Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl

Chloe Turner thought she was going to marry the perfect man-until her fiancé's plane crashed. And then she got the really bad news: he'd tried to fake his own death to avoid marrying her. Now America's most famous bridezilla (a tag she most definitely does not deserve), Chloe escapes to a remote island to avoid the paparazzi. And right next door is a man who just might be the cure for Chloe's heartache....

A magnet for wild, complicated women, Max Sullivan is relieved to have finally found someone "normal." Chloe is his girl-next-door fantasy come to life, and best of all, she gets him. With her, he can be himself, a treasure-hunting millionaire who desperately wants out of his sexy but reckless job. But when Chloe's notoriety catches up with them, will their torrid romance make it to the mainland?

I thought I would really, really enjoy Crazy for Love.  The Tumble Creek series (Talk Me Down, Start Me Up, Lead Me On) only got better as the series continued, but while they excelled at chemistry and the hero and heroine oozing sexual tension, Crazy for Love left me feeling meh.  And again, it's a shame because I so wanted to like this book. 

The premise itself never solidified for me.  Chloe, having been dumped in the most spectacular way -- her fiance crashes his plan and instead of being presumed dead, he's alive! and doesn't want to marry her -- escapes the media crush with her BFF Jenn for a vacation.  My question throughout was: why should we the reader care? 

I didn't buy a hoarde of paparazzi stalking Chloe's every move, branding her a bridezilla, making her life a living nightmare.  If this were set in Hollywood?  Sure.  But Chloe is an accountant from Richmond, Virginia. How this is (she) worthy of such national attention?  Was Ms. Dahl writing a Runaway Bride nod?  (Julia Roberts' character is written about in USA Today; her runaway antics were well-known within the confines of her small town.)  Maybe if there had only been one wiley reporter and a cameraman involved, one person who dogged Chloe wherever she went and interviewed her "close relatives" or other sources, sussing out the truth, writing from his/her point-of-view. 

I remember a runaway bride making national headlines a few years ago.  I can't remember the specifics, but she was from Georgia, perhaps she faked her death because she got cold feet (again, I don't remember).  It was reported on by various news outlets, though I don't think she got a month's worth of attention, like Chloe.  So I'm left asking -- how is this worthy of such attention? 

Certainly the criminal aspects related to Chloe's fiance are important.  Those are federal charges and he seemed like he was from a well-to-do Richmond family.  *That* is least for 15 minutes (his initial federal court appearance, the trial, the sentencing). 

Max, on the other hand, has a hero/savior complex, yet he cannot save himself from said complex in order to make himself happy.  What a vicious cycle.  The two of them certainly had some steamy moments, but I didn't believe their attraction once they stopped making out (or having sex).  I didn't connect with them; I didn't believe in their love.

I really wanted to see more of Jenn and Elliott.  

Regardless, I won't give up on Ms. Dahl just yet.  She's a great writer with a lot of snap in her dialogue and steam in her sex scenes.  Crazy for Love unfortunately didn't work for me.

(Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Crazy for Love.)   

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members—yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke—until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?

What can I say about Tessa Dare's writing?  As I tweeted, there just aren't enough adjectives to describe my love for it.  She's got me, hook, line and sinker.  I'm a fangirl for life. 

She puts me squarely in each moment -- I'm wrapped in emotion, regardless of character -- and I absolutely love every minute of it.  Once I open a book, I cannot put it down. 

Sexual tension? Yes. Heroes and heroines who are flawed yet relatable?  Yes!  An intriguing story with rich, lush prose?  YES INDEED! 

If you're not yet reading Ms. Dare, why the heck not???  She is a historical romance author not to be missed.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Review: The Wolf Next Door by Lydia Dare

They can't even be in the same room together...

Ever since their failed elopement years ago, Prisca Hawthorne has taunted, insulted, and in every way tried to push him away.  If only her heart didn't break every time Lord William Westfield left her...

But staying apart is even worse...

Lord William throws himself into drinking, gambling, and debauchery and pretends not to care about Prisca at all.  But when he returns to find a rival werewolf vying for her hand, he'll stop at nothing to claim the woman who should have been his all along.

Can Prisca forgive the unforgivable, or are the moon-crossed lovers going to be forced into a battle of wills that could be fatal?
My favorite book of the series, I think.  I've been waiting for Will and Prisca ever since their initial spark in A Certain Wolfish Charm.   Drinking and cavorting are no help to Will in forgetting that he truly loves Prisca; her icy demeanor toward him doesn't ease her heartache. 

Several things caught my attention though, particularly concerning Will's and Prisca's botched elopement.  Prisca was 15 at the time; Will was older, 19 or 20?  That's young, shockingly young, I thought. 

When it's made known the circumstances of why they didn't elope, I expected there to be more hurt, especially coming from Prisca as she's the "wronged" party (though it turns out Will was wronged too, thanks to a lie).  Yet Prisca says she's forgiven Will, now that she knows the truth.  I assumed the matter would be a bigger deal or brought up more in the prose.  Nope, just the one time (maybe twice).  What finally pushes Will over the edge is the arrival of Dashiel Thorpe. 

Here's where Prisca loses some of her feisty-ness.  When Will and Dashiel are "marking their territory."  She fades into the background, possibly because she's already Will's wife and she knows -- or is at least starting to figure out -- there are some issues with the Westfields.  I wanted her to be more inquisitive, more curious.  The asides from various family members seem to go right over her head too.  Maybe she's just trying to harden her heart against Will breaking it.  She was tricked into a marriage, after all!

Despite that, I am looking forward to the next book by Ms. Dare, The Taming of the Wolf. I suspect it will be a bumpy, bumpy ride. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review: Ain't Too Proud to Beg by Susan Donovan


Josie Sheehan collects failed relationships the way some women collect designer handbags. Now, at thirty-five, she has exactly one male in her life: her Labradoodle, Genghis. In fact Josie, along with the three very single women in her dog-walking group, has recently sworn off men, resigning herself to long walks in the park with her devoted, four-legged friend.


All bets are off, however, when she meets Rick Rousseau, a pet-company CEO who is smart, sexy, and, best of all, head-over-heels for Josie. Even Genghis, an excellent judge of character, seems to know that Rick is the real deal. But just when Josie starts to think that she has found something more enduring than puppy love, she discovers that Rick has a complicated past—and a secret that could put the woman he loves in serious danger...

A cute and surprisingly hot contemporary romance.  Just what I wanted!

I picked up Ain't Too Proud to Beg, thanks in part to Ms. Donovan's interview with Sarah at Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and I am so glad I did.

Josie is normal, a little gun-shy when it comes to relationships because she's dated some real "winners" recently.  She and the three other ladies in her dog-walking group have sworn off men, though Josie never seemed to vehemently swear this oath.  Regardless, she's not looking for love when she attempts to win a year's worth of grooming for her Labradoodle, Genghis.  Then she meets Rick.

Rick is a successful entrepreneur with a dark and shameful secret.  It's this blemish on his past which prompts him to turn his life around, becoming the success that he is today.  He too had sworn off women, until he meets Josie, and they click. 

As I said, I'm so glad I picked up this book.  Ms. Donovan's voice is strong, and it's easy to relate to Josie and Rick.  That's not to say I agree with their decisions as they journey toward love, particularly the little secrets they keep from one another, but they do receive their HEA, despite the bumps -- and a dangerous blast from Rick's past. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review: A Secret Affair by Mary Balogh

“The Devil was about to be tamed.” Her name is Hannah Reid. Born a commoner, she has been Duchess of Dunbarton ever since she was nineteen years old, the wife of an elderly duke to whom she has been rumored to be consistently and flagrantly unfaithful. Now the old duke is dead and, more womanly and beautiful than ever at thirty, Hannah has her freedom at last.

And she knows just what she wants to do with it. To the shock of a conventional friend, she announces her intention to take a lover — and not just any lover, but the most dangerous and delicious man in all of upper-class England: Constantine Huxtable.

Constantine’s illegitimacy has denied him the title of Earl, so now he denies himself nothing . . . or so the ton would have it. Rumored to be living the free and easy life of a sensualist in his country estate, he always chooses recent widows for his short-lived affairs. Hannah will fit the bill nicely.

But once these two passionate and scandalous figures find each other, they discover that it isn’t so easy to extricate oneself from the fires of desire — without getting singed. For the duchess and the dark lord each have startling secrets to reveal, and when all is said and done, neither will be able to say which one fell in love first, who tamed whom, and who has emerged from this game of hearts with the stronger hand.

The final story of the Huxtable series, featuring Constantine, the heir who wasn't.  For all that was made of Constantine's "bad-ness" in the previous books, the revelation of how he got that reputation was a bit ho-hum. 

"Did other people do such things? Did everyone have these shameful, damnably uncomfortable skeletons in their closets?"

Doesn't that sound like he's hiding something just absolutely horrible?  I didn't find it to be so.

This, of course, brings about the question of redeeming a "villain" and if it can be done effectively.  I never saw Constantine as a villain, an antagonist certainly, since he ruffles the feathers of his cousin, Elliott, Viscount Lyngate, and his wife Vanessa (though he is intentionally cruel to Vanessa).  Regardless, I expected some deep, dark secret and didn't get it.

But I thoroughly enjoyed Hannah and her transformation from The Duchess to simply Hannah.  She and Constantine are a lot of fun together, able to help and strengthen one another, learn to accept who they really are without masks and grow to love each other in the process.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Review: Tall, Dark and Deadly by Lorie O'Clare

First in a brand-new series from award-winning author Lorie O’Clare—a sexy, thrilling novel about a female cop, an FBI agent, and a whole world of trouble in-between… 

Grace Jordan is leaving her dark past behind. Having traded in her big-city badge for life in the slow lane in Rockville, South Dakota, Grace and her daughter were hoping to make a fresh, clean start. But crime is at-large in small towns, too…and young women keep turning up brutally murdered. Before she knows it, Grace has got a serial murder case on her hands—and the infuriatingly seductive FBI agent Justin Reece by her side.

Grace did not come to Rockville looking for romance. But she can’t deny the chemistry between her and Justin—no matter how much she might want to. Meanwhile, things keep heating up as more women turn up dead, and a disturbing new pattern points to a killer who seems to be sending a message for Grace alone. But how could he know such secret, scandalous details about her life? Unless he happens to be someone from the past she would kill to forget…

I'd seem the cover for the final book in this series in an advertisement -- you should know by now that covers pull me in.  And since I have to begin a series with ... the first book ... I decided I'd give Ms. O'Clare a try.

Romantic suspense is a genre (subgenre?) I don't read much of.  I'm not sure why exactly; it's just not an area I gravitate toward.  So I'm not "qualified" to say whether a romantic suspense is good or not.  I thought this one had potential, until Grace's thoughts about Justin, whom she's practically just been introduced to, go way past professional.

The sex between Grace and Justin was hot -- Ms. O'Clare also writes for Ellora's Cave and Kensington, so I assumed it would be.  What bothered me was Grace's use of her tortured past to keep an emotional distance from Justin (not even allowing herself to consider she might really, really, really like this guy), but it is okay for her bang his brains out without taking said past into consideration, given their highly intense first sexual encounter.  Of course, Justin doesn't know about Grace's past at this point, so he can't be blamed for the things he does to her.

There were some other issues, mostly dealing with Grace's past and the fact that the murders she's investigating are clearly rattling her, which she keeps to herself.  I understand the need for privacy, especially where her past is concerned but, damn it, woman, tell someone what's going on!  You're supposed to be a very good cop!  There was also a question of a missing girl who seemingly remained missing.  Ms. O'Clare posted the missing paragraphs on her blog to explain what happened.

All in all, Tall, Dark and Deadly was a good book.  I'm sure to pick up the second to give Ms. O'Clare another chance.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams

Welcome to Aunt Pat's barbeque restaurant -- family run and located in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee.  Named in honor of Lulu Tyalor's great aunt, the restaurant is known for its ribs and spicy corn bread, but now the Taylor family will be known for murder -- unless Lulu can clearn their name... 
Rebecca Adrian came to Memphis to suss out the best local BBQ for a prominent Cooking Channel show. Trouble is, Rebecca doesn't live long enough to mention a bad review. A mystery ingredient has killed her -- and now all fingers are pointing to Aunt Pat's restaurant. Horrified that her family is being accused of murder, Luly fires up her investigative skills to solve the crime before someone else gets skewered...

The high hopes I had for this book were shaken when I said "Oh no" to myself around page 4.  Big family; lots of points of view.  I understand the need to make sure everyone had a "say," but it was overwhelming at first, almost made me put the book down and not pick it back up again.  By the midpoint of the book, however, things settled down to primarily Lulu's POV, and we're able to get to the heart of the matter -- solving a murder. 

Rebecca Adrian, Cooking Channel scout, is not a nice girl. Whoa, boy, is she the total opposite of nice.  As I continued to read about the things she would say -- to strangers! -- and her actions, I couldn't help but feel slighted on her behalf because of her portrayal.  Now I'm sure there are unkind people from New York, and I'm sure some of those unkind people work in positions of power within corporations, but I cannot believe that (1) she had never shown her vindictive side in her workplace so they had no idea how she truly was behind the fake smile and good grooming and (2) her company allowed her to scout for new talent if they did, in fact, know what she was like.  She's their in-person representative!  Wouldn't they see she's giving off a horribly bad impression, thereby reflecting horribly badly on their company? 

Truthfully, I wanted to slap her into next week.  Two weeks from now even. 

When she's found dead, it's not a big surprise, though soon everyone she's come into contact with during her stay in Memphis agrees she was so not nice (and maybe deserved her fate?).  That's what makes Lulu, her son Ben, his wife Sara, Sara's nephew Derrick, bookstore owner and budding romance novelist Mildred, member of the Graces, Flo, and a couple of others suspects in Rebecca's murder. 

I should mention that my mother-in-law is a Memphis girl born and bred, and I kept reading hoping I'd see places I'd been to.  (Part of the fun in reading, I think.  "Ooh, I've been there!")  That also makes me biased because I know Memphis.  When the Graces and Lulu go to the mall, I wondered which mall (I'd always pick Wolfchase Galleria, though it's in Bartlett).   As they talk about what's happening on Beale, I wondered what other clubs and restaurants were nearby. 

I liked the little touches about downtown Memphis: the ducks at the Peabody, Peabody Place, the pyramid, the river, Elvis and Graceland, of course.  It might have been nice to mention a baseball game, since the Redbirds are downtown, just on the other side of Peabody Place.  But I'll allow some literary license, especially since Delicious and Suspicious is the first in a series.  Perhaps we'll visit those places again.   

It would have been easy for the characters to take on that over-the-top Southern quality.  While they're quirky -- Cherry, I'm looking at you -- they're still real, still normal (relatively speaking), still funny.  Like this line Lula says to her eldest son Ben after he suggests she try to get on Wheel of Fortune rather than "audition" for the Cooking Channel scout:

"California is on the other side of the country, Ben.  I can't just pop over there, buy some vowels, and win big money." 

The one thing I'm afraid of is that for the series to continue and for Lulu to be involved (either directly or indirectly, though I have a feeling she'd stick her nose in it regardless), someone we're introduced to as a regular at Aunt Pat's is going to have to get it.  Can't keep killing out-of-towners -- it would be bad for Memphis tourism!

Despite my initial "oh no," the story really hit its stride in the final half of the book, with a somewhat surprising villian and another murder for Lulu to solve.  Delicious and Suspicious was pretty good fun for this Southern girl. 

(A very special thank you to Berkley Prime Crime who provided me with an ARC of Delicious and Suspicious.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts

Wedding baker Laurel McBane is surrounded by romance working at Vows wedding planning company with her best friends Parker, Emma, and Mac. But she's too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that their clients seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker's older brother Delaney, on whom she's had a mega-crush since childhood.

But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her-or so she thinks. When Laurel's quicksilver moods get the better of her-leading to an angry, hot, all-together mind-blowing kiss with Del-she'll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever...

This is the third Nora Roberts book I've read -- I decided to pick the Bridal Quartet to jump into her writing -- and it might be my favorite of the series thus far.  And that might be because there were more teasers of Parker and Mal...

But I digress.

The relationship between Laurel and Del is a favorite plot of mine: friends to lovers.  It's the same dynamic we were introduced to with Emma and Jack in Bed of Roses, but Laurel and Del just have more chemistry.  They bicker, they deny their feelings, they hem and haw, then Del tosses her into the pond and they're both goners. 

Some of their magic seemed to fizzle, though again, once Parker and Mal came onto the scene through various meet-ups, Laurel and Del were lost to me.  We already knew they'd be hooking up; and now it was time to see a preview of how explosive the combo of Parker and Mal could be. 

I think I'm going to like Happily Ever After best.

One thing that bothers me about Ms. Roberts' writing is the dialogue exchanges when multiple characters are present.  It's difficult to keep straight who's talking and who's responding.  Chances are, it's not who I thought.  So, I have to read the longer dialogue passages a couple of times -- and even analyze them aloud -- in order to keep the players straight.  That's not to say I want "he said/she said" attached to ever line.  (I don't.)  But her conversations are fast-paced, probably more true to real life when three or more friends are in the same room, and I'm the eavesdropper, attempting to make sense of it all. 

Regardless, I've enjoyed the series thus far and am looking forward to its conclusion.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Review: Mistress by Mistake by Maggie Robinson

Scandal Is Only The Beginning...

Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once-and she's paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she'd never succumb to men's desires again. But even a village spinster's life miles from temptation can't save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost...

Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He'd fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn't expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them...

A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society's judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love...

I wasn't certain what to expect with Mistress by Mistake: debut author; trade paperback release (which is always a toss-up with a debut author because what if the book is terrible?)  Once I started reading, however, I wondered what I'd been so worried about.

This historical has it all: humor, hot sex, endearing characters and yes, a little bit of crazy. 

Let's start first with Charlotte "Charlie" Fallon, an on-the-shelf spinster from Little Hyssop who gardens, tats, and feeds feral cats.  When her sister, Deborah, a courtesan, requests her to immediately come to London because the situation is a matter of life-and-death, Charlie does it.  As she soon discovers, the situation is not so serious, and Deborah floats away to Kent, leaving Charlie to explain the truth of what's happened to Sir Michael Xavier Baynard, who is expected to return soon.  Imagine Charlie's surprise when she wakes from the most vivid dream to find Sir Michael's mouth around her breast.

And what is there to say about Bay?  He's not even spoken to Charlie, but he cannot help thinking:

By God, she was making him lose his mind.  The touch and taste of her was inebriating, clouding his judgment.  One didn't keep a mistress for domesticity.  One kept a mistress for sin, the darker the better.  And if he knew anything about Deborah Fallon, she would complain loud and long caring for anything that was not her own luscious self.  A baby?  Preposterous.
What begins as an agreement between he and Charlie -- he cannot trust her completely yet for reasons I won't go into -- soon blooms into something more.  Perhaps Bay is simply looking to change his lifestyle yet again.  The little bit of crazy is Bay's past come back to haunt him and, as a result, Charlie.

Despite that sinister plot thread, there is a lot of humor within Mistress by Mistake, thanks in part to Bay.  He delights in teasing Charlie, in riling her up, and does so by making fun of her spinster caps, calling Little Hyssop a myriad of incorrect names (Little Turnip, Little Muckup), calling her out on her sexual proclivities (which she most often verbally disagrees with).  Though Charlie has her moments too:

He would have made a fine ladies' maid, if he hadn't had such magnificent masculine equipage. 

Two days on Jane Street and she was a confirmed slut.  There must be something in the air. 

Thank you so much, Ms. Robinson, for such wonderfully splendid characters.  I'm looking forward to reading about the other Janes in upcoming books.

(And a very special thank you to Mandi of Smexy Books for loaning her copy to me.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review: Tressed to Kill by Lila Dare

St. Elizabeth, Georgia, offers charm, Southern hospitality and, most recently, murder. When hairdresser Grace Terhune and her mother, Violetta, gussy up all the high-society ladies attending the town meeting, they find their snobbiest client dead. The police believe the mother-daughter duo did her in. But before things get snarled beyond repair, Grace sets out to clear their names.

There's something about a beauty parlor.  Maybe they're like this all over the country but here, in the south, beauty parlors are a mecca for women and gossip.  You know the ladies I mean, those who get their hair "done" once a week on Friday mornings, like my grandmother, who spend half their day underneath a hair dryer but can still hear and read lips like nobody's business. 

Grace Terhune has stepped in it, and she's drowning.  It starts with a murder -- that's how it always starts, people -- of someone who's not so nice but has a lot of clout in the small town of St. Elizabeth.  Because Grace and her mother Violetta find the body and have the most to gain, thanks to the murder, they're prime suspects, at least Violetta is.  And any good daughter isn't going to let her innocent mother take the wrap for a crime she didn't commit, so Grace and the ladies of Violetta's decide to go Nancy Drew to clear Violetta's name.

Hijinks ensue. So does any the name of any amateur sleuth.  Regardless, it's a well-written mystery, with twists and turns -- one I should have seen coming but didn't.

I am curious, given the romantic sparks between Grace and Special Agent "Marshal" Dillon, how Grace could be involved in another murder mystery that would warrant (ha!) his attention. Or reporter Marty Shears, for that matter.  How much murder can one small town have? I'm waiting to find out. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Review: Tall, Dark, and Wolfish by Lydia Dare

He's lost the most important part of himself...

Lord Benjamin Westfield is a powerful werewolf-until one full moon when he doesn't change. His life now shattered, he rushes off to Scotland in search of the healer who can restore his inner beast, only to find she's not at all what he expected...
She would make him whole, if she could...

Young, beautiful witch Elspeth Campbell will do anything to help anyone who calls upon her healing arts. Then Lord Benjamin shows up, and she suddenly discovers she may need him even more than he needs her...

I'll be honest and admit I'd hoped Will's book would be the next in this series.  But Benjamin won me over.

His anguish of not changing and the lengths he went to to reclaim his wolf are striking.  As are Elspeth's coven sisters who want to protect not only Elspeth but their coven.  (That doesn't mean I agree with the sisters or their actions, though at times they were great comic relief.)  I was glad to learn more about Benjamin's and Elspeth's connection, and I hope the parts of their story left untold will make an appearance in future series books.  My only quibble contains a sort of spoiler, which I won't reveal, but Ms. Dare rectified the situation in the final chapters.

I'm looking forward to the final book in this outstanding trilogy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cover Love

Hell hath nothing worse than a Fury scorned...

As a Fury, Marissa Holloway belongs to an Arcane race that has avenged wrongdoing since time immemorial. As Boston's Chief Magical Investigator for the past five years, she's doing what she was born to: solving supernatural crimes.

It's far from business as usual when the body of one of Riss's sister Furies washes up in Boston harbor. Riss discovers that the corpse's identity has been magically altered, but as soon as she reports her findings, she's immediately--and inexplicably--suspended from her job. Then a human assassin makes an attempt on her life, and Riss starts to realize that someone may be trying to stir up strife between mortals and Arcanes.

When a Fury gets mad, she gets even, and Riss is determined to untangle this case. Without the support of the mortal PD, Riss turns to the one man she can trust to watch her back--shapeshifting Warhound Scott Murphy. But since Scott is also Riss's ex, she'll have to keep a tight leash on more than just the supernatural rage that feeds her power as they try to solve a murder--and stop a war...

Cerise Mar and her clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect. But all is not as it seems.

Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge— and Cerise’s life.

New Orleans homicide detective Charlotte Caissie is dedicated to bringing down the crime boss responsible for her father’s murder. Using Jimmy Legere’s mysterious and irresistible right-hand man is a dangerous gamble, and not only due to his reputation as more monster than man. Because her feelings for Max Savoie are . . . complicated.
Rescued from the swamps as a child, Max exists silently in Legere’s shadow, heeding only his voice—until Charlotte Caissie awakens his emotions and tests his loyalties. Stepping outside his cautious rules threatens more than just his heart. He could expose his darkest secret.
Testing boundaries they weren’t meant to cross means facing the truth about who and what they are—and what they need from each other. If Max is the murderer she seeks, Charlotte could be his next victim. She can’t afford to trust any man. Good thing Max isn’t one.
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