by Lynn Lorenz, paranormal (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.25, ISBN 978-1-59578-499-5
Second Moon has witches and werewolves. I know, every other story has such things nowadays, but hey, the witch is in some kind of denial about her powers. Does that count for being different?
Samantha Waters doesn't believe in magic. Yes, she can "read" people, but that's not magic, that's intuition, and one that has led her down the altar only to find herself standing there alone, so to speak. Her grandmother can apparently predict the future and uses her ability to make a killing at the horse races, but that's not magic, that's... er, whatever that is, I'm sure Sam will come up with some kind of justification about why it is not magic. At any rate, Sam's problem in this story is that she is stalked on Halloween night by some weird person who owns a motorcycle. He's not handsome, which is how we all know that this stalker is a villain and not the hero of a fabulous paranormal romance.
Duke Sevens is a werewolf who is convinced that he is dying. You see, his "lifemate" of two years died about eighteen months ago and now he has "a short time" to find a new mate before he dies too. Personally, I'm not sure how this hero's need to find a mate ASAP before he kicks the bucket is going to help persuade me that he really loves the heroine. Still, when Sam stumbles upon him and asks him for his help - our werewolf hero is the county detective, after all - he realizes that she is his new mate and that she is in heat. I suppose "in heat" is a nice way of saying that she probably smells after sweating profusely in her fear of being killed by some stalker, heh?
The rest of the story is familiar territory. Really. Mate, mate, mate. It's really a shame that the author tries so hard to follow the formula because under any other circumstances (or plot, in this case), Sam and Duke could have been a romantic couple to root for. The brief moment when the author allows them to talk casually about themselves is well-written. Unfortunately, the rest of the story is so clichéd in that Christine Feehan-meets-Lora Leigh way that it is hard to believe that the characters are in love.
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