Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Terrific two-fer post - Kleypas and Cast

Blue Eyed Devil
Lisa Kleypas
St Martin's
March 25
ISBN 031235164X
Romantic Suspense

If she had just followed through on the one, embarrassing kiss she accidentally gave Hardy Cates in the dark, Haven Travis might have saved herself a sentence in an earthly Hell. But, she did not, instead marrying the devil himself, or nearly so. Nick turns from being a caring fiance' to a demoralizing, abusive rapist, subjecting her to years of degrading torture that strips away Haven's self worth and tries to steal her away from herself. When he goes too far, Haven is able to summon up enough spirit to escape, turning to her brother for refuge. Once safe, she begins to heal on several levels gradually. Then, Hardy re-enters her life and the attraction is there and stronger than ever. Yet, Haven still has the scars of her marraige on her soul, ones Hardy will have to deal with in order to win her. And, Nick is not done with his ex-wife.

Though this book has been critisized for being graphic in its depiction of domestic violence, that is a strength. Normally, I abhor seeing portrayls that are graphic in any way; however, it was critical to this story for the harshness to be seen. Haven's situation comes to life thanks to this, and once you start, this book is impossible to walk away from.

Warrior Rising
P.C. Cast
ISBN 0425221377
Paranormal/Time Travel

When the goddesses get utterly fed up with the Trojan War, not to mention with all the inaccurate information that myth, legend, and history have recorded about it, they decide its time to intervene. Since Achilles is the key to stopping it, they decide what he needs is a good woman, and thanks to Venus' time in the modern world among mortals, Kat, a twenty first century woman in the prime of her life, is chosen to go back to the time of the Iliad and tame a berserker warrior. Before she can though, she and her best friend, Jacky, are killed in a car wreck. While that's disconcerting, it's no problem, really. The goddesses simply transplant their souls into the bodies of a Trojan princess and her maid. As the princess, Kat combines a younger, more beautiful body with her intellect and skills to easily win over her "master." Yet, though Achilles loves her and longs for peace, he lives under a curse and fate seems determined to carry out his doom. Only a great sacrifice might have a slim chance of stopping that, if Kat is willing.

Most Trojan epics can be summed up in the phrase long and boring. No wonder Venus, Athena, and company got their fill of it. This is the exception to the rule. With snazzy, snappy wit and loads of humor, Ms. Cast has made the epic interesting again. Her spin on things is far different than most, but that is what makes it wonderful.

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