Home From The Sea
DAW, Jun 5 2012, $25.95
In Edwardian England, magic has faded from the minds of most people while psychic powers are thought to be evil. In Clogwyn, Wales, Mari Prothero’s father Daffyd does not blink when going out in storms to fish in his coracle as he always comes home regardless of the fury of the torrent with a boatload filled with the catch.
On her eighteenth birthday, Daffyd tells his daughter that the first Prothero made an arrangement with the clan leader of the Selch (a seal who can turn into a human and vice versa).
A Selch and a Prothero would copulate and give birth to twins and the Selch and one of the twins would return to the sea. Mari is so furious she makes her own deal with the Selch clan leader leader Gethin. He would send some Selch to court her and another to teach her to use her powers as a Master Water Elemental. Master of Masters Lord Alberscroft sent two psychicals Nan and Sarah to help Mari from the enemies who want her dead.
With a nod to the Nordic tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon, the latest Elemental Masters historical fantasy (see Unnatural Issues and Reserved for the Cat) is a thrilling tale due to the brave heroine who will fight for those she cherishes and to keep what is rightfully hers. She possesses the protection of Puck, a Power who used to be worshiped as a god. Nan and Sarah (see Wizard of London) with their respective bonded birds enhance the tale of a world in which magic is becoming a forgotten force. Harriet Klausner
Where There’s Smoke
In 1959 Destiny Carter died and went straight to hell. Vetis the demon informs Destiny that she must destroy the soul of a mortal in one week before she can achieve demon status; she does not want to know what failure denotes. Vetis sends her back to earth.
In Fort Worth, Texas near the stockyards, Destiny enters the Stompin’ Ground bar where she chooses lonesome cowboy Chance Bellow as she assumes he is an easy mark. Chance the nephilim has waited in the dive for the demon apprentice to arrive so he can show her what she failed to read in the fine print of her deal with Vetis. However, from the first smoldering touch, Chance and Destiny are so hot for each other; hell seems to have frozen over. As they fight for control, they fall in love, but there is no room for such a wasteful mortal emotion in hell.
This is a fast-paced urban fantasy romance starring two enticing paranormal engaged in a holy gender war. Although the ending seems too simplistic for the protagonists' journey, this somewhat tongue in cheek lampooning of capitalist religious dogma will have fans cheering for the rookie demon and the heavenly hybrid to light their respective fire. Harriet Klausner
Kiss of the Goblin Prince
Amanda married in a registry office. Three months later she was a pregnant widow. Now Amanda Coulter is a single mom raising an asthmatic daughter Brigit with love. At her sister-in-law Eliza Coulter’s wedding to Roan King (see The Goblin King), Amanda and Brigit meet his brother Dai, a noted scholar.
Dai, like his sibling, survived his Druid millennia banishment in the Shadowlands by his compulsion for knowledge. Now he finally has returned to the human Fixed Realm where his magical experiments over the centuries have the Birch Trustees watching him carefully. The best man and the matron of honor are attracted to one another. However, his actions to keep Roan and other family members safe lead him believe he is unworthy of her; while she knows Brigit comes first in her heart.
The second Shadowlands romantic urban fantasy is an engaging tale of two people who believe love is not enough to cement a permanent relationship. The storyline is at its best when it stays in the present; when the scholar looks back at his deeds against Rome and in the Shadowlands, the storyline loses momentum as those segues are well written but come across as unnecessary. Still fans will enjoy the love story of the goblin and the mom. Harriet Klausner