Well, Nalini Singh did it again, that's for sure. In yet another prequel to her Psy/Changeling series, before Lucas met Sascha, Emmett met Ria (Lucas'Well, Nalini Singh did it again, that's for sure. In yet another prequel to her Psy/Changeling series, before Lucas met Sascha, Emmett met Ria (Lucas' assistant in later books) and fell hard, like only Changelings can. ;)
The other three were iffy at best with yet another Children of the Sea story by Ms. Kantra (I don't like the series), a new series by Ms. Brook (I somehow didn't get it and disliked the heroine), and an (almost) complete miss by Ms. Knight (I thought I'd be reading an installation in her Mageverse series, but I was so very wrong).
Angela Knight’s Vampire Ball was yet another installment in her Mageverse series, but it was a rather disappointing read. The series also started withAngela Knight’s Vampire Ball was yet another installment in her Mageverse series, but it was a rather disappointing read. The series also started with a novella in an anthology, but Lance and Grace’s story at least had “body”, it was nicely written and well-paced. Kat and Ridge’s story only seemed to be trudging along without much substance. It was simply too short and the characters bland. Not even the timely appearance of Lance could save it from doom.
A Little Night Magic by Allyson James also suffered from its shortness. Despite the hurried explanation of the few focal points of the backstory, I found myself scratching my head a few times, wondering just what the heck was going on. I felt too detached from everything that was going on, the characters and everything else. I’m not much for Native American “legends” of shape shifters and skinwalkers and this story didn’t change my opinion.
Anya Bast’s Sweet Enchantment was a nice respite from the previous two not-so-good stories. It wasn’t anything stellar, mind you, but still the second best in this anthology. It wasn’t even close to K.M. Moning’s depictions of the goings-on in the Seelie and Unseelie courts, but the pacing was good, the story had a natural flow to it, and the two leads endeared themselves to me. I actually found myself wishing it was longer, I truly wanted to see what happened next.
And now we get to Lora Leigh’s A Christmas Kiss...I’ve been waiting for this story since the epilogue in Aiden's Charity. And let me tell you I wasn’t disappointed. This was a classic Leigh Breed novella with plenty of steamy attraction, steamier action, a little bit of angst, lots of conflicting emotions, great buildup to the finale, and loads of hunky Breeds.
The AC epilogue gave us a tantalizing glimpse into what could’ve been between Hawke, a Wolf Breed and Jess, a traitor working for her father. Well, A Christmas Kiss delivered on that glimpse, explaining Jess’s treason, giving a heart-wrenching description of both Jess’s and Hawke’s suffering in the year of her imprisonment and the three months after her release. The steam rose off the pages in their first "touching but not kissing" scene, the throat constricted at Jess’s first view of her new house, the heart sped up at the confrontation with the villain, and tears rose at the description of the angel with the broken wing.
Wonderful. I’m giving this anthology a 5 star rating based solely on Ms. Leigh’s contribution!...more
Dragon Dance by Angela Knight One word: ENTERTAINING I don’t particularly like stories about super-power infected humans, but Angela Knight does it withDragon Dance by Angela Knight One word: ENTERTAINING I don’t particularly like stories about super-power infected humans, but Angela Knight does it with such style and certain panache, I just can’t hold the theme choice against her. As with all things Knight the steam is up in the stratosphere, and the leather-clad hunks and that chops licking tiger sticking his head out of Tracker’s chest more than compensate for the whole aliens-did-it hoopla.
Caught by the Tides by Diane Whiteside One word: DISAPPOINTING While anthologies are a great way of discovering new authors, this is not the case with this story (and author). The magickal AU take on the Regency period and the Napoleonic threat was a major stretch, and might (big emphasis on that might!) have worked if the author decided on a little less harrypotterish approach...I love historicals (Regency being one of my favorites) and paranormals, yet this particular combination left me cold – and bored.
Queen of All She Surveys by Emma Holly One word: PASSABLE While the first few chapters promised one heck of a novella (there’s just something about hunks wearing only a loincloth and a smile), the story quickly diluted into a weird May-September (the September woman looking like a May woman) quasi-relationship with a helluva lot of furniture-breaking sex including god-touched liquid and a funky appendage with a not-explained purpose...Hmmm.
In a Wolf’s Embrace by Lora Leigh One word: STUNNING This was the first Lora Leigh story I've read, and my first encounter with the Breeds, and it made me crave for more. As I wrote when I started reading it, the foreword sounded pretty darn good, but the story was (thankfully) even better. I laughed and I cried, tears (not of laughter!) are a great indicator of a good book for me, my hands were freezing cold (another good sign), and by the middle of the novella I was hot all over. Can't wait for the rest (my TBR pile is soon going to get even larger).
This collection gets four stars only thanks to Lora Leigh's contribution. It's the last novella of the bunch that makes it all worth it - no wonder they put it last. After the bitter aftertaste the two middle ones left, it was a relief to "rest my eyes" on the Breed story....more
Mad Dog Love is "vintage" Angela Knight and much, much better than her contribution in Beyond the Dark. Despite the futuristic setting, the story andMad Dog Love is "vintage" Angela Knight and much, much better than her contribution in Beyond the Dark. Despite the futuristic setting, the story and characters maintain a rather realistic feel, and the combination of action and excitement is spot on and complimenting the plot, instead of (so many times) deterring from it.
Lora Leigh's A Jaguar's Kiss merely confirmed my "suspicion" the Breed series should be added to my TBR pile (which I'm working on). I love any kind of paranormals (vampires, shifters, witches, demons...), but there is just an extra kick when the paranormal stuff begins in a lab (like Christine Feehan's GhostWalkers) and the heroes and heroines have to fight with the dark nature thrust upon them by (more or less crazy) scientists...When there's a "mating" issue thrust into the mix, so much the better. There's just something about an Alpha going all soft and cuddly because of a (mere) woman that makes me grin with glee. In this instance, Saban is one of those Alphas, but he's met his match in Natalie. I liked her, she had spunk, and I was just waiting for her to kick his ass. Not that she could hurt him, but I bet he would let her win. *evil grin*
Shifter’s Lady was a little hard to follow in the first chapter, since it’s a part of a series (Warriors of Poseidon) I am not familiar with and Ms. Day’s take on the history of Atlantis, and the interaction and relationships between established characters was utterly foreign. I expected (since it’s a series) a little more background to the workings of the world, but alas, I was left in the dark...Anyway, the story was a decent shifter novella with the usual (in all things Alpha) rivalry subplot, but the ending had lots to be desired. It was probably meant to be a cliffhanger for the next book, but I’m sure not dying to find out.
Sea Crossing sounded a little recycled to me. Been there, done that, have the bookshelf to prove it. While the initial scenes applied it was a historical, the tone was a little modern at times. Also, the heroine, though a teacher (aren’t teachers supposed to be perceptive and have a little intelligence?), came out as an utterly clueless creature as to what was going on around her.
Overall, this is a pretty good anthology, but the first two novellas are what’s earned it 4 stars....more
This was the first book by Angela Knight I read and I was immediately hooked. Equal parts erotica, suspense, and sci-fi, combined with a time-travel eThis was the first book by Angela Knight I read and I was immediately hooked. Equal parts erotica, suspense, and sci-fi, combined with a time-travel element this was a real pleasure to read.
The two main characters, Baran *pant pant* Arvid and Jane "one-of-the-non-annoying-heroines-I-like" Colby had some major chemistry going on, both in (hence the panting) and out of the bedroom, the villain was sickeningly twisted (just how I like 'em), the pacing was good, the story well-thought out and plotted...And the ending. Oh, boy, don't get me started on the ending.
It was even better the second time around. ;) 4 ½ stars...more
Bite ***UPDATE: 11/13/2009***I read The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death by Laurell K. Hamilton for the Romance Readers Reading Challenges Group's SBite ***UPDATE: 11/13/2009***I read The Girl Who Was Infatuated With Death by Laurell K. Hamilton for the Romance Readers Reading Challenges Group's Serial Reader Challenge, because it's part of the Anita Blake series.
Because it is part of a series (and one I’m not familiar with) most of the story was lost on me. Sure, the author offered plenty of info for the “unenlightened”, but still not enough – or I just didn’t like the style – to compel me to investigate this series further.
Also, the plentitude of similarities to other series was off-putting.
Uninteresting, feet-dragging and boring.***END OF UPDATE***
This anthology did absolutely nothing for me. The only story that keeps it from sinking into vampire hell is Angela Knight's Galahad.
The other four just plainly sucked... Excuse the pun.
Two out of four isn't bad, but it could be better. Christine Feehan's Dark Hunger is the usual Dark Series book. Hot and sexy - and a great introductioTwo out of four isn't bad, but it could be better. Christine Feehan's Dark Hunger is the usual Dark Series book. Hot and sexy - and a great introduction to the stories of the five De La Cruz brothers. Maggie Shayne disappointed me - her story didn't have the right vibe. Emma Holly's storytelling and plot improved from the novella in Fantasy. At least it made me laugh. Seduction's Gift by Angela Knight made me lift my eyebrows and say "Huh?!" at first - but then - wow! And let me repeat that: wow! Really hot blooded, indeed! Since this book she's on my favorite's list....more