Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Heart of Darkness by Susan Krinard, Maggie Shayne, and Gena Showalter

Heart of Darkness
Gena Showalter, Susan Krinard, Maggie Shayne
Publisher: Harlequin Spice
ISBN: 9780373774319
Length: 328 Pages
Published 12/29/09
Price $7.99

Most the time when I read a collection of stories it's because one of the authors has a big enough name to draw me in. Sometimes you get lucky to find a gem, but most of the time the new authors don't have a refined voice yet and their story isn't quite as captivating as the others.

But even with that said, short is better at times such as now. When the kids are home from school and the babies are under foot. There is a lot less time to kick back with a good book, and having a good story in so few pages can still emotionally satisfying. So sit back, take your shoes off and read. The Christmas decorations will still be there next week. They can wait to be put away.

Here's some tidbits about each of the stories. I'll try not to share too many spoilers.

The Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter
Lysander is an archangel on a search and destroy mission. He is baffled when for the first time in his life he feels desire, and the overwhelming magnetic attraction is coming from his target, a harpy named Bianka that descended from Lucifer. I loved this fun twist on the never ending battle between good and evil. Gena Showalter wrote a pageturner. I could not put this book down until I finished this story and it left me with a lasting memory long after I shut the book.

Love Me To Death by Margaret Benson
David grew up with a guilty conscience. A runaway girl named Sierra, that he happened to have a crush on was staying at an abandoned house that he set on fire with a maltov cocktail. Twenty two years later he worked as a firefighter, trying to forget his pain through heroic actions. The romance in this story has a long build up, much like watching a horror movie, I kept waiting for something to break the tension, expecting that something to be supernatural. A bloodsucking vampire didn't jump out through the pages and it wasn't the ghost I had been expecting, more like love reincarnated. Huh, while interesting I found the flashbacks to be distracting and take me out of the 'now' of the story, but overall it was a good romance.

Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard
Leo Erskine and The Dowager Duchess believes she is an Egyptian Princess reincarnated and normally aloof Leo Erskine thinks she is delusional even if she is beautiful. This romance is written more in the classic tradition of Regency romances, with all the rules of high society a very enjoyable read and my second favorite in the volume.

This anthology was like eating at a buffet, giving you a small taste of each author's style. You may not like all the stories, but you're sure to find at least one new author to enjoy. I know I did.

Happy reading,
Your friendly neighborhood dirtygirl!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wild Wyoming Nights by Sandy Sullivan

Wild Wyoming Nights
Sandy Sullivan
by Siren Publishing
Length 202 Pages
Price $5.50

I've been on a western reading kick lately, so I've been culling through my endless to be read pile and picked out a relatively new Siren author to try. It always surprises me when the main romance characters start out in a relationship, but it's not for long.

Abigail is married to a firefighter, and today's date is September 11th. Get the picture? *Sigh. Not surprisingly, newly widowed Abbigail wants to start over and leave some of the heartache in the past along with her memories of her late husband Josh. His ghost visits her and tells her to love again. She needs to heal, she needs to be happy and that's not much to ask, but she still clings to his ghost.

Abby totals her jeep in a wild snowstorm and is injured. Chase is the volunteer firefighter who is the first to respond. When she first sees him, she mistakes hi for her dead huisband. She isn't the only one with mental baggage. He lost his wife to an accident much like the one Abigail was in.

For me the devil is in the details. Even in a contemporary romance, I want all the characters fully fleshed out and researched and Sandy did her job without info dumping. I felt like I was there because of her vivid attention to detail especially with the technical and medical terminology.

At times WILD WYOMING NIGHTS was heart wrenching, and at other times it was sweet and sexy going down like a smooth hot chocolate--perfect for warming up a cold winter's night. The end delivered where it promised a deeply satisfying happily ever after. Overall, Ms. Sullivan penned a very enjoyable read.

5 Stars

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**Disclaimer: I did recieve a copy of the book for review purposes. Being free does not sway my opinion, and I offer this review honestly to my readers.