Readers looking for a plot beyond the
typical cat-and-mouse game for sex
may find this novel hard to finish. The action and conflict do not appear until the end of the book, which makes the
first 270 pages hard to get through. Showalter's latest doesn't live up to
its promise.

After taking guardianship of the portal between Atlantis and the surface world from the dragons, Valerian, the king of Nymphs, must defend the fortress at all costs. Though forbidden by the gods, he's forced to visit the surface and bring back women for his soldiers, who need sex to remain strong.

To his surprise, one of the women he finds is Shaye, his predestined mate. Finding her headstrong and resistant, he begins his quest to break her barriers and get her in his bed. With his mate around, defending the castle is more difficult than ever, and all could be lost if she does not give in. (HQN, Feb., 384 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Autumn Harrison