cover image Heart of the Hunter

Heart of the Hunter

Tina St John, Author Ivy Books $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-345-45994-7

St. John's (Black Lion's Bride, etc.) new medieval fantasy romance series gets off to a rocky start with this thinly plotted installment. The story opens with a description of an artifact called the Dragon Chalice, which allegedly gives the one who wields it untold power. The cup has been sundered into four pieces, and one piece has fallen into the hands of an evil sorcerer. The sorcerer hopes to find a second piece with the help of research performed by a Templar knight, whom he's abducted. When Ariana of Clairmont receives a ransom demand for the knight, her brother, she sets out to deliver his notes. On her way there, she's waylaid by the magician's henchmen and rescued by Braedon, a mercenary called the Hunter. Braedon knows more than he lets on about the Dragon Chalice, and he agrees to help Ariana in her quest-though not for the reasons she imagines. Stuck in her ingenue role, Ariana has little chance to shine; she spends most of the novel being shoved out of danger or storming off and endangering her own mission. Braedon, however, is the kind of strong, charismatic, slightly dangerous hero that will have readers salivating. While Braedon's sexy appeal may be enough to keep some readers intrigued, others may not stick around to see the Dragon Chalice reformed in St. John's subsequent books.