Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Review: Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur

Full Moon Rising
by Keri Arthur
9780553588453, Bantam Dell (Random House), $7.99

Sizzling! Riley Jenson and Rhoan Jenson are both agents in an organization created to police the supernatural races. Most people don’t know about the organization. Within the organization, most people don’t know Riley & Rhoan are both half-werewolf, half-vampire. And almost noone knows they’re twin brother and sister.

When Rhoan is taken hostage, it’s up to his sister Riley to maintain focus and go in after him, even if the moon lust is particularly hard to ignore this month, and even when a hot, naked vampire shows up on her doorstep. Who can she trust? It’s certainly not her hormones. Can she trust either of her two steady lovers? Can she trust this new vampires? And what if her brother wasn’t the intended target? What if he’s merely bait…for Riley herself?

Kick-ass action sequences, snappy dialogue, hot sex: what’s not to love? I can’t wait to read more of this series.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Review: Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

Any Given Doomsday
by Lori Handeland
9780312949198, St. Martin’s Paperbacks (Macmillan), $6.99

This is the first book in a supernatural fantasy series. Elizabeth Phoenix used to be part of the Milwaukee Police Department until one of her “hunches” got her partner killed. The police force and Liz herself want nothing more to do with the fact that she might be a psychic. Liz finds herself unexpectedly working for (and becoming friends with) her dead partner’s widow, bartending first shift at a cop bar. All’s as well as could be expected until Liz has a sudden urge to visit her foster mother.

Paying attention to the call, Liz finds her foster mother murdered, her ex-love(r), Jimmy, falsely accused, and herself the new leader in a supernatural war of good vs. evil. In order to fully claim her power, Liz will have to face her past by facing her ex (who still holds her heart), traveling back to the Navajo land she lived on when she was 15, and trusting Sawyer, the man who will help her become who she has to be in order to win. Though battles are lost and won, at the end of the book, the war still rages, and it looks like everyone’s past, Jimmy’s, Liz’s, and Sawyer’s, will all play a part in the final battle.

The supernatural elements are explained well, to define the world of this book as separate from worlds found in other series. The sexual tension and chemistry between Jimmy & Liz and Liz & Sawyer will evoke thoughts of a Team Jimmy/Team Sawyer face-off by the end of the series.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book Review: Orchid by Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle

by Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Castle
9780671569020, Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster), $7.99

I first discovered this series in either junior high or high school. I think it was out of print already, and I picked up a few books at a local library for about a quarter each. I rediscovered this series about 2 weeks ago on a road trip when I wandered into a bookstore and saw these were being reissued with new sexy covers! I hadn’t read this one yet, so I picked it up. Happily, it’s lived up to memory and expectations. I hope you check it out!

This is the third book in a paranormal series taking place in the lost colony of St. Helen’s on a new planet that somewhat resembles Earth. Amaryllis and Zinnia are equally compelling reads if this is your genre. As a top psychic prism for Psynergy Inc., Orchid Adams has found it hard to get a date. Not many people out there who can handle an off-the charts talent like hers. Maybe that’s why she’s so fascinated by her new client: Rafe Stonebraker, a rough-and-ready, rich, unlicensed P.I. who’s hired Orchid to help him on some cases. When one case turns into a murder involved people Orchid knows, too, the case brings them closer and closer to danger, and each other. Why not have a torrid affair while working on a case? It’s not like either of their marriage agencies have found matches for them yet. Maybe natural synergy is taking over where modern society has failed, making the match for them…

Book Review: Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
by Jennifer Rardin
9780316043540, Orbit Books (Hachette), $7.99

This is the first book in a supernatural/urban fantasy series. Meet Jaz Parks. That’s Jasmine Parks, CIA operative, one of the most lethal killers on the planet. She’s just been teamed up with Vayl, a top CIA assassin, and did I mention vampire? Jaz doesn’t have a problem with the vampire bit; it’s that she has the hots for a guy who’s basically her boss that’s wigging her out. That, and the fact that she has some supernatural power of her own she’s still working out. Oh, and the fact that she’s trying to block the memory of gaining said supernatural power during a horrific slaughter when her entire team got killed including her fiancĂ© and sister-in-law. So, yeah, Jaz has a few issues.

But right now, she and Vayl are on assignment in Miami where they’re looking to perform a routine assassination on a plastic surgeon who has ties to terrorist organizations. Unfortunately, the plot, as it usually does, thickens, when Jaz and Vayl discover the plastic surgeon is in league with some very nasty vampires and demon-summoners. Time to save the universe again.

Well-written plot and nice kick-ass action, but I could have used a little more sexual tension between Jaz and Vayl. There was mostly emotional tension, which is nice, but hey, a girl’s gotta get her kicks in somewhere. Maybe subsequent books will be a little steamier on the romantic side of things…