So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Forever Crossed. A. Leigh Jones

In Forever Crossed A. Leigh Jones adeptly straddles multiple genres to create an exciting tale. She crosses a romance novel with detective fiction and with an alternative reality setting that includes witches, vampires, and wereleopards. The author's greatest achievement is in creating a vibrant lead character, Olivia Peters, who captures the mystery of believability and raises the work above the cliches of genre.

The author reimagines the sleepy southern city of Raleigh North Carolina as a place where vampires are regular citizens. However, a vampire turf battle leads to a series of murders that upsets the community.

The romance is between Peters, a victim of a wereleopard attack as a child, and Luka, the leader of the local wereleopard clan. Can the erotic feelings he stirs up in her overcome her childhood fear? Her interactions with his pack of wereleopards in human form are delightfully portrayed. Their mixture of human emotions and animalistic senses is very well done as she is attracted to their leader and develops relationships with each of them.

It is the detective who comes out as the strongest part of Peters' character. She is called in to solve the murders, but the struggle for control of the vampire community hints at a more complex story. Yet ultimately, this is set aside (for a sequel?) and the romance novel gains the upper hand.


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