Saturday, January 28, 2012

Harriet's Reviews

Wolf Whisperer
Karen Whiddon
Harlequin Nocturne, Dec 20 2011, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618750

Pack protector Mac Lamonda is grieving and raging as his wife Maggie recently died in a car crash and her birth clan claimed and abducted his twin children while he mourned his loss. He wants his kids back so he has come to Wyoming to abduct a distant cousin Kelly McKenzie of his late spouse to force an exchange with this Tearlach clan that vanished years ago except for his target as she runs a canine rescue mission.

He arrives just after she learns her sister Bonnie has been abducted. They are attacked, but thwart the adversaries as her Tearlach skills save his life. Each distrusts the other as her clan took his kids and his Protectors failed to investigate who murdered her father and now her sibling is missing. Failure to combines forces proves not an option as a clever diabolical manipulator is putting the pair and their loved ones in jeopardy.

The latest Wolf Pack urban romantic fantasy (see Lone Wolf) is an exhilarating thriller due to the strong lead couple who loath the other’s clan and the expansion to the already powerful Whiddon mythos with the Tearlach talents. Mac and Kelly complement one another especially in a fight and at love. Readers will relish this entertaining tale as united the protagonists may save their loved ones; divided their loved ones will die. Harriet Klausner

Claim The Night
Rachel Lee
Harlequin Nocturne, Dec 20 2011, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618743

Messenger Investigations, Inc. private investigator Jude Messenger saves the life of medical examiner Terri Black from a gang rape. Jude is stunned to find himself attracted to Terri and the smell of her blood. However, the private investigator knows he has no time for a female even if her blood has him stirred; since he must focus on ending the spread of a demon infestation. Thus he escorts her to his office and his assistant Chloe Crandall.

Teri is as shocked as her savior with her desire for Jude who tries to drive her away just like he did the four punks who he mentally sent home. She assumes her wanting him is a form of hero worship. However, she reconsiders her first inclination of adulation when she remains attracted to Jude even after learning that he is a demon hunting vampire. She insists on helping him with his mission as he realizes why her blood makes his boil; and to keep her safe from a demonic stalker he accepts her offer.

This Claiming urban romantic fantasy is an action-packed thriller that never decelerates from the moment that Jude and Chloe meet until a final confrontation with a nasty demon. Fast-paced, readers will relish Claim the Night as the dedicated demon hunter learns one taste of her blood will never be enough while M.E. never blinks re his race and his occupation; love will do that and more. Harriet Klausner

A Bridge of Years
Robert Charles Wilson
Orb/Tor, Dec 6 2011, $16.99
ISBN: 9780765327420

Following a divorce and a desperate need to start over, alcoholic Tom Winter leaves Seattle to return home to Belltower where he buys a three decade old house not occupied for over ten years, but maintained in pristine condition by an apparent phantom housekeeping service. The previous occupant Ben Collier lived there from 1964 until he vanished in 1980. Tom thinks his luck has changed as there is not one iota of dust anywhere and everything works.

However, he wonders if he is having the DTs when the “Tidiness Elves” clean his dishes. He soon meets his ghosts the cybernetic caretakers who plead with him to repair the abode as Tom learns the basement contains a tunnel that on the other end takes a traveler to Greenwich Village circa 1962. Ignoring the custodians’ warning not to enter the tunnel, Tom lands in May 1962 where he meets Joyce Casella in Washington Square Park. They are attracted to one another, but she fears he lost his mind to LSD or something similar. However, a marauder Billy Gargullo who killed Ben targets Tom and Joyce.

This is a reprint of a 1991 classic time traveler relationship drama. The exciting story line is filled with action, a vague future filled with war and horrific climate change, and a purposely not fully developed bittersweet romance. Character driven, fans who appreciate a complex somewhat convoluted thriller will want to read Robert Charles Wilson’s terrific time travel treatise as the protagonist struggles to cope psychologically (accentuated with the right on target climax) even more than the physical stalking by a killer. Harriet Klausner

Haunted Warrior
Allie Mackay
Signet, Jan 3 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451235480

The historical restoration group Scotland’s Past hires Ghostcatchers International ghost whisperer Kendra Chase to assist with the troubled spirits disturbed by a dig in Pennard, Scotland. When she arrives from Edinburgh at the coastal fishing village, she sees mysterious seal expert Graeme MacGrath and his rowdy companion Jock the dog.

Kendra and Graeme want one another, but each for differing reasons is reluctant to see where their attraction leads. While Kendra tries to conceal her paranormal skill; Graeme tries to protecting the villagers from an evil threatening to break through barrier separating two realms. However, he concludes for him to keep the residents and their village safe, he needs Kendra’s paranormal skills.

The lead protagonists (to include jocular Jock) bring energy to an engaging urban romantic fantasy as each of the lead couple is falling in love but know their respective mission comes first. Ironically, while hiding their particular cause, neither realizes their respective mission is the same. Sub-genre fans will appreciate Haunted Warrior as Allie Mackay makes the save the village and perhaps Scotland and the world come before the love though their feelings are always everywhere. Harriet Klausner

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