Hello, and welcome back! It's still more like summer than fall, but I am counting the days till autumn's official arrival. And in the meantime, it looks like it might be cooling down very soon, which will make a lot of people in my neighborhood really happy. Unfortunately, I can't really enjoy the better weather yet, as things at work are crazy during these last couple of weeks. In one way, I'll be glad when the liquidation is over. But I am going to miss my regular romance readers and working with the books every day.
This time out, I have the anthology Supernatural (Zebra, received from publisher), with stories from G.A. Aiken, aka Shelly Laurenston, Larissa Ione, Alexandra Ivy and Jacquelyn Frank. Ione leads things off with "Vampire Fight Club" and 'daywalker' Nathan Sabine using his position working to run the fight club Gladius and nightclub Thirst. Vladlena Paskelkov, or Lena, goes to Thirst to take the medic job as cover for her quest for revenge for the death of her brother in Gladius. Lena hadn't counted on putting herself in the sights of the evil vampire owner of both clubs, nor on the scorching attraction she feels for Nathan, who'll protect her to the death. "Darkness Eternal" from Ivy is next with vampire Uriel on a mission find a missing gypsy. Kata has been trapped for years, thanks to her sister and a wicked mage. Now her daughter's life is in danger, and only one person can save the two of them, and it goes against everything in him to do so. Frank's "Kane" has the demon Kane unexpectedly reunited with the human woman who was the cause of his punishment. He had no way of knowing his wish might just come true when he broke rules. But Corinne may surprise him with her own wishes. "Dragon on Top" from Aiken rounds things out, with Ghleanna the Decimator forced to travel with Bram the Merciful on a peace mission to another dragon territory. Ghleanna is used to fighting and winning, but Bram, for all his supposed mercy, makes her more than frustrated at not having her own way. Then again, he also makes her feel a whole host of other, unexpected things as well, and when he takes her to the kingdom of the sea dragons, she has an opportunity to learn more about him than she ever dreamed. When I knew this collection was coming out, I planned to buy it, simply for the Aiken story, as I'm not a fan of the other three authors. The Ione story is steamy and dark, though perhaps not as dark as the others in that series have been. I still didn't love it. I started the Ivy, but it was definitely too dark for my liking, so I skimmed much of it. Frank's story is plenty hot, but her storytelling style isn't to my taste. I did love the Aiken, as I expected; it's got lots of humor and Bram is a seriously hot dragon, more than a match for his war-mongering mate. I'm borrowing three of Cupid's five arrows for the anthology, though if it were just the final story, I'd give it five.
Until next time, happy reading!