This time out, I have Out of the Light Into the Shadows (Berkley) with a quartet of stories from Lori Foster and her alter ego, L. L. Foster, and Erin McCarthy. Foster leads things off with 'Have Mercy'. Mercedes Jardin, aka Mercy, has been seeing Wyatt Reyes for months now, and is madly in love. She's ready to take their relationship into the permanent stage, but, while Wyatt loves her as well, his idea of the future isn't nearly the same as Mercy's. His past hasn't led him to believe in things like marriage and family, but if he wants to keep Mercy, he might have to rethink that. 'Deal or No Deal' from McCarthy is next, with Katie Stolin meeting two old acquaintances in less than half her shift at work in Vegas, and one of them, Michael St. Markov, used to be her lover. She's not nearly as happy to see him as he expects, but she's believed for the last ninety years that he betrayed her family, an act that left only Katie, formerly known as Maria, and her younger brother Peter still alive, and then only as vampires. Foster's 'Total Control' is next with Mercy's brother Brax Jardin and his personal assistant (and Mercy's friend) Cameo Smithson about to change their relationship. Things have already taken an interesting turn, but Brax is set on making Cameo his in a very personal way, and with his special ability, it might get really hot. Then McCarthy goes back to Vegas with 'Undead Man's Hand', and detective Jordan Waters investigating a string of gruesome murders that lead her to Nick Stolin. Nick's attracted to the sexy detective right away, but the things that make her such a good detective also make her disbelieve the things Nick tells her. The first story is the only non-paranormal story, and all four are terrific. With these two authors, you're guaranteed a good, steamy read, and with McCarthy's plenty of humor as well. I think my fave is 'Total Control', with Brax and Cameo. I'm borrowing four and a half of Cupid's five arrows for this collection.
Until next time, happy reading!