Prince of Swords (Berkley) by Linda Winstead Jones is first, with the last of her Firstborn trilogy. Lyr Hern, Prince of Swords is on his way to collect the crystal dagger he'll need to complete his part of the war against Ciro and the Isen Demon that possesses him. He doesn't mean to collect Rayne along the way, but he can't leave her behind to play out her part in Ciro's evil plans, whether she's really innocent or not. As they travel, Rayne devises a plan of her own, trying to ensure that she cannot be used in Ciro's plot, but first she has to convince Lyr to help her. This is a fitting end to this part of the series, with Rayne blossoming more than she'd ever expected, and with Lyr doing his own share of growing throughout the story. I was mostly satisfied with the ending of this one, but wonder if there are more to come. This one has earned three and a half of Cupid's five arrows.
Dark Seduction (HQN) by Brenda Joyce is next with the first in her Masters of Time series. Claire Camden is about to embark on the journey of her lifetime, a trip to Scotland. Though it doesn't happen in quite the way she'd planned. Malcolm of Dunroch comes looking for a book page in her store just after the appearance of a strange woman doing the same, but Malcolm takes Claire with him when he goes. All the way back to ancient Scotland. Fighting demons along the way, this pair is in for plenty of hot sex, emotional twists, and danger. Joyce has a knack for taking a dark story and making it compelling, for making characters who're not perfect someone a reader has to root for. There are things in this that I had issues with (Tasers, anyone), but this is a good, solid start to her new series, and I look forward to seeing the next installment. This one has also earned three and a half arrows.
Raintree: Inferno (Silhouette Nocturne) by Linda Howard is next. Dante Raintree has all manner of interesting abilities, but Lorna Clay has a few untapped resources as well. When they meet, fire happens, literally. This one has a classic Howard Alpha hero, very Alpha in some instances, a strong heroine who's in for some surprises along the way, and a story that will keep you reading. The only thing I didn't like about it was the ending, which leaves you hanging until the next book, next month. But most readers will forgive that simply because this is Linda Howard and it's always a joy to get more than one book from her in a year. This one gets four arrows, despite the cliffhanger ending.
Until next time, happy reading!