Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark…
Nalini Singh – Secrets at Midnight
Bastien is Mercy’s younger brother and someone fans have been clamoring for a story for. He is dominant, very sexy and needs his mate! He keeps catching an elusive scent that he knows is her but isn’t sure why it disappears after the initial finding. In a lucky moment he finds her but he also knows something isn’t quite right. She is a bit skittish but Bastien will do what he can to woo her slowly.
Kirby is new to the area and is immediately drawn to Bastien. She doesn’t know why she can’t stop thinking about him or wanting to touch him. Bastien inserts himself in her life and when a strange illness takes her down he is the one to help her and explain what is happening. With so many changes in her life she clings to the one person who seems to be her constant, Bastien. He has no problem with her clinging and shows her exactly what it means to be a mate.
Bastien’s story is sweet and angst free. It was lovely to see him get his HEA and to also see glimpses of Mercy, Lucas and one of the other Smith siblings, Sage. Maybe he will be next. 😉 Final grade- B
“This is Bastien. Don’t let him charm you – next thing you know, you’ll be naked.”
Ilona Andrews – Magic Steals
Jim and Dali’s novella. Jim Shrapshire is the head of security for the Pack and the Alpha of Clan cat. Dali Harimau is a Bengal tiger, vegetarian and magic worker. On paper they are an unlikely pair, but they are really fantastic together. The story is told from the point of view of Dali and it falls in the timeline of Magic Rises.
Dali has been asked to find a family friend and Jim insists on tagging along. They were on a date and interrupted for the case and he wants to spend time with her. Jim is able to connect with Dali and see magic through her eyes and witness what a special talent she really is. Dali’s insecurities have kept her from pushing for more with Jim and she has always felt she wasn’t his equal. Jim spells out what he wants from her and the book ends in a fantastic way. I would love to have a full series of this couple because this glimpse into their lives was awesome. This was a really great novella and the best of the four, for me. Final grade- A
Jim wasn’t just a badass. He was a badass who wrote a book for badasses on how to be a badder baddass.
Lisa Shearin – Lucky Charms
Earlier this year I read and really enjoyed The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin. This is a prequel novella with new seer Makenna’s, first day on the job and meeting her new partner. The chemistry is instantly there but they are embroiled in a strange conflict involving a leprechauns bachelor party. The truth comes out that all the previous seers have died in strange ways and Makenna’s partner is there to keep her safe and protected. There is also something big coming in the works and something will continue to try to get rid of Makenna to keep her from stopping what will happen. I enjoyed this one and its supernatural flair. I’m looking forward to book two in this series. Final grade- B
Okay, he was kind of hot. Doesn’t mean I’m enthralled; I just need one really good date is all.
“New girl in town,” Elena mused. “New Southern girl. Play up that Scarlett O’Hara of yours, and I can fix you up.” She thought a moment. “You don’t mind Yankees, do you?
“As long as they don’t drink blood or eat brains.”
Milla Vane – The Beast of Blackmoor
A little dark with a heroine set out on a quest to tame a beast. She learns the beast is not a monster but a man out of favor with the local man in charge. The hero has been waiting for the heroine for so many years and has been dreaming about her life and the day she will come. He is surprised when she is also the woman who is supposed to be the death of him. He will not be tamed or brought to heel and she cannot give up her quest. Who will win?
After I read this part of the anthology, I learned that Milla Vane was Meljean Brook. This surprised me because there hasn’t been a Brook novel that I haven’t loved but The Beast of Blackmoor caused mixed emotions in me. The buildup to sexual consummation is steamy and so well done. This couple had sexy down to an art. But the book had some parts that were so graphic and crude. Normally this wouldn’t bother me but there is some rape, though not described in detail, that made me cringe. Overall, the sheer sexiness of the novel made it a good read. Final grade- B-
“Is it truly worth your life to have me?”
“Merely the chance to have you is worth far more than my life.” His massive shadow came nearer, then sank before her. Hoarsely he said, “But my life is worth nothing at all if you will not have me.”