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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Christine Warren: THE OTHERS SERIES

Author: Christine Warren  


     This post was revised and updated on 2/24/13 to include a review of the latest book in series, Drive Me Wild. That review appears near the beginning of this post, after an explanation of the series structure that is followed by an overview of the world-building and reviews of four of the most recently published books.   

          THE SERIES HISTORY & STRUCTURE          

     The early books in the series were part of an Ellora’s Cave series called FIXED, which followed a group of friends (Regina, Missy, Danice, Corinne, and Ava) as they got “fixed up” with their sexy soul mates by acting out their ultimate romantic fantasies. Those books are really a prequel to the OTHERS, setting up the story. The women of FIXED and their mates form a core of characters who appear in supporting roles in the books in the OTHERS series. 

     Both the FIXED and the OTHERS series revolve around the same group of people, so don’t worry too much about reading these in order. Click HERE to read the author's explanation for the discrepancy between the reading order and the publishing chronology. On her web site, Warren says that "after 15 books in the series, I'm definitely looking to explore some new ideas and have some new fun." Drive Me Wild and Hungry Like a Wolf will likely be the final books to be published, and both are revisions of books in the original FIXED series.

     Here is the author's suggested reading order for the complete series. (Take note: This reading order does not match the order listed on

   One Bite with a Stranger (2008) (expanded from the previously titled Fantasy Fix in the FIXED series)
     Big, Bad Wolf (2009) (expanded from the previously titled Fur Factor)
     Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here (2010) (expanded from the previously titled Faer Fetched)
     Black Magic Woman (2011)

     Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale (2011) (expanded from the previously titled Fighting Faer in the FIXED series)
     On the Prowl (2012)
      Drive Me Wild (expanded from Fur For All in the FIXED series (11/2012)
      Hungry Like a Wolf (expanded from Fur Play  in the FIXED series (7/2013) (FINAL)
      Wolf at the Door (2008)
     The Demon You Know (2007)
     "Any Witch Way She Can" in No Rest for the Witches anthology (2007)
     Howl at the Moon (2007)
     Walk on the Wild Side (2008)
     You’re So Vein (2009)
     Born to Be Wild (2010) 

Most of the books are also available as e-books and on audio CDs read by Kate Reading.

          BOOK 8:  Hungry Like a Wolf            
     This book, which is likely the FINAL book to be published in this series, comes in the middle of the series and is an expansion of Fur Play, one of the original books in the FIXED series. At this point, the Others have not yet revealed themselves to the human world. Although the story begins in Manhattan, the setting soon moves to rural, woodsy Connecticut, where a new alpha has just come to power in the White Paw clan. That new alpha is the daughter of the former alpha, who has just died from cancer. Female alphas are quite rare in this world, and frequently don't last long because they are simply not as physically strong as male Lupine (werewolves). Graham Winters, clan leader of the Silverbacks and head of all Lupine clans in the Northeast U.S., wants to be sure that this new alpha is fit for the job so he sends his Beta, Logan Hunter, to Connecticut to check her out. Logan is himself an alpha, and lately he's been having trouble being subservient to Graham, who is also his long-time best friend. Logan and Graham both hope that some time away from the Silverbacks will give Logan a chance to pull himself together.

     Meanwhile in Connecticut, Honor Tate has already fought and defeated three male challengers, one of them a close childhood friend who tried to make it a fight to the death. Honor didn't kill any of the challengers, though; she just didn't have the heart to go for their throats. This is an early clue to Honor's ambivalence about her new alpha position. She feels that she has to be the alpha because no one else in the White Paw clan has the training and the talent, but she's finding that the job is much more than she bargained for. When Logan shows up claiming that Graham has asked him to decide if she can handle the alpha position, Honor is furious. The two rant and rave at each other, but their first meeting somehow ends in a wild and passionate kiss, know exactly where this story is headed.

     The romance makes up the bulk of the plot, with a supporting story line that deals with the remaining males who want to challenge Honor at the monthly, full-moon Howl that will take place in a few days. At that full-clan meeting, Honor will declare that she is the alpha and then take on all of the remaining challengers.

     Honor and Logan realize almost immediately that they are destined to be mates, but Honor resists Logan (for a few hours) before she lets him mark her. Now they're really in trouble, because there are few options for Honor. Either she beats off the challengers and keeps her alpha position or the challengers kill her. Another option comes up near the end of the book, and that one is a game changer.

     Logan wants Honor as his full-time mate, but he is the Silverback Beta. If he stays with Honor, he will be in the powerless position of Sol—a supportive mate with no decision-making powers. Can his alpha pride stand this? Will he go back to the Silverbacks? You can figure out what is going to happen early on in the story because Honor keeps musing about how this isn't the life she really wants, that she'd much rather be off running in the woods or throwing pots in her pottery workroom, that the only reason she's going ahead with it is her pride, and that the clan has always been headed by a Tate so she can't let her dead father down. Will Honor follow her pride? Will she accept Logan as her mate and go with him to Manhattan? Is there yet another option? Really, there's not much mystery in the ending. Even the identity of the surprise villain who pops up at the end has been telegraphed—if you were paying attention.

     This is another typical speedy, sexy paranormal romance in a series filled with them. This one has less of the snarky dialogue that some of others have, but the sizzling romance is right on target. Click HERE to read an excerpt from Hungry Like a Wolf.

     The series premise is that the Others of the paranormal world have had a centuries-long Accord of Silence that pledges them all to keep their supernatural identities hidden from humans. Part-way through the series, they reveal themselves to the human world through the Unveiling. The books follow the Others up to and through the Unveiling and then on into the following months and years. The Others include all manner of supernatural beings, from vampires, shifters, and fairies to the more unfamiliar doppelgängers, oni (Japanese demons), fox women (women who shift into foxes through magical powers), and fiends. Some characters appear in several books. In each book, a group of Others and their human friends/lovers work together to battle evildoers, including rogue humans and Others, human mad scientists, and powerful demons.

     Each book takes a sexy paranormal couple (handsome alpha male; sassy, independent female) through the ups and downs of their romance to their inevitable HEA.

     If you're looking for a solid paranormal romance series with traditional plots, plenty of humor, lots of sex, and a whole host of appealing supernatural characters, you'll enjoy reading these books. Click HERE to read Warren's FAQs about the series. Click HERE to read an interview with Warren about shape-shifters in romance.

Here is a book-by-book list of the heroes and heroines of the OTHERS series:

   > One Bite with a Stranger: Dmitri (Misha) Vidâme (vampire) & Regina (human)
   > Big Bad Wolf: Graham Winters (werewolf) & Missy (human)
   > Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here: McIntyre (Mac) Callahan (half Fae) & Danice Carter (human)
   > Black Magic Woman: Asher Grayson (Guardian) & Daphanie Carter (human)
   > Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale: Luc (Fae) & Corinne D’Alessandro (human)
   > On the Prowl: tigers Nicholas (Nic) Preda & Saskia Arcos 
   > Drive Me Wild: Rafael De Santos (were-jaguar) and Tess (witch)
   > Hungry Like a Wolf: werewolves Logan Hunter & Honor Tate
   > Wolf at the Door: Sullivan Quinn (werewolf) & Cassie Poe (human)
   > She's No Faerie Princess: Tobias Walker (werewolf) & Fiona (Fae)
   > The Demon You Know: Rule (demon) & Abby Baker (human)
   > "Any Witch Way She Can": Michael Devon (witch) & Miranda "Randy" Berry (human)
   > Howl at the Moon: Noah Baker (human) & Samantha Carstairs (werewolf)
   > Walk on the Wild Side: Max (were-lion) & Kitty Sugarman (half were-lion)
   > You're So Vein: Vladimir Rurikovich (vampire) & Ava Markham (human)
   > Born to Be Wild: Eli Pace (were-lion) & Josie Barrett (human)
   > Drive Me Wild: Rafael De Santos (were-jaguar) & Tess Menzies (witch) 

       BOOK 3: Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here           

     This book features Danice Carter, one of the original young women who from the four books that serve almost as a prequel to the OTHERS series. It was originally published in a shorter version entitled Faer Fetched.

     Danice is a human attorney, and her supernatural hero is McIntyre (Mac) Callahan, a half-human/half-Fae private detective. Together, they search for a missing woman and try to escape from the land of Faerie alive—but still find time for lots of lust-filled interludes along the way.

     Click HERE to read an excerpt from Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here.

           BOOK 4:  Black Magic Woman               
     The fourth book is one of the most disappointing. The heroine is Daphanie, sister of Danice (heroine of Prince Charming...) , and the hero is Asher Grayson, a Guardian who is forced to take Daphanie under his protection. It all starts at her sister's wedding reception, when Daphanie notices that a red-skinned imp is hiding under the drinks table. Being of possibly unsound mind, she crawls under the table to see what's going on. Within moments, the imp has dared Daphanie to accompany him out on the town—the Others side of town, that is. Daphanie knows that the imp has crashed the reception and that her sister probably had a good reason for not inviting him. Plus, Daphanie doesn't know anything at all about werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural creatures because she just found out they existed when she arrived a few days ago for the wedding. Nevertheless, she (unbelievably!) agrees to sneak away with the imp, not telling anyone where she is going. Already I'm thinking, O.K. nitwit heroine—not so good. 

     When Daphanie accidentally spills a drink on the witch doctor, he gets all up in her face and tries to throw a voodoo spell on her. So...does she get away from him as fast as she can?  Oh no, she faces off with him and calls him a few names. More stupidity. Luckily for her, Asher happens to be in the bar and sweeps in to rescue her (he has wings). When a Guardian rescues a mortal, that Guardian must then protect them forever, so Asher insists on going home with Daphanie. The story goes downhill from there. Are we to believe that Asher sleeps on the couch of every human that he saves? I don't think so. Anyhow, Daphanie begins to have voodoo-type dreams every night and they begin to last into her waking hours. After casually mentioning the first dream to Asher, Daphanie decides not to tell anyone about the ensuing stronger dreams. What's wrong with this girl? Asher, along with Rafael, Graham, and more of the Others must track down the bokor who is trying to possess Daphanie. The story gets better at the end, but I had a really hard time getting past the nutty beginning. Click HERE to read an excerpt from Black Magic Woman. 

        BOOK 5:  Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale           
     This book features Corinne D'Alessandro, one of the original young women from the four books that serve as a prequel to the OTHERS series. It was originally published in a shorter version entitled Fighting Faer

     Corinne is a reporter for a scandal-mongering newspaper in New York City, and her romantic hero is Lucifer (Luc), Captain of the Guards of the Queen of Faerie. The queen sends Luc to Earth (aka Ithir) in search of her mischievous nephew, Seoc, who has sneaked through a portal and is now running around Manhattan in plain sight of humans. While Luc is discussing the situation with Rafe, head of the Council of Others, Corinne stops in to inform Rafe that her boss has heard that an elf is running around Manhattan, and he has sent her out to get the story. Several of Corinne's BFFs have recently married Others (e.g., vampire, werewolf), so Corinne knows all about the Others, and she knows that Rafe needs to stop the "elf" or whatever he is, before the human population discovers that the Others really exist. Luc immediately realizes two very important facts: that the "elf" is actually Seoc and that Corinne is his heartmate. When she sees right past his glamours—which only a heartmate can do—he knows that he has finally found his true love, but he's horrified to realize that he'll be spending the rest of his life bonded to a human. 

     The plot follows the development of the romance (primarily in the bedroom...and on the couch), as well as the couple's efforts to track down Seoc. There's a twist at the end that won't surprise you very much, but eventually Luc and Corinne get their HEA, as we all knew they would. Corinne definitely has more brains than Daphanie (heroine of the previous book), so this story is much more enjoyable than the last one. Click HERE to read an excerpt from Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale.

        BOOK 6:  On the Prowl           
     The tiger shifters (aka Tiguri) have always lived in Europe, leaving America to the rest of the Others, but with the growing global economy, they realize that they must establish a presence in the U.S. in order to keep their business empires thriving. The Arcos and Preda families are the first of the tiger streaks (i.e., clans, or families) to make the move, and so far they have have received a very cold shoulder from the rest of the American Others.

     As the story opens, Saskia Arcos and Nicholas (Nic) Preda are in the midst of their extravagant engagement party. Theirs is an arranged marriage, planned by their fathers to build power by binding their two powerful streaks together. The last time Nic and Saskia saw each other was twenty years ago when Saskia was 8 and Nic was 19. The bulk of the story focuses, of course, on the romance. Since Nic and Saskia don't really know one another, they go through a very bumpy period of adjustment in which the only thing they both agree on is their physical passion for one another (and they spend lots of time working on that aspect of their relationship). Nic is an old-fashioned alpha type who sees his role as being the dominant decision maker and Saskia's role as being the submissive lover/mother. Saskia, however, can't picture herself kowtowing to Nic's every wish for the rest of her life. She wants to change the rules and share in the decisions that affect both their lives. The love story plays out in the usual manner, with each making terrible mistakes and learning from the resulting painful consequences.

     The secondary plotthe action plotconcerns two assaults on Rafael De Santos, the leader of the Others Council. The Council is already nervous about the Tiguri coming to New York for the first time, and they are sure that the tigers are the villains who assaulted Rafael. Nic is determined to prove that Rafael's beatings have no connection to the Tiguri, so he hires McIntyre (Mac) Callahan (lead character in Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here) to track down the actual perpetrator(s). This plot line plays out in a manner that is somewhat predictable, but still satisfying (although sad for some of the characters). 

     This is another solid entry in the OTHERS collection, with a suitably sexy couple who are both intelligent and caring individuals even though they both have a few flaws (as does everyone). This continues to be a strong series with well-constructed story lines, appealing characters, and amazingly good continuity, especially when you consider the complexity of its publishing history. Click HERE to read an excerpt from On the Prowl.

           BOOK 7:  Drive Me Wild           
     This book comes in the middle of the series and is an expansion of Fur For All, one of the original books in the FIXED series. At this point, the Others have not yet revealed themselves to the human world. Our heroine is Tess Menzies, a witch with a terrible self-image and an unusual supernatural power. Tess can visualize an event moments before it happens—just in time to change the immediate consequences but not in time to prevent the entire incident. She was raised by her grandfather, who is an really unpleasant man as well as being a power figure in the witchy world. As the book opens, Grandpa has sent Tess on a middle-of-the-night errand. She is to follow Rafael De Santos from a private Others club and give him a message from the Witches' Council. Rafael, a were-jaguar, is the Felix (leader) of the felines in Manhattan as well as being the head of the Council of Others. Rafe is a tall, dark, and sexy playboy who decides to have a bit of fun with his stalker.

     From the beginning, Tess and Rafe are hot, hot, hot for one another other. In fact, they find themselves in a steamy, naked embrace just hours after they meet. Most of the book dwells on their romance—primarily the bedroom part, with just a few conversations about what the Witches' Council wants with Rafael. If this book were set in the 1800s, it would be called a bodice ripper, but since it's purely 21st century, I'll call it a bra-biter, or a button-popper. The sex scenes are plentiful and fairly graphic, with Rafael always the aggressor and Tess just lying back and enjoying herself. A secondary story thread about a witchy curse is woven through the love story.

     This isn't the strongest book in the series; it's an old-school romance with the stereotypical alpha male who loves to play the field but finds himself falling head over heels in love with a beautiful, smart, slightly submissive woman. The humor comes from the man-to-man dialogue between Rafe and his friend, Graham Winters, and between Tess and the wives of the Others. The action plot doesn't really kick in until the book is almost at an end, and when it does, it gets resolved without much fuss. If you're a series regular, you'll want to read it just to get Tess and Rafe's story. If you're new to the series and like traditional romances, you could definitely read this as a stand-alone. Click HERE to read an excerpt from Drive Me Wild.


  1. After looking at story description, it looks like "Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale" scheduled to be released 11/01/2011 is actually the expanded reprint of Fixed Book 4, "Fighting Faer." The couple is Luc and Corinne.

  2. You don't finish a sentence in next to last paragraph ("Add in the fact that Daphanie").