Only the most recent posts pop up on the HOME page. For searchable lists of titles/series reviewed on this Blog, click on one of the Page Tabs above. On each Page, click on the series name to go directly to my review.

AUTHOR SEARCH lists all authors reviewed on this Blog. CREATURE SEARCH groups all of the titles/series by their creature types. The RATINGS page explains the violence, sensuality, and humor (V-S-H) ratings codes found at the beginning of each Blog review and groups all titles/series by their Ratings. The PLOT TYPES page explains the SMR-UF-CH-HIS codes found at the beginning of each Blog review and groups all titles/series by their plot types. On this Blog, when you see a title, an author's name, or a word or phrase in pink type, this is a link. Just click on the pink to go to more information about that topic.

Monday, August 24, 2015

NEW ANTHOLOGY: "Edge of Darkness"

Author:  Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne, Lori Herter  
Title:  Edge of Darkness 
Plot Type:  Soul Mate Romance (SMR)
Ratings:  Violence4; Sensuality4; Humor—1   
Publishe:  Jove (8/2015) 

     This anthology contains one long novella, one short novella, and one short story. All three are paranormal romances featuring vampires. Each novella is part of an ongoing series. The first twoby Feehan and Shayneare the best. 

                   Christine Feehan:  "Dark Crime"                     
Blaze knows who killed her father and she has merciless plans for payback. Until a phone call from a seductive stranger pleads with her to wait. Retribution is in his blood, too. Now, he and Blaze will be united in the blood of the guilty. Tonight, vengeance is theirs. 

     I always enjoy reading one of Feehan's old-school CARPATHIAN/DARK SERIES romances in which an ancient Carpathian male finds his lifemate in the form of a feisty 21st-century woman. In this novella, the Carpathian is Maksim, and the heroine is Blaze McGuire, a red-headed, knife-wielding bartender who is also skilled in martial arts. Just to give their insta-love story a bit of a twist, he doesn't fall in love with her at first sight, but at first soundwhen he hears her voice on the telephone. 

     Just days after a rogue vampire sends some thugs to torture and kill her beloved father, Blaze sets up an ambush to kill the murderers, even though she knows that she probably won't survive the fight. In the nick of time, she gets that fateful phone call from Maksim, who brings in some of his Carpathian friends to help out. Naturally, much of the story centers on the graphic love scenes between Maksim and Blazethe first of which takes place within an hour of their first meeting. 

     The villains are the the two remaining Malinov brothers, Vadim and Sergey, whose three brothers have been killed off in previous DARK SERIES books by Rafael De La Cruz, Zacarias De La Cruz, and Mikhail. Although the Maksim-Blaze love story ends with their HEA, the Malinov plot line is not resolved. This novella obviously introduces a story arc that will be continued in future novels. Also open-ended is a traumatic situation involving Blaze's best friend, Emeline, who has a horrific experience with one of the Malinov brothers near the end of the story. If you are a CARPATHIAN fan, you'll enjoy this one, particularly since the heroine's character has depth and charisma. 

     This is the longest of the three novellas at 215 pages. Click HERE to read chapter 1 of "Dark Crime." Click HERE to read my reviews of Feehan's CARPATHIAN/DARK SERIES.

                  Maggie Shayne:  "Dead by Twilight"                     
Bloodsuckers may be an accepted minority but one of them is getting away with murder. Until a female vamp teams with a mortal detective to end the killing spree. Now the night belongs to themand so does every pleasure and danger lurking in the shadows. 

     Back in 1955, Chloe Madison's senior prom night was unforgettable: "It was the most magical night of my life, and as it turned out, the most horrible one, too. And also the last one." On that very night, a vampire killed her parents and turned her into a bloodsucker, forcing her to go off on her own and establish a new identity (after killing the vampire who turned her).

     After the flashback prologue, the story moves to the present day, with Chloe in her fifth year as a Syracuse, NY, detective (and her 60th year as a vampire). Chloe stays away from other vamps and passes as human. She doesn't take blood from humans, preferring to find a blood drive and lift a few pints to keep her going.

     The plot revolves around a series of murders with male victims, all of whom have been drained of their blood. The police suspect a vampire, but have not been able to catch him or her. As Chloe investigates the case, she stumbles into a situation in which Shepherd Daniels, a police investigator for the state Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) is working undercover to capture a supposed vampire female. Sparks fly between the two almost immediately. As a result of that incident, the state cops ask Chloe to become a member of their brand new Vampire Crimes Unit with Daniels as her boss. Of course, the two are magnetically attracted, but Chloe tries (and fails) to keep things under control because Shepherd makes it quite clear that he hates vamps. 

     In the climactic showdown that resolves the serial killer plot line, several characters from Shayne's original WINGS IN THE NIGHT series step out of the fog to provide some assistance. This is a solid paranormal romance with an interesting plot line and a well-developed heroine who differs from the usual vampire heroine in that she has lived on her own ever since she was turnedso no vampire politics. The vampire mythology is the same as Shayne's earlier series, WINGS IN THE NIGHT/TWILIGHT VAMPIRES. Click HERE to read a brief overview of the world-building and my reviews of the final three novels in that series. 

     This novella is book 1.5 in Shayne's WINGS IN THE NIGHT: REBORN series. It could be read as a stand-alone because Shayne includes elements of the mythology to make the world-building clear. I enjoyed this novella enough to order the rest of the series on my Kindle. Book one is titled Twilight Guardians. Book two is titled Twilight VendettaClick HERE to read my reviews of Shayne's PORTAL TRILOGY, which features time-traveling witches. 

                   Lori Herter:  "Cimarron Spirit"                     
     While excavating an Anasazi ruin, archaeologist Annie Carmichael uncovers the resting place of a centuries-old vampire who finds in Annie the liberating mate he has longed for. But how much is Annie expectedor willingto surrender for the man she now desires? 

     "Cimarron Spirit" is the first part of Herter's CIMARRON SERIES, to be followed by "Cimarron Secrets" (8/26/15) and "Cimarron Seductress" (TBA). At just 87 pages, this is the shortest story in the anthology. One of the characters in "Cimarron Spirit" explains that titular word "cimarron" is a "timeworn cowboy term" that means "an animal or a human who runs alone and has little to do with others of his kind. Like a lone wolf." Click HERE for the Urban Dictionary definition of the word.

     The publisher's blurb pretty much explains the plot. The only complication is that the rancher who owns the land on which the ruin is located wants Annie to marry him, so she has to decide if she wants a safe, secure life with Brent Logan or a wildly passionate romance with Rafael de la Vega. I think that all of us can predict what her decision will be. 

     This is basically a category romancea contemporary western with a touch of the supernatural. It reminded me of Amanda Ashley's novels, with the virginal hero who knows nothing about vampires but is instantly attracted to the sexy, ancient vampire who sees her as the soul mate for whom he has been searching for many centuries. The sensuality level is relatively lownot many graphic details, and the story is kind of bland and stale, like a regular Harlequin romance, but with the added attraction of a vampire hero. I didn't enjoy it enough to want to read the rest of the series.

     Back in the early 1990s, Herter wrote a four-book romantic vampire series published by Berkley with the titles Obsession, Possession, Confession, and Eternity. Since that time, she has written category romance novels published by Dell Candlelight Romances, Silhouette, and Harlequin.

No comments:

Post a Comment