Series: OTHERWORLD SERIES
Title: Otherworld Chills: Final Tales of the Otherworld (FINAL anthology, 10/2016)
All but one of these stories and novellas have been previously published, so if you are a fan of the series, you've probably read some of them already. The new novella—"Baby Boom"—is a thought-provoking Paige/Lucas story that ends the anthology. For me, all of the stories were entertaining because I'm such a big fan of the series, but I'd have to admit that my favorite is "The Puppy Plan" because I'm crazy about Clay and Elena's twins.
Half-demon Hope Adams loves her job. Granted, working for True News tabloid isn’t quite the career her high-society family had in mind for her. What they don’t know is that the tabloid job is just a cover, a way for her to investigate stories with a paranormal twist, and help protect the supernatural world from exposure. When Hope’s handler sends her and a date to a museum charity gala, Hope suspects there’s more to it than a free perk. He’s tested her before. This time, she’s ready for whatever he throws her way. Or so she thinks…until she meets her target: the intriguing, infuriating, and just plain sexy werewolf thief, Karl Marsten.
Hope Adams makes her series debut in this novella and meets her future husband, bad-boy Karl Marsten. Naturally enough, it's lust at first sight. Tristan Robard, who works for the Cortez Cabal, is the villain.
Jaime Vegas, necromancer and professional spiritualist, narrates the story in her sardonic, first-person voice. Her boyfriend, Jeremy, plays a tangential supporting role, but Jaime is at the heart of the action. There are several villains, so I'll let you figure them out on your own. A word to the wise: suspect everyone. The story is set just before Jeremy turns over his pack alpha position to Elena.
This is basically a haunted house mystery story—a sort of ghost busters reality show gone wrong. Against her better judgment, Jaime accepts an assignment to do a ghost-hunting TV show in a house in the infamous town of Amityville. From the very beginning, things begin to go wrong: ghosts don't act like ghosts; some ghosts are visible but one is not; a spiritualist is added to the cast, which violates a clause in Jaime's contract; and several of the "normals"—locals recruited to participate—are definitely not the sharpest arrows in the quiver, if you get my drift. The story, which involves three murdered girls, doesn't really feel like a good fit with this collection because it actually reads like a novel from a ghost-buster series. Here are a few of those series that I have reviewed. If you're a fan of ghostly mysteries with flickering lights and things that go bump in the night, click on the series title to read my reviews:
Amanda Stevens'THE GRAVEYARD QUEEN series
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
Vampires Zoe Takano and Cassandra DuCharme are the main characters of this short story (just 15 pages), which is set in Zoe's city, Toronto. There is no true villain, just two old frenemies getting reacquainted.
PLOT SUMMARY AND REVIEW:
When Cass turns up in Zoe's favorite dive bar, she obviously wants a favor—a favor that Zoe is unwilling to grant until Cass apologizes for a long-ago interference in Zoe's life—one that caused her to lose someone that she loved very much. Cass is too proud to say that difficult "S" word, so Zoe sets up an ingenious sting to motivate Cass to do the right thing. The story takes place just before Zoe becomes a delegate to the interracial council.
Eve and her angelic partner, Trsiel, are adventurers who find themselves in a very hellish dimension. Eve's lover, Kristof, makes brief appearances at the beginning and the end. The villains are hordes of nameless, devilish creatures who are intent on making Eve and Trsiel's lives miserable.
Although at one point this appears to be a dark story with some substance, it turns out to be something else entirely. Eve is always fun because she has such a sardonic take on her life (and death): "dark witch, half-demon, part-time ghost, part-time angel." Trust me, it's complicated. This is an entertaining story, but I was hoping for something more substantial.
Logan and the puppy are the main characters. The supporting characters are the rest of the Danvers family: Kate, Elena, Clay, and Jeremy.
Even though this is a puppy story, it is steeped in Logan's coming-of-age angst. Even at age nine, Logan is almost too good to be true. He is a smart, respectful, responsible, and thoughtful boy—so perfect that I believe he can exist only in a book of fiction. If you can get past the perfection that is Logan, the story—about an abandoned puppy, a scared young mutt, and an upcoming Christmas holiday—is terrific, layered with humor, sadness, anxiety, and—eventually—joy. Armstrong gives the story line a satisfying twist at the very end.
RATINGS: Violence—1; Sensuality—2; Humor—2
"The Baby Boom" is a new Paige/Lucas novella.
Paige and Lucas are the main characters with Benicio Cortez, Savannah Levine, and Adam Vasic as the supporting characters. There is one mildly villainous character who is the catalyst for the twist at the end of the story.
Lucas, Paige, Adam, and Savannah are making one of their infrequent visits to Miami, to visit Lucas's father, Benicio Cortez. Savannah is four months pregnant, so she and Paige are doing lots of shopping for baby paraphernalia. One night, when Paige and Lucas have dinner with Benicio, he urges them to have a child so that Lucas's position as his heir will be solidified. An argument ensues, with Lucas telling Benicio that they have decided not to have children and to stay out of their personal business. All too soon, though, something strange seems to be going on with Paige, and she suspects that Benicio is using trickery to make his demand come true. The theme is the ambivalence that Lucas and Paige feel about parenthood and how they come to terms with their feelings. There is no violence, only unforgivable actions taken by greedy, ambitious men who are willing to go to unbelievable lengths to achieve their selfish goals. This is a great little story that points into a very different future for the cartels, but since this is the final book in the OTHERWORLD anthology series, I'm not sure that we will ever learn what happens next.