On the Prowl is an anthology about shape shifters, with four paranormal romance novella's written by big names. Strictly I thought only the third stor...moreOn the Prowl is an anthology about shape shifters, with four paranormal romance novella's written by big names. Strictly I thought only the third story (by Karen Chance) should officially be called a PNR - as the other three stories don't qualify. First: according to what I've learned on Goodreads: a paranormal romance should contain a happily ever after. But the 'ever after part' was lacking in the first two stories by Patricia Briggs and Eileen Wilks. While there was a line in their story, the novella's didn't really have an ending but seemed teasers for the authors' upcoming books. I understand that a novella is a way to get the public known to your work, but I don't like to read a story just for the ending to state: "stay tuned for what's next... in this and this book..". Second: the last story by Sunny can't be called paranormal romance as, to me, the romance was completely missing. It was paranormal porn.
mini review for each story:
Patricia Briggs: Alpha and Omega
Anna is an Omega wolf in trouble as she discovers the immoral and illegal actions her pack is conducting. The Marrok's own son is sent to protect her. 4 out of 5 This was a sweet little story. The switch in POV is nice: we get to be in both Anna's and Charles' heads. There were two scenes I liked a lot: the airport scene in which Charles hates everybody and everything and the scene in Anna's appartment where she's all uncomfortable with Charles there. I felt the whole 'mating' thing was kind of rushed though. So was the ending. The interaction between the characters I liked a lot however. I will definitely be checking out Cry Wolf, the Alpha and Omega book.
Eileen Wilks: Inhuman
Kai can sense thoughts and emotions. But there's a killer out who seems to be after her. Her neighbour Nathan, who is not human, comes to her rescue. 2,5 out of 5 I liked Kai, I liked Nathan. Thanks to the fact that we had both their POV, they didn't fall flat. The rest of the characters however did. The world had a bit of a Hollows feel to me (with the Turning this time) but I didn't quite get it. *SPOILER* I also didn't like how the whole 'murderer' thing was handled. As soon as the identity of the murderer was discovered, it seemed like the murders weren't all that important anymore. Also: the ending was terrible. Kai gets to do three quests to show her capability of controling her gift. *END SPOILER* It made me feel like I was reading the prologue of the next book.
Karen Chance: Buying Trouble
Claire is a null who's trying to mind her own business at the auction house she works at, when she discovers SHE's the one up for sale and accidentally gets shifted to the Dark Fay lands with a Light Fay lord by her side. One who she happens to unexplainably find very attractive... 4 out of 5 Typical Karen Chance: fast, fun and sexy. The story is set in the Cassie Palmer universe which is wonderfully built. Claire is a bit quirky but very funny. Heidar is just hilarious with his dry Fay humour. To me, this was the best story in the book.
Sunny: Mona Lisa Betwining
...Something with an ex-nurse who's half human half something else.. she's queen of "the Children of the moon" which pretty much entails she gets to have sex with all her followers... 1 out of 5 The story was completely lost on me! What I did catch was weird reasoning and stupid dialogues. The story is supposed to be set in the present while everybody besides the main character seems to be stuck in the middle ages with their use of language. It wouldn't be that annoying if it were consistently so. But it's not. Even the main character gets lost in her own use of language sometimes. Besides that, my main problem was that the weak plot seemed to be constructed to serve the sex. Now: I do like a bit of sex with my romance. What I don't like to read about however is meaningless sex. Anal sex to keep somebody from losing it... hello??? It felt like I was reading fanfiction by a 15 year old nympho.
Overall On the Prowl was worth 3 out of 5 stars. (less)
Claire is a null who works at an auction house, just trying to mind her own business, when she discovers that SHE is the one up for sale. In the chaos...moreClaire is a null who works at an auction house, just trying to mind her own business, when she discovers that SHE is the one up for sale. In the chaos that ensues, Claire accidentally gets shifted to Faerie with a Light Fey lord by her side. One who she happens to unexplainably find very attractive...
Typical Karen Chance: fast, fun and sexy. The story is set in the Cassie Palmer universe which is wonderfully built. Claire is a bit quirky but very funny. Heidar is just hilarious with his dry Fey humor. To me, this was the best story in the anthology On the Prowl. (less)
I loved this book! I actually didn’t expect to like it so much, as normally I think anthologies are ‘just okay’. But this book read like a full novel....moreI loved this book! I actually didn’t expect to like it so much, as normally I think anthologies are ‘just okay’. But this book read like a full novel. It showed us insight in three generations of Danverses (Malcolm, Jeremy and Clay) and was just wonderfully engaging! I loved Clay’s POV and loved to learn more about his past, Jeremy and his relationship with the infamous Malcolm. A must-read for fans of the Women of the Otherworld series! 4,5 stars. (less)
Dates from Hell is an anthology with 4 short stories. Frankly, only the Kim Harrison and Kelly Armstrong story are worth buying the book. I'll give a...moreDates from Hell is an anthology with 4 short stories. Frankly, only the Kim Harrison and Kelly Armstrong story are worth buying the book. I'll give a short review of them all:
Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison4 stars
Ivy Tamwood is an investigator for Inderland Services and -however hard she tries- she can't escape her own nature or vampire politics. This is a story about Ivy and told from Ivy's POV. It's a good way to better get to know the ever mysterious Ivy Tamwood, although after finishing the story I can't say I'm all the wiser. The story can’t be called PNR. It's a sad story about murder, torture and love. The story is well written but quite 'heavy' and it's packed with information, so I can't imagine it being interesting for people who haven't read the Hollows series. Still: it was really well written and I' liked seeing the Hollows world through different eyes than Rachel's. And dare I say: Kisten was cuter with Ivy.
The Claire Switch Project by Lynsay Sands 1 star
Claire gets hit by a laser beam which turns her into a shape shifter. She uses her powers to turn her high school reunion into a double date fiasco. Oh. My. God. This was so terrible I couldn't even finish it. And I always finish everything however much I hate it! It felt like it was written by a 12-year old for 12 year olds. Horrible! I have never read anything by Lynsay Sands, but if this story is indicative, I'll never will.
Chaotic by Kelley Armstrong 5 stars
Hope is a half human half chaos demon tabloid reporter who works for the Interracial Council. At a charity ball she bumps into werewolf Karl Marsten and things become chaotic. This was a great story. It was well written, exciting, engaging and fun (Hope is really funny). And it made me fall in love with Karl Marsten. Karl Marsten: the perpetually sly, egocentric, tricky werewolf loner who's never to be trusted. The dialogue between him and Hope was wonderful and it immediately made me want to read two other Armstrong books which has them featured.
Dead Man Dating by Lori Handeland 2,5 stars
Kit, who usually never dates and is a virgin, suddenly has men lined up who want her. And they want more from her then just a date. This story started out good. Kit was funny, Chavez was mysterious, the plot was entertaining. But halfway through it seemed the writer ran out of time and had her 15-year old cousin finish the story. It got really simplistic and sappy. Truly a waste because of the nice start.
So any of you who are thinking of buying Dates From Hell: REALLY think about it. Especially since the Armstrong story is available separately. All in all it was one good story, one great story, one bad story and one awful story put together. 2,5 stars (less)
A sweet little story about Zsadist coming to terms with fatherhood. Ward did an excellent job of portraying both Zsadist's and Bella's insecurities ab...moreA sweet little story about Zsadist coming to terms with fatherhood. Ward did an excellent job of portraying both Zsadist's and Bella's insecurities about their new roles in life. Bella is like we've come to know (and love) her: both understanding and tough, while trying to guide Zsadist. The secondary characters -Doc Jane, Mary and Dr Franklin- played small but very important roles in helping Zsadist realize his past doesn't have to influence his future. An excellent addition to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. (less)
Dead After Dark is an anthology with four PNR short stories by Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, Susan Squires and Dianna Love. Here’s my review for all the...moreDead After Dark is an anthology with four PNR short stories by Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, Susan Squires and Dianna Love. Here’s my review for all the stories:
Shadow of the Moon – Sherrilyn Kenyon 1 star
Aaargggh what can I say? I'm really trying hard but miss Kenyon is doing a damn good job to make me NOT love her. The story started out great. I liked the premise, I liked the bantering between the two clans. But then it all went downhill... I want to tell miss Kenyon two things: First of all: when writing a short story for an anthology, make sure your world is explained so that non-followers of your series (yes miss Kenyon, they do exist) understand what the hell you're writing about. Second: please don’t take your readers for morons! The hero and heroine go from love to hate in about two seconds. She tried to kill him twice, stood by while he was being tortured and calls him 'a filthy animal' every other sentence, but one good meal with the scary werewolf (...or whatever the hell they may be)- clan and she wants to mate and bond with him. What?!?!
The Story of Son - J.R. Ward 3,5 stars
This story made me realize how much I appreciate Ward's male POVs . The fact that she writes the BDB stories mainly from the point of view of tougher than tough males gives the stories an edge. It doesn’t get overly romantic or sappy. I was very much missing that edge here. And please: somebody has to tell this woman not to write epilogues! She tends to sap out when she does them. And this one must be the sappiest of them all! It was just too perfect, too cheesy, too everything! I almost needed a bucket…
Beyond the Night – Susan Squires 3 stars
This was an okay story. There were a few things I wasn't all that keen on. I don't like the writer's take on vampirism (a parasite-like creature called The Companion). I also couldn't appreciate the sudden change of heart in the hero. He was fighting for his love and his revenge for fifteen years and he was over it in pretty much one day. This being said it was a nicely written cute little story.
Midnight Kiss Goodbye – Dianna Love 2,5 stars
Note to author: please don’t try to stuff all that world building involving several Celtic and Hindu Gods into so little pages, it tends to get confusing. The story started out okay but soon it got annoying. If I ever read the words ‘trembling little body’ again, I’m going to throw up. God, the male POV was such a sap! The heroine (a.k.a. the trembling little body) wasn’t much better: she was a walking talking add for TSTL. The only person I liked in this story was Lucien Solis. He was arrogant, rude, grumpy but had something really interesting buried underneath that hard exterior. (Totally made me think of Pritkin *sigh*). The story gets an extra star just for Lucien. (less)
The Warlord Wants Forever is the first in the Immortal After Dark series by Kresley Cole. The story features the eldest of the Wroth brothers, Nikolai...moreThe Warlord Wants Forever is the first in the Immortal After Dark series by Kresley Cole. The story features the eldest of the Wroth brothers, Nikolai, and the most beautiful Valkyrie of them all: Myst the Coveted.
Myst is playing bait in a vampire dungeon when Nikolai, as general of a vampire rebel group, frees her. Nikolai is immediately intrigued by Myst. She however tries to play Nikolai like she does every man. When they find out Myst is Nikolai’s Bride, she does the worst thing imaginable for a vampire: she leaves him. Five years without a Bride (and with no outlet for all that sexual tension building up) is torture for poor Nikolai. And so when he finds Myst and gets hold of a magical chain that binds her to his will, the tables are turned and the game is on.
Romance, steamy love scenes and lots of humor; this first story sets the tone for the Immortal After Dark series. (less)
A Deep Kiss of Winter combines two stories from paranormal romance writers Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter.
Untouchable - Kresley Cole: 4 stars
This st...moreA Deep Kiss of Winter combines two stories from paranormal romance writers Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter.
Untouchable - Kresley Cole: 4 stars
This story is like an Immortals After Dark-megamix! Except for the Woede, we see (or hear about) just about everyone in the series! And it was so much fun to catch up. In Untouchable we witness Murdoch “man-whore” Wroth and Danielle the Ice Maiden (and Valkyrie) fall in love. People who’ve never read a book of the IAD-series might not like the story. The romance is sweet and hot –even while the heroine is literally untouchable- but the action part of the plot is a little thin and one might get confused with Cole’s Lore creatures and their rules, ideas and relationships. For an IAD-fan however, this feels like coming home. The story evolves over a period of time and we return to several moments and conversations from the previous books in the series, this time from Murdoch’s POV. The cherry on the cake is the epilogue, in which we witness Christmas Eve with all the Wroth brothers and their females. (*sigh*) As always, Cole delivered an entertaining, sexy and fun story. She combines just the right amount of drama and humor, never taking herself too seriously. Her bff Gena Showalter could learn a thing or two from her…
Tempt me Eternally – Gena Showalter 2,5 stars
I know enjoying a PNR novel requires a little suspension of disbelief and cynicism, but when the major characters’ actions defy all logic, secondary characters up and disappear without proper explanation and the heroine tries to kill the hero and wants him to feel guilty about it… I don’t know: it gets a little too much. The story promises action but doesn’t deliver. Well, except for bedroom action. Because there is a lot of that. And it was quite graphic. But good. Even though I had many eye-rolling moments I’m still interested in Bride’s story. So I guess Showalter’s mission is accomplished. Still: Gena Showalter: mweh, Kresley Cole: you rock! (less)
Yet another great anthology by Kelley Armstrong (the other being Men of the Otherworld which I equally loved). Eventhough the stories are short, she m...more Yet another great anthology by Kelley Armstrong (the other being Men of the Otherworld which I equally loved). Eventhough the stories are short, she manages to deliver well rounded and engaging stories with heart. The stories each show us a variety of inhabitants of her world; witches, half demons, werewolves, vampires, sorcerers - some side stories, some back stories, but all gave me that homey 'reuniting with friends'-feeling.
Rebirth This was the back story of Aaron and how he became a vampire. It's one of the shorter stories in the anthology, but it gives great insight in Aaron's character. I found him to be most endearing and it was nice to see how he met Cassandra.
Bewitched This was a back story of how Eve and Kristof Nast met. I've always loved Eve (her book was actually the first that I read of the series) so I was expecting this story to be entertaining. And engaging and funny it was, but it was also surprisingly touching. I have yet to read the last three books of the series (on Savannah) but I really hope we get to see Eve and Kristof in one shape or form.
Birthright This was a very short story on how Logan got to become a Pack Member. His early demise in Bitten squashed any chance of getting to know him, but this story -and the next one where he also features- helped me see why the Pack, and mainly Elena, were so fond of him.
Beginnings This is a background story on how Elena and Clay met. It was a perfect mix of a little romance, a little drama and lots of humor. Clay as the Cranky Professor was hilarious. His way of reaching out to Elena in the beginning was so awkward and so ... Clay. I think Armstrong wrote one of the most intriguing heroes in UF with Clay. Direct - bordering on rude, antisocial with psychopathic tendencies... But so pure and so honest. Complicated yet very uncomplicated at the same time. I really loved this insight in the start of their relationship.
Expectations This was more of a slice of life and it shows us how Lucas met with (and got his ass handed to him by) Eve. Lucas might not be the most flashy character in UF-land, with his nerdy looks and lawyer speech, but I can't help but love his understated ways. There are things he says that would sound acerbic or self deprecating, but with Lucas it's no nonsense and that just makes him all the more endearing - especially in his younger years, where this story is set. Here is a bit that sums him up nicely:
"The safety gear necessary for proper use of a motor - a full helmet with a tinted visor, bulky leather jacket, gloves and boots- renders one's features and physique invisible, and even the most unlikely male suddenly becomes attractive: a mysterious figure astride a vehicle that symbolizes rebellion and freedom from cultural mores. To destroy that image, I merely needed to remove the helmet and endure the looks of surprise, disappointment, and even, occasionally, anger - as if I'd committed the unforgivable sin of false advertising.
Ghosts Another slice of life, this time from Jeremy's POV during the events in Bitten. I suspect people who don't know Jeremy will find this story strange and boring, but for the rest of us it gives a peek of all the turmoil that's hidden behind that quiet demeanor. Jeremy stories somehow always leave me with a sad feeling.
Wedding Bell Hell A cute story from Paige's POV set right after Industrial Magic featuring most of the cast of the series, including a very controlling Benicio, who manages to make Lucas and Paige's wedding preparations even more stressful.
El Chupacabra Set two years after Industrial Magic and with a mysterious -possibly mythical- murder investigation as a backdrop, it tells us the stories of Sean and Lucas; two Cabal sons, both struggling in their own way to fit the mold they are raised (and expected) to fit. Like Beginnings it was one of the longest stories of the anthology, and like Beginnings I would have been willing to buy a book with just either of those stories. I liked the plot but this story was more character driven and it showed us great insight in Sean and made me love Lucas and Paige even more together.
All in all, if you are a fan of the Women of the Otherworld series, this is a must read. If you are new to the series, I'd recommend to start with Bitten because eventhough this book is a good opportunity to sample Armstrong's writing style, it's way more rewarding if you know the characters and events described.
Tales of the Otherworld was a very entertaining read with solid writing. 4,5 stars. (less)
Anna is an Omega wolf in trouble as she discovers the immoral and illegal actions her pack is conducting. Charles is the Marrok's son and enforcer who...moreAnna is an Omega wolf in trouble as she discovers the immoral and illegal actions her pack is conducting. Charles is the Marrok's son and enforcer who is sent to protect her.
This was a sweet little story! Both Anna and Charles are interesting characters and it's great to be in their heads. I also loved to see the interactions of Anne and Charles' human sides as supposed to their wolf sides. My two favorite scenes were: the airport scene in which Charles hates everybody and everything and the scene in Anna's appartment where she's all uncomfortable with Charles there. The awkwardness and the angst...loved it!
I did feel the ending was kind of rushed. The interaction between the characters I liked a lot however. I will definitely be checking out Cry Wolf, the Alpha and Omega book.(less)
This little bit was more a 'slice of life' than an actual story with a plot, but it definitely gives the series' followers something to think about: C...moreThis little bit was more a 'slice of life' than an actual story with a plot, but it definitely gives the series' followers something to think about: Crash. What does he want from Vic? What does he want for himself? How is it being an empath? Or maybe: how bad is being an empath? Also: is he going to be 'the other man' in the relationship between Vic and Jacob? Are we going to have a love triangle? It seems like Vic doesn't know how he feels yet. But Crash certainly is intriguing, so who knows....? 3,5 stars(less)
Short, sweet and steamy and featuring Crash... I thought he was interesting after Criss Cross but this story has really sparked my interest. I'm intrig...moreShort, sweet and steamy and featuring Crash... I thought he was interesting after Criss Cross but this story has really sparked my interest. I'm intrigued! I want some more! (less)
The Art of Dying is an anthology of two stories by my two favorite m/m authors: Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price. And though both of them -like a...moreThe Art of Dying is an anthology of two stories by my two favorite m/m authors: Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price. And though both of them -like always- delivered a good and engaging story, their stories weren't my favorite of them. Here's why:
Another revisiting of Valenti and O'Brian, who've we met in The Assignment (the first revisiting being in I'll Be Hot for Christmas). We're about six...moreAnother revisiting of Valenti and O'Brian, who've we met in The Assignment (the first revisiting being in I'll Be Hot for Christmas). We're about six months later in time and O'Brian has payback due from the time he tied up Valenti. As the tables are turned and it’s O’Brian’s turn to be tied up, Anderson adds a little BDSM to the mix to spice things up.
This story was okay, just okay. The reason I gave it only 2 stars is because I didn't think it added anything to the rest of the series. It was just another round of (pretty hot) sex. There wasn’t much else to it. It gets boring. Besides that, the overuse of the word 'partner' really annoyed me. I mean: these guys are friends, soul mates, work partners, yada yada yada, but they still keep calling each other by their last name and refer to each other (in their inner dialogue) as 'partner'? Come on! How juvenile. (And unrealistic. ) And we get it: you only have the hots for each other but you’re not gay. Stop hitting us over the head with it!
*clears throat* That all being said, I did order the next story in this series. Just because I’m curious to see where Valenti and O’Brian end up. But if it turns out to be a whole lot of the same, I think I’ll be off of reading Evangeline Anderson for a while. (less)
**spoiler alert** Prince Kael of Korai is shocked when he finds out his father has 'given' him to the enemy; he is to serve as the concubine of the ha...more**spoiler alert** Prince Kael of Korai is shocked when he finds out his father has 'given' him to the enemy; he is to serve as the concubine of the half demon Warlord Taren. But with his country's fate at stake, Kael resolves to give in to the torture he think he awaits. Only Warlord Taren turns out to be much more different than Kael had expected...
Concubine was an okay story with quite engaging characters. But unfortunately I've found that these kind of stories are not my style. I don't have a problem with BDSM or the slave theme in general (some parts were really hot), but I did have a problem with the fact that, despite all the love and respect between them, the men never were on equal ground. Kael remained a concubine (inside and outside of bed). Also: the story got a little silly towards the ending. With one of the last scenes to top it of: Taren talking war strategies with his second in command, while fucking Kael with a glass dildo. Talk about multi tasking... (less)