When we last left Ben and Fran, she had refused to join with him, because she did not want the fates (who had decreed she was his beloved) to rule her life. Five years later, she returns to the Goth faire and Ben because her mother, the resident witch, is missing. Fran has grown up a lot, but she still can’t quite get over Ben.
The fate-bound lovers can’t focus too much on resolving their relationship, though, because Fran arrives with three Viking ghosts in corporeal form, who have been sent to help her banish Loki. There is also Naomi, a tattoo artist, who may be more than she seems, and who’s trying to stake a claim on Ben; a village competing to be the Wagner opera location by having everyone dress the part; a necromancer with evil intentions — and still no Mom. (SIGNET, Nov., 352 pp., $7.99)