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Monday, September 12, 2011

"On the Prowl" Anthology

Authors: Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, Sunny
Title: On the Prowl
Publisher: Berkley, 2007


     This blog entry goes retro as I take a look back at an anthology published in 2007 by four talented paranormal authors. I took this book along on a long air trip for a re-read, and I'm glad that I did. Three of the four novellas can easily be read as stand-alones, even though they are all connected with established series. The only story that might give you trouble if you haven't read any of the books in the series is Mona Lisa Betwining. On the Prowl won the 2007 PEARL Award for best paranormal anthology. Here are summaries of the four novellas:

"Alpha and Omega," by Patricia Briggs (SMR: V4; S2; H2)
     This is actually the prequel to Briggs's ALPHA AND OMEGA  (A&O) series, which is itself a branch of her MERCY THOMPSON series. In this world, the werewolves are led by the Marrok, who makes his home in rural Montana, the setting for A&O. A separate-but-connected werewolf clan lives in Seattle, where MERCY THOMPSON is set. This novella introduces us to Charles and Anna, the protagonists of A&O. As the story opens, Anna, a young werewolf turned against her will, calls on the Marrok for help when she fears for the life of a young human man she has seen in a cage in her sociopathic alpha's headquarters. The Marrok sends his son Charles, his chief enforcer, to investigate Anna's story. They fall for each other as Charles solves the problem with the pack leader. As the story ends, Charles and Anna get their HEA and go off into their own series. Click HERE to read my review of Briggs's MERCY THOMPSON series.

"Inhuman," by Eileen Wilks (SMR: V3; S4; H2)
     This story is part of the WORLD OF THE LUPI series, falling between books 3 and 4:  Blood Lines and Night Season. Kai is a young human woman with some telepathic and empathic talents, largely undeveloped because she doesn't really understand her powers. Nathan is not human, and Kai is not sure exactly what he is—and doesn't really care. She's half in love with him and is just waiting for him to make a romantic move. In this world, a power wind recently shifted the balance of magic, resulting in a rise in the level of magic in the world. Since the Turning, the population of Gifted has doubled, because now people who before had only a potential for magic now had their magical gifts strengthened. The Turning also increased the number of magic haters, who want to control or destroy all of the Gifted. As the story begins, a nonhuman serial killer is loose in Midland and Nathan is on its trail. Kai's empathic talents inadvertently lure the killer to her, with astonishing results for both Kai and Nathan. Click HERE to read my review of Wilks's WORLD OF THE LUPI series.

"Buying Trouble," by Karen Chance (SMR: V4; S4; H2)
     This novella is set in the same world as Chance's CASSANDRA PALMER and DORINA BASARAB series and is a companion novella to Midnight's Daughter, book 1 in the DORINA BASARAB series. This is a world teeming with supernaturals. The heroine, Claire, is a magical null who has the ability to block magic, making her a threat to magical creatures. When Claire was a child, her family tried to sell her to the dark Fey, but she escaped and has been hiding from family members ever since. Now her cousin finds her just as her boss double crosses her and puts her up for sale at a supernatural auction. A tall, dark, and handsome Fey named Heidar rescues Claire, but in the confusion, they are pushed through a portal into enemy Fey territory. As Claire and Heidar hide from their pursuers, they fall in lust/love. Eventually, the two are rescued by someone important from Claire's past and she discovers the true extent of her magical talents.

"Mona Lisa Betwining," by Sunny (Erotic Romance: V3; S5; H1)
     This novella is part of the CHILDREN OF THE MOON series, falling between Mona Lisa Blossoming and Mona Lisa Craving. The story also introduces Lucinda, star of Sunny's DEMON PRINCESS CHRONICLES. Mona Lisa is a Mixed Blood Monère queen, who rules a constituency of 400 Pure Bloods in Louisiana. The Monère are a supernatural race with magical connections to the moon. As the story opens, Mona Lisa is still grieving over the death of Gryphon, her lover, but has already moved on to find two replacements. Sex is all important to Monère queens, and the urge to procreate is extremely strong. Mona Lisa has been called before the Monère Council to answer questions about her involvement in the death of the previous Louisiana queen, Mona Louisa. During her hearing, Mona Lisa is attacked by Lucinda, the sister of Mona Lisa's demon lover, Halcyon. Complications arise which can be settled only by Mona Lisa's having sex with yet one more lover, Dontaine, her chief protector. This is definitely an erotic series, with many, many graphic sex scenes.

ALPHA AND OMEGA Series in reading order:
“Alpha and Omega” in the On the Prowl anthology 
“Seeing Eye” in Strange Brew anthology 

WORLD OF THE LUPI Series in reading order:
"Only Human" in Lover Beware anthology
"Originally Human" in Cravings anthology
"Inhuman" from On the Prowl anthology
"Cyncerely Yours" bonus free short story
"Human Nature" in Inked anthology
Death Magic (due 11/2011)   
"Human Error" in Tied with a Bow anthology (due 11/2011) 

DORINA BASARAB Series in reading order:
"Buying Trouble" in On the Prowl anthology
Death's Mistress

CHILDREN OF THE MOON Series in reading order:
"Mona Lisa Three" in Over the Moon anthology
Mona Lisa Blossoming
"Mona Lisa Betwining" in On the Prowl anthology
Mona Lisa Craving

DEMON PRINCESS CHRONICLES in reading order:
"Mona Lisa Betwining" in On the Prowl anthology
Lucinda, Darkly

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