This time out, I have the latest from Patricia Rice in her Mystic Isle series, Mystic Rider (Signet). This time, Ian Olympus must leave his island home to track down a missing chalice and to find his fated mate, and his mission takes him to Revolutionary-era France and to Chantal Deveau, current possessor of the chalice. Except that Chantal has sent the chalice off as a payment to try to free members of her family from prison. And this strange man who's come looking for it generates an incredible and very unexpected attraction in her. She's shocked by her behavior with this stranger, but she can't seem to resist him either, or to send him away, particularly after he helps her family. Ian discovers that Chantal has an untapped musical gift that she seems unaware of, one that allows her to soothe or incite any group of people, a talent that comes in handy when they get into some sticky situations along their way after a wayward islander and in trying to save her family. Chantal and Ian are a perfect pair, and he knows she's the mate he's searched for. But Ian is one of the heirs to the island's rule, and it seems unlikely his mother or the islanders will tolerate an off-islander to be his bride. I love Patricia Rice's work, her paranormals, her historical settings, her contemporary stories. She creates worlds that readers hate to leave, and characters who are perfectly magical, making you believe in their stories and to want them to overcome all their obstacles. Ian is a great hero, take-charge without being overbearing, and knowing just what has to be done to make everything right. And Chantal is charming, the caretaker of her family, but still just selfish enough to want something like this relationship with Ian for herself, and able to balance both. The only thing I didn't like about this is that we have to wait until next summer for Ian's sister to have her story. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for this one. It's definitely a keeper.
Until next time, happy reading!