5 exciting new romance novels

2. Bayou Moon, by Ilona Andrews

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    Bayou Moon, Ilona Andrews, Ace, 480 pp.
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The hero of Ilona Andrews's Bayou Moon is also a soldier, but the battles he fights take place in an alternative reality. In the Edge series, Andrews has created an utterly intriguing and creative fantasy world, in which there's a border (the "Edge") between the mundane world of Walmart and the magic world of the "Weird." Cerise Mar and her family live in the Edge swamplands. William, Lord Sandine, is a former soldier, a battered and tired sometime nobleman – and a changeling. When the Secret Service asks for him help in catching a truly loathsome mass murderer named, he can't say no. William has no family and no ties; he convinced that family isn't for people like him, those who can turn into wolves. Cerise has too much family, most of them insane, and an 80-year feud with another Edge clan. It's not easy for Cerise to fall for a man whose very nature is despised in her world: "He was everything she could ever want in a man: smart, strong, funny, handsome, a hell of a fighter … and he turned into a monster." Even when she makes up her mind, she has to woo a loner, a man unused to communicating on an emotional level. But once a loner is in love, loyalty is one of his strongest characteristics: "If she vanished," William thinks, "he would spend the rest of life looking for her." "Bayou Moon" is wildly romantic, with the most chilling and fast-moving conclusion I've read in recent months.

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