Princess Meredith has two imperatives: Stay alive and procreate. She and her cousin Prince Cal are in a race to the death to snatch the throne. Whoever reproduces first wins. Meanwhile, Meredith must pursue her vocation as a private eye in Los Angeles, where a deadly evil lurks. No one else spins erotic fantasies as adeptly as the author of A Kiss of Shadows.
In the second R-rated outing (after 2000's A Kiss of Shadows) from bestseller Hamilton to feature bright and winsome faery princess Meredith Gentry, the unlikely shamus, who runs an L.A. detective agency with a staff of faery musclemen (plus a pet goblin), seems to spend almost as much time pondering her position in the fey world as attending to her client, glamorous film star Maeve Reed, actually a Seelie goddess, who needs Meredith's help in getting pregnant. Meredith does what she can for Maeve, although she has troubles enough of her own in the conception game. As one of two possible heirs to the Unseelie throne, the other being her nasty cousin, Prince Cel, Meredith must produce her own child and then, by faery tradition, marry her partner. It isn't easy, since any father must be kingly material, but our heroine is a game lass, and her failure is not for lack of trying. In an exciting climax, the LAPD Bureau of Human and Fey Affairs summons Meredith to battle a fearsome, crawling, tentacled and slobbering monster, the Nameless, which was too blithely created by opposing faery courts her own, the Unseelie, ruled by her millennium-old aunt, Queen Andais, and the Seelie, ruled by the ruthless and equally ancient King Taranis. More attention to the detective motif might have made the story more fun, but steamy prose and Meredith's obsessive personal conflicts should keep the faithful turning the pages. (Apr. 2) Forecast: With a 10-city author tour, national print advertising and the success of last year's Narcissus in Chains and other novels in her Anita Blake vampire series, Hamilton should make another run at the bestseller lists. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
If you've had enough of novels with plots that make sense and characters you can relate to, try A Caress of Twilight. It's one of the silliest works you'll hear this year, which appears to be an attempt to mix Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles with Men in Black and The Wizard of Oz. The work focuses on a faerie princess who, with the help of her bodyguards, strives to get pregnant while working as a police consultant in California. Her apparent job is to defend the faeries of Los Angeles from magical monsters. Considering the material, narrator Laural Merlington does a marvelous job, particularly in the erotic, love-making scenes that basically salvage this recording. Buy if you wish to add to your erotica collection.-James L. Dudley, Westhampton, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Private dick/Faerie princess Meredith Gentry returns in this faux-noir sequel to A Kiss of Shadows (2000). Meredith is now mortal but usually tracks semihuman suspects for the high-profile Grey Detective Agency (supernatural cases its specialty). She's also the niece of the Queen of Air and Darkness (Anne Rice, go hang), who sets up a contest between Meredith and Prince Cel: whoever first provides an heir gets the throne. Prince Cel tries to assassinate Meredith and will keep trying unless she agrees to a certain proposal. But she is guarded by the Queen's Ravens, who include the assassin Doyle, a man of absolute blackness; Meredith's two all-white lovers, Rhys and Frost; and Kitto the green-spined goblin. Meredith is contacted by Maeve Reed, who looks 20 but has been Hollywood's top star for 50 years. Exiled from the Seelie Court when she turned down the marriage offer of sterile Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, Maeve now she wants a child by her very old and withered director, who will be dead in six weeks. But if Meredith helps Maeve with the fertility rite, Taranis will seek vengeance. Meredith ends as the Princess of Flesh and Blood, not yet with child, still babbling that overripe moonspeak ("I smelled roses, and blood appeared on my wrist as if by the prick of thorns").