Jennifer Stevenson, The Brass Bed: Oh, this was fun as well as funny and involving. The paranormal plot involves a Regency lord whose magician mistress punished him for being a crappy lover by turning him into a sex demon and imprisoning him within a brass bed until he'd satisfied one hundred women. His name is Randall; his nickname is of course Randy. [I adored the little meta-digs at Regency romances as his character is revealed.] By our time, the bed has fallen into the possession of Clay, who's a second-generation con man, and believes his persuasive powers make women see sleeping in the bed as sex therapy. Cue Jewel, who works for the city of Chicago, and is trying to bust Clay for fraud. Oh, and there are a lot of magical things happening, seemingly at random, in Chicago, which official policy says aren't really happening, but which Jewel keeps getting stuck with. As part of her investigation, she tries sleeping in the brass bed. And we're off! The next two in this series are due out this summer, following the adventures of the same characters.
Jewel is great fun: sarcastic, a softy, and with giant intimacy issues. Her friend Nina is a trip, too.
Jewel's got a great imagination and is forever in search of good sex, which she rarely finds. She turns out to be Randy's 100th woman, and he's finally able to take physical form. But Randy worries that, if he doesn't continue giving his hundredth woman orgasms, he might be stuck in another piece of furniture. Also, he doesn't have a Social Security number, and his lordly estate was bought by Americans in the 1920s and transported to Chicago. He wants his things back. Clay can teach him how to live on his own in the 21st century.
Clay knows that he and Jewel are very much alike; they both love risk, and are good together sexually. Except Randy is in the way, and Jewel is wary of Clay's criminal tendencies even as she finds them exciting.
Whom will Jewel choose? Does she have to choose? I'm looking forward to finding out.