cover image The Slayer

The Slayer

Theresa Meyers. Kensington/Zebra, $6.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-2125-4

Smalltown sheriff Winchester Jackson is a cowboy hero who proves his worth from the first sentence, wherein he threatens to blow drunken outlaw leader Hoss Dalton’s “oversized melon” to “kingdom come.” When he meets a woman who proves his match in battle as well as romance, a steamy tension underscores their fast-paced adventure. She’s Lady Alexandra Porter, Contessa Drossenburg, emissary of His Vampiric Imperial Majesty, come to lead Winchester on a mission to find part of the Book of Legend that his father hid away decades before (continuing the quest of Winchester’s brother Colt in The Hunter). The landscape is populated with vampires, demons, a “mad genius” named Marley Turlock, and mechanical horses, spiders, and cacti, all of which will bewilder readers new to the series. Returning fans, though, will be pleased with this addition to the steampunk western canon. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Literary Agency. (Apr.)