When Nathan Lesperance was a child, the Canadian government took him away from his tribe. By 1875, the adult Nathan has become an attorney practicing in Vancouver, but feels outside of both the Anglo and tribal worlds. Likewise both societies treat him like a leper.
Several years later his law firm chooses Nathan to travel to the wild Northwest Territory because of his heritage as the assumption is he will feel right at home unlike the all white rest of the staff. His task is to pick up the belongings of the recently deceased Douglas Prescott. On the trek the malevolent Heirs of Albrion kidnap him, but he escapes. Former Blade of the Rose Astrid Bramfield finds him wandering lost near dead. Whereas the heirs want to use magical objects to dominate the world; the Blade wants to prevent magical abuse. With her Blade late husband as her partner, Astrid studied the Primal Source, but the Heirs killed her spouse and stole the artifact. Now the Heirs stalk the pair to obtain her knowledge and his untapped magic, Astrid and Nathan trek to the expected safety of an alleged tribe of shapeshifters.
The latest Blade of the Rose historical romantic fantasy (see Warrior and Scoundrel) is another super thriller as the suspense never slows down while the romance simmers nice and slow as each has a history filled with doubts that desire is not enough. Fast-paced once Nathan goes north fully understanding why him and never takes a respite as Zoe Archer hits a bulls-eye with this winner. Harriet Klausner
The Vampire Jerome
Ann B. Morris
Everyone believes that the deaths and vast destruction of the Mississippi delta was caused by Katrina, but what is mostly unknown is that during the chaotic lawlessness in which civilization temporarily vanished, evil deep earth vampires feasted. The malevolent potent Zurik captured Dottie Crawford with the intent of using her to get to the Whitcombe brother Julian. After being tortured many times, Julian frees her and sends her to his sibling Jerome for medical treatment.
Jerome loves being a vampire but if he meets a mortal woman he cherishes more then he would give up immortality for her. He knows Julian who found his soulmate wants that for his brothers even though that means fighting the amoral immortal deep earth vampires with the powers the Goddess Lilith will give them as humans. A shift in the magical forces near the earth’s core indicates a major earthquake is coming soon; Jerome and his cadre are needed to prevent another Katrina hammering the Bay area. Jerome knows he has feelings for Dottie, but fights his desire as undesirable because he detests the concept of monogamy. He finally concludes he loves Dottie but is duty bound to his bother and their Whitcombe legacy; either way he fears for the woman whose blood is imprinted on his brain.
The Vampire Jerome is a terrific urban romantic fantasy filled with plenty of action and yet also contains complex moral dilemmas; together they grip the audience to keep turning the pages to learn what happens next. Dottie is a person of strength who loves Jerome although he is a vampire who seems to cherish being undead and she was a hostage of one of his kind. The second Whitcombe triplet’s legacy (see The Vampire Julian) continues the fresh take on the vampire mythos as each of the brothers must choose the dank darkness or the light of love. Harriet Klausner
Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith
In 1870, vampires came out of the coffins to attack western civilizations in the northern temperate zone. Instead of leading a counterinsurgency, human leaders fled south while their former subjects became food for the conquerors.
A century and a half later, the world remains divided between the vampire and human zones. A party led by Senator Clark of the American republic stunningly takes back St. Louis from the vampires. At the same time, Equatorian Empire Princess Adele is on a state visit to Marseilles when British vampire Prince Cesare kidnaps her in spite of the efforts of the mysterious freedom fighter Greyfriar. These two events bring a treaty between the two human superpowers and a plan to attack jointly the vampires.
The first Vampire Empire fantasy is an exciting thriller that grips the audience with the divided world concept that feels like a supernatural Cold War with heated incursions. The story line is fast-paced though it behooves the reader to ignore the plausibility factor; especially of the limited lack of major difference on how minorities are treated yet react radically different to injustice in both camps. Mindful of Phil Ochs’ Ballard of William Worthy “But somehow it is strange to hear the State Department say You are living in the free world, in the free world you must stay”. Still this is an exciting paranormal futuristic spin to the Cold War.