BE WARNED: Four of today's most popular authors push passion and intrigue to the limit.
Fans wait with bated breath for their new novels. Now, Christine Feehan, Katherine Sutcliffe, Fiona Brand, and Eileen Wilks give them a taste of what they've asks for in four stories of the most daring kind of love...
A vagueness of purpose colors this awkward anthology, which features four tales of romantic suspense. The volume starts out on a high note with Feehan's (Dark Symphony, etc.) whimsical romance ("Magic in the Wind") between a mystical security expert and a tortured retiree whose knowledge of the nation's defense systems has made him a target of possible terrorists. Even though the story feels like a set-up for a new series, the heroine and her six gifted sisters are compelling. Sutcliffe's fans, on the other hand, will find few thrills in "Hot August Moon," which is more a teaser for her recent serial killer thriller, Bad Moon Rising, than a fully fleshed out story. Anyone who's read that novel won't be surprised by the twist at the end of this paranormal mystery, and those who haven't may feel cheated by its unresolved denouement and low level of suspense. A similar lack of intrigue marks Brand's (Cullen's Bride, etc.) "After Midnight," an abrupt romance that exposes the schemings of a few small-town residents, as well as Wilks's (Midnight Choices, etc.) intriguing but underdeveloped "Only Human," a Laurell K. Hamilton-like tale of an alternate San Diego in which werewolves are part of the general populace. While existing fans may enjoy these tidbits, new readers will be hard-pressed to come away with a taste for more.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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July 01, 2003
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Excerpt from Lover Beware by Christine Feehan
"Sarah's back. Sarah's come home." The whisper was overly loud and tinged with something close to fear. Or respect. Damon Wilder couldn't decide which. He'd been hearing the same small-town gossip for several hours and it was always said in the same hushed tones. He hated to admit to curiosity and he wasn't about to stoop to asking, not after he had made such a point of insisting on absolute privacy since he arrived last month.
As he walked down the quaint narrow sidewalk made of wood, the wind seemed to whisper, "Sarah's back." He heard it as he passed the gas station and burly Jeff Dockins waved to him. He heard it as he lingered in the small bakery. Sarah. The name shouldn't carry mystery, but it did.
He had no idea who Sarah was, but she commanded such interest and awe from the townspeople he found himself totally intrigued. He knew from experience the people in the sleepy little coastal town were not easily impressed. No amount of money, fame, or title earned one deference. Everyone was treated the same, from the poorest to the richest, and there seemed to be no prejudice against religion or any other preferences. It was why he had chosen the town. A man could be anybody here and no one cared.
All day he had heard the whispers. He'd never once caught a glimpse of the mysterious Sarah. But he'd heard she'd once climbed the sheer cliffs above the sea to rescue a dog. An impossible task. He'd seen those crumbling cliffs and no one could climb them. He found himself smiling at the idea of anyone attempting such an impossible feat, and few things amused him or intrigued him.
The only grocery store was in the center of town and most of the gossip originated there and then spread like wildfire. Damon decided he needed a few things before he went home. He hadn't been in the store for more than two minutes when he heard it again. "Sarah's back." The same hushed whisper, the same awe and respect.
Inez Nelson, owner of the grocery store, held court, spilling out gossip as she normally did, instead of ringing up the groceries on the cash register. It usually drove him crazy to have to wait, but this time he lingered by the bread rack in the hope of learning more of the mysterious Sarah who had finally returned.
"Are you sure, Inez?" Trudy Garret asked, dragging her four-year-old closer to her and nearly strangling the child with her hug. "Are her sisters back, too?"
"Oh, I'm certain, all right. She came right into the store as real as you please and bought a ton of groceries. She was back at the cliff house, she said. She didn't say anything about the others, but if one shows up the others aren't far behind."
Trudy Garret looked around, lowered her voice another octave. "Was she still...Sarah?"
Damon rolled his eyes. Everyone always annoyed the hell out of him. He thought moving to a small town would allow him to find a way to get along to some extent but people were just plain idiots. Of course Sarah was still Sarah. Who the hell else would she be? Sarah was probably the only one with a brain within a fifty-mile radius so they thought she was different.
"What could it mean?" Trudy asked. "Sarah only comes back when something is going to happen."
"I asked her if everything was all right and she just smiled in that way she has and said yes. You wouldn't want me to pry into Sarah's business, now would you, dear," Inez said piously.
Damon let his breath out in a hissing rush of impatience. Inez made it her life's work to pry into everyone's business. Why should the absent Sarah be excluded?
"Last time she was here Dockins nearly died, do you remember that?" Trudy asked. "He fell from his roof and Sarah just happened to be walking by and..." She trailed off and glanced around the store and lowered her voice to a conspirator's whisper. "Old Mars at the fruit stand said Penny told him Sarah..."