Driven (Shomi) by Eve Kenin, aka Eve Silver, is up first, with her debut fantasy novel. Raina Bowen has to meet a stranger who calls himself Wizard to get the temporary pass she needs to participate--and hopefully win--in a race that will allow her to earn enough money for the future. What she gets is Wizard, a stolen pass, and a whole lot of bad guys hot on their trail in a frozen wasteland. And did I mention Wizard is also hot? Wizard's aims aren't very clear, to Raina or to us, for some time, but we do know Raina's goals, and they don't include attraction or any other feelings for a man, no matter how sexy he is. The story will grab your attention from page one and keep you intrigued all the way to the end. There are unexpected twists and turns along the way, not to mention the very sexy Wizard to enjoy as you go, battling villains and ice pirates and pulling a few surprises out of his own hat. I'm borrowing three and a half of Cupid's five arrows for this one. I look forward to seeing more stories in this series.
Witchy Business (Harlequin) has stories by Julie Leto, Rhonda Nelson, and Mia Zachary, all featuring characters with different magical abilities. In 'Under His Spell', by Leto, Regina St. Lyon is furious to see Brock Aegis, the man she'd banished for betraying her. He's back, and in her bedroom, no less, with a ridiculous claim about someone attempting to kill her. But when she loses her magical abilities, she has to admit there might be something going on that she hadn't expected or planned on. In Nelson's 'Disenchanted?', Benedict DeWin only agrees to go to a magical 'rehab' center to appease his parents before his upcoming arranged marriage, posing as Ben Martin. Bryony Flynn can't help but be attracted to Ben, even though students are off-limits. Trouble is, Benedict knows she's his fiancee's sister, and he can't seem to tell her who he really is, despite the flaming attraction between them. And in Zachary's 'Spirit Dance', Siobhan Silverhawk wants to be more than friends with her neighbor J. B. Pendleton, but he doesn't believe in magic, or ghosts, making Siobhan and his young son very unhappy. This collection is a quick read, with some fairly engaging characters in enjoyable stories. I didn't find it a keeper, but I'm a little picky about my witchy fiction, hoping for it to be based on more than new agey foundations. It's earned three arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!