Duplex

Title: Duplex

Author: Kathryn Davis. She is the author of several previous novels, including The Thin Place.

Genre: Literary Fiction, Fantasy

Readers: Professors Michal and JoLee, stay-at-home moms Dana and Marina, and teacher Shannon.

Summary: Mary and Eddie are meant for each other—but love is no guarantee, not in these suburbs. Like all children, they exist in an eternal present; time is imminent, and the adults of the street live in their assorted houses like numbers on a clock. Meanwhile, ominous rumors circulate, and the increasing agitation of the neighbors points to a future in which all will be lost. Soon a sorcerer’s car will speed down Mary’s street, and as past and future fold into each other, the resonant parenthesis of her girlhood will close forever. Beyond is adulthood, a world of robots and sorcerers, slaves and masters, bodies without souls.

Our Take: Our readers all agree that this unusual book is mystifying, strange and otherworldly. Some loved it but others didn’t.

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Prodigal Son

Title: Prodigal Son

Author: Debra Mullins. She is the author of several historical romance novels, including A Necessary Husband.

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Readers: Stay at home moms Shawna and Sarah L., developmental editor Aryooki.

Summary: Bounty hunter Rafe Montana is a Seer, descended from the fabled Atlanteans. He uses his inherited power to “see” criminals across the globe and track them down, and he’s just started on a new case. Danny Cangialosi is accused of disappearing with a stolen car…but for the first time in his life, when Rafe goes looking, he is unable to “see” him. Instead, his search leads him to Danny’s stubborn, meddling, and verycute stepsister, Cara McGaffigan.

Cara is looking for Danny, too, but not to turn him in. He is her brother, after all, and she’s convinced he has a good heart. If she can just find him before the cops do, she’ll figure out a way to get him out of this. But Cara didn’t count on a scorching-hot bounty hunter getting in her way.

Despite instant chemistry, Rafe and Cara know they’re never going to see eye-to-eye when it comes to Danny. What they don’t know is that Danny didn’t just steal a car—he stole a precious stone, a stone right out of the legends of Atlantis. It holds powers they can only dream of…and its owner wants it back.

Our Take: So it’s not the best writing in the world, our readers agree that they wanted a stronger narrative. And it’s definitely coming from a romance writer, so you should be prepared for out-of-nowhere sex scenes. But our readers thought the concept was good and 2 out of 3 are up for the rest of the books in the series.

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Delia’s Shadow

Delia's Shadow by Jaime Lee MoyerTitle: Delia’s Shadow

Author: Jaime Lee Moyer. This is her first novel and the first in a series.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Readers: Stay-at-home mom Kristi, policy wonk BakingSuit, metrics analyst Mary and editor Kristina.

Summary: It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

Our Take: A mix of paranormal, historical and serial killer thrill-age, 3 of 4 readers give it a thumbs up. They do note it was a bit “trite” and “convenient,” though, so if you get kind of picky about these things, you may find yourself leaning more towards our dissenting reader’s opinion.

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Seduction

Seduction by M. J. RoseTitle:  Seduction: A Novel of Suspense

Author: M. J. Rose. She is an international bestselling author of 13 previous novels. Seduction is the 5th novel to feature protagonist Jac L’Etoile.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Suspense

Readers: Editor Kristina, victim advocate MJ, day care teacher EMarie, stay-at-home mom A Military Mommy and policy wonk BakingSuit.

Summary: In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.

Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.

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The River of No Return

River of No ReturnTitle: The River of No Return

Author: Bee Ridgway. This is her first novel.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Readers: Editor Kristina, retiree Nancy and stay-at-home moms A Military Mommy, Colleen B. and Shawna.

Summary: “You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life’s advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.

In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.

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