Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Fury of Fire
Montlake Romance, Feb 7 2012, $14.95
In Washington State, the hybrid dragon-human species are divided into two opposing groups. The Nightfuries vows to protect humanity with their lives; while the Razorbacks led by Ivar the scientist believe that the half dragon species should be at the top of the food chain vowing to destroy mankind. Hostility between the dragon shifter species is extremely high.
Bastien, head of the Nightfuries knows his duty as time runs short with the Meridian's axis realignment in five days. He must mate with a human female in order to promulgate the first of the next generation males. However, Bastien knows his woman will die in childbirth.
Nurse Myst Munroe grieves the death of her murdered mom while making a house call on her pregnant patient Caroline Van Owen. When she finds Caroline lying in blood, she gives first aid to save the lives of the mother and her unborn dragon child. Bastian and his top aide Rikar arrive as emergency medical workers just before agents of Razorbacks. A battle ensues over who claims the infant. Meanwhile Bastien knows Myst is the one, but realizes he is condemning her to a death sentence.
The first dragon shifter romantic urban fantasy is an exhilarating thriller in which the Callahan mythos comes across as genuine with a refreshing concept of fostering the species. The storyline rotates perspective between the protagonists, Ivar, Riker and human police detective Angela Keen; this enhances the plot especially the fantasy elements but also takes some adjusting due to the volume of switching leads. Although Razorbacks will remind readers of vampires sucking energy not blood, readers will enjoy the seemingly bittersweet romance between Bastien and Myst. Harriet Klausner
Signet, Mar 6 2012, $7.99
Savannah tattoo artist Riley Poe the demon hunter (see Afterlight) still struggles with the vampiric bite (see Everdark) that has changed her. She fears the worst will happen to her as her humanity seems to be slipping away. Her lover Eli Dupre the vampire also is concerned about the changes in the soul of his Riley. Strigoi Victorian Arcos suggests she travel to Romania to meet with the head vampire whose minion attacked her.
Though concerned about her entering the evil lair, Eli agrees with Victorian’s assessment and escorts his beloved to Eastern Europe. There she will confront what is destroying her from within or die soulless, but to survive she must depend on Eli; a need she loathes as she prefers her independence than reliance on another person.
The final Dark Ink Chronicles urban fantasy is a great finish that will elates fans of this super saga. The Jasper universe is fully developed so that the audience believes in vampires, demons and hunters residing by the neurologically typical. The lead couple is at their best, but this is Riley’s show as readers will wonder whether Eventide is nevermore. Harriet Klausner
Shannon K. Butcher
Signet, Mar 6 2012, $7.99
Jackie Patton desperately wants to return to the life she had before the Synestryn captured and tortured her for the past two years. However, Jackie “blue’ knows she will never live that carefree life ever again. Besides the impact of the ordeal on her mind and the knowledge her vile kidnappers stalk her; she feels a debt of gratitude to her rescuers, Theronai warriors. To make some remittance, Jackie believes she should mate with one of them as that will save the life of her chosen partner; though she hopes temporary is enough.
Jackie stuns everyone when she selects tundra cold Iain. He rejects her offer as he insists his soul already died when the Synestryn killed his betrothed. She ignores his rejection as he is the one. However, although both refuse to accept no, they team up to try to prevent the insidious enemy from abducting the recently liberated children a second time.
The latest, as always, great Sentinel Wars romantic urban fantasy (see Blood Hunt) is a superb paranormal suspense. The story line is action-packed from the moment Jackie chooses and never slows down until the final confrontation. Readers will appreciate this exciting thriller as two courageous opposites, ethically uber-optimistic Jackie and morally ultra-pessimistic Iain must choose. Harriet Klausner
Now Or Never
Signet, Mar 6 2012, $7.99
Nevermore, Texas contains a population under a thousand residents that includes humans, witches and wizards. Lately Town sheriff Taylor Mooreland has been troubled by recent visions of the sacrifice of a woman. In the woods, he is shocked when he locates the female who has haunted him tied to a concealed altar. He does not need an oracle to know trouble has arrived in Nevermore as he frees the feisty raging Lenore “Norie” Whyte.
She thanks the sheriff, but knows the Black Robes, who kidnapped, drugged and tortured her, need her. She is the chosen one for their sacrifice; no substitute will do. To keep the woman he rescued safe and prevent a maniacal magical maelstrom, Taylor and his allies need to learn why the enemy willingly sacrifices their members in an obsession to recapture Norie because It’s Now or Never for the townsfolk.
The second wizards of Nevermore Texas romantic small-town fantasy (see Never Again) is an excellent thriller as the ethical sheriff and the target make a great pairing. Some of the locals want to give Norie back to the Black Robes as they feel that is the safest easiest way to prevent a dangerous magical war; others call that appeasement, which will stop the combat. Fans will enjoy this exhilarating tale as the crosshairs are on a beleaguered waif though neither she, the sheriff who loves her or other residents of Nevermore know why her. Harriet Klausner