A pretty decent anthology from the authors over at the Murder She Writes Blog
, though not a favorite. Where most book this length take me a day or two to read, this one took me the better part of a week...Some stories were really pretty good, and kept me going, while others helped me get some dreaded chores done, just to avoid reading!
Here's the breakdown, in order:
Pick your poison Roxanne st Clair
Never been much of a RSC fan, something about not being able to connect with her writing...so while I'm not exactly a bullet catchers aficionado, this was an overall not-nearly-as-quick-as-I-expected story, while somewhat unbelievable, still managed to surprisingly capture my attention ESP by the end! 3.5 stars
oh yeah, the plot...A bullet catcher, our H, has lost a client for the team, and his job is on the line...the basic story is that he's gotta prove one, that H's instincts are correct and 2 get the Client back, if he wants to remain part of the BC team.The h, not a BC, is someone he meets along the way...
Nightfall by Laura griffin
Now this story was just as short as I was expecting . And IMO LG writes much better then this. I'm trying to give it some leeway because of the constraints of a novella, but it just didn't work for me...maybe If I liked the characters better... Or rather knew them better, it may have been different...as it is I'm just glad it's over...I was going to try and do at least a small plot summary or at least give an idea of what this story was about, but I forgot. ...something about a snow storm and I think the h gets mixed up with ...I wanna say gun runners...meh, 2 stars
Above Reproach by Allison Brennan
Okay, now I've never actually finished an AB title...or maybe I did, and I just don't remember it...either way, I've never had a reason to pick up another one of her titles...from what little I do remember they are chock full of gritty suspsense. Which I'm usually good with, just so long as their a good romance to go with it...which is where, IMO AB had failed before. .
this was the 3rd story, ( the first, i think written in first person) and the first to really engross me...There's a serial killer on the loose, and our h, Selena black, a detective is out to get him...but he's a smug, connected bastard, and she has to deal with his manipulations of the system and her own friends/ partners distrust all at the same time...there was a surprise ending, and I'm not toally sure how I felt about it. Talk about getting thrown for a loop! So yeah, now, I might give her another chance...3 stars
Dead Flowers by Lori Armstrong
A NTM author whose first person story is part of the julie cooper, PI series...hat stars a cigarette smoking heroine... so maybe it's unfair but I'm not a fan of smokers in my fiction esp when it's either of the mc's... A least that's what I was thinking until I actually read the rest of the story .. And now im pretty sure I have to read this series. This is like book 3.5 so the h is already with who I'm assuming is her H and its valentines day, and things aren't going the way she wants/expects...I won't say the storyline was all that original, it's def. one you've come across before... But LA managed not only to make me give a damn, but she made me do so despite my dislike of smoking MC's, and my love/ hate relationship with stories written in first person...so yay. 4 stars.
Blood and Roses by Sylvia day
SD's another author I've never really got despite my many attempts at her books...another author whose writing i just can't seem to connect with...and this didn't really change my mind...if you're a fan of hers though, you might enjoy this one a lot more then I did... Let's see, the H and h are soul mates, but the h left along time ago, because for h, there were irreconcilable differences...what story the there is, ( this one seems shorter then the others) is mainly about her coming back home, but there's also a heist subplot...in which the H and h seem to go from being adversaries to partners instantly... It felt, ESP near the end, that like the story was more just a bunch of connected scenes then begining, middle , end story. It had one love scene, more erotic then the other stories, which for me, felt out out of place. 2 stars.
Rebel rose by Karen Tabke
Now I have a very vague idea that I've read a KT title before, but I don't remember it... So I'm just gonna call her a NtM author for expediency's sake.
This story probably. Had the worst first line...it wasn't bad, bad...it was more, like, seriously? That's were your starting. Line?
So the plot...Cop in podunk town, wants to move on to a bigger city, but has one last case to solve...murder of a girl at a frat party...h is girls "big sister"...h comes into the story hungover and falling out of a closet...ready to help solve this crime! And because of course small town cops are all idiots, she can help the big H to solve the crime despite her lack of any training whatsoever...yeah, I really wasn't too fond of this story... Despite its length, knowing it would be over soon, I still found reasons to not read this...washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the cats litter...yeah all that came ahead of wanting to read this one.. The suspense bit was okay, if not believable but the h...I think she was supposed to be a charming southern belle, but not ony does she give a bad name to southern gals everywhere, but I wanted to smack the ever living shit out of her....
But, I didn't completely hate it so let's say 2 stars.
A Punishing Night by Sophie Littlefield
NtM author number... i lost count!
The story: Muslim american cop, as the H, the h took a little longer to decipher...but I liked her...and, her kid too...though if this had been a full on novel I might've gotten sick of her (sorry if that offends, but I generally don't like little kids in my fiction)... A death on a college campus, the H is working to solve, though unlike most RS stories, he's not the major cop, he really is just part of the team... they're all doing their parts equally....which I liked--it's not about being the hotshot, but solving the case!
So the suspsense part of the story was almost like a side story-- The h didn't even play a part on any of it...But then the romance didn't even really exist either...it was very low key...
However, I still think this was one of the better story's in this anth...3 stars..if there'd been more on the romance front this would've been at least 3.5 maybe even 4 stars...def got me interested in checking out ms littlefield's full length work!
The Housewife Assassins Bloody Valentine by Josie brown
Hmmm don't think I'll be reading this series by another NtM author, though don't know if I an explain why...Wait, let me rephrase that...it's not that I won't ever read this series, it's that this novella didn't make me want to.
We're dumped into the story with the H and h are already together, ( where this worked in the Lori A. story, here it doesn't ) and work as I'm guessing spies for a group called acme...they have to get a bad guy outta Mexico, so he can give them the goods to go after the worlds worst bad guys...so yeah...choppy (more like scenes, thena conneted story) and comic bookie...and just not my cuppa. This is another story I kept finding excuses to avoid...2 stars.
King of hearts by Lorelei James
It's been ages since I've read any LJ and this one...well it wasn't really a story but a vignette...from one of her other titles...it wasn't bad, but never having read said tile, i probably missed out on a lot... It sorta felt out of place...the rest there's a suspense/ mystery that needs solving...there wasn't one in this story...and the H and h are already together...soo guess my issue is that this story didn't really seem to have a point. I could see this as an extra posted on LJ's site, rather then a legitimate part of the anthology...it was over, literally in minutes! Again, if I'd read the book it follows, I may have liked this one a lot more...but that's half the problem, I shouldn't have to read it in order to enjoy this one, and besides that, it should've make me want to read them! Can you say disappointed? 2 stars.
Bobie Faye's Whacked Out, No Good, Really Sucky, Hot Mess of a Wedding by Toni McGee Causey
3.5 stars..While I haven't read the series, I was still able to get into the story...and it's a quick,fast paced one, that made me laugh :D
Let's see, I don't want to ruin it, so I'll just say its Bobbie Faye's wedding, with most/all the characters I'm assuming from previous books making an appearance, and everything's not what it seems....now as entertaining as this novella was, I don't think it did what it meant to...I'm pretty sure I won't be reading this series...Not because t wasn't good (it very much was) but in a full length book, I think this just may be a little too crazy for me!
At the very end of the anthology, there's lists of different titles by the many manya author's, so while I'll be checking a few out, there's also quite a few I'll be skipping altogether...So altogether, I'd give this a solid 3 stars.