Tuesday, May 15, 2012


When Passion Lies
J.K. Beck
Bantam, May 29 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345525635

Caris and Tiberius were lovers for centuries until a mission in the early eighteenth century shattered their relationship and drove her away from her mate to his rival Gunnolf the Weren. He is devastated by her betrayal but remains dedicated to the cause of protecting the shadow world; she becomes bitter at the world and her former lover.

In the present, Tiberius objects to a nasty beast joining the Alliance as Weren Lihter the Therian representative will challenge Tiberius for the leadership. Lihter holds hostage the daughter of Cyrus Reinholt; Tiberius seeks the man in hiding to learn why. However, he arrives too late as Caris kills Cyrus. With little choice, Caris and Tiberius team up to prevent the ruthless Lihter from destroying the Alliance while a Texas hellhound investigator Gabriel Casavetes hunts the killer of Reinholt.

The latest Shadow Keepers romantic urban fantasy (see When Pleasure Rules and When Wicked Craves) is an exciting second chance at love thriller. When Passion Lies is fast-paced from the moment Tiberius confronts Caris with what she just did and never slowing down as the more the pair learns about Lihter’s agenda the more diligent they become to prevent it. Although the snappy retorts are overdone making each lead seem too acrimonious, series fans will enjoy this exhilarating entry. Additionally, a bonus “Shadow Keepers novella “Midnight” provides the first chance historical romance when Caris(sa) asks Tiberius to help rescue her brother. Harriet Klausner

Visions of Chains
Regan Hastings
Signet, Jun 5 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451237309

First Daughter Deidre Sterling is tired of having constant protection and being unendingly used for the benefit of others as even her mom the President has done so. She is tired that the only men in her life are Secret Service, but also wonders why she sees a huge dog across from her apartment while her friend Shauna Jackson cannot.

She and Shauna belong to the peaceful Rights for Witches group protesting the state execution of five witches slated for burning. Shauna betrays her handing her over to the Witches Liberation Front whose leader Finn the Eternal plans to use Deidre to rescue the condemned five. In the ensuing battle, Deidre’s dormant witch skills surface as Finn saves her life knowing she is the mate he has waited for centuries to meet.

The latest Awakening romantic urban fantasy (see Visions of Skyfire and Visions of Magic) is a great tale in a fabulous thought-provoking series. The underlying premise that the government and militia patriots ignore the First Amendment rights under the guise of national security remains a timely theme as ethnic condemnation has occurred in our history. With a strong cast especially the confused almost schizoid heroine, fans will appreciate this deep paranormal political thriller. Once again Regan Hastings builds on her cautionary discourse that "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security" Benjamin Franklin).
Harriet Klausner

Vengeance Moon
Lee Roland
Signet, Jun 5 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451236432

Seventeen years old Madeline Corso is filled with rage after three men killed her mom whose legacy to her was a vision of them and a curse to avenge her. Two years later she murdered one in Seattle and another in New York, but the latter was caught on camera. Convicted of homicide, Madeline is sentenced to twenty five to life at the Upstate New York Sisters of Justice Correctional College.

Now twenty six, Mother Evelyn offers Madeline a risky opportunity to escape incarceration. If she accepts and fails she will go to a maximum security prison. Madeline says if she fails she will be dead. The Mother assigns her to go to the Barrows in Duivel, Missouri to hunt down the third killer who has the Portal gem Madeline’s mom foolishly wore out in the open rather than protect as the Earth Mother decreed.

In Duivel, Madeline meets Michael and to her chagrin she feels an unwanted attraction. However, she has no time for matters of the heart as she is running out of time since an evil being plans to deploy the Portal to cause untold destruction.

The second superb Earth Witches romantic urban fantasy (see Viper Moon) is a great thriller as readers return to Duivel where the Earth Mother created a magical prison to contain the malevolent Darkness. The keys to this gripping storyline are that the paranormal seems normal and that the romance between Michael (a major player in the first novel) and Madeline is kept somewhat in the background as preventing the Portal disaster comes first. With a wonderful genealogical twist and a fascinating spin on what caused the curse, fans will appreciate Lee Roland’s exhilarating entry. Harriet Klausner

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