A Hold on Me

Pat Esden. Kensington, $12.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0005-6

Esden’s deliciously dark debut, which opens a new adult paranormal series, introduces readers to a secretive family who are the caretakers of magic objects and the jailors of dangerous djinn. If the djinn were set free, they would wreak havoc across the world. Annie Freemont had an unconventional childhood, traveling with her antiques appraiser father and learning his craft after the death of her mother. Her father’s abrupt descent into dementia forces them back to his family’s gloomy home of Moonhill, on the coast of Maine, to undergo treatment. Chase, the estate’s half-djinn caretaker, tries to warn Annie away from her father and Moonhill before she has to confront the danger that swirls around her. Though romance is a secondary plot to Annie unraveling her extended family’s history and her determination to join their fight against the djinn, the connection between her and Chase provides enough heat to propel the series forward. Agent: Pooja Menon, Kimberly Cameron and Associates. (Mar.)