Romance Book ReviewsThe Internet Writing Journal, September 2002 Page Two of Two
George and the Virgin by Lisa CachLove Spell, June, 2002
Paperback, 349 pages
Subgenre: Time Travel
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George is at the top of his profession. Known as St. George the Dragonslayer, he's worked his way to the top of the professional wrestling world, and is famous and wealthy. Against his better judgment, one evening he allows his artsy sister to put him into a hypnotic trance. He's immediately transported back to medieval England, to a village named Markesew. The villagers explain to George that a hungry dragon lives on a nearby island, and that the dragon demands a virgin as a sacrifice once a year -- the terrified girls are rounded up and fed to the beast, keeping the village safe for another year. Believing that he is in a hypnotic trance and that this is all part of his exploration of his psyche, George accepts the challenge to defeat the dragon and rescue the virgin. He makes his way to the island castle, where he meets Alizon, the mysterious mistress of the island. When he declares his intent to kill the dragon and set her free, Alizon seems less than thrilled. Determined to find out what secret she is hiding, George sets out to charm Alizon and to figure out how he is supposed to kill the dragon which seems all too real.
George and the Virgin is a funny and sexy romance, which has a professional wrestler (think The Rock) as the hero. George is a decent guy who is convinced none of the adventure is real -- and his psychoanalysis of what it all must mean is truly hilarious. Alizon is a feisty and determined heroine who is anything but a shy, medieval miss, and her interactions with the strange knight from the future are very entertaining. This is a lighthearted and funny story that is sure to put a smile on your face.
The Magician by Carla CookLove Spell, June, 2002
Paperback, 307 pages
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Katherine Marlowe's husband died ten months ago, after years of what seemed like a perfect marriage. Now Katherine's six year-old girl, Gina, is having terrible nightmares in which she goes into a dark tunnel and never returns. When Gina has the dream, she appears to be dead, or at least in a coma-like state. The numerous doctors consulted are all baffled by the case, and Katherine is at her wits end when a handsome and compelling man, Lucas Connelly, shows up on her doorstep saying that Gina is a night traveler, and that she is in great danger. Katherine initially rejects Lucas' offer to help, although she can't shake the feeling that she has known Lucas before. But when Gina's state deteriorates, she allows Lucas to try to save her daughter. Lucas is a stage magician, who has recently been having visions of a great evil that he must fight. He knows he must save the little girl, but will the mother's fears keep him from doing his job before it's too late?
The Magician is actually a gripping horror tale of good versus evil, with a passionate romance as a secondary plotline. Lucas and Katherine are star-crossed lovers who have lost their chance at happiness in every previous lifetime and who will try this one last time to get it right. The threat to the child is quite chilling, and the feeling of menace is quite real. Lovers of dark paranormal romance will find this story especially entertaining.
Virtual Warrior by Ann LawrenceLove Spell, July, 2002
Paperback, 366 pages
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Virtual Heaven is a videogame store which is owned by business partners Neil Scott and Gwen Marlowe. One night, Gwen actually entered one of the virtual reality games called Tolemac Wars II. She barely escaped back to our world with her life (See, Virtual Desire), and warns Neil not to try to enter the game. Neil, who is devastated by his mother's death and his fiance's cruel departure, has nothing to live for, and ignores Gwen's advice. Replicating the mystical conditions that threw Gwen into the game, Neil finds himself inside Tolemac Wars III. But things don't go as he planned, at all. While saving the beautiful Ardra of the Fortress of Ravens from Outcasts, he is injured, knocked unconscious and his clothes and jewelry (that he brought to barter with) have been stolen. He finds that Ardra herself is in big trouble; her aging husband is dying and the local warlord is about to take over her lands. And no one seems to take him seriously as a warrior. So he puts on some (itchy) pilgrim's robes and decides to help Ardra in her difficulties. There is violence, sorcery and treachery in Ardra's world, and soon Neil is wondering if he will ever make it back home -- or live long enough to find a home in Tolemac.
Virtual Warrior is the third book in the Perfect Heroes series, after Virtual Heaven and Virtual Desire. Neil is a likeable and self-effacing hero who must rise to the occasion to become the warrior that Ardra needs in order to save her people, according to the law of that world. But Ardra is no shrinking violet; she is a warrior from the Ice Fields and feels capable to lead her people without the help of any man. Ann Lawrence is a very talented and clever writer (spell Tolemac backwards, for example), who has created an enchanting world of warriors, quests, and heartfelt romance.
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