DEAD AFTER DARK contains 4 paranormal romance stories, with two from a couple of heavy-weight authors in the ge...more ~A MIXED BAG WITH A HIT FOR WARD FANS~
DEAD AFTER DARK contains 4 paranormal romance stories, with two from a couple of heavy-weight authors in the genre. This anthology was really hard for me to rate because the stories varied from 5 big stars, to okay, to couldn’t even finish. I would definitely recommend this to fans of J.R. Ward though, her contribution was excellent and by far the most complete as a stand alone short story. (I also have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Michael) I’m sure Kenyon’s fans will appreciate her story too, however for myself without any knowledge of her long running series and world rules I was completely lost. Also enjoyable was the historical romance by Susan Squires, who transported me to another time and gave a different twist to the vampire genre.
Never having read anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon before (I know, I know she’s on the TBR shelf) I was a little surprised by her contribution SHADOW OF THE MOON. I guess I expected to be instantly blown away because Kenyon’s so popular, instead I struggled through a couple of very confusing chapters from a story that I still have no idea what it was all about. Kenyon obviously knows how to write the addictive alpha male but even a sexy shape shifter named Fury wasn’t enough to hold my interest here and I gave up. Sadly this was a bad introduction to Kenyon’s writing and you might have thought for an anthology she would have submitted a story more user friendly (or explained her world a bit more) in the hopes of gaining not excluding new readers. DNF 1 star
I have to admit that I bought this book exclusively for Ward’s STORY OF SON and even though its only 90 pages long it was worth the price of admission alone. This is a fantastic story that I became completely engrossed in within a couple of pages. Encompassing suspense, drama, heartache, romance and OH MY the love scenes are sexy as hell. No wonder theres such a huge following for Michael and Claire. It’s also complete in terms of a world anyone can understand and has a conclusive ending, albeit slightly sweet. Obviously I saw the beginning of the BDB here as it takes place in Ward's same Vampire world. In particular a little story arc that’s very similar to V’s story in Lover UnboundBut I won’t tell you why because that’s a major heartbreaking spoiler that I didn‘t see coming either time. Loved it 5 stars
Susan Squires was a new author for me and I really enjoyed her historical in SEIZE THE NIGHT. 1800’s England is captured perfectly here with the story of a man returning home after 15 long years, having made his fortune he hopes to win back his lost love. Scoffing at the rumours that his newly purchased estate may be haunted by a blood drinking ghost until a passionate encounter leaves some very real marks on his neck and a yearning in his soul. I will definitely be searching out more from this author. 4 stars
The last story, Diana Love’s MIDNIGHT KISS GOODBYE was unfortunately another one I couldn’t get into and ultimately just skimmed. A contemporary supernatural romance with a reunited lovers theme and a Hindu god named Ekkbar who keeps possessing the heroes love interest. For whatever reason this just didn’t do it for me. 2 stars(less)
Opening line: “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and pred...moreOpening line: “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.”
Well this was a surprise; the classics and especially mysteries are not my usual fare but due to my recent obsession with the BBC series Sherlock (How yummy is Benedict Cumberbatch) and then watching Downey and Jude Law in the movie Game Of Shadows I realized that I had never actually read any of Conan Doyle’s stories. After some research trying to figure out where to begin, I eventually bought The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes and settled on this story. And wow, I didn’t expect to enjoy this half as much as I did (or at all for that matter) but I guess this is why Sherlock Holmes is still relatable today.
I’d initially expected to have to put in considerable effort just to get through this, I mean it was written in 1892 so it was bound to be very, well literary. You know all formal and tedious. In fact I’d anticipated needing a dictionary just to be able to understand what the characters were talking about, but to my surprise A Scandal In Bohemia turned out to be an absolute delight to read. The actual story is quite basic yet also filled with complexities and hidden meanings and I would also have to call this a romance -of sorts. It’s also funny, relevant, cunning, witty, romantic and ultimately sad. What a great introduction to the world of Sherlock Holmes.
Told from Dr. Watsons POV (now that I didn’t know -I’d just assumed these were Sherlock’s stories.) We begin with Watson “dropping by” Baker Street to visit Holmes. He hasn’t been by his old residence or seen Holmes of late due to his recent marriage and the two have drifted apart. I guess you could say he feels nervous about visiting because he never really knows what state Holmes will be in; elated, depressed, manic, high on opium or cocaine or in some clever disguise? It’s always a bit of a crap shoot. In any case he appears happy today and also excited due to the prospect of a new and exciting case. Sherlock then asks if Watson will assist him;
“I shall be delighted” “You don’t mind breaking the law?” “Not in the least.” “Nor running a chance of arrest?” “Not in good cause.” “Oh the cause is excellent.” “Then I am your man.” “I was sure that I could rely on you.”
The client turns out to be the King of Bohemia; he requires Holmes’ assistance in obtaining an incriminating photograph of himself and one Irene Adler before he marries. It seems this past affair would ruin him because of her “station.” So far the King has tried unsuccessfully to buy it (she won’t sell) to bribe her servants and finally even to steal it but Ms. Adler is always one step ahead. Holmes dons several disguises throughout his case, first as a groomsman to gain access to Adler’s property and spy on her and then later as an (injured) clergyman. Irene Adler is a fantastic character, gaining the upper hand and in the end even outsmarting Holmes. I suppose it’s her cleverness that causes Holmes to fall for her and why in the end she becomes known only as the woman. Cheers 305jb5(less)