Lark Brennan’s Hidden in Shadows

Hidden in Shadows is the fourth installment in Lark Brennan’s Durand Chronicles, and although I highly recommend reading the previous books, Shadows in the Deep, Mind Shadows, and Shadows of the Past (because they are really good!), Hidden in Shadows works as a stand alone novel.

.

When Marie Robichaud’s aged Camry dies near the Texas/Louisiana border in the middle of the night, she knows she’s got trouble. She’s on the run from the cheating boyfriend she left back in Las Vegas, and she’s carrying a valuable necklace that said boyfriend bought with money he stole from her. Marie is pretty sure whoever sold him the necklace didn’t exactly have a clear title to it, but she’s past caring. If she can just get to the casino in Shreveport, she can pick up enough cash at the poker table to give her a cushion while she figures out what to do next. When a handsome man driving a powerful Porsche stops to offer her assistance, she’s leery. But she sure needs that ride into Shreveport.

.

Victor Durand, the man in the Porsche, has been following Marie for hours. Well, actually, he’s been following the necklace, which radiates psychic powers no jewel thief could possibly imagine. Much to his surprise, his “jewel thief” is a young woman with psychic powers of her own, a form of telepathy she’s been using for years to make a living playing poker.

.

Victor and Marie have little reason to trust each other. Experience has taught Marie that handsome, wealthy men are not likely to have her best interest at heart. Victor sees Marie as a con artist and a card sharp. But there are truly dangerous people searching for Marie’s necklace, and Victor knows that if he simply takes the necklace from her, he will be abandoning her to a very bad fate.

.

When their uneasy partnership takes them to the voodoo-haunted streets of New Orleans, where Marie grew up and where Victor has left some bad memories behind, Marie finds herself drawn into Victor’s world, where the unending struggle between the Durand Protectors and the evil Dissemblers threatens Marie’s family.

.

The Durand Chronicles combine romantic (and occasionally steamy) suspense with the varied psychic powers of the Durand family and their associates. Hidden in Shadows includes characters from the first three books and leaves just enough unanswered questions to fuel one more book, Shadow of Death, coming soon.

Gerry Bartlett’s Texas Reckless

Texas Reckless,the latest romantic suspense tale from Gerry Bartlett, begins when a stranger climbs the fence into Sierra MacKenzie’s ranch property outside Muellerville, Texas. That’s not the beginning of her troubles, though—she’s already dealing with mysterious cattle deaths and accidents, and a development company that wants her land for its highway access. Maybe this fellow who wrecked his rented car at the end of her driveway is not to be trusted.

.

But Rhett Hall (we met him in Bartlett’s previous book, Texas Trouble) has nothing to do with those problems. He simply hit a deer, wrecked his car, and can’t get a signal with his cell phone. But he manages to charm the lady who greets him with a loaded rifle into letting him in, not suspecting just how long he’ll want to stay.

.

Soon Sierra and Rhett team up to investigate the escalating troubles at the ranch, as well as the long-ago barrel racing accident that changed Sierra’s life. She’s determined to run the ranch, and her horse therapy classes for troubled children, without help from her wealthy family back in Houston, and Rhett is soon just as determined to help her.

.

But her resistance to the development project threatens the economic well-being of the residents and local businessmen of Muellerville, many of whom have invested in the development project. Are one or more of them trying to convince Sierra to sell—or drive her off her ranch by any means necessary?

.

Suspense—and romance—build as Sierra and Rhett fight to live long enough to find the answers, and a future together.

Paranormal Suspense

I’m not at all sure that “paranormal suspense” is considered a subgenre, but perhaps it should be. It’s as good a way as any to describe these two recent reads.

.

Mind Shadows is a reissue (new title, new cover) of Irresistibly Yours, the second installment in Lark Brennan’s fascinating Durand Chronicles (after Shadows in the Deep), romantic suspense with more than a touch of the paranormal.

.

When Tate Fulbright wanders into a shop in Paris, looking for an entomological collection she’d heard about from her scientist mother, she finds instead an amazing collection of taxidermied animals, as well as Adrien Durand, who seems just as amazing to a girl from Indiana, in the City of Light for a pharmaceutical convention. But despite her inexperience with the high society and wealth that Durand represents, Tate isn’t just another tourist from Indianapolis. She communicates with animals at a deep level, hears voices in her head, feels the emotions of the crowds around her, and has no idea where these abilities—or disabilities—come from.

.

Adrien Durand, head of the far-flung Durand clan and its many commercial and charitable interests, doesn’t know where Tate’s talents come from, either, and that worries him. Is she a wild talent, or someone sent to spy on the Durands by one of the other psychic clans, some shaky allies, some outright enemies. For the Durands and their counterparts fight a long and continuing battle to either protect or enslave the ordinaires of the world.

.

Adrien finds himself increasingly attracted to Tate, but his responsibilities—and his family—throw barriers between them. Tate has her doubts, too, tossed as she is into a world she never suspected and doesn’t understand. But Adrien’s world may hold the answers to the mysteries in her head, and give her a new purpose in life—if they can both survive.

.

The world of the Durands, with its wide array of psychic powers, Protectors and Dissemblers, and family connections—and secrets—going back generations, expands with each installment. If you missed this one, grab it now, and watch for more to come.

.

Ari Mason, the heroine of R.R. Born’s debut novel, May Day, is a gray witch. Born into a coven of black witches, Ari left the practice of black magic, cutting ties with much of her family. Now she tends bar by night and reads Tarot in the park by day. She volunteers for children and senior citizens, and generally keeps her distance from the magic community in her home town of Houston.

.

When her best friend, Leise (a non-magical person or dismage), has a problem with an antique amethyst pendant, Ari does her best to help, with the assistance of Remy, the Cajun ghost Ari accidentally summoned during a youthful experiment.

.

But when a series of magical murders begins, targeting both witches and dismages, Ari must act, and she must seek allies among the white witches who have no reason to trust her. For that matter, Ari doesn’t know who she can trust—some people aren’t what they seem at all.

.

May Day is a fast-paced race through the magical community of Houston, filled with interesting—and sometimes terrifying—characters. Ari’s next adventure, Day of the Dead, has just been released.

Previous Older Entries