Saturday, November 26, 2011


Virtue and Vice
Megan Hart
Berkley, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425242988

New King Jarron Bydelay of the Second Province, requests the Order of Solace send him a Handmaiden. The Order assigns Sister Redemption to bring solace to him.

The royal fails to recognize the Handmaiden but she knows who he is. A decade ago, Sister Redemption was Notsah a kitchen maid who was caught stealing by the Captain of the King's Guard Erekon. To escape she ran into the chambers of the then prince who showed her mercy. Erekon recognizes her as the ragged thief and plans to use her to further his agenda with the new monarch. Meanwhile Redemption falls in love with her regal client, but Jarron, who is also in love, has bigger political intrigue issues to cope with than that of his heart.

The latest Order of Solace (see the Pleasure And Purpose three novellas, Selfish Is the Heart and No Greater Pleasure) is an engaging erotic thriller. The heated romance is more of a support subplot as the political intrigue and the unique culture of Hart’s world take center stage. The lead couple is a fabulous pairing of a king and a Handmaiden who were once the “prince and the pauper”. Love may not be enough to keep them together. Harriet Klausner

Pay Me In Flesh
K. Bennett
Pinnacle, $6.99
ISBN: 9780786026241

One year ago lawyer Mallory Caine was murdered. She returned as a zombie but obviously does not smell of rotting flesh as Judge Darnell hits on her though she thinks of him as a potential sick meal and chooses contempt. Mallory knows she must find the person who killed her before she dies again or her missing soul will end up in hell. LAPD has filed it as a cold case.

Her former law school boyfriend who broke her heart years ago Aaron Argula has come home from San Francisco where he works for the Office of the District Attorney. He pays her contempt fine and admits he made a big mistake dumping her and wants to start over, but she has doubts though he is good for her zombie image.

Etta Johnson calls Mallory, Zombie at Law, to represent her granddaughter Traci Ann; Detectives Richards and Strobert arrived to arrest Traci Ann on a murder charge. The evidence is overwhelming that Traci Ann burned to death a cop in his car. Though there is a slight conflict of interest, Mallory defends her vampiric client while Aaron prosecutes the case.

This is an entertaining dark urban fantasy starring a delightful zombie who retained intelligence and her thirtyish looks though she dines on fresh human flesh. The story line is action-packed but with plenty of humor. Using the law to defend a vampire makes for a fun legal thriller as the defense demands night court and challenges the arrest of a corpse. Readers will relish this grim yet jocular opening tale of the zombie lawyer. Harriet Klausner

Must Love Lycans
Michelle Bardsley
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451234506

After a near death experience with mommy dearest, empathic psychotherapist Kelsey Morningstone tries to start over at the Dante Clinic in Broken Heart, Oklahoma. However, her latest problem in counseling patients is that the well endowed hunk is naked. She wants this Damian, but prides herself over no personal involvement especially of the sex kind with a client.

Damian cannot sit still as he struggles with amnesia having been hurt during an incarceration. He also insists he is a werewolf and his shrink is his mate. Still salivating though she thinks Damian is a lunatic, Kelsey changes her opinion when he marks her as his life mate as she discovers paranormal activity in the Sooner State is the norm. As the hero regains his memory, he knows he must protect his beloved as those who captured him still stalk him and now his soul mate.

As the original characters and their offspring have gotten older over the eight years of Broken Arrow time, Michelle Bardsley keeps her saga fresh with a jocular werewolf (and more) entry as readers learn much about the Lycan culture. The story line is fast-paced even with Kelsey in a perpetual state of heat that Damian makes even hotter. As Marisol says “he’s one taco short of a combo plotter” yet Doc loves him. Harriet Klausner

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