Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vampires, Dragons and Angels

Vacation With A Vampire
Michele Hauf, Lisa Childs, Kendra Leigh Castle
Harlequin Nocturne, June 19 2012, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373885497

“Stay” by Michele Hauf. In Paris, after helping a friend by donating vampire blood Lucian Bellisario needs a human to replenish his drained supply. He chooses an American tourist possessed by his dead lover’s ghost.

“Vivi and the Vampire” by Leigh Castle. Underground city Terra Noctem vampire King Justin goes on vacation so his staff can have a respite. There he meets and falls in love with vampire slayer Vivi Martin.

“Island Vacation,” by Lisa Childs. For four years CPA Patricia Reynolds has had no time off from E. Graves Financial Planning, but recently she won her office vacation lottery so is off to an unknown island for two weeks of regaining her tan. Roarke Monterusso has waited four years to avenge the death of his cousin Rick at the hands of Piper aka Patricia, but now she is coming to his island where he will confront her with his brand of justice; he just never expected it to be desire.

These are three fun vampiric romances starring engaging protagonists. Harriet Klausner

Dragon’s Curse
Denise Lynn
Harlequin Nocturne, June 19 2012, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373885503

While her nineteen year old brother Carl lies in a hospital bed, the sorcerer who threatens him forces his older sister and guardian Ariel Johnson to do his bidding. Reluctantly Ariel, who would do anything for Carl ever since their parents died five years ago, goes undercover as a landscape architect to gain access to changeling Cameron Drake’s Appalachian resort after being terrorized by a dragon at one of his other properties on the Isle of Mirabilus.

Cam’s beast recognizes his mate, but his human side distrusts Ariel who works for his family’s deadliest adversary. Ariel feels caught between a rock and a hard place as she is attracted to the man she must betray if she is to save Carl.

This is a terrific romantic urban fantasy as the danger and dilemmas make for taut suspense. Cam is a strong hero who feels schizoid as his beast instinctively wants his mate and will risk their lives to keep her safe; while his brain knows she is a minion of his evil enemy. Readers will enjoy this tense thriller as love is a handicap for Ariel and Cam. Harriet Klausner

Wicked Nights
Gena Showalter
Harlequin HQN, Jun 26 2012, $7.99
ISBN 9780373776986

The cops arrested Annabelle Miller for mutilating her parents though she knows it was not her, but the winged monster who marked her as his. She was sent to the Moffat County Institution for the Criminally Insane especially since she sees and hears monsters that doctors over the next four years insist are her delusional imagination. Currently Dr. Fitzpervert humiliates her with plans to rape her.

The Deity is cold towards his angelic commander Zacharel and his troops whose desire to kill demons has led to unacceptable collateral damage to the species they are charged to protect. He warns Zacharel to change or be decommissioned by the loss of his wings; as military excellence without compassion is how the enemy fights. Though he understands logically what the Deity says including the threat, Zacharel feels nothing towards the humans until he meets insane Annabelle Miller as Fitzpervert prepares to assault her. However, Annabelle makes it clear she trusts no one human or otherwise even this warrior who claims to protect her.

The first Angels of the Dark romantic urban fantasy lives up to the series title as this is a grim exciting thriller. Zacharel’s tundra heart has left him and his unit on the brink of wingless banishment, but the human melts his internal polar cap. Annabelle is fabulous as an angry distrusting soul who has met the vilest demons and the ugliest humans; so she is not shocked that her first angel is a nasty uncaring paranormal. Fans of the Lords of the Underworld will appreciate this ultra-dark tale as Zacharel finds a heart that seemed nonexistence from his first appearance in the Darkest Secret. Harriet Klausner

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