Kensington Aphrodisia, Feb 28 2012, $14.00
Dedicated Seattle Police Department’s Magickal Task Force officer Selina Grayson is a centuries old elf who remains haunted with the death of her cousin by a still out there serial killing bloodsucker. Her superior assigns Selina the investigation into a serial killer drinking blood from the Magickal and from the Normal aware of the Magickal. The FBI Magickal Crimes Unit assigns human agent Jack Laramie to work with Selina.
The elf and the human are attracted to one another immediately. They begin a heated tryst while working the case. As they fall in love, he wants more, but she chooses less. However, both agree that ending the blood-draining reign of terror comes first, but Selina and Jack fail to realize they fit the profile of a diabolical malevolence.
The second Night urban fantasy police procedural (see Embrace The Night) is an exciting serial killer thriller that deftly blends a tense investigation with heated multispecies sex. The storyline starts slow as Crystal Jordon goes over the ground rules of her mythos, but that also enables fans to believe in witches, vampires, werewolves and Normals (who mostly unaware of the paranormal). Once completed, the plot accelerates into a fast-paced arousing whodunit. Harriet Klausner
Wanted: Undead Or Alive
Avon, Mar 27 2012, $7.99
Celebrity Vampire Phineas “Love Doctor” McKinney has become famous for his TV commercial on the Digital Vampire Network selling Blardonnay, a blood and Chardonnay concoction. Since good vampires saved his life, Phin has adjusted well to being a blood diner after the initial shock of being converted by having his throat ripped open by an evil Malcontent. While his stunned human brother Freemont takes him to the Brooklyn studio of DVN, MacKay S and I works on capturing Corky Courrant, the de facto new leader of the Malcontents following the death of Casimir whose head was cut off.
Not long afterward, Phin goes undercover in Wyoming to help catch Corky. The city slicker feels out of place in the mountainous state except that he shares a cabin with his obsession Brynley Jones the werewolf who to his chagrin loathes all vampires. She is his day bodyguard while her father Caddoc demands she marry one of their kind.
The latest Love At Stake romantic urban fantasy continues the post Casmir Malcontent era (see Vampire Mine and Sexiest Vampire Alive) with Phin’s tale. The plot focuses mostly on the dysfunctional love story between the only known female alpha and Dr. Phang the Love Doctor though a second subplot involves the Malcontents. Although the Love Doctor is persona is somewhat muted and a late twist abates some of the tension, fans will appreciate this entertaining entry.
Berkley, Mar 6 2012, $9.99
Identical twins Sunny and Rayne McDonald have totally opposite desires as one is all sun and the other is all rain. Rayne desperately wants to become a vampire; while Sunny wants to live a normal life. Due to Magnus the vampire biting Sunny instead of Rayne, the “wrong’ twin is changed. Drinking from the Holy Grail returns Sunny to normal. Sunny and Magnus are on the run because they disobeyed a direct order from Pyrus, who plots to control the Vampire Consortium and then the world.
Pyrus hires Slayer Inc. to bring him the treasonous duet. Slayer Inc. assigns Rayne and her boyfriend Jareth to capture Sunny and Magnus to deliver them to the Vampire Consortium. Rayne is distraught as she would do just anything for her sister, but failure to complete the mission means the deaths of all the Blood Coven vampires as well as herself and her boyfriend. Complicating matters for Rayne is when she learns another slayer with a grudge is on the hunt too. Her life turns even more hellish when a god orders her to choose between Sunny and Jareth.
The latest A Blood Coven Vampire urban fantasy (see Blood Ties) continues the bloody darker spin that started when the twins attended Night School in Switzerland. Rayne tells the tale as she faces increasingly impossible dilemmas that shake her inner soul. Her growing maturity (she has come a long way since Boys That Bite and Stake That) shines through the darkness as she struggles with choosing the lesser of two evils. This is a character driven, fast-paced exciting teen urban fantasy. Harriet Klausner
Tor, Mar 13 2012, $15.99
Her Uncle told Christine when she was little that her Father was gone. Because of her violent tendencies she began seeing Dr. Almand. He persuaded her into believing her Father was abusive. At seventeen, Christine sees a young man hitting his brakes abruptly seemingly upon noticing her. Quentin of Lydia sends her note to meet him at Telzer Park. She knows who the author is and decides to confront him. Quentin says he searched for her for nine years as the lost Princess and heir to the throne of Chrysanthe. He explains she was kidnapped.
Quentin escorts Christine home. However, she loathes her sire King Edisthen, as she has the thoughts planted in her brain by Almand of her father sexually abusing and abandoning her. Christine also has an enemy lurking nearby; as Evered, who abducted her years ago, plots to take the throne that he believes is rightfully his. He refuses to accept the Law that deposed his father from the throne.
This is a complicated fantasy that philosophically questions what reality is. The fascinating storyline leisurely (and too poetical with so much darkness) peels away the false from the truth. Though none of the cast comes across fully developed as even the protagonist is limited to her flawed “memories”, fans who appreciate a metaphysical psychological thriller will ponder whether the truth is Christine’s implanted recollection since she believes them as being her own. Harriet Klausner