Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Atonement of Blood-Peter Tremayne

Atonement of Blood
Peter Tremayne
Minotaur Books, Jul 22 2014, $26.99
ISBN: 9781250046000

In 670 AD at Cashel, to honor the blessed Colmán mac Lénine, Muman King Colgú hosts a gala.  Among those attending are his sister dalaigh law courts advocate Fidelma and her husband Brother Eadulf.  The couple plan to spend quality time with their son Alchú who resides at his uncle’s castle while his parents traveled to conduct investigations.

During the feast, a religieux guest Brother Lennan of Mungairit Abbey fervently screams “Remember Liamuin” as he stabs the monarch in the chest before killing brave Brehan Aedo who jumped between the assassin and the ruler.  Commander of the King’s Bodyguard Caol kills the murderer.  As gravely injured Colgú fights for his life, Fidelma investigates the attempted regicide and homicide.  Her only useful clues from the deadly gala are the fanatic’s final reiterated diatribe and the abbey located inside of rebellious Ui Fidgente; where many oppose the merging of the Five Kingdoms under Colgú

The 24th Mystery of Ancient Ireland Sister Fidelma mystery (see The Seventh Trumpet and Behold a Pale Horse) is a fascinating whodunit as the sleuthing couple risks their lives to follow the clues into hostile territory.  Fidelma is at her best interviewing, watching and drawing conclusions that a seditious conspiracy threatens the Five-Kingdom alliance; while also praying for her sibling. 

Harriet Klausner

Taken-Lora Leigh

Lora Leigh
St. Martin’s, Jul 22 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9781250045454

“Reno’s Chance.”  Raven loves her best friend Morganna’s brother, but Reno treats her like another sister.  With Reno on leave, Raven decides this is the time to show him what she wants.

“For Maggie’s Sake.”  Grant fooled his wife Maggie and his SEAL friend Joe as part of the vicious Fuentes gang.  Joe believes Maggie who he loved but lost to Grant somehow is involved with this dangerous drug lord. He reassesses his belief when his Maggie is abducted.

“Atlanta Heat.”  Mason and Emerson are attracted to each other, but he refuses to act on his desire out of fear her godfather Admiral Holloran would fry certain body parts he cherishes.  A failed kidnapping brings the pair’s feelings out into the open.

“Night Hawk.” For three years Elite Ops agents “Black Jack” and “Night Hawk” have met clandestinely sharing no personal information.  This night is their last time together.

“Cooper’s Fall.” Former army ranger Ethan has the biggest boner of his life when he stares out his window like a pervert seeing virginal Sarah naked (except for nipple rings) masturbating; unaware he is the star of her sexual fantasies.  

“Sheila’s Passion.” Nick saw a lot of crap while in combat as a marine. Out of the service, Nick loves Sheila, but believes she sees him as a pal after being hurt recently by a former boyfriend. Sheila wants Nick to admit he passionately loves her.  The dynamics change when an adversary threatens Sheila.

These six reprinted erotica tales star “Real Men” (from Lora Leigh’s series) and females proving to be their equals.  Though the plots are thin, The Heat Is On (Glenn Frey) every page.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ice Shear-M. P. Cooley

Ice Shear
M. P. Cooley
Morrow, Jul 22 2014, $25.99
ISBN 9780062300706

Though she loved being an FBI agent, June Lyons quit the Feds when the doctor told her that her husband Kevin was dying from cancer.  She took a job in her hometown Hopewell Falls Police Department to spend time caring for her spouse and raising their young daughter Lucy with help from her father, the retired town police chief.

Now a widow living in her Upstate New York childhood home with her six years old child and her dad, June patrols at night.  However, her former law enforcement world crashes with her current one when June finds the corpse of Danielle Brouillette, daughter of a US Congresswoman, spiked onto a chunk of ice protruding from the frozen Mohawk River.  The newlywed had married Marty Jelickson, the son of the Abominations motorcycle gang enforcer.  Her Hopewell PD peers already scorned June as a failed outsider; but their resentment explodes when a former FBI associate Agent Hale Bascom deputizes her.  The discovery of a Meth lab complicates the convoluted investigation as does a biker’s homicide.

This regional police procedural is an electrifying investigative tale starring an interesting single mom forced to straddle two diverse law enforcement plateaus in which she has been part of both.  Although there are too many support players requiring readers needing a roster to keep score; filled with twists, blue penis envy and held together by a fully developed intriguing heroine, fans will want to tour Hopewell Junction with June as our guide.

Harriet Klausner

Remains of Innocence- J. A. Jance

Remains of Innocence
J. A. Jance
Morrow, Aug 12 2014, $26.99
ISBN: 9780062134707

A decade ago in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Liza Machett graduated high school and left home to escape the abuse of her insane mother.  Now her mother is dying so Liza reluctantly ends their estrangement.  Her mother asks Liza to bring her a cookbook from the house.  Inside Liza disgustingly sees her childhood home even more cluttered and filthier than when she grew up, which says a lot.  She also finds 1,470 $100 bills stashed inside of cookbooks.  As she wonders how her mom accumulated $147,000, Liza plans to use the windfall to clean up the house in order to put it on the market; unaware of the deadly danger to her and others unfortunately in her sphere that her endeavor will trigger.  When she finally realizes the peril, Liza disguised as a cancer and abuse victim sneaks off to Arizona to locate and discuss the situation with her older half-brother, Cochise County M.E. Dr. Guy Machett who left home for Harvard when she was a young teen and never returned.

Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady and her team search for a missing developmentally disabled sexagenarian.  They find Junior Dowdle’s corpse among a “graveyard” of mutilated animals in a cave.  Meanwhile Liza’s current and past Massachusetts troubles follow her to Arizona.

The latest super Sheriff Brady police procedural (see Judgment Call, and Fire And Ice) is a tremendous entry as the cop works two complex cases that have no obvious ties.  The fast-paced Remains of Innocence is a fascinating mystery that grips the audience from the moment Liza enters her childhood home and never slows down as homicide investigations in two states diagonally across the country keep the audience spellbound.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Riding Home-Vicki Lewis Thompson

Riding Home
Vicki Lewis Thompson
Harlequin Blaze, Jul 15 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373798117

Filled with guilt over cheating on her then fiancé Regan O’Connelli (Riding High) with his veterinary partner Drake Brewster (see Riding Hard), Jeannette Trenton follows the pair to Shoshone in the Jackson Hole area of Wyoming to atone for her transgression.  She hopes everyone at Last Chance gives her a chance to prove she is more than a Jezebel who admits she made a terrible mistake, but Jeannette also sees the stares paint her as an amoral loose woman.

When Jeannette and cowboy Zach Powell meet, each feels a deep attraction.  Though filled with remorse, she no longer wants forgiveness from her former fiancé, her lover or the Chance extended family except for Zach.  As the fallen female and the former attorney turned cowhand fall in love, Jeannette remains under the microscope of condemnation, but no longer cares how others feel about her except for her Zach.

The latest Sons of Chance romance is a brisk Wyoming ranch contemporary.  Although Drake had an easier path to local acceptance than Jeannette faces (sexism rides high and hard), this likable entry is the best of the Virginia triangle trilogy.

Harriet Klausner

Dare Me- Jo Leigh

Dare Me
Jo Leigh
Harlequin Blaze, Jul 15 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373798124

In New York City, wine connoisseur Molly Grainger has no time to foster a normal long-term relationship as she works diligently long hours to be the best at her vocation.  Thus she has no one to escort her to critical events in which she knows she would be more acceptable with a hunk on her arm if she is to make it.  Molly turns to the underground Trading Card dating service for a companion; she selects brew master Cameron Crawford.

They agree to a dinner date, but instead of a one night as each advocate, Cameron and Molly begin seeing each other.  As they fall in love, neither is comfortable with their feelings as both fears a committed relationship will interfere with each of their particular occupations and devastate their single regiment that enhances their respective profession.

The latest It's Trading Men (see Seduce Me, Choose Me, Have Me and Want Me) romance is a delightful contemporary as the amiable protagonists dread the L word.  Although the premise is not new Jo Leigh brews a splendid Manhattan love story.

Harriet Klausner

Blood Ties In Chef Voleur-Mallory Kane

Blood Ties In Chef Voleur
Mallory Kane
Harlequin Intrigue, Jul 15 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697816

Four older brothers assisted by male cousins suffocate Cara Lynn Delancey with their testosterone fueled protectiveness.  So when Jack Bush courted her and offered her love, she eloped with him.

One month later, Jack is elated as the first stage of his mission proved successful when he married Cara Lynn to get easy entrance to the Delancey clan.  His objective is to complete his late grandfather Armand Broussard’s dying request: “Clear My Name.”  Two decades ago, Armand was convicted of murdering his employer Cara Lynn’s grandfather Con Delancey; the convict went to his grave insisting he was innocent and his grandson believes him.  Jack’s plan works perfect except for one minor problem: he loves his wife.

The latest Delancey Dynasty romantic suspense (see Sanctuary In Chef Voleur) is a superb thriller with what happened between the late grandfathers serving as a most likely match-breaker.  A fast-paced mystery as much as a relationship drama built on a foundation of lies, Mallory Kane provides a tense tale as two descendants twenty years after the murder of Con Delancey allegedly by convicted Armand Broussard fall in love.

Harriet Klausner