A Love Untamed
Once he was Kieran the Therian, but now he has become the latest rendition of Fox. He was the only one of the new shapeshfting Feral Warriors who did not attack the team veterans (see Ecstasy Untamed). Still as the rookie, Fox needs to prove as much to himself as his teammates he belongs as their equal in their endless war against the evil Daemons.
He is assigned teaming with Melisande the Ilena warrior who loathes shapeshifters. Expecting his teammate to be like all females wanting him, Fox is stunned by her hatred and distrust of him. As he begins to defrost the ice warrior, they become snared inside a daemon mage trap. Working together to escape before time runs out on them, Melisande and Fox find love and trust as the keys to freedom.
The latest exciting Feral Warriors romantic urban fantasy (see Rapture Untamed) is an enjoyable entry as two warriors, a newcomer and a shapeshifter hater, pair up. The storyline is fast-paced but has a somewhat déjà vu feel with the couple falling into a spirit trap. Still series fans will appreciate this tale as only love can save the lives of the Feral and Ilena Warriors. Harriet Klausner
The attack on Pearl Harbor left America especially its Navy reeling in shock and dismay as much of the Pacific Fleet especially the vaunted battle ships were destroyed by the Japanese air assault. Still morale remains high fueled by a need for retaliation. In June 1942, anticipating a glorious victory the US Navy prepares to engage the enemy near Midway. However, before the prime sea battle, Japanese subs sink two American carriers (Enterprise and the Hornet) and their planes and crew. The Japanese Imperial Navy wins an overwhelming victory in the Battle of Midway.
Former assistant principal, Admiral Spruance’s staffer Lieutenant Tim Dane survives the sinking of the Enterprise. At a hospital in Hawaii he meets civilian Nurse Amanda Mallard who is helping him recover from his injuries. Meanwhile the United States struggles to rebound from this pivotal defeat. The Japanese Army invade Alaska and the Navy blockades Hawaii. Admiral Yamamoto, who told the Emperor Japan cannot win the war, orders constant bombing of the American West Coast cities to try to end the hostilities by bringing the fighting to civilians, further crippling morale. As America fights back; Spruance adopts Dane proposal to fully take the war to Japan while the FBI investigates alleged enemy activity inside the country.
The latest Robert Conroy engaging alternative WWII military thriller (see Himmler's War) focuses on changing the outcome of a pivotal point due to an unfortunate plausible happenchance (if you are the Americans) at the Battle of Midway. However, the overarching premise feels similar to 1942 although that novel used Pearl Harbor as the change agent. Still readers will appreciate Rising Sun as Mr. Conroy brings his exciting version of the war. Harriet Klausner
Easter Bunny Murder
Residents of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, enjoy the annual Easter egg hunt hosted by elderly Vivian Van Vorst at her Pine Point. Pennysaver reporter Lucy Stones loves to cover the fun event for the paper. However, when Lucy and other townsfolk arrive at Pine Point, they are shocked by the closed gates as no one can remember when the estate was not open for the gala. Before anyone can decide what to do next, as concern for the hostess rises; the Easter Bunny rushes out of the mansion staggering erratically towards the gates. To the horror of the witnesses especially the children he collapses before reaching it.
The Easter Bunny, VV’s grandson and heir Duff, dies before reaching the hospital. Lucy wonders if Duff was a murder victim or just died because his time ran out. She increasingly considers the death a homicide when she learns that VV recently became a recluse; as the vivacious town matriarch has always been outgoing. Though the cause has not been determined, Lucy thinks the only motive seems to be money as Duff was the heir.
The latest Lucy Stone mystery (see Chocolate Covered Murder and The Christmas Thief in A Winter Wonderland anthology) is an entertaining cozy. The heroine investigates though admits to herself Duff may have died of natural causes but the journalist remains vigilant in her inquiry as she knows her friend VV has been acting differently. The enjoyable storyline is fast-paced with a solid twist that turns the Easter Bunny Murder into an engaging family affair. Harriet Klausner
The war between the English and French on France soil continues unabated. However, in 1356 as the hostile forces prepare for bloody hand to hand combat at Poitiers, Black Friar Ferdinand allegedly steals La Malice from an old coffin. La Malice is the sword that Jesus ordered Peter to hide in the garden of Gethsemane and everyone wants Saint Peter’s blessed blade as the legend is the person yielding this sword will rule.
Pursuing Ferdinand is Avignon papal enforcer Father Calade and his hooded hawk. The Earl of Northampton orders his mercenary Sir Thomas “La Batard” Hookton and his band to find Saint Peter’s sword. Having just switched sides over payments due, Sir Thomas obeys the order leading his troop across France fighting his former allies, treacherous friends, and warlord hordes and duplicitous churchmen. At the same time major forces prepare for a bloody hand to hand combat at Poitiers with Sir Thomas and his mercenaries joining the deadly battle.
1356 continues the exciting epic medieval era escapades of Sir Thomas Hookton (see the Grail Quest: Archer's Tale, Vagabond and Heretic) as the pivotal battle of the Hundred Years War looms. Though the myriad of subplots never quite cohesively gel in spite of the various factions converging on Poitiers, historical fans especially of the Grail Quest series (though this is apparently a sidebar tale) will relish this deep at medieval combat with incredible bloody battle scenes as everyone wants to claim through la Malice that God supports their holy cause. Harriet Klausner