This week's Oldie but Goodie is...
by Ann Lawrence
Released July 2002
Neil Scott is half-owner of a video game store called Virtual Heaven. He is experiencing a difficult time in his life right now ~ his mother has just died, and his fiance' left because she couldn't handle the fact that Neil takes his responsibilities seriously, leaving little time for her. His partner in the video game store, Gwen, just got married, and she is very happy ~ a fact that rubs him the wrong way. Not that he had any romantic inclination for her, he just wished he could find that same happiness. Too bad the woman in the Tolemac Wars III video game poster isn't real. She looks interesting - like someone he could have a conversation with, someone he could laugh with...
When Gwen confides in him exactly where she met her husband, Neil can't believe it. The idea is just too far-fetched to believe. Gwen tells him she went into the hottest-selling video game on the market - Tolemac Wars. As Neil listens to Gwen tell him about the land in the game, he begins to plan. He decides he is going to Tolemac, and he is going to find the woman in the poster.
Tolemac is a completely foreign place, with warriors, slaves, and sorcerers. Women are the property of their men, and Neil is not prepared for the reality of this strange land. But when he meets Ardra, the woman from the poster, he is ready to do whatever it takes to stay and learn more about this lonely young woman. Neil, known as Lien in this place, is about to undertake a quest that will test every bit of his mind and body, and if he fails, he will lose Ardra forever.
Virtual Warrior is the third in a trilogy, but this was my favorite of the three. Ms. Lawrence has created a world that is very intriguing, and her descriptive writing brings the world of Tolemac to life. You will be rooting for Neil/Lien and Ardra by the middle of the book, and the ending...well, I'll let you discover it for yourself. The heat level is sensual and necessary to the storyline.
Ms. Lawrence' website is under construction at the moment, but you can keep your eye out for when the updates are complete. www.annlawrence.com