Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, July 5, 2013

Week ending July 5, 2013

Davies, Victoria. Seducing the Demon Huntress. Carina: Harlequin. (Angels & Demons). 2013. 78p. ebk. ISBN 9781426895586. $1.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
She is courageous, alone, and in love. He is handsome, brawny, and in love. This novella documents the give and take between demon hunter Kerilyn, who is determined to live on her own, and demon Arawn, who attempts to seduce her each Halloween. The drama here involves Kerilyn’s desire to maintain her independence despite her fierce attraction to the beautiful, sexy warrior. Kerilyn must decide if she can finally trust the man she has loved—and refused—for years. The luminous light of the jack-o-lantern adds to the glow of the story.
Verdict This seven-chapter tale from Canadian author Davies (Deals with Demons) centers on the conversations between Kerilyn and Arawn as the couple stand separated by the fence outside of Kerilyn’s family home. Will she bend and invite the man of her dreams and the enemy of her nightmares into her abode? There is the possibility for a novel-length sequel. Recommended for paranormal fans.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City FL

Kane, Samantha. Tempting a Devil. Loveswept: Random. Jul. 2013. 278p. ebk. ISBN 9780345537928. $2.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
With her abundant wealth and beauty, Lady Harriet Mercer can have her pick of almost any man she wants, if only she were so inclined to change her widowed status, which she is not. When a ruthless cad forces her hand by threatening to reveal a secret that could ruin her in the eyes of polite society, Harry sets out to sully her reputation just enough to change her desirability as a suitable match. She chances upon her childhood friend Roger Templeton, and Harry knows he’s the perfect man to help her. Having recently returned home after wandering aimlessly and developing a reputation as a rogue along the way, Roger is penniless, directionless, and nothing that Harry needs. When his efforts to discourage Harry serve only to provide fodder for the ton, Roger realizes that it might suit his purpose more to give in somewhat and teach his old friend a lesson. The more time the two spend together, the more Roger’s protective instincts toward Harry are aroused, but will he feel the same when he learns her secret?
Verdict Kane (The Devil’s Thief) is well versed in writing in the historical fiction genre, but while the plot in this latest offering is promising, the strength of the other elements is not substantial enough to support it. There is a marked lack of character development, particularly of the protagonists, to the extent that the reader does not get a true sense of who they are and so may not care about their outcome, good or bad. Further, scenes vary little throughout, with a tone that is at times gushingly sweet. Romance readers would be better served by a Brenda Joyce or a Johanna Lindsay novel.—Natasha Grant, New York

Nantus, Sheryl. Family Pride. Carina: Harlequin. (Blood of the Pride, Bk. 3). 2013. NAp. ebk. ISBN 9781426895579. $3.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Nantus’s “Blood of the Pride” series (Blood of the Pride; Claws Bared) continues here with the backstory of Brandon, the human lover of Canadian shape-shifter and private investigator Rebecca Desjardin. (“Reb” is a Felis, with the power to change into a human-sized cat.) Bran admits that he is the son of Michael and Bernadette Hanover and a member of one of the wealthiest families in Toronto. Reb and Bran go out to dinner with Bran’s parents, and it does not go well. Bernadette threatens Reb to discourage her from dating Bran. Michael draws Reb into helping to cover up one of his affairs, and in the process she discovers a murder and a kidnapping. One-eyed Felis leader Jess steps in to work with Reb and Bran to solve the case, as well as to save them from death themselves. Reb and Bran draw closer as their love is tested and Reb’s dormant Felis powers are rekindled.
Verdict This latest series installment answers many questions about Reb’s past and her relationship to Jess while laying tantalizing ground for the future of the series. The theme of love versus family is well applied in this fast-paced romance. Highly recommended.—Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA

Thacher, Christina & others. Love Letters. Vol. 3: Wicked Whispers. Carina: Harlequin. 2013. 108p. ebk. ISBN 9781426895623. $2.99. EROTICA ANTHOLOGY
The “Love Letters” anthologies continue with novellas focusing on verbal foreplay. In Thacher’s “I Is for Indecent,” a jewelry designer meets a sexy business mogul whose interest in her designs and her natural curves draws her into his sexual fantasy fueled by words. An audiobook narrator accidentally names her sound engineer as the hero of the book during a private recording session, which leads to sound effects of a different kind in Maggie Wells’s “J Is for Jaded.” Ginny Glass’s “K Is for Kick-Start” features an author with writer’s block who discovers that the key to rejuvenating her sex scenes is to discuss them with her editor, the inspiration for those scenes. And in Emily Cale’s “L Is for Lessons,” a woman turns to her female best friend for help in learning the phone sex trade and is turned on by her teacher.
Verdict These erotic adventures focus on brief encounters and may not appeal to readers seeking a romance or relationship in the content. But for those wanting a quick read or a bit of titillation, these anthologies fill the bill. Recommended for libraries where the first two “Love Letters” anthologies—Obeying Desire and Duty To Please—are popular.—Melanie C. Duncan, Shurling Lib., Macon, GA

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"