Monday, September 26, 2011

Enchanting reviews from Harriet

Primal Law
J.D. Tyler
Signet, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451234346

In Afghanistan, an attack left many in Jaxon Tyler’s unit dead; those who survived were changed into werewolves. They became the Alpha Pack. However, he and his unit of shifters are betrayed by his girlfriend Beryl; he knows he is fortunate to survive while tossing his perfidious lover into the fire.

At NewLife Technology in Las Vegas, Jaxon rescues lab assistant Kira Locke from an assault. She knows something is not right at the lab so she steals samples so that she and her protector Jax can figure out what is happening. As the werewolf and the human work together, they fall in love; but each understands the mission to take down the unknown predatory Chappell comes first.

With a nod to Mandy M. Roth’s Immortal Ops series, J.D. Tyler provides a fabulous first act with the introduction of the Alpha Pack, a military werewolf unit with other specialized paranormal talents. The story line is fast-paced from the opening betrayal and never slows down as the team works on learning who Beryl is allied with. Not all goes well as some members die and others are captured by the enemy. Although Kira accepts things too easily (after an initial short circuit) and acts and reacts over the top of the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower, fans will enjoy meeting the Alpha Pack. Harriet Klausner

The Twelfth Enchantment
David Liss
Random House, $26.00
ISBN: 9781400068988

Ay sixteen Lucy Derrick eloped with Jonas Morrison, but their running away was never finished though it partially wrecked her reputation as being foolish but not a whore. She believes her aborted elopement destroyed her family. A few years later, her oldest sister Emily died just before her father passed. Her middle sister Martha married Mr. Buckles who rejects having Lucy in his house as he obeys his patroness Widow Lady Harriett Dyer. Lucy lives as the poor relation of her resentful martinet Uncle Richard Lowell and his towering abusive housekeeper Mrs. Quince. She is forced to accept a marriage offer from Mr. Olson, owner of a mill with brutal working conditions.

The poet Lord Byron arrives babbling she must not marry before collapsing. Medical man Mr. Snyder arrives and says he cannot help the cursed Byron; he suggests they consult with Miss Mary Crawford. Lucy and Mrs. Quince visit Mary. The “witch” guides Lucy as she lifts the curse haunting Byron. The strangeness turns weirder as Lucy becomes the foci of a colossal conspiratorial collision between the ancient and modern times. Lucy must find a mystical tome to save her country while two enigmatic males court her.

The Twelfth Enchantment is a strange yet engaging Regency fantasy starring a charming heroine struggling with being the unwanted relative fostered off to an engagement she does not remotely accept when her vision of the world is shattered. The storyline is leisurely paced especially towards the beginning to establish time and place (through Byron) and the laws of Liss magic. Readers will appreciate this twisting coming of age historical fantasy as Lucy Derrick tries to save a world she never knew existed until Byron arrived. Harriet Klausner

Storm’s Heart
Thea Harrison
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425242667

Two centuries ago Urien murdered the royal family. Only he failed to kill his niece Dark Fae Princess Niniane “Tricks” Lorelle. After witnessing the atrocities, she fled to the protection of Lord of the Wyrn Dragos. When Urien kidnaps Dragos’ mate, he kills the usurper.

In Chicago where Tricks hides, an assassination attempt on her leads to ancient thunderbird Wyr warrior Tiago Black Eagle sent to protect the new Dark Fae Queen. Each is shocked with the attraction between them. However, she knows she must prove her independence if she is to take the throne that is rightfully hers; and he knows her safety comes before his desire so he must keep her safe while ferreting out the assassin.

The second Elder Races romantic fantasy (see Dragon Bound) is an entertaining tale filled with betrayal and blood feuds that give the story line (even with a stay in GPS Chicago) a sort of Scottish historical Highlander feel. The moderate pace allows the audience to fully dive into the Harrison realm where the supernatural seem natural. Sub-genre readers will enjoy Tricks’ saga summed up by her with her adding the fourth definition of a Queen to the dictionary: “a royal pain in the ass”. Harriet Klausner

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