Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, March 1, 2013

Week ending March 1, 2013

Bayley-Burke, Jenna. Caribbean Casanova. Samhain. (Under the Caribbean Sun, Bk. 2). Mar. 2013. 135p. ebk. ISBN 9781619215771. EPUB $3.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
In her latest “Under the Caribbean Sun” adventure (after Caribbean Christmas), Burke has brought the Prinsen brothers (Johannes and Harmannus) back to the island of Anguilla, along with Saskia and her business partner Holly Hansen. Harmannus and Joe have agreed to let Saskia and Holly use their cabins for a photo shoot for their new clothing line. Holly is a no-nonsense businesswoman who has no intention of letting anything get in her way. Harmannus is known as a womanizer, and Holly sets out to see that he doesn’t become a distraction. When Saskia is called away on business, Holly must coordinate the final shoot, but she needs Harm’s help to complete it. Despite her best efforts to resist the Dutchman’s charms, Holly finds herself falling hard. She also discovers that there is more to the man than meets the eye.
Verdict Where else would one want to be on a cold winter’s day but dreaming of the warm Caribbean sun on the island of Anguilla? While this story is short, the author has done a good job of developing these characters and creating an all-around good tale, with lots of spicy sensuality and graphic language. A good read for the beach this summer.—Phyllis Goodman, Clermont Cty. P.L., OH

Bell, Dana Marie. Hecate’s Own. Samhain. Apr. 2013. c.265p. ebk. ISBN 9781619210967. EPUB $5.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
A clumsy but handsome witch, Zach Beckett is trying to cope with his identity in a family of wizards. To learn his craft, he is sent to school, where his teacher is the fiery, strong, and sexy Jo. With every spell that goes wrong, Zach gets more discouraged in his path, and Jo gets more frustrated. Amid wizards, witches, and warlocks, can love grow between two reluctant witches? Throw in rambunctious wizards and evil warlocks, and things get more complicated as danger lurks at every turn.
Verdict The story has a solid plot that keeps the reader interested, as well as steamy love scenes to keep the blood pumping. Anyone looking for strong female characters and ardent family bonds will enjoy this book. Recommended to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances, especially those that feature the battle between good and evil.—Sonnet Ireland, Univ. of New Orleans Lib.

Forte, P.G. Now Comes the Night. Samhain. (Children of Night, Bk. 3). Mar. 2013. c.269p. ebk. ISBN 9781619214729. EPUB $5.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
The third book in Forte’s “Children of Night” series (after In the Dark and Old Sins, Long Shadows) continues to delve into the interpersonal relationships of the Quintano household of vampires. New readers are introduced to Conrad and Damian, two former lovers who have reunited to be parents to orphaned twins, Marcus and Juliet. In a series of flashbacks, the twins are revealed to be Lamia Infragilis, vampires born of a human mother, while Forte advances the larger narrative of Marcus and his group of feral vampires. Told in a series of vignettes that shift in both time and point of view, the book explores Damian’s love and need for his sire, Conrad, while he finds himself in a relationship with a young human in San Francisco during the late 1970s. There is enough exposition here to draw those unfamiliar with the series in to the complicated family dynamics powering these books.
Verdict This paranormal romance focuses on the emotional needs of a group of vampires as they question their allegiances to one another in late 1970s San Francisco.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll. Lib., Boston

Harper, Lou. Spirit Sanguine. Samhain. May 2013. 304p. ebk. ISBN 9781619215337. EPUB $5.50. PARANORMAL M/M ROMANCE
Gabe has spent the last five years in Eastern Europe honing his abilities as a vampire slayer, yet within days of being back in Chicago he gets bested by a young—and vegetarian—vampire named Harvey. Intrigued by this unique creature, Gabe shows up on Harvey’s doorstep and is drawn into his curious world of blood substitutes, strange friends, and, eventually, Harvey’s bed. Their relationship draws the attention of the Vampire Boss of Chicago, who makes Gabe an offer he really can’t refuse. As Gabe and Harvey are pulled into hunting down kidnappers, a serial killer, and virulent vampire junkies, the lovers find that those mysteries may be easier solved than the one between them—can there ever be anything more to their relationship than hot sexcapades?
Verdict Harper takes traditional paranormal romance and swerves down a side street with Gabe and Harvey’s relationship. Bound like a collection of novellas, the story of their work and love life builds steadily and doesn’t disappoint in either area, offering both gripping action and steamy sex. Recommended for collections that include paranormal and/or M/M romances.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Lib., Easthampton, MA

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"