Shadow of the Sheikh
Harlequin Nocturne, Nov 1 2010, $5.25
The note from her sister Gillian the historian says not to worry as she claims she is doing okay but is in love (see Lord of the Desert). Concerned for her sibling anyway, Cultural anthropologist Gemma Haliday wants to be looking at her sister “Jelly Bean” when she hears how Gillian is doing.
In the Nubian desert of Egypt to find Gillian, Gemma knows immortal shapeshifter Sheikh Shahin “Black Hawk” Aswadi has information as to the whereabouts of her sister. Thus she follows him into the forbidden zone where mortals never dare travel; not even the nomads have crossed into this area in a century. She enters the oasis of his people who worship the God Set-Sutekh where her prey captures her. Caught with overt desire for the Black Hawk, Gemma agrees to accompany him when he enters the underground city although she knows once you cross through the portal you can never exit. However, she had not expected to be a key player in an ancient war between Shahin’s vampire leader Seth-Aziz and their immortal enemy Haru-re.
The second Immortal Sheikhs desert romantic fantasy is a delightful thriller starring an intrepid heroine and the immortal who dares to love her. Gemma is a bulldog who once she makes up her mind no one can budge her though her sisters can nudge her. Shahin recognizes his beloved’s obstinacy and uses it as a tool to get his beloved to come to him; which she does into the pits of hell but engulfed by love. Filled with excitement, Shadow of the Sheikh is an enjoyable Haliday tale with one more sister to go. Harriet Klausner
Linda O. Johnston
Harlequin Nocturne, Dec 1 2010, $5.25
In Alaska Alpha Force Lieutenant Patrick Worley serves as an undercover dogsled driver at the remote Great Glacier Dog Ranch. His current cover assignment is escorting naturalist magazine writer Mariah Garver to an isolated area where she plans to research the wildlife of a glacier for an article she is writing. Besides obviously keeping the civilian safe, the shapeshifting wolf’s security task is to investigate the strange happenings occurring to the glaciers.
Besides her prime subject, Mariah wants to know more about the glacial mystery too. She accidentally uncovers her guide’s secret. They team up when they learn am industrialist is destroying the glaciers to expedite extraction of minerals from the ocean floor. The pair plans to prevent an ecological disaster from happening.
This is an enjoyable glacial romantic fantasy starring two likable strong protagonists and intriguing environmental vs. development scenario. He finds his desire for his client distracting him from his mission; while she finds him desirable. Although the remote glacial background is glossed over so lacks the deep starkness of the region, Linda O Johnston provides a fast-paced paranormal romantic thriller. Harriet Klausner
Harlequin Nocturne, Dec 1 2010, $5.25
In New Orleans, a serial killer is targeting werewolves. The victims are always left dead in their wolf body with claws and fangs removed as if the predator collected souvenirs. The Keeper of the local Wolven populace shopkeeper Shauna MacDonald is sworn to protect the packs so she investigates the murders. She teams up with alpha pack leader Danyon Stone, who has had several of his members killed.
The pair concludes the predator is murdering werewolves to obtain their claws and fangs not as memorabilia or ritual items. Instead once extracted, the body parts are grounded into a fine powder that enables the user to gain immense physical prowess to rival that of a genuine shifting werewolf without changing from their human form. As the duet work on the case, they realize they want more as each knows this their mate.
The key to this strong New Orleans urban romantic fantasy is the smooth interweaving of recent real events with the paranormal happenings. The story line is fast-paced as the lead couple investigate the homicides, which continual unabated, and fall in love; though for the most part their romance takes a back seat to stopping a diabolical killer. Harriet Klausner