Marked by Passion

Kate Perry, Author Grand Central $6.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-446-54100-8

In this sexy but frustrating paranormal romance, the ancient and powerful Chinese scroll of Earth couldn't have found a more unwelcoming new Guardian than Gabrielle Sansouci Chin, a San Francisco free spirit who tends bar to support her painting career. Unfortunately, her title is inherited, so upon her father's death she gets the scroll. In spite of a sudden infusion of scary, unfocused power, the appeals of her dead father's spirit and the arrival of sexy treasure-hunter Rhys Llewellyn, Gabe dodges responsibility until nearly the end of the book, repeatedly—and repetitively—ignoring clues about the danger closing in on her and the patently obvious machinations of the villain. Perry's breezy writing style and steamy love scenes may carry some readers along, but most will feel like they're driving a car that's stuck in first gear. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009
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