Love Spell, Feb 2009, $7.99
As a child her parents exiled her because of a heart defect that made her imperfect in their minds; Audrey Atheneum, which is not her “joyous” birth name, but instead her adult pen name as a biographer of the almost famous quirky people, was shipped off to boarding schools as out of sight out of mind was the mantra of her family. The worst time was holidays, which the other kids looked forward to while Audrey knew she would remain alone.
She met Max Ober and fell in love, but after a miscarriage they broke up partly because he turned to the big breasted Bavarian floozy efficient Gretchen. Needing time to heal and with no one to turn to as her parents are dead besides they were never there for her when she was alive, Audrey leaves Bavaria for Fiji where on Dolphin Island she meets author Ambrose Bierce, who allegedly died after vanishing in 1914. However, her fun in the sun turns even stranger when she and Ambrose battle zombies and ghouls while he uses his magic to keep her heart from failing.
This is a fascinating twist on the DIVINE FANTASY universe of Melanie Jackson as much of the story line is dialogue between the heroine and the author of The Devil’s Dictionary starting with their first Dr. Livingstone, I presume” encounter. There is plenty of action even with the discussions and musings of the A level lead characters and a great final spin. Fans seeking something different will appreciate this clever fantasy because in between the musings is war with zombies and ghouls.