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Fate of Camelot
Fate of Camelot
by Cynthia Breeding
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding Grail Lore series, 1 Aug 2008
This review is from: Fate of Camelot (Paperback)
Fate of Camelot continues the story award-winning author Cynthia Breeding began in Camelot Destiny (Kensington, August 2006). From what I understand the series will see a soon-to-be-release, Prelude to Camelot, followed by at least one more in the series. Breeding is quite at home with Grail Lore, but she doesn't just give you the same old Camelot. She peels back the layers of these mythical figures to reveal the people, their wants, desires, needs and betrayals. She is a sensual writer, a strong writer who offers her visionary look behind the veil of ancient lore, giving flesh and blood to Arthur, Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar.

Picking up where Camelot Destiny ended, Gwenhywfar carries Arthur to the Isle of Avalon, to see him healed. The holy island is protected by the Land of the Faerie, so when Myrddin attempts to reach the isle, Cernunnos, the god of the hunt, captures Gwenhwyfar and holds her prisoner. He plans to keep her and make her his. The half-fey prince wants to change Gwenhyfar's fate, but can he stop her destiny, especially when Morgan le Fey has plans of her own for him? Lancelot must try to save Gwenhyfar, but can a mere mortal triumph where time bends in on itself and magic reigns?

A talented writer, Breeding understands her subject well, giving Camelot a `fresh coat of paint' for these amazing tales. So strong is her writing, you forget the lore we know by rote, and follow her into these tales so vivid in their world-building, romance, sensuality and magic.

Highly recommend for lovers of ancient history and Grail lore.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 30, 2013 5:43 PM GMT

Dancing With Werewolves: Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator
Dancing With Werewolves: Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator
by Carole Nelson Douglas
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £4.41

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful start to new paranormal series, 25 Jun 2008
A strange phenomena--when an author changes style or direction, there's often a violent knee-jerk reaction from fans to the shift. You constantly see people complaining about an author doing the same old, same old. Yet, let a writer give you a fresh premise, a plot totally unlike anything she's done before and readers surprisingly scream, 'burn the witch'. I think readers--fans--often seek long time authors out for 'comfort food'. The books may not be exciting, but you know what your money is going for; it's safe. Despite the whines of 'nothing new', when an author makes that about face, they nearly get stoned! Carole Nelson Douglas --long time author with over fifty titles to her credit in the Irene Adler series and the Midnight Louie series--hops to another publisher and gives you the wildly zany Dancing With Werewolves. While I love her other stories, I truly enjoyed this book, and look forward to others in the series to come.

It's sharply written, very witty and kept me turning pages until I read the whole book in one sitting. As fans become accustomed to this new direction for this talented author, I fully expect to see praise for her new style.

In a genre that's quickly filling with authors left and right, Nelson brings a fresh and sassy voice to Delilah Street. A woman with a dim past, she knows she was named after the street where she was found orphaned. She's currently an investigative reporter heading up the paranormal beat in Wichita, Kansas. The theme reminded me faintly of the movie Fred Ward did for HBO (Cast a Deadly Spell, 1991), where paranormal was normal. I absolutely adored Ward's Harry Phillip Lovecraft character, so it follows I would enjoy this book, too.

While watching a television show, Delilah spots a cadaver being dissected and gets a chill. The 'dead body' could be her twin sister! When the vampire anchorman tries to put the bite on her and she ends up fired, then she loses her dog and her home, Delilah figures someone is trying to tell her it's time to take the show on the road--and find out if there's a clone who may be her sister.

Vegas has always been considered a bit strange, but in this alternative world, werewolves are literally running the town. Besides the werewolves, there are a few witches and other not quite humans that keep the plot moving and full of surprises. As in the Ward movie, it's an odd blend on urban fantasy and film noir that is brought to life under the talented pen...hum...keyboard of Ms. Douglas.

My husband absolutely adored this book, so it should appeal to both sexes

Naughty by Nature
Naughty by Nature
by Barbara Pierce
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another solid Carlisle story, 24 Jan 2008
In an enchanting tale, Patience Rose Farnaly, a young girl with stars in her eyes falls prey to a user, a thorough-rotter, Julian Phoenix. Lured from her dull, aristocratic family, she sees the bright lights of the magical world of the stage as exciting. Until she is betrayed. In a twist of fate, Julian is believed dead; she escapes the nightmare, assumes the name of Miss Patience Winslow and continues on with her actor's life with another troop, too disgraced to ever return to her very proper family. While performing at the home of one of the ton, she meets the powerful and commanding Fowler Knowden, Earl Ramscar. She catches "Ram's" eye, and he wants her close, and finds the perfect excuse of offering her a role of companion to his reclusive sister, Meredith. Meredith was severely scarred in a fire, and hides from the world, but she soon responds to Patience.

But Patience doesn't just charm Meredith, Ram is falling in love with her. Of course, an earl could never marry an actress, but that doesn't stop him from starting an affair with her. Just as things seem finally happy for Patience, Julian rises just like his name, a Phoenix from the ashes of the past and threatens to destroy all.

Pierce delivers yet another wonderful book in the Carlisle series, leaving you eager for Scandalous by Night (August 2008).

Ice Storm
Ice Storm
by Anne Stuart
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resident Genius of Romance is at it again!!, 27 Dec 2007
This review is from: Ice Storm (Mass Market Paperback)
Anne Stuart is one of my favourite authors for three decades now. I started reading her Gothics back at the end of the 1970s. She was dead bang solid of a writer back then, and she continues to hit the target time-after-time ever since. I believe I recall one book that didn't get a five star from me. I gave it four, only because I got really annoyed at a whiny sister character!

She is NOT for everyone. You have to love very dark Gamma Heroes. Most readers love Alpha males, the hero that is hard, but has that inner core of honour. Gamma heroes are very different. They are dark you can hate...and yet love. Not many writers can do them and do them well. Stuart is the Resident Genius of Romance because she can do what few others can, make you love the anti-hero. Often, she causes a schism in the reader because you really HATE the Gamma hero the whole time you want him. That is a difficult hat trick. Why Stuart reigns as Queen of the Gamma heroes, because she has the magic to do it. This division of polar emotions causes some readers not to like her, which is their choice. For those who do get Stuart, heads up she's done it again.

Only this time she's given us a bad girl to match this Gamma Rogue hero. Stuart patent spell is the vulnerable girl who gets caught in the snare of our Gamma Rogue. Generally, he uses her and she gets burned bad because the moth flew too close to the flame. However, in this "Ice" book, she gives you the aftermath of that betrayal. The woman made hard and tough as nails by the past. Long ago, Isobel thought she killed the man she loved. Only, KIllian is back and asking for help.

Stuart is a wizard. She loves to push the readers' buttons; make them hate the hero and in the same breath desire him. I think she tosses out
these works of brilliance, then sits back in glee at the reactions she causes. Long may she keep doing this!

It's dark, hard, and not the cup of tea for everyone. Stuart fans will adore another masterpiece.

Enchanting the Lady (Love Spell Paranormal Romance) (Love Spell Paranormal Romance)
Enchanting the Lady (Love Spell Paranormal Romance) (Love Spell Paranormal Romance)
by Kathryne Kennedy
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enchanting start to a new series, 26 Dec 2007
The Duchess of Stonehaven must face a test, and if she does not triumph, she will forfeit the title to another, and so on. The true Duchess must prove it by not failing, and she must use magic to succeed. Felicity fears the testing because the magic, while present in her, is never strong. Part of it is her own insecurities, her lack of self-worth, fearing people ignore her because there's nothing special or worthy about her. Part of the test deals with thirteen ancient relics conjured by the wizard Merlin.

Terence Blackwell is a shifter, he can also sense black magic which uses the relics. His brother was killed by one of the relics, and it's his life's vow to track them all down. When Felicity enters the testing, the magic exuded by the relic summons Blackwell. Frustrated that he cannot find the ancient item, he knows Felicity is connected to it somehow, and sets out to woo the relics, as it were. Only it backfires on him costing him more than he ever anticipated.

Kathryne Kennedy's debut book for Dorchester is a winner. She demonstrates strong world building, a well-contracted premise and engaging characters. Felicity and Terence are "real", and quickly engage the reader to caring what happens to them. Obviously, this is the first in the series of Merlin Relic books, and I cannot wait for the second book in the series.

The Accidental Vampire
The Accidental Vampire
by Lynsay Sands
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dead on marvellous, 26 Dec 2007
Elvi went on a fun-in-the-sun vacation to Mexico. Instead of drinks with funny umbrellas, she found herself being the main drink for a vampire! What a drag, especially when maker did a drink 'n run, leaving poor Elvi struggling to deal with her new vamp state. For five years Elvi has toddled through her new situation, dealing with the downside of being undead. There are a few perks, such as not ageing, but still, being a vamp should come with a "how to be a vamp and survive" book, she thinks.

Victor Argeneau (finally we get Victor's tale!) has lived alone for centuries, having lost his beloved to vampire hunters. Since then, his sole focus has been hunting down rogue vampires to eliminate them, so no other innocent vamps are slaughtered for their misdeeds. His attention is drawn to Elvi when her friends place a want ad for a male vamp, matchmaking the objective. Victor isn't sure it's a real vamp or someone just playing a joke, so he goes to check it out. He is shocked to learn the whole town is aware that Elvi is a vampire, but more importantly, Elvi is real and just what his heart craves. However the vampire council dedicated to keep a low profile for the good vamps, sees this situation as something that cannot go on.

Lynsay Sands takes a chance giving us not young and beautiful vamps, but older ones, and the risk is endearing, once again keep this series fresh and original. The problem with any series, is to conjure that vital spark that made it special to begin with. Each time, Sands does just that.

Fans will be very happy campers as another Angeneau tale comes in January and February, giving you three in a row.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2010 6:42 PM GMT

The Privateer (Leisure Historical Romance) (Leisure Historical Romance)
The Privateer (Leisure Historical Romance) (Leisure Historical Romance)
by Dawn MacTavish
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Keeper!!, 25 Dec 2007
Dawn Thompson's writing continues to fascinate me, with each book being special in its own way. She is a beautiful writer, who always keeps turning up 'the game'. She writes Regency Historical Romances under Dawn MacTavish penname (The Marsh Hawk), dark and sinister vampire sagas (Blood Moon; The Brotherhood) which drew the praise of Chicago Sunday Tribune's John Charles calling them, "An inventive hybrid of Regency historical and dark, sexy paranormal romance...wildly imaginative and wonderfully entertaining." The third in the cycle, The Ravening (due out next month) earned a TOP PICK from Romantic Times. She also does time-travel and shapeshifter romances, and recently branched out in a new area of Literary Erotic Historical Fantsy with The Elemental series (Lord of the Deep, with Lord of the Dark coming this summer). Whatever she writes only shows another facet of her extreme talent. A consumate storyteller, she grabs me from page one and never lets me go until that final page. I close the backcover regretting the wonderful tale is over.

But there is something special about her MacTavish books, straight Regency Romances, written by someone who really has a feel for the period and England, to the point people often believe Thompson is British. In this delightful tale, you have Basil "King" Kingston, Earl Greyshire. Basil has a shady past, and an eyepatch to show for it, and detests being called Basil. Which is precisely why his crusty mother refuses to call him anything but that. (The mother is one hoot of a character!!). King worries about the legacy of daddy dearest - a pirate - and tries not to follow in his father footsteps. Only the Admiralty comes a knocking and insists that he take to the high seas as a privateer (a pirate with a license from the crown). Only before he can do that, he has to find mum-from-hell a companion to keep her company. Hitting on the idea of getting something who cannot tell dear old mum to stuff it and leave, he goes to debtor's prison and buys a companion, and he gets a bargain in that!

Lady Lark Eddington was tossed into debtor's prison because her father gambled away all the family money, including her inheritence, so the offer to have her way bought out of prison comes as a godsend for a woman who would have no other option. She assumes King will want something in return, but it's not what she thinks! Toss in a wicked villain, a woman out for vengeance, highjinks on sea and land, and one sexy Basil Kingston, Lark's life is about to take a turn...for the better!

The whole book is wonderful Regency, but dear old mum steals the show!! Simply a wonderful read.

Dark Thirst (Zebra Debut)
Dark Thirst (Zebra Debut)
by Sara Reinke
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark, original vampire tale, 18 Dec 2007
Sara Reinke starts with the good tenant for an author: write about what you know. Thus her setting Dark Thirst in Kentucky is a solid move. The Kentucky writer opens this highly original vampire tale, with a clan of vampires, originally made up of four families. They own a huge, isolated track of land; called "The Brethren", people give them a wide birth. Reinke demonstrate a strong world building in creating the hellish, throwback existence of The Brethren. The only people permitted near their compound are migrant illegals (a problem in Kentucky, actually). These poor unsuspecting souls are often used as servants, but more generally end up as din din, killed without a concern.

Like all vamps, they have long lives. They are strong, heal fast, and are damn hard to kill. Very throwback, with the men being the chest-thumping protectors of the clan; the females are relegated to being the `little woman', caring for their homes and their men. Marriages are set up with no cares to the woman's wishes, very archaic, seeing young teenagers married to older (much older men). Women are permitted no say in the marriages, no say in just about anything. The males eat first; the women only are permitted to eat after the males have finished (intriguingly reflecting old "hills" turn-of-the-century mentality of Kentucky and the South). The members of The Brethren never leave the compound; they especially never leave the clan.

But naturally, a writer lays down rules only to break them. Brandon Noble is the grandson of the head of the Brethren, Augustus, (ala Brando in The Godfather, only he makes Brando appear a choirboy by measure!). Brandon has run afoul of the strict rules set forth by the secluded clan and it may cost his life. When he was younger, he accidentally came upon a robbery in progress. The robbers attacked Brandon, and nearly killed him, which left him deaf and unable to speak. Worse even still, he shuns the blood rituals of The Brethren. A big no no in their world. When he finally manages to leave, he knows he will be own the run for his life.

Brandon attempts to leave the compound, and now once more he is on the run. He goes to his only friend, but the friend isn't there. He meets Lina Jones, the friend's sister, and she wants to help him, but they have a world of problems to over come, despite their growing attraction.

Reinke creates a vivid world, mixing the vampire clan with old country codes, gives you a hero that is white, a heroine black, basically saying she is not going to follow the patterns of all the writers before her. With this impressive novel, the author boldly cuts a vivid debut (mass-market debut, as Reinke has other books out with smaller presses). To check the measure of this author's talent read her The Unexpected Engagement, a Regency romance.

I am eager to see what the author will do with the next book in the series.

Silver Master
Silver Master
by Jayne Castle
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £5.77

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more dust bunnies, please, 8 Dec 2007
Jayne Ann Krentz returns under the Jayne Castle penname to give us another paranormal tale in the Harmony series (After Dark, After Glow and Ghost Hunter), and again, I think it JAK at her very best. I think she is fresher, more like her peak style in the Castle books, and I look forward to each new addition. It's great world-building - Covenant Marriage, psi powers, dust bunnies, powerful guilds and even more powerful men who control them.

Celinda Ingrams is the leading authority on Covenant Marriages, which are similar to old marriages of the ton really, people marrying for the advantage of both parties. Only, her matchmaking ended in trouble, so now she is flying low - or so she hopes. Her dust bunny convinces her she needs a toy, only the toy turns out to be something else entirely. It's one of the relics left over by the mysterious alien race that once lived on Harmony. The relic was stolen from the Guild at Cadence, and the Guild boss is determined to see it fetched back. To the aim, he employs Davis Oakes to aid in it's return. Davis owns and runs Oakes security, but he is also a Ghost Hunter. He has rare talents, even for a ghost hunter, and also has secrets, both which he tries to keep under his hat.

Readers won't be surprised when his psi clicks with Celinda. Celinda is not too thrilled with the prospect, as all this brings her too close to the Guild again, which threatens to bring out all the old secrets she has been trying to avoid. As the pair becomes a target, they are force to join their psi talents in order to stay one step ahead of the person who will stop at nothing to possess the relic.

I highly recommend the whole series, as well as Amaryllis, Orchid and Zinnia.

The Salt Maiden (Leisure Romantic Suspense)
The Salt Maiden (Leisure Romantic Suspense)
by Colleen Thompson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 15 Nov 2007
Colleen Thompson is an author waiting to "happen". Oh, she has been out there, is well respected as a growing talent. She has a solid backlist of amazing tales; only, she just has that presence of an author ready to have that break out novel. The Salt Maiden is that book. Her skill and flow of the prose marks her as a master wordsmith. She weaves an intricate plot into this eerie, sinister tale that kept me spellbound. This simply is Colleen Thompson at her very best.

Dana Vanover is resolute to find her sister. Her determination takes her back to the desert town of Devil's Claw, where she encounters nothing but resistance to the answers she's come to find. The strongest stonewalling to her prodding and probing for an explanation about her sister's disappearance comes from Sheriff Jay Eversole. The sheriff makes no bones about it - he wants her gone for more reasons than one. However, Dana is not leaving without her sister. As she continues the hardheaded pursuit of the riddle of the mystery, Jay causes other problems - namely the passions he provokes in her. Lives are at peril in this deadly sinister story, and under the careful crafting of this very talented writer, the reader is guaranteed a tale that will keep them on the edge of the seat, with temperatures rising, as they turn page after page unable to put this novel down.

Very highly recommended.

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