Thursday, March 15, 2012

Urban and Paranormal Fantasies

Shaded Vision
Yasmine Galenorn
Jove, Feb 7 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515150353

On Valentine’s Day, Iris the Finnish house sprite and Bruce the leprechaun prepare to marry as their friends look forward to rejoicing in their happiness. Even Camille D’Artigo is happy for her pal Iris though she still suffers from PTSD after one of her fathers-in-law Hyto the dragon abducted and sexually assaulted his prisoner in order to break her will (see Courting Darkness).

A bomb explodes at the Super Community Center. Camille’s half-sister werecat/werepanther Delilah the Death Maiden (see Harvest Hunting for her last lead) learns Newkirk and the Koyomi coyote shifters have teamed up with sorcerers; while Shadow Wing dispatches one of his most ferocious ruthless leaders. With her two half-sisters (see Camille the witch in Bone Magic for her last lead) family, friends and lovers; Delilah leads the counterattack as danger mounts to a critical state.

The Sisters of the Moon urban fantasy rotates lead between the three D’Artigo sisters with the latest focused predominantly on Delilah. The Otherworld entry is superb in what is one of the great on-going sub-genre sagas. As always the key is how deftly Yasmine Galenorn keeps the personalities of the lead trio and their mates diverse and fascinating. Shaded Vision is a terrific thriller as even in the darkest night a joyful wedding brings a brilliant shiny light. Harriet Klausner

Midnight Enchantment
Anya Bast
Berkley, Feb 7 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425245033

In Piefferburg, dedicated Elizabeth Cely Saintjohn the asrai water fae takes her duty to her liege The Summer Queen seriously; ergo she maintains the barrier that contains the fae. Mage Niall Quinn the thief thinks Elizabeth is cruel for not allowing the fae freedom.

Sent by the Shadow Queen of the Black Tower to regain two stolen pieces of the bosca fadbh that the Summer Queen gave to Elizabeth, Niall hunts her, but so far she has frustrated him. He loathes how she toys with him rather than his usual playing with females. Elizabeth finds her persistent pursuer attractive while Niall knows he wants her like no other woman before. Both have missions as they work for rival queens.

The latest Dark Magick romantic urban fantasy (see Wicked Enchantment, Dark Enchantment and Cruel Enchantment) is an entertaining thriller that looks deeply at values, which can be negative as well as positive. The relationship between the protagonists is fun to follow as the duet shares many of the same values. Although the bosca fadbh dominates the storyline, which keep readers somewhat at a distance from the lead rivals, sub-genre fans will appreciate this exciting blast from Anya Bast. Harriet Klausner

Something About Witches
Joey W. Hill
Berkley, Feb 7 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425246139

Three years ago witch trainer Ruby Night Divine gave up on Witches-R-Us as she knows how spells can go wrong while she fears the darkness growing inside her like a cancer though she uses a deception spell to conceal it. Instead she left behind Derek Stormwind the Guardian, her witch practice and vanished. Ruby opened up the Arcane Shot gun store.

When she sees the bane of her heart Derek arrive at her shop, she sends Theo the elderly mastiff to “kill” him. Theo obeys as he attacks Derek with his tongue licking the sorcerer’s face. Derek explains he needs her help to train a coven in their fight against a demon and his horde. She agrees to instruct the witches, but also believes Derek has a secret agenda to get back into her bed. He does have another person mission; to learn why she left without a word.

The first Arcane Shot romantic urban fantasy is an engaging second chance at love tale starring a sorcerer who wants his woman back and a witch who wants him too but knows her soul is damned and so will be his if she allowed him back in her life. The storyline is filled with action, but it is the super charged relationship that enchants readers as once again Joey W. Hill casts a spell on her audience. Harriet Klausner

Lair of the Lion
Christine Feehan
Avon, Jan 31 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062021359

The goal seems simple enough: rescuing her brother. Finding anyone capable of aiding her in his enormous duchy like pelazzo in the Alps is so formidable that everyone tells Isabella Vernaducci to go home. She has heard tales about the Don that strike fear in the hearts of the bravest souls, yet aristocratic Isabella obstinately continues her quest to find the enigmatic, more myth than man, Nicolai DeMarco.

When Isabella locates Nicolai (or perhaps it is more the other way around), she does not see the Don who allegedly controls the beasts to do his dirty work. Instead she sees a man haunted by a curse that the intrepid Isabella is determined to free Nicolai from it. When Nicolai offers to save her sibling on the condition she marry him, Isabella readily agrees as she knows she needs no stipulation to wed the Don. Still as she risks her life to save her tortured beloved, she wonders if she will ever gain his love even if she eliminates the beast that holds his soul.

More than just Christine Feehan fans will enjoy this reprint of a delightful paranormal romance as the rarely used early nineteenth century Alps setting (almost Gothic in nature), the intrepid heroine, and the tortured male protagonist come together in exciting fashion. Though readers will admire and question Isabella's bravery at the same time, the audience will relish her efforts to emancipate the two men she cherishes from their respective "incarcerations". Lair of the Lion is a wonderful novel that readers will appreciate if they set aside the time to luxuriate in a one sitting read. Harriet Klausner

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