Signet, Aug 3 2010, $7.99
In New York City tattoo artist Rox is a Good Samaritan who tries to help those going through hard times. Her “projects” include her former roommate, Pyr Thorolf, who moved out to work with Niall Talbot.
Rox does not trust Niall so she confronts him. Neither anticipated the inferno “firestorm” their first encounter causes. Niall is stunned by Rox’s not blinking at meeting a dragon while she is stunned by her attraction to him. Neither have time nor the emotional desire for even a kiss as he tries to remain focused on his obsession, the destruction of Shadow Dragons. However he and the other Pyr remain fixated on their eradication mission so they keep their eye on the wrong ball as a new more deadly threat arises.
This is a terrific Kiss urban romantic fantasy (see Winter Kiss and Kiss of Fate) as the lead couple may be firestorm perfect mates in heat, but neither has the time or inclination to place their heart and soul in the inferno they spontaneously combusted at first sight. Both have issues, but still team up on a perilous trek in which one mistake means death. The author has Cooked another winner with the tattoo artist and the dragon shapeshifter. Harriet Klausner
Kiss of the Rose
Signet, Aug 3 2010, $6.99
In 1485 the Druids and King Henry Tudor made a pact in which the priests are to eradicate the vampire race while he becomes ruler of England and Wales. In 1529 at the Richmond Palace, home of the court of King Henry VIII, there have been a series of murders; the victims drained of all their blood. Obviously a serial killing vampire or multitude of the undead is making the palace unsafe for humans.
The Druids assign born vampire hunter Rosalind Llewellyn to kill the predator. However, before she can find the hidden beast, she must deal with vampire protector Sir Christopher Ellis the Druid slayer. Attracted to one another, both are stunned when their superiors order them to cooperate in finding and destroying a rogue. Neither is prepared to be soul mates fulfilling an ancient prophecy if they truly team up and if they survive the deadly mission.
The first Tudor Vampire Chronicles is a wonderful historical romantic fantasy. The mystery and the history take a back seat to the paranormal and the romance so that the background to a vampiric King Henry VIII castle never fully comes to fruition. Still this is an exciting early fifteenth century star-crossed lovers' thriller as the immovable vampire hunter meets the irresistible Druid slayer. Harriet Klausner
Signet, Aug 3 2010, $7.99
Kenneth Randall was so filled with grief from the murder of his wife, the shocked man wandered into the ocean and nearly drowned. A woman saved his life leaving him on the beach supposedly with no memory of her saving his life.
Ten months since the good Samaritan rescued him, Ken returns to Point Rock Harbor on barrier island Little Mer, Maine to thank his angel and to put to rest his recurring dream of a sea nymph saving him. Little Mer Island lighthouse keeper Tessa Lonike is unhappy with the arrival of the man she pulled out of the sea almost a year ago. He should not have remembered her or what happened to him on that day. However, her sister Gwen is euphoric when the visitor offers to repair things. As Ken and Tessa become acquainted he figures out her deep watery secret and becomes protective when her former fiancé archeologist Jake Massey arrives claiming he has information on the heritage of the sisters.
The Dark Tides oceanic romantic fantasy is a fun tale starring a thorny acerbic shapeshifter who learns where good intentions lead and the obstinate man she rescued from the icy sea. The story line is fast-paced, but the villain is a caricature with no redeeming quality rather than a real adversary. Still readers will enjoy this entertaining tale due to the relationship between the lead couple.