Despite an intriguing premise, O'Clare's Aphrodisia debut falls flat. The characters and suspense are lackluster, and the hero and heroine never feel real. Added to these problems are multiple plotlines and back-and-forth narration that make for a disjointed story. On the plus side, the sporadic erotic scenes are well written.
As the mystery of Malachai's past deepens and the island's "companions" take on a nightmarish quality, the lovers must fight for their lives. (APHRODISIA, Jun., 304 pp., $13.95)