Hello, and welcome back! The weather forecasters are promising (again!) that we might see our first actual snowfall of the season, but that hasn't worked out so well here yet this year, unlike in some other areas of the northeastern U.S. this season. Nonetheless, I still have hope we might get an actual, ground-covering snow before winter is over, and to keep me from moping in case it doesn't happen, I have quite a stack of books sitting here to keep me occupied. This time out, I have three new February books to share with you.
Dead and Dateless: A Novel of Vampire Love (Ballantine) by Kimberly Raye is up first with the next installment in her vampire series. Vampire matchmaker Lil Marchette is back, this time with someone trying to frame her for murder. Oh, and a whole pack of female werewolf clients to match with mates. If you're looking for romance, well, you might be satisfied with the steamy encounters with Ty, or you might not, as that's more about mutual lust than real love, as far as I can tell. If you're looking for a real romance with a happy ending, look elsewhere.
The Art of Seduction (Brava) by Katherine O'Neal is next. Artist Mason Caldwell is frustrated that no one in her late-1800's Paris seems to recognize her talent. But when she stops on a bridge in a storm, it occurs to her that if she were dead, her art might be more valued. Another woman on the same bridge is planning a leap, but hers is for real, and Mason tries to save her, setting the stage for her own resurrection as her 'sister' Amy and Mason's 'death'. This one tries hard to be mysterious and just seems muddled. Richard Garrett's murky past doesn't seem all that bad once it's actually revealed, but it takes way too long for that reveal. And it's not nearly hot enough for a Brava book. This one's definitely not a keeper for me, I'm afraid.
Speak No Evil (Ballantine) by Allison Brennan is last this time out, with detective Carina Kincaid hunting for the monster who brutalized and murdered college student Angie Vance. Nick Thomas can't believe his brother would do the things done to the victim, but he's not sure he can really be objective. But he knows things about serial killers that can only help Carina in her investigation. There's plenty of suspense in this one, though not nearly enough romance to suit me. I also thought this one was unnecessarily graphic with the violence of the villain. I think that, for me, was the key to my lack of enthusiasm for this story. Coupled with the slim romance to go along with the mystery, and I found this one not to be a keeper either.
Until next time, happy reading!