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OTHER WORLDS, OTHER DIMENSIONS Despite occasional dire predictions that interest in the paranormal and similar alternative-reality romances has peaked and that they are on their way out, the current offerings from romance houses indicate nothing of the kind. If anything, with last year's launch of Silhouette Nocturne, a dark paranormal line, and the forthcoming debut of Dorchester's speculative romance Shomi titles, enthusiasm is on the upswing. Granted, the popularity of various types will change over time (Whatever happened to all those angels from a few years ago? And time travelers?), but the general fascination with things supernatural and otherworldly is alive and well. Vampire and werewolf romances are still hot, but they are being joined by stories featuring immortal "protectors," superhumans of all stripes, parallel worlds, multiple dimensions, futuristic settings, and often darker elements, broadening the scope of the alternative-reality arena and taking it in intriguing new directions. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Susan Grant, Mary Jo Putney, and Karen Marie Moning, as well as the authors reviewed here, are just a few of the notables in this still-expanding subgenre.
Adams, C.T. & Cathy Clamp. Touch of Madness. Tor. Jun. 2007. c.310p. ISBN 978-0-7653-5663-5. pap. $6.99. PARANORMAL
A particularly nasty race of parasitic vampires, the Thrall infect humans with an "enthralling" bite, making them part of their queen-ruled hive. This second in the series takes psychic courier Kate Reilly on a reluctant search for missing Thrall eggs and into a tad more danger than she had expected. Her werewolf firefighter boyfriend, Tom Bishop, isn't exactly happy about her latest venture, and it doesn't help that his pack is trying to break up the couple. Fast-paced action moves the complicated plot as Tom and Kate work to solve their own problems and a few dangerous mysteries as well. Once again, Adams and Clamp (Touch of Evil) have created a fascinating, fully developed world that fans are sure to want to revisit. The authors live in the Denver area.
Ashley, Jennifer. Immortals: The Calling. Love Spell: Dorchester. May 2007. c.384p. ISBN 0-505-52687-5 [ISBN 978-0-505-52687-8]. pap. $6.99. PARANORMAL
Stunned when a warrior materializes just in time to save her from being killed by the same demon that killed her sister, hereditary witch Amber Silverthorne, wary …