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Friday, January 6, 2012

"Tied with a Bow" Anthology

Title: Tied with a Bow
Authors: Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks, & Kimberly Frost
Plot Type: SMR
Publisher: Berkley, 2011

     I'm a bit late in getting this collection of holiday-themed novellas up on the blog. It's a nice collection, written by some heavy hitters in the paranormal romance field, but it's not quite as erotic as the back-cover blurb would lead you to believe (with the exception of Lora Leigh's story). The stories range in length from 98 to 113 pages, with the final two being the longest.

Virginia Kantra: "Upon a Midnight Clear" (V3; S4; H2)
First sentence: "The angel came down in the long gallery of the Conciergerie prison, the notorious antechamber to the guillotine."
     In this historical romance, Lucien is an angel who Falls after he saves a young girl (Aimee) from certain death. Unfortunately, Aimee doesn't want to be rescued; she wants to stay with her dying mother. When Lucien defies her wishes and whisks her away, his transgression against angelic rules results in his banishment from Heaven. Lucien is changed into a seventeen-year-old human who is then raised by an English nobleman who has made it his life work to rescue Fallen angels. Aimee is raised by her aunt on an English country estate, where she is treated like a servant. Years later, Lucien visits that estate as a suitor for Aimee's cousin. When he meets Aimee, they both begin to remember their previous relationship and, naturally, love conquers all. 

Kimberly Frost: "First Light" (V4; S2; H3)
First Two Sentences: "Snow fell through rising steam. Laughter and music from the New Year's Eve celebration drifted from the house to the deck where Kate Devane, submerged to the shoulders in her hot tub, drank a Brandy Alexander and watched a shooting star skid across the Colorado Sky."
    Frost gives us yet another angelic hero in this romantic story from her new ETHERLIN series (debuting this month with All That Bleeds). Here is a short blurb about the mythology from Frost's web site: "In a glittering community in the Colorado Rockies called the Etherlin, the descendants of the ancient muses live behind a wall that separates them from the dangerous creatures that crave them." Chief among the villains in this world are the vampires (called ventala) and demons. In this story, Nathaniel, an archangel comes to the rescue of Kate, an aspirant with connections to the Etherlin. Together they take on a demon who wants to destroy them both. Click HERE to read the Prologue to All That Bleeds). As an introduction to the series, the story raises many questions and introduces a number of characters who will no doubt show up as series regulars.

Eileen Wilks:  "Human Error" (V4; S2; H3)
First Sentence: "There were worse ways to spend the holidays. Even leaving out nuclear winter, Benedict could think of several. Like in a hospital. On a battlefield."
     As the story begins, Benedict Turner and his bond-mate, Arjenie, are on their way to visit Arjenie's family for the holidays. The quotation above tells you how Benedict feels about the tripdefinitely not looking forward to meeting a bunch of wiccans who think that he is a big bad wolf who has stolen away their little girl. This story is from the WORLD OF THE LUPI series, and Benedict is the brother of Rule Turner, hero of that series. Benedict is a werewolf, and Arjenie is a powerful wiccan, as is most of her family. After they arrive, though, family problems are the least of their worries as they soon learn that an ancient spirit has been awakened and is now causing some serious trouble. By the end of the story, Benedict and Arjenie have taken on the spirit, and Benedict has become a real member of the family. This is an action-filled story that demonstrates the deepening relationship between Benedict and Arjenie.The full story of the early days of the couple's romance is told in the eighth book of the series, Blood Challenge. Click HERE to read my review of the WORLD OF THE LUPI series. 

Lora Leigh: "An Inconvenient Mate" (V3; S5; H2)
First Sentence: "She couldn't keep her eyes off him."
     Ah, yes, lust is definitely in the air, because this is another fiery Breed romance, with the mating heat blazing just as hot as it always does. This time, the lucky lovers are Malachi Morgan, a Coyote Breed, and Isabelle Martinez, daughter of the head of the Navajo Council. The two fall instantly in lust as the Breeds visit to the Navajo Nation in search the elusive Gideon, who is intent on getting his vengeance against the Genetics Council in an up-close and personal manner. The major villain of the story is Isabelle's wannabe suitor, a human who just won't take no for an answer. If you aren't familiar with Leigh's BREEDS series, this is not the place to begin. BREEDS is one of the all-time greatest paranormal romance series on the market today, with a complex mythology and some serious sexual shenanigans, so do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. Click HERE to read my review of the BREEDS series, along with a list of the titles in reading order.

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