Silver Master (Jove) by Jayne Castle, aka Jayne Ann Krentz, is up first. Her latest Harmony tale features Celinda Ingram, a matchmaker with a special, and very secret, talent that helps her with her job. Celinda is horrified to find the police have come calling on her at work, and have brought an outside investigator as well. Davis Oakes hasn't joined the traditional family business of ghost hunting, because his own special talent is a little unusual. At the moment, he's on the hunt for a relic stolen from the Guild, and his investigation has led him to Celinda. She bought the item as a toy for her dust bunny, who inconveniently takes off with it, forcing Celinda and Davis to spend a little more time together. Not that that's a hardship or anything, with the immediate attraction between the pair. But Davis isn't the only person after this relic, and the other people involved aren't nearly as nice. Then there's the slimebag from Celinda's past who doesn't know when to give up. Everytime I read another story in this series, I think it's my favorite. Then a new one comes along to make me rethink that, and that is the case again with this one. Celinda and Davis are quite well-matched, despite the obstacles that should block any smooth way to a lasting relationship. Their chemistry is compelling, their banter fun, and that's before they hit the sheets. Silver Master is my new favorite in the Harmony series, and absolutely a keeper. Fans of the series will enjoy this addition very, very much. It's earned four and a half of Cupid's five arrows.
My Immortal (Jove) by Erin McCarthy is next, with a drastic departure from her usual storytelling style. Marley Turner has come to New Orleans to find her reckless and thoughtless sister, who's missing. In her search, she meets Damien du Bourg, owner of an old plantation and host of shocking parties, one of which her sister attended. Damien can't resist Marley's innocence, but is compelled to do so anyway. His long-ago bargain can't be broken, but he no longer takes part in the lusty events he hosts as part of his service to the demon who gave him immortality. But he doesn't want Marley to leave either, and self-control only goes so far. For her part, she can't understand why he does the things he does, but the man is irresistible, so she stays when she should go. This one is far darker than any of Ms. McCarthy's previous works, though there are moments when some of her trademark humor comes through, just not as frequently as usual. Though there's no doubt that Marley and Damien will give in eventually, there seems to be no way they can have a future together beyond his plantation walls, despite the emotions between them. I enjoyed this one thoroughly, for, while it is dark, it isn't despairingly so, and Damien isn't the same man now as he was when he made that bargain decades ago, and you know Marley is just the woman for him, somehow, some way. I'm giving this one four arrows. Books like these two are the reason I keep reading romances year after year!
Until next time, happy reading!