking out for the Chanku.
Adam rages at everyone even his best friends Mei and Oliver before attacking her only to be assaulted and raped by him. Liana knows she failed Eve and deserves Adam’s hatred though she loves him. The Chandu begin to see Liana’s failures in new light. All forgive her except Adam. However, they work together as healers to include helping Igmutaka the spirit guide cougar. When Liana and Adam have sex she realizes she cannot stay with the Chanku any longer even as an inferno bears down on the lodge.
The story line refreshes the entire saga as a prime star dies with a super twist. As always the ensemble cast comes across as always as different fully developed characters in and out of the sex scenes; of which there are plenty of diverse trysts. Although the suspense is somewhat limited for what is expected of the Wolf Pack Big Sky romantic fantasy, readers will enjoy the latest entry in a strong saga.
Kensington Aphrodisia, Jun 29 2010, $14.00
Her mission on Belton is to steal semen for use on her all female adopted planet. Being a lethal warrior, Nika vows to insure a successful endeavor as her people need it.
Lieutenant Brendon Marshall is a sentinel watching over the planet’s most valuable asset, seeds. Nika first attempt at the theft fails due to Brendon’s diligence. Her superior orders her to seduce him in order to obtain the semen. They make love with both hotter than a sun. However, he soon realizes she is the semen thief he seeks so holds her in sexual bondage unaware that a bounty hunter seeks his “guest”.
This is a heated erotic science fiction that readers will enjoy but must suspend credibility due to the actions of the guardian and the bounty hunter. Nika is a strong lead character as she does what it takes to accomplish her mission. Fans will wonder why Brendon fails to turn her over to authorities even if he has just had the most mind blowing sex of his life; thinking with the wrong head can get the right head castrated. Still Need me is an entertaining scifi erotica. Harriet Klausner
Juno (Pocket), Jun 29 2010, $7.99
Persephone Alcmedi, high priestess of a Cleveland coven, takes care of her grandmother and nine years old foster daughter Beverley. Her boyfriend Johnny the werewolf has groupies sniffing at him and his Lycanthropic band. However, all that seems like child play to Seph when compared with her destiny of uniting the paranormal witches, weres and vampires into a cohesive peace; considering the three groups have an ancient history of combat.
However, the Fairies demand Seph kill her magical bond mate, ancient vampire Menessos. She conceals her ties to the vamp because she knows her coven will react by banning her from using magic so she has few she can turn to for help. Johnny is aware of the tie, but loathes it as he detests her odd friendship with the vampire. The linked pair knows a showdown with the Fairies is imminent and believe to survive they need Johnny on their side against the fairies. However, even Johnny is unsure he can fight alongside a vamp, especially this particular undead.
The third urban fantasy Circle tale (see Vicious Circle and Hallowed Circle) finds the heroine overwhelmed, but not just by her destiny. Seph struggles with a complicated romance with her Were while bonded to her Vamp, a High Noon confrontation with the Fairies or killing her bonded Vamp, and the most difficult mission of all is what to do about Beverly’s upcoming birthday while Granny hovers. Seph and the cast makes for a strong thriller as she and her sidekicks want to insure the monsters don’t devour Cleveland as Maynard G Krebs would have said. Harriet Klausner