This was a great anthology. I enjoyed each story, and I breezed right through it.
My thoughts of each story:
Spellbound by LA Banks. This was a fun sto...moreThis was a great anthology. I enjoyed each story, and I breezed right through it.
My thoughts of each story:
Spellbound by LA Banks. This was a fun story about two star-crossed lovers who happen to be part of voodoo/root-practitioner families who hate each other. The Hatfields versus the McCoys, except they are Black. I laughed a lot, and some of the characters reminded me of some family members on both sides (minus the voodoo-practicing part). Both the hero and the heroine were virgins. This is probably my favorite story by Banks now, although I do love her other short stories that I've read. Five stars.
Something Borrowed by Jim Butcher. I just love Harry Dresden. In this story, he is helping his friend Billy the Werewolf get married. Too bad a miffed faerie stole his bride and decided to take her place. But Harry is on the case, with a little help from Detective Murphy. Five stars.
Dead Man's Chest by Rachel Caine. What a pleasant surprise. A bride gets talked into getting married on a pirate ship by her fiance. It turns out the pirates are all dead and under a curse. And her fiance had some nefarious motives. But, true love conquers all. Between the erstwhile bride and the pirate captain. Great fun. It helped that Captain Lockhart reminded me of an Anne Stuart hero. I'm so easy that way. Five stars.
All Shook Up by PN Elrod. This was an interesting story. I think Elvis fans would really love it. There is a wedding singer who has an uncannily perfect imitation of Elvis going on, and an ability to help the wedding couple along their course of true love. An ability shared by the caterer, who is the main protagonist. I'm not a big Elvis fan (although I like a lot of his songs), so it was weird how the hero was sort of possessed by the spirit of Elvis, but I still enjoyed it. Four Stars.
The Wedding of Wylda Serene by Esther M. Friesner. This story made me laugh. I enjoyed the whimsical feel, and the slyly ironic narration. A bastion of upper class entitlement is plagued by mythical creatures, in time to 'spoil' a sweet, young debutante's wedding. This is a must-read for Greek mythology enthusiasts. Four and 1/2 stars.
Charmed by the Moon by Lori Handeland. I haven't read any of the books in her Nightcreature series, and this is a follow-up story about Jessie and Will from Blue Moon. They are getting married, but Jessie is having cold feet, not sure if their feelings are true for each other. They go on a spirit journey to find that out when they find a love charm in Will's ceremonial wedding gear. I really liked this story. The magic and the mysticism hit the right note with me. It has a bittersweet feel as their HEA is not my ideal, but I can understand the choice they made for the dangerous world they live in. Four and 1/2 stars.
Tacky by Charlaine Harris. When I read Ms. Harris' stories, I usually teeter on the edge of sincere admiration for her imagination, amusement, and a bit of cheesy overload, all at the same time. I sort of like the goofy approach she has to the paranormal world, but sometimes it feels too goofy. I like the way she pokes fun at Southerners in a goodnatured way. I must say this was an unusual wedding, with the bride being a vampire, and the groom being a werewolf, and human fundamentalist assassins attacking the wedding party. For some reason, the main protagonist, Dahlia, kept making me think of Pam from the TrueBlood show, although she's hetero. Four stars.
A Hard Day's Night-Searcher by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Yay. A Black Dark-Hunter paired with a Black female Squire. Thank you, Ms. Kenyon. This is about Rafael Santiago, who was a pirate in his mortal life, and OCD Squire Celena, who's afraid to lose yet another Dark-Hunter to the ongoing battle with the Daimons. They end up crashing an Apollite wedding teeming with Daimons. This was a really good story, but it felt way too short to me. Sort of an abbreviated version of a full-length Dark-Hunter novel. Everything was resolved, but I felt like I wanted more. Four stars.
"...Or Forever Hold Your Peace" by Susan Krinard. I liked the Victorian paranormal feel of this story. This is a paranormal mystery in which Olivia and Kit, a crime-solving duo, work to find a bride who was kidnapped from her wedding, using their Talents. This is an alternate England called Albion, where most people have some sort of magical Talent. Olivia can see inside a person's body to see their anatomy, and Kit can change into a large Black Dog. It was fun and had the pulp fiction, neo-Victorian vibe I love. I felt the tone could have been a little more vibrant for maximum enjoyment, but I'd love to read more of Kit and Olivia's adventures. Four stars.
I really want to give this collection five stars, mainly based on the first three stories and the overall appealing vibe it holds, despite the preponderance of stories not reaching five stars. So I will. Recommended to fans of humorous paranormal/supernatural fiction, be it urban fantasy or paranormal, with a little gaslit Victorian mystery thrown in.(less)
**spoiler alert** Incredible and moving, this book made me cry practically the whole way through Celie's story will break your heart. And the reunion...more**spoiler alert** Incredible and moving, this book made me cry practically the whole way through Celie's story will break your heart. And the reunion with her sister will heal it. I could not put this book down and read it in a day. I can't recommend it highly enough.(less)
This book is definitely a good example of magical realism. I remember reading it and wondering, how are these things possible. I love how the entire b...moreThis book is definitely a good example of magical realism. I remember reading it and wondering, how are these things possible. I love how the entire book draws from allusions to the Bible. I have never encountered a character named Corinthians before, but it was a very fitting name. To this day, I still ponder this book and wonder what was real and what wasn't.(less)
This book will affect you to the very soles of your shoes. It will fill you with both unimaginable horror and unimaginable rage. It will fill you with...moreThis book will affect you to the very soles of your shoes. It will fill you with both unimaginable horror and unimaginable rage. It will fill you with despair and impart a sense of shame and disgust at the history of slavery in our country. The fact that a woman was driven to kill her child because she did not want her to be a slave the rest of her life. The fact that humans can chain a woman up in a shed and rape her repeatedly will sicken you. Toni Morrison does not pull any punches with this book. The history behind it is real, although this is fiction. She weaves in a mystical/fantastical element by having a main character who is in fact a ghost. But the fantastical element does not take away the impact of this book. I don't regret reading this book, but I can tell you honestly that it affected me in a very negative way. It's powerful and you won't soon forget about what you read in this book.(less)
What I've read of this book is excellent. It is great to learn more about the 1/3 of the population that settled the West that have been overlooked in...moreWhat I've read of this book is excellent. It is great to learn more about the 1/3 of the population that settled the West that have been overlooked in the history books. As a fan of the Old West, and an African American history buff, it was a great pleasure to read about people of African American heritage's contribution to the West. Great reference book as well (as I am interested in writing Westerns).(less)
This is an excellent reference book and very readable text on Black Americans in the West. I learned so much in the reading of this. I haven't read it...moreThis is an excellent reference book and very readable text on Black Americans in the West. I learned so much in the reading of this. I haven't read it from cover to cover, but even by utilizing the index to look at certain topics, I was very happy with the information contained in this book. I am grateful that Mr. Katz took the time to write this book for us African American history buff who want to learn more about the contributions that our ancestors made in the United States.(less)
One of those books that you read and must read to fully gain understanding of what certain people go through in life, but you don't really enjoy it be...moreOne of those books that you read and must read to fully gain understanding of what certain people go through in life, but you don't really enjoy it because it hits too close to home. I should probably read this again one day. I can't say I'll do it any time soon, though. (less)
If you ever find yourself asking "Why can't I read a fiction book about African Americans set in the early twentieth century that isn't so much about...moreIf you ever find yourself asking "Why can't I read a fiction book about African Americans set in the early twentieth century that isn't so much about the tragedy of the African American experience, but the everyday life of an African American," you might like this one. It's set in the 1940s and the protagonist is a woman of mixed heritage. Her father is Irish and her mother was Black (or Colored as they would have said then). She seems comfortable with both, having a good relationship with her father, who often comes to see his second family. She is getting around the age when she should be looking at settling down, and weighing her options. The story is nothing earth-shaking, but it was a very interesting read for me. I wish I got the opportunity to see in the life of other African American women without all the tragedy associated with it. Yes, there are trials and tribulations, but somedays I want a break from that and just want a good story that doesn't break my heart. I felt this fits the bill for that. You know that life is not perfect and that her life is limited by racism and segregation around her, but she is living her life to the best of her abilities. There is a White cop who is interested in marrying her, but she isn't sure she wants him. Instead she falls for a Negro man who is handsome and suave but not quite motivated in life. Again this is an everyday kind of book,although there is a mystery and suspense elements. But honesty, the suspense part didn't really have the much of an effect on me. I just liked reading about Lila's life. At the end of the book, I believe Lila has a Robert Frost, "Road Not Taken" moment. I found myself wondering what would have happened has she chosen a different path, too. I'm not even sure how this book ended up in my hands, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. (less)