Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

There are a lot of ARCs of this book floating around, so if you still don't have a copy and are interested, there are a couple of contests going on that I know of.

1) Lady Vampire's Lair has this book among a trio of books she's giving away for a Halloween giveaway. Comments throughout October 6th-11th in answer to her questions count as entries. Here's the link.

2) Lori's Reading Corner has a contest until October 6th (tomorrow),comment to enter. Additional rules and the link is here.

According to Amazon, the book comes out November 4th.

This is a first book in a new series by Lori Handleland. I've read one other book by this author which I liked more than I expected because I wasn't really into a short story I read in the Dates from Hell anthology.

This series centers on Elizabeth Phoenix, a former foster child, and cop turned bartender with physic powers. She has the ability to touch things and tell where the owner is or has been. The story starts off with Liz feeling called by her foster mom Ruthie, and discovering her dying at her house. The prime suspect is Liz's ex Jimmy Sanducci, who she broke up with after discovering his infidelity through her gift (ouch!). This starts a series of events which open up a new world to Liz – she discovers that Ruthie was the head of a giant battle between good and evil, with supernatural creatures of all kinds and tales from the Book of Enoch being the basis of it all. The gist of it is that doomsday begins now, and Liz has to take Ruthie's place. Meanwhile she has to deal with her ex Jimmy, and her past teacher, Sawyer. Both men aren't completely human.

Overall: I thought the book was OK. There were fascinating world-building aspects like the Nephalim from the Book of Enoch, Liz's talent, and her dreams with Ruthie. There are also some hints of past history that I found interesting regarding Jimmy and Sawyer, but they were done in a way that I had just enough to understand it, rather than feeling like just enough was being held back to make me confused. The dialog is flippant at times, but flowed well, and it did seem to fit Liz's personality. The book does fit more under the urban fantasy genre than it does as a paranormal romance – there is no HEA, at least in this book, and the ending leaves a lot of room for further developments, but there are a few sex scenes and maybe more attention to relationships than I usually see in urban fantasy. Both relationships with Jimmy and Sawyer have a dark edge to them, mostly because everyone involved is pretty emotionally flawed. I am not sure who she will eventually end up with, but both of the men have not treated Liz well. I wasn't sure I liked either of them and sometimes I wasn't sure if I liked Liz either. Still, it does make the characters very interesting and I'd like to see how it develops. I'd like to see Liz more confident in her powers, which hopefully we will see in the next book. The author's letter to her readers in the back of the book mentions Laurell K Hamilton as an inspiration, and I could see maybe a hint of that regarding Liz's hidden power we learn about later. I have to say I sort of … mmm, I don't quite like it, because I think it has a potential to make the books take a turn into territory that many people complain about with Hamiliton's books, but this book is a far cry from that, so I'll just wait and see.

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