Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or
Take Me Deeper

Jackie Ashenden. Loveswept, $3.99 e-book (291p) ISBN 978-0-425-28626-5

In the first installment of Ashenden’s Texas Bounty series, the attraction between two strong-willed individuals sizzles hotter than the Texas heat despite their opposing agendas. Iris Callahan’s ex-boyfriend talked her into couriering drugs, so her need for love takes a backseat to more important needs: staying out of jail after skipping bail, dodging people who want to kill her, and regaining custody of her younger sister. Special Forces sniper Zane Redmond only returned to Texas to pay his respects to his brothers after missing his father’s funeral, but his older brother talks him into taking a job for the family bounty-hunting business. He’s startled when the bail jumper turns out to be young and beautiful, and he definitely didn’t expect to end up in a war with a drug cartel. Unwilling to let Iris go to jail, where the cartel’s agents could easily find and kill her, Zane decides to help her, and the two hide out until he and his brothers can come up with a plan. As sex turns to pillow talk, the lovers share their deepest pain and find emotional comfort in each other. There’s plenty of action and emotional turmoil; readers will clutch their hearts as they sit on the edges of their seats. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Friendly Fire

Cari Z. Riptide, $17.99 trade paper (252p) ISBN 978-1-62649-482-4

Z (Tempest) pairs an eccentric businessman and a former Army Ranger in this well-constructed contemporary set in Denver, Colo. Elliot McKenzie needs a good security system, as someone is trying to make him pay for past misdeeds. He calls in Lennox West, a soldier turned security specialist, and the two men are stunned by love at first sight. Interspersed with the romance is a fast-paced mystery around Elliot’s stalker, who poisons Elliot’s dog and leaves a dead snake on his doorstep. He and Lennox race to solve the puzzle before they run out of time. The author drags a believable red herring across the story toward the end. Snappy dialogue, a host of endearing secondary characters (most notably Lennox’s daughter, Lee), and a surprising twist make the tale appealing, though the plot lags in several places. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Follow Me

Tiffany Snow. Montlake Romance, $12.95 trade paper (302p) ISBN 978-1-5039-3839-7

Beautiful, brilliant China Mack is lousy with social cues, obsessively organized, and a total geek. She’s also the best thing about Snow’s Corrupted Hearts series kickoff, and with assured writing and excitement, romance, and intrigue aplenty, that’s saying something. Jackson Cooper, China’s boss and possibly the hottest guy in the Silicon Valley tech world, puts her in charge of a top-secret programming project for defense contractor Wyndemere. The attraction between Jackson and China is palpable, but soon Snow (Play to Win) throws in some competition for Jackson: a hunky new neighbor named Clark. Is his sudden appearance in China’s life suspicious, especially after a Wyndemere employee dies in what might not have been suicide? Is Jackson withholding information about the project’s scope? China must rely on her wits as the danger ratchets up and the question of whom she can trust becomes fluid, though whodunit is easy to guess. China is in a personal relationship by book’s end, but the development of her part in the project, and the revelation of its true reach, set the stage for an unsettling follow-up that will undoubtedly continue the romantic complications as well. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Slave Hunt

J.A. Rock. Riptide, $16.99 trade paper (202p) ISBN 978-1-62649-470-1

Rock’s fifth Subs Club kinky erotic contemporary, featuring a close-knit group of submissive queer men in an unnamed American town, begins with club member Riddle innocently organizing a “slave hunt” in which dominants will attempt to chase submissives down. He has no idea that the event will end up dividing his friends, albeit temporarily. As with the other installments, the story bounces from the central character to his friends and back—but Rock is up to 10 point-of-view characters, which feels excessive. Dave is determined to show up his master, who doesn’t think Dave has what it takes to elude capture; Gould wants to prove to his master and their boyfriend that he can open up and share his emotions; Ryan wants to dress his boyfriend in lacy panties and tie him to a whipping post; Miles fights mixed feelings about letting his partner move in. As paintballs fly and emotions rage, Rock provides tantalizing peeks at several happily-ever-afters, proving that while love is messy and never easy, it is always worth the effort. At the end of the hunt, everyone wins, in love if not in sport. Wry banter, genuine love, and moments of hilarious dismay over awkward situations will charm readers. Despite some questionable moments with spatulas, this is a strong addition to Rock’s series. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Earl: A Devil’s Duke Novel

Katharine Ashe. Avon, $7.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-241275-1

Aliases, mistaken identities, and a tumultuous chase through the Scottish Highlands by two sympathetic and fun protagonists make the second installment of Ashe’s Devil’s Duke Regency series (after The Rogue) a rollicking page-turner. In addition to changing her name from Emily to Zenobia, the winning heroine has achieved fame and earned income as Lady Justice, author of provocative pamphlets championing the rights of women, laborers, and the poor. Unable to find her missing sister, she reluctantly appeals to her nemesis, Peregrine, a member of the Falcon Club, for help—and discovers that Peregrine is Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor. She was betrothed to him at birth, once loved him, and now despises him. After they cross paths with a highway robber who’s been using Colin’s name, they’re forced to run for their lives. As painful memories of their childhood friendship bubble up, they come to see through each other’s facades and challenge each other to be their true selves. Eloquent descriptive passages bring the countryside to life, and sweet and eccentric supporting characters add zest to this entertaining and emotionally satisfying tale. Agent: Kim Whalen, Trident Media. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
All Your Wishes

Cat Adams. Tor, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7571-1

In the satisfying seventh installment of the Blood Singer urban fantasy series (following 2014’s To Dance with the Devil), series star Celia Graves, a part-vampire, part-Siren professional bodyguard, is hired to protect a man who’s been charged with capturing a malevolent ifrit. Celia doesn’t want the case—the client is secretive and untrustworthy—but multiple precognitives claim that the fate of humankind is at stake and her participation is essential. Things go wrong at every turn, including assassination attempts and the ifrit taking control of her body and threatening to kill everyone she loves. It’ll take a heroic sacrifice to save the day. A nonstop, action-packed story involving a global threat raises the stakes to high levels, keeping the reader on edge, but in many ways this episode feels like a stage-clearing reset of the status quo. Several extant plot lines and multiple supporting characters are wrapped up or removed in perfunctory fashion, and Celia herself seems poised for the next step in her career. Though not seamless, the book is a solid continuation of the series. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
As Wings Unfurl

Arthur M. Doweyko. Red Adept, , $13.99 ISBN 978-1-940215-77-8

Doweyko (Algorithm) captures the reader’s attention with kick-butt action in a video game storytelling format. Newark native Apple Bogdanski, “a mortal soul, twisted by war, defeated by grief, and sullied by drugs,” is threatened by villains looking for a photograph. Angela is an investigator for the Consortium, a group that’s been monitoring Earth for centuries and populating it with aliens. Apple is not quite sure he believes Angela’s explanations of recent strange events. As puzzle pieces fall into place, the two gather their resources to thwart a conspiracy by rogue Consortium investigators. Fighting becomes fiercer as a deadline approaches, forcing Apple and Angela to muster cunning and determination to outthink the conspirators. There is enough attraction for the couple to be friends, but it’s hard to buy into a happily-ever-after for them; they’re drawn to each other but refuse to admit it. The secondary characters from Tibet and the nonstop action are the bedrock of this story. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Dracula vs. Hitler

Patrick Sheane Duncan. Inkshares, $25.99 (515p) ISBN 978-1-942645-08-5

Screenwriter Duncan (Mr. Holland’s Opus) knows how to pepper a story with cinematic fight scenes and lush descriptions, but in this alternate take on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the massive lump of backstory proves indigestible. Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, contrary to canon, has preserved his monstrous nemesis for future scientific study. Life, love, and war delay his research until he’s goaded to action by Nazi depredations in Romania. With the help of Jonathan Harker’s grandson (who’s dallying with Van Helsing’s daughter, Lucy, on the side), Dracula is resurrected and proves remarkably amenable to bargaining: he gets freedom and all the Nazi blood he wants, so long as he focuses his hunger on “the Hun.” It’s an enjoyable Faustian contrivance—and takes 100 pages to launch. En route are interminable journal entries, military reports, and even a novel within the novel, all designed to fill the reader in on Nazi atrocities, the resistance to them, and the provenance of the characters. A distracting and sometimes painful variety of print fonts will send readers running for the digital edition. This novel is only recommended for those willing to take a very deep dive into what-if. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology

Edited by Janine A. Southard. Cantina, $16.99 trade paper (338p) ISBN 978-1-63327-023-7

Southard’s middling Kickstarter-funded anthology explores “the intersection of technology and magic in our smartphones.” The best entries are wry, such as Amanda Hackworth’s Uber-for-magic startup in “Error: Kappa Not Found.” Black humor is done well in C.S. O’Cinneide’s “Picture This...” and Jonathan Burgess’s “On Your Right,” but a romance deteriorates to poor effect in Manny Frishberg and Edd Vick’s “One App to Rule Them All.” Siri effectively nags an out-of-work journalist into self-awareness (and love) in Dale Cameron Lowry’s “What You’re Called to Do,” but when A. Moritz takes a similar approach in “From Siri to Sunrise: Delivering Perfection,” the bittersweet edge of a young woman searching for the perfect sunrise is lost in a story that needs considerable tightening. And in Raven Oak’s “Q-BE,” a college freshman, a mysterious study app, and a demanding college professor combine for confusion rather than cohesion. There are interesting premises all around, but they’re not always executed well. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Everything Belongs to the Future

Laurie Penny. Tor.com, $2.99 e-book (128p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8827-8

Time is the ultimate weapon in this uneven dystopian novella from political columnist Penny, in which have-nots are determined to take down the haves who benefit from access to “the fix,” an expensive life-extension drug. The story, set in Oxford, England, follows a group of starry-eyed off-the-grid misfits who team up with brilliant scientist Daisy Craver to overthrow “gerontocratic biopower and the money system” by giving away a generic fix for free. Little do the idealists realize that Daisy is planning a different revolution, one that aims to destroy everyone and everything the fix has touched. Despite its provocative central gimmick and a powerful opening voice, the story drags under the weight of heavy-handed philosophical sidebars and discussions about the nature of time, art, the ethics of science, and the business of scientific discovery. The book insists that scientists don’t think about the implications of their work but artists do, an idea that will no doubt come as a surprise to many readers in both the arts and the sciences. Penny raises valid questions about access to scientific advances, but readers will wish those questions came with more believable characters and a less predictable plot. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.