This charming collection of short fiction is filled with magic and sensual romance.

In "Dream Upon Waking," Noa, a student at a magic school, chooses Riordan, Instructor Primus of Magical Theory and Practice, as her ahavatara, or first lover. When he accepts, she will access high magic and forge a link between them forever. "Trail by Fire" continues their story, only now Riordan is accused of a terrible crime and Noa helps to clear him. In "Steps Like Knives" Helena finds true love not with a human but with a merman who is willing to give up everything for her.

An atmosphere of romance and magic effectively draws you into these stories. The sex is sensually hot and the characters well drawn. (Aug. '04, 276 pp, $15.50)
Reviewed by: 
Page Traynor