Title: Edge of Darkness
Plot Type: Soul Mate Romance (SMR)
Ratings: Violence—4; Sensuality—4; Humor—1
Publishe: Jove (8/2015)
Christine Feehan: "Dark Crime"
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 Blaze—the 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.
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 turned—so 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 Vendetta. Click 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 expected—or willing—to 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.