Lover Beware

Christine Feehan, Author, Katherine Sutcliffe, Joint Author, Fiona Brand, Joint Author Berkley Publishing Group $7.99 (362p) ISBN 978-0-425-18905-4
A vagueness of purpose colors this awkward anthology, which features four tales of romantic suspense. The volume starts out on a high note with Feehan's (Dark Symphony, etc.) whimsical romance (""Magic in the Wind"") between a mystical security expert and a tortured retiree whose knowledge of the nation's defense systems has made him a target of possible terrorists. Even though the story feels like a set-up for a new series, the heroine and her six gifted sisters are compelling. Sutcliffe's fans, on the other hand, will find few thrills in ""Hot August Moon,"" which is more a teaser for her recent serial killer thriller, Bad Moon Rising, than a fully fleshed out story. Anyone who's read that novel won't be surprised by the twist at the end of this paranormal mystery, and those who haven't may feel cheated by its unresolved denouement and low level of suspense. A similar lack of intrigue marks Brand's (Cullen's Bride, etc.) ""After Midnight,"" an abrupt romance that exposes the schemings of a few small-town residents, as well as Wilks's (Midnight Choices, etc.) intriguing but underdeveloped ""Only Human,"" a Laurell K. Hamilton-like tale of an alternate San Diego in which werewolves are part of the general populace. While existing fans may enjoy these tidbits, new readers will be hard-pressed to come away with a taste for more. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
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