ANCIENT ECHOES

Monahan sets this paranormal romance in a Scottish castle during the present day and the 16th century.

From the opening chapter, it’s clear that Samantha McKinley is both impulsive and foolish. When a mysterious letter arrives at her home in Boston informing her that she has inherited an ancient castle along with a large sum of money, and instructs her to come to Scotland and to bring no one along with her, she never questions it. Instead, Samantha obediently heads to Scotland, unaware that she will never return home and never see her friends or family again. A few hours after she arrives in Scotland, Samantha meets Kieron and almost immediately puts all her trust in the good-looking stranger, moving into his house the following day. Mainly through Kieron, Samantha learns of the mysterious history of Rosestone, the castle she has inherited, and later Kieron’s own story. Kieron is an immortal from another dimension, a Keeper who is an angel of light. Samantha learns that an ancient curse threatens her safety. With Kieron’s help she travels back in time to the 16th century to destroy an evil sorcerer and lift the curse. Monahan’s somewhat confusing fantasy mythos features Vikings, demons, angels, alternate worlds, reincarnation and time travel. The characters tend to be simple and flat; the bad guys are unquestionably evil while the good guys are, literally, angels. The story drags during scenes where large chunks of background information are unveiled, usually in the form of stilted dialogue. The pace picks up, however, during those scenes when the forces of good and evil clash, treating readers to some fast-moving action. Readers will have to look beyond a host of spelling and grammatical errors as well as a few continuity lapses, but those who do will find a romantic tale inspired by Celtic legend. An epilogue hints at the possibility of a sequel. This love story of a woman in the right place at the wrong time and the attractive angel-knight who comes to her aid should appeal to readers of the romance genre.

 

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1463474331

Page Count: 333

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2012

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HONEST ILLUSIONS

Suspenseful, glamorous story of love, blackmail, and magic, set in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., about a family of high-class magicians practicing the time-honored profession of thievery. When magician Maxmillian Nouvelle adopts the 12-year-old runaway Luke Callahan, he gives him more than a family: He teaches him the secrets of blending what's real and what's not...giving people what they want—and also taking what they value. For the Great Nouvelle is a master jewel-thief; stealing from the undeserving rich warms his blood like the anticipation of good sex, a passion that both Luke and Max's bratty daughter Raxanne eventually share. Thirteen years pass: As Luke practices the fine arts of larceny and escapology, Roxanne grows into a flame-haired witch who turns bell, book, and candle into smoke onstage. Offstage, she trades in her David Cassidy poster for Luke; together, they set off sparks that could make an innocent bystander..go up in flames. But Luke's invincibility, like the Great Houdini's, is deceptive: Slimy Sam Wyatt—a former grifter now running for the Senate—slithers in from Luke's past, his frigid heart full of contempt for the family he once tried to seam. He threatens to frame Luke for murder and expose the Nouvelles' after-hours show unless he disappears. Five years later, a homesick Luke reappears, determined to show the disillusioned Roxanne that he's more than smoke and mirrors. Together, they set out to plot vengeance, staking everything on their most daring sting to date. True to the magician's oath, Roberts reveals no secrets, but the illusion works—in a compelling and detail-rich first hardcover. Good escape reading.

Pub Date: July 17, 1992

ISBN: 0-399-13761-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1992

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The overly complicated mystery plays second fiddle to the sexual tango between two psychic partners.

CLOSE UP

Quick returns to 1930s California (Tightrope, 2019, etc.) with another sexy but derivative thriller.

After refusing to marry the man her wealthy parents favored, fiercely independent Vivian Brazier moved from San Francisco to Adelina Beach to pursue her career as an art photographer. Her mother and sister, Lyra, who becomes engaged to Vivian’s reject, send her gifts, but her father has cut off support, so she does studio portraits and freelance photojournalism to support herself. Studying her own photos surrounding the murder of Hollywood star Clara Carstairs by the Dagger Killer leads her to believe the perp is a photographer, and her tip to the police puts them on the right path. But a chance to sell her work at Fenella Penfield’s gallery falls through, and Vivian is stunned when she uses her sixth sense to learn that Fenella is furious over Vivian’s photos of nude men. Meantime, Nick Sundridge, who works with his dog, Rex, as a private eye, is striving to harness his strange fever dreams to help his investigations. After Vivian’s narrow escape from the Dagger Killer, Nick arrives to warn her that she’s marked for death by a hired killer. He’s an emissary for Luther Pell, who is an old wartime friend of his uncle's and who runs a nightclub in Burning Cove and has connections to the FBI and other government agencies. Nick convinces Vivian that he can protect her by posing as her assistant while trying to find the killer whose coded journal of poems contains the names of his victims and the methods he’s used to kill them. Escaping when the killer tries to burn them alive, Nick and Vivian (and Rex) move to the Burning Cove Hotel, where they set a trap for their quarry while the flame of their attraction burns brighter.

The overly complicated mystery plays second fiddle to the sexual tango between two psychic partners.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0684-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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