Monday, December 31, 2007

Her Eyes

Her Eyes
Jennifer Cloud and Regan Taylor
Amira Press
Romantic Suspense/Paranormal

As she attempts to end her husband, Frank's, life violently, his dog attacks the beautiful Catherine, destroying her best asset, her face, in the process. Yet, a facial transplant and Frank's love seem to work a transformation in Catherine. Now, scarred and with varicolored eyes, she seems to be a new woman, one who loves him and is kind. However, Frank soon discovers that the "new" Catherine is not totally Catherine or totally new. When her eyes go from being one blue and one green to two blue ones, there's trouble ahead. Two souls battle for the right to her body and to a life, and if Catherine wins, all Hell will break loose.

I can almost certainly guarantee you have not read a story like this before. Excellent suspense and an intriguing concept blend perfectly. I can also hardly believe two people wrote it, so well do their voices unite; which, considering the subject, has a bit of irony inherent in that fact. Many people avoid small press releases, but this is one you should not miss.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holy Smokes

Holy Smokes
Katie Macalister
ISBN 0451222547

Aisling Grey's life just keeps getting more complicated. She's supposed to be just a Guardian, but as it turns out, she's far more than that; the mate of two Dragon Lords of different septs, one she is trying to plan a wedding to and the other she'd just as soon be without, she's also a demon lord by accident, and somehow has become a Prince of Hell. The last one has put her on the outs with the Guardians, now she has to get a proscription against herself lifted and try to get out of being a Prince. Yet, the lure of evil is constantly niggling at her to use her power and the wedding is complicated by all her issues, including sept politics. Add to that that she's expecting, and you can see why Aisling's on overload.

Fun paranormal romance has several Co-queens, and Ms Macalister definitely is one of them. Aisling's adventures are a mental feast that is the sure cure for a face that lacks a smile. Her entire supporting cast is one you will look forward to experiencing anew with each book. There is warmth, and not just from the dragons. You can feel her love of her people and you will share it.

A treat for MaryJaniceDavidson fans

Dead over Heels
MaryJanice Davidson
ISBN 0425219410
Paranormal anthology

For years now, Ms. Davidson has created feisty, flakey, fun heroines who charm her readers and escort them to worlds that are just a bit wider than our own. In this charming anthology, we get to "daytrip" to three of them for the price of one. Though Fred is not the heroine of the Survivors, one of her fellow mermaids finds a delightful romance with a conceited newsman she rescues. It may not be the Little Mermaid, but it's definitely more than a splash of fun. If you adore the Wyndham Werewolves, then go with one as she tries Speed Dating, Werewolf style, in an effort to wed before she's thirty. However, my personal favorite brings us to Betsy, the Undead Vampire Queen, as she and Sinclair go on their honeymoon in Undead and Wed, and try to make peace with Betsy's best friend's boyfriend who hates their guts. Something sinister is going on that will force enemies to work together, but it really does a number on romance. The best part of all though is the tantalizing taste of the next Undead book at the end. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Into Thin Air
Cindy Miles
ISBN 0451222628

One last assignment separates Gawan, an earth locked guardian angel, from becoming mortal and having a life of his own. Heaven's saved the best, and most challenging, for last. Ellie is not alive, but she's not exactly dead, either. She's in a coma, but has amnesia, so helping her resolve her issues and return to her body is problematic. That's not the main reason this is a tough assignment; as it happens, Ellie is Gawan's soul mate. Unfortunately, if she returns to her body, she'll no longer remember him and he won't remember her, either. If she dies, she'll become the angel and he the human, and they still will not be together. Is there a way to solve this? Of course, but you'll have to read to find out.

This may remind you, from the synopsis, of Just Like Heaven or City of Angels. However, it's far better than either, and is what I was hoping for each time I watched either DVD. Ellie and Gawan's story is sweetly angsty and poignant, but also funny. The cast of Spirited Away enriches it with added humor, and fans will love returning to that world, in any case. Sequels are seldom better than the first book, but there are exceptions, and this is one. Yes, Christmas is over, but it's a perfect any time gift for anyone who loves romance and loves ghosts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Incarnations 8

Under a Velvet Cloak
Incarnations of Immortality VIII
Piers Anthony
ISBN 9781594262944

Kerena finds herself being given to Morley, a wise, magical man who offers her a better future than the life of poverty her family suffers, and teaches her much; logic, magic, and love. When he is abruptly taken from her, a quest to find him begins that will lead her into brothels, to becoming part of the Arthurian legend, to vampires, and then on a quest of cosmic proportions where she will meet Death, War, Time, Nature, Fate, the Devil, and Good Incarnates. She will also learn her role in life and find herself trying to save creation itself.

Even if you pick up this book first and have not read the other seven; if that's so, shame on you, they are a must read for fans of fantasy, you can follow what is going on with no trouble. This story will give you a fresh appreciation for all the others and insights into them that may make you want to go back and read them all again. Saying more would spoil too much of the story, though I will say that toward the end, the timeline issues did rather remind me of Bearing an Hourglass.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A must read

Halfway to the Grave
Jeaniene Frost
ISBN 0061245089

One half vampire and the other half human, Cat started life as being out of the ordinary. Ever since, she's tried to live up to that label and made it her mission in life to destroy the monsters. However, when her amateur Buffy act goes awry, she finds herself saddled with a mentor/partner who is supposed to be her enemy. Bones has been a vampire for over two centuries, and finding Cat is a trial and a treasure for him. With her help, the undead bounty hunter will be better able to off the monsters himself, but first, she needs training and they both need to learn to work together and trust. The latest job is one more deadly than either anticipated and will prove to be the ultimate test of the bond they reluctantly, then passionately forged.

Do not walk, run to your car or keyboard and get this book immediately if you love a good urban fantasy. Cat and Bones' explosive chemistry sizzles off the page, but is never graphic and does not go too far, as so many of the books lately are wont to do. There is also a thread of genuine Christian faith running through it that is not preachy, but adds depth to the story. Julie Kenner is the only other urban fantacist I've encountered who weaves that in so well. Aside from the well drawn characters, this book as nonstop action and a fantastic plot. I can hardly wait for more!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Creation in Death
J.D. Robb
ISBN 0399154361
Romantic Suspense/Futuristic

The past has come back to bite Eve Dallas, but this time, it is her professianal, not personal history that is haunting her. Her failures have been few, but one killer eluded her in her younger days, and now, he's back. This time, she is determined to get him, but he is equally commited to taking her down and is drawing a bloody canvas designed to lure her to him. Could this be the case that ends it for Eve?

Incredibly enough, this series just continues to get better. The intensity of the action doesn't detract at all from the characterization. You might as well be comfortable on the edge of your seat with this; it's a nail biting read, but immensely satisfying. I cannot praise it highly enough.