Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Witch Theif, A Wolf's Heart, The Prophet, and Captivated

The Witch Thief
Lori Devoti
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618835

A century and one year ago Amma the witch stole a chalice from its guard dragon shifter Joarr. She left the Chalice Keeper trapped in his dragon form in a room in which he could barely move slightly. She traded her booty to a dwarf.

In the present Joarr needs the chalice to save his race from a deadly plague that kills the fledglings. Joarr captures Amma’s spirit inside a lantern. He demands she tell him who she sold the chalice to or else. Like she did with the princess who stole her spirit, Amma plans to remain patient and in hiding from her frustrated captor who considers burning her and the lantern. Rike arrives accusing Joarr of losing the chalice as disaster has struck their race as he explains the young are dying including his son. The possessor of the chalice leaves a note to the dragons to meet this unknown individual if they want it back. Joarr knows he must venture into the lair of their enemy; Amma comes out of hiding and joins him.

This is superb romantic fantasy starring two strong protagonists who make the world of Lori Devoti seem real. Fast-paced from the moment Amma tricks Joarr and never slowing down, fans will enjoy this engaging tale as the heroes fall in love but partial redemption (each knows they cannot bring back those who died) is what they seek. Harriet Klausner

A Wolf’s Heart
Vivi Anna
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618828

Hybrid vampire- wolf shifter Elise LeRoy the Oscar winning Otherworld actress receives a threatening letter signed by blood drops. She knows not to ignore the unpleasant note. Nouveau Monde police inspector Gabriel Bellmonte the Lycan is assigned to keep Elise safe.

Fifteen years ago they were in love but he failed to keep her safe from a violent attack. Still he knows he loves her and would die for her. She never got over him either but his guilt over failing her rivals the strength of his love for her. Still he knows he must remain focused as someone nasty stalks his beloved.

This is a wonderful second chance at love urban fantasy starring two lead characters with a past that still haunts both of them. The storyline is fast-paced from the moment the heroine deals with her odious co-star during a shoot and never slows down until the final confrontation as Gabriel risks his life to keep Elise safe. Though the villain seems obvious, fans will enjoy this entertaining paranormal romance.
Harriet Klausner

The Prophet
Amanda Stevens
Mira, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778313397

Amelia “Graveyard Queen” Gray is renowned for her talent to restore lost respect to neglected cemeteries. A prime reason she is adept at what she does is her secret skill, seeing ghosts. As a child her dad gave her four rules to strictly adhere to when dealing with ghosts; but during her travels Amelia has smashed each of them (see The Restorer and The Kingdom).

She vows to obey her father’s admonition. However, this proves difficult when the dead cop pleads with her to find his killer. Clues take Amelia to the darkest evilest sector of Charleston and to haunted police detective John Devlin who haunts her heart. Soon Amelia’s good intentions to undo any damage she may have caused between the realms of the living and dead forces her to choose between her love and her dad’s rules.

This is a superb dark urban fantasy as readers learn more about who Amelia Gray is. Action-packed but character driven, fans will relish the trek into Stevens’ world as a beleaguered heroine finds mending what she wrought a seemingly impossible task even without considering her feelings towards Devlin as Amelia’s soul is at risk if she does nothing, fails or succeeds. Harriet Klausner

Lauren Dane
Heat, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425247365

For almost a year, the Imperium imprisoned and tortured Hannah Black. She barely survives by constantly repeating who she is. Still they nearly break her as her hope to escape diminishes over the long captivity. Federated Universes military officer Vincenz Cuomo liberates Hannah.

She begins the mental and physical rehabilitation while Vin and his lover Julian Marsters encourage her. As Hannah heals she becomes their lover too. Refusing to hide in the shadows, she joins her two men on a mission to an outlying lab where she proves her worth by decrypting code that warns them war is about to heat up even as she learns who her rescuer truly is.

The latest Phantom Corps entry (see Insatiable and Mesmerized) military romantic science fiction is an action-packed thriller (in space and on the bed) starring an intriguing ménage a trois. This exciting tale contains a fast-paced plot from the opening rescue, sexual interludes, and fabulous twists including a late stunner. Series readers will be Captivated by the Relentless trio who battle a repressive vicious adversary who is after the blood of especially one of them. Harriet Klausner

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