St. Martin’s, Sep 14 2010, $27.99
After pastry chef Elizabeth “Lizzie” Tucker inherited her eccentric Great Aunt Ophelia’s home in Marblehead, she quit her job and moved from New York City to Massachusetts. She became a pastry chef at Dazzle’s Bakery in Salem. Everything is going right for her until a handsome man entered the store and touched her hand; leaving a burn mark on her. Her life turns further complicated when Diesel shows up at the store and her home.
He informs Lizzie that they are both “Unmentionables” humans with special abilities; his is to find people whiles hers is to locate objects. He needs her to find the SALIGIA Stones; each one possesses a power of the Seven Deadly Sins. His cousin Wulf wants the stones to create hell on earth while Diesel wants them hidden in a safe place. Lizzie and Diesel go after Gluttony, which has been fractured into pieces with each segment given to a member of the Hope family by their Uncle Phil. However, no matter how diligent the pair is, Wulf is always a step or two ahead of them until he obtains his first piece while the two unmentionables feel increasingly hopeless.
Janet Evanovich’s new series opens with a great first entry filled with her trademark humor especially as Lizzie takes on the characteristics of an Unmentionable and the storyline contains plenty of action and romance. The heat generated by Lizzie and Diesel will burn reader fingers while the villain is the more fascinating player as he is an enigmatic wicked yet charismatic person. Readers will look forward to the next adventures of this interesting cast. Harriet Klausner
St. Martin’s Griffin, Aug 3 2010, $9.99
Five centuries, nine decades and two years ago Lenah Beaudonte became a vampire. In recent decades, she has come to loath her undead life. She wants to die a human so she would no longer dine on mortals.
Now after 592 years she awakens a disoriented and frightened human after a long period of a deep sleep. Her soul mate Rhode, who existed so much longer than she, displayed his guilt for changing her and his love for her by sacrificing himself in an ancient ritual so she can revert. Lenah struggles to acclimate to being human. Thanks to Rhode she attends the exclusive Wickham Boarding School as a sixteen year old student and marvels how far mankind has come with technology. However, her crypt is opened by her vampire coven who finds her gone. They obsess, especially her emotionally hurt last lover Vicken, over finding their missing queen at any cost to her.
This is an exciting vampire thriller with a strong cast that makes what happened to Lenah seem real. Besides the intrepid heroine, the three main males in her life (Rhode, Vicken and Justin who tries to keep her safe) make for a strong urban fantasy as the emotions of this quartet and other coven members feel genuine. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Rebecca Maizel’s entertaining character-driven dark with a glimmering of light tale of the Undead. Harriet Klausner