Hello, and welcome back! Summer is coming to a close, and, while I'll miss having the boys at home, it'll be nice to have a quiet house for writing again. And for reading, which is a good thing, since I have a lot of great books waiting to be shared with you in the coming months.
First up this week is the paperback release of Sandra Brown's Hello, Darkness (Pocket Star). Paris Gibson's popular radio show has finally netted her a very scary caller, someone calling himself Valentino who's admitted kidnapping his girlfriend and plans to kill her. The police psychologist on the case turns out to be Dean Malloy, best friend of her late fiance and the one man she hadn't ever wanted to see again. There are suspects galore here, and you'll still be guessing the bad guy's identity right up to the end. As for Paris and Dean, well, they have a lot to work through, but do you have any doubts about the outcome? Ms. Brown has her own shelf on one of my bookcases, and this one is a definite keeper, so I'll be making room for it. It's earned four of Cupid's five arrows.
Another definite keeper, particularly for fans of paranormal romance, is the new anthology Hot Blooded (Jove), with tales from Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne, Emma Holly and Angela Knight. Ms. Feehan's novella, Dark Hunger, features one of her Carpathian heroes, Riordan, being freed by Juliette Sangria in a raid on an animal testing facility in her jungle. Not a bad combination of her cats and her Carpathians, but not my favorite story. Maggie Shayne's Awaiting Moonrise, however, is my main reason for finding this one a keeper. Dr. Jenny Rose is in the bayous of Louisiana hunting for the werewolves rumored to have been spotted in the area. Imagine her shock when she actually encounters one. Or was it just a wolf that scratched her? Dr. Samuel LaRoque not only treats her wounds, but sends her fantasies into overdrive. Their dinner date doesn't turn out exactly as he'd planned, though, when the full moon rises before he's dropped her off for the evening, and she gets an even bigger shock than the previous night. Sexy, and with a smart, strong heroine, this one's a winner. Next is The Night Owl by Emma Holly, and back to her upyr, this time with Bastien Luce in the 'wilds' of Vermont, and waiting patiently for his woman, Mariann O'Faolain. Surprisingly, I liked this one better than the other upyr stories I've read, likely because of Mariann, who's a great heroine. Finally, we have Seductions's Gift by Angela Knight, with Grace Morgan fighting her destiny, and her attraction to Lancelot of Avalon, and a vampire. For real vampire fans, this one may appeal, but I had a hard time buying into this version of King Arthur and his knights. I'm giving the anthology four arrows, mainly for Ms. Shayne's and Ms. Holly's stories.
Finally, we have Janet Chapman's Tempting the Highlander (Pocket Star). Robbie MacBain's got his hands full with the three boys he's fostering, and with trying to get back in time to find a spell book to keep from having to permanently go back in time, but he's about to get even more: Catherine Daniels and her children evading her former husband. Throw in a talking owl, and a meddling old priest whose magical talents are questionable, and you have an interesting cast of characters. Add two of my favorite places on earth as settings, and this one should be a keeper for me, too. The thing is, though, I couldn't quite love this one, and I'm not sure why. Maybe the easy time traveling, which has aggravated me in another author's books to the point where I can't stand to read her anymore. Maybe it was trying to keep track of all the secondary characters from previous stories I haven't read. It's a good story, just not one I loved. I'm giving it three arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!