Friday, July 12, 2013

Historical Romance, Death and Witches

A Lady Of Expectations And Other Stories
Stephanie Laurens, Nicola Cornick and Kasey Michaels
Harlequin HQN, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373777235

“A Lady of Expectations” by Stephanie Laurens. Considered a rake, Jack Lester wants a family but needs a wife who loves him. As such he conceals his wealth from the Ton. Jack believes Sophie Winterton is for him; but though she loves him, she rejects his courtship as she believes he needs to marry a wealthy heiress to save his estate.

“Secrets of a Courtesan” by Nicola Cornick. Eve Nightingale was once a mistress to the Duke of Welburn, but left him to settle as a respectable shopkeeper in Fortune's Folly. Five years after she vanished, Welburn arrives in the village.

“How to Woo a Spinster” by Kasey Michaels. Lady Emmaline Daughtry accepts her spinster status as a foregone conclusion. When Captain John Alistair tells her bad news, he admires her reaction. Obsessing over helping her, he remains nearby.

These reprints of three entertaining historical romances are fun reads that showcase the early talent of the authors though the plots are straightforward. The Nicola Cornick entry is part of her Brides of Fortune series (see The Confessions of a Duchess and The Undoing of a Lady) and the Kasey Michaels' contribution is a Daughtry family tale (see How To Tame A Lady). Harriet Klausner

Death's Apprentice
K. W. Jeterand and Gareth Jefferson Jones
Dunne, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312547714

The Devil created Grimm City on top of Hell as the center of his activity on earth. Many of his minions do business in the thriving metropolis; a place where mortal and supernatural can purchase almost anything for the right price.

Death and his young apprentice Nathaniel enter a club to take away a drug user’s soul. However, this time after a decade of assisting his mentor Nathaniel reacts differently as something unknown happens to him. At about the same time Blake the wraith kills skinheads who attacked the rag men and Hank the seven foot tall and seemingly as wide hit man destroys a crack house. Soon these two essences join Nathaniel in leading a revolt on several plains against the devil.

The first Grimm City horror thriller is a dark and grim with an incredibly detailed world in which the paranormal like witches soar. Built upon the collective works of the Brothers Grimm, this is a fabulous fast-paced, blood and gore tale. Readers will appreciate the epic odyssey of Death's Apprentice and his two partners as this improbable threesome take the final battle to the Devil with humanity at stake. Harriet Klausner

Angels at the Table
Debbie Macomber
Ballantine, $18.00
ISBN: 9780345528872

Three angelic amigas (Shirley, Goodness and Mercy) and their apprentice Will visit the in-spot Times Square on New Year’s Eve to enjoy the festivities. As the Big Apple countdown winds down, Will notices two lonely people. Though he knows rule number on in the guardian angel handbook states no interference with humans, Will feels these two are made for each other; so he cause a slight bumping between Lucie Farrara and Aren Fairchild. At midnight Lucie and Aren kiss stunning both of them. However, whether the time was wrong or some other reason, the wannabe chef and the food critic go their separate ways.

Months pass with the couple remembering that enchanted midnight moment but never expect lightning to strike twice. Meanwhile the three bungling matchmaking angels try to rectify the inept rookie’s mistake, but each effort they make to correct the problem only sends Lucie and Aren further apart; as a universal law they seem unable to overcome is that a chef and a critic are like oil and water even when love binds them.

The latest Shirley, Goodness and Mercy holiday romantic fantasy is an entertaining lighthearted Christmas tale. Filled with humor, fans will enjoy the wonderful Angels at the Table even if the thin storyline follows the narrow path of least resistance that readers anticipate. Harriet Klausner

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