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Reviewed by:
  • Swear
  • Karen Coats
Malkin, Nina. Swear. Simon Pulse, 2011. [496p]. Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-4424-2110-3 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-4424-2655-9 $9.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 9–12..

It’s been six months since Dice and Sin shared their night of perfect passion, which ended with Dice waking up alone (Swoon, BCCB 7/09). The only signs of Sin since have been twinges, atmospheric disturbances particularly noted when Dice sings in her sexy, bluesy contralto, which she’s been doing in a band. Now a bandmate, Crane, has disappeared, and his brother is worried that he’s literally been spirited away by a ghost into the bowels of their old Connecticut house. A romantic encounter between Dice and Tosh, another bandmate, prompts the jealous return [End Page 92] of Sin in the flesh, and Dice is beset by conflicting emotions: despite a nascent interest in Tosh, she’s still obsessed with Sin and convinced he has something to do with Crane’s disappearance. Some sleuthing turns up confusing evidence that he does, but even Sin can’t figure out why Antonia, a girl he knew back in 1769, is convinced that Sin is her betrothed and has kidnapped Crane as a hostage until she and Sin can be wed. Nothing can be resolved until Dice embraces all of the supernatural power that she has until this point denied and rejected. The complicated plot makes perfect, even elegant, sense if one has read the first book; otherwise, readers might be at sea as Sin manipulates everyone into an erotic frenzy on occasion and Dice only reluctantly makes use of her considerable mystical abilities. As in the first book, however, Dice’s most compelling power may just be her narrative voice—spunky, hard-edged, irreverent, and sparkling with wit as she describes the sex appeal of her aptly named boyfriend and her own trials as a reluctant mystical adept. Sin has deepened as a character during his exile, becoming the best kind of romantic fantasy: a deliciously bad boy who has grown into a passionate yet ethical man. Fans of Swoon will definitely not want to miss this.



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pp. 92-93
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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