The best thing about getting behind with book reviews is having such a good excuse to spend lots of time reading. The worst thing is then you have to spend lots of time posting reviews in "all the usual places." I need an auto-review-poster. Anyway, here are reviews of some books with magic and romance to inspire you when you break for coffee. Enjoy!
You'll need a bold dark intense 5-star coffee for this first book. Blood of the Immortals: The Reaving Blade by Brian Ramsey continues a story begun in The Blood Crystals. Bringing together, elders, angels, werewolves, CIA agents, politicians and more, the story ranges from the US to Europe and beyond. A "dark psionic vampire" is at large, and the future is at stake.
Darker, faster-flowing, thoroughly thrilling, modern and exciting, Virtual Blue by R. J. Sullivan ties the magical realms to heaven-and-hell, reality, and virtual worlds. But the characters are very believable in the real world, from blue-haired punk student Blue, and game geeks Chip and Phil, to cops, investigators and more. The tension starts rising and never stops. Fast and cool, enjoy this one with another bold, intense 5-star coffee. And look out for book one.
Audrey’s Guide to Black Magic, by Jody Gehrman, offers a less intense but equally enticing view of magic, light and dark. Second in a series, again, it's an easy tale to pick up on, and the teen protagonist, just learning her powers (and writing them down in her notebook) is a delight. With mundane sister, determined boyfriend, and scary magical relatives--even the good guys--this is a fun teen tale best enjoyed with some lively easy-drinking 2-star coffee (plus a hint of the 5-star dark stuff on the side).
Ghost Mountain, by Nichole Bennett, has the same conversational easy-reading style as reluctant seer Cerri finds herself compelled to see the world behind our own, in a quest to catch a murderer and free a murdered soul. With great family relationships, intriguing mystery, and just the right level of myth and magic, this one's best enjoyed with some well-balanced, smooth, full-flavored 3-star coffee.
Blue Belle, by Sherrie Hansen, offers some pleasing family relationships too as a reporter and stonelayer, both hiding in the wilds of Scotland, find that romance is bigger than secrets and mysteries, and even the harshest critics can be quelled by true love. Enjoy this with another well-balanced 3-star cup of coffee.
Cries in the Night, by Kathy Clark, is a darker, grittier romantic suspense, best enjoyed with some dark intense 5-star coffee. Dark details of a victim's advocate's life provide the background to this tale of a young woman hiding from her past while helping others with their present. Love needs trust, but trust proves hard to mend, even when the perfect firefighter fights his way to her heart.
Finally, Close Encounter with a Crumpet by Fleeta Cunningham, is a lovely romantic tale of an American in England, odd one out on a tour of elderly ladies, lost and alone in a tea shop, and rescued by the kindness of a stranger. Look for my review in Nights and Weekends soon, and enjoy with a cup of hot tea, or with some lively easy-drinking 2-star coffee.