Hello, and welcome back! Summer is hanging on here with a vengeance, making me wish all the harder for fall’s arrival. I’m not holding my breath, however, for an early autumn, and have instead entrenched myself in the cool a/c when I’m home, reading and writing while looking at the flowers and herbs from inside for the most part. My vacation is coming up soon, and I know there’ll be a bit less reading time that week, as we tend to do day-trip activities with the boys, so I’ve been trying to read as much as I can of the stack of August books on my desk before that starts.
This time out, I have the anthology Burning Up (Berkley, bought), with stories from Virginia Kantra, Nalini Singh, Angela Knight and Meljean Brook. I’ll be very honest and tell you I only bought this one for the Kantra story, as I’m not a big fan of any of the other three. Singh’s ‘Whisper of Sin’ kicks things off with a new installment in the shifter portion of her ongoing Psy series. Leopard shifter and leader of the band of protectors in the city they intend to keep, Emmett is furious when a member of a gang intent on usurping the Dark River pack’s authority in San Francisco attacks Ria. Though she’s not a Changeling, he knows from the first that she’s meant to be his. But first he’ll have to fend off the gang, who intend to complete what they started, not to mention Ria’s very over-protective family. Knight’s ‘Blood and Roses’ has a vampire and the woman who would barter his life for her sister fighting off a demon army. ‘Shifting Sea’ from Kantra continues her ‘Children of the Sea’ series, this time with Major John Harris retiring to the small estate he’s inherited in Scotland and meeting up with the mysterious Morwenna, who inflames his blood and makes his heart wish for more. Morwenna, however, knows a human male like Jack can’t possibly be her mate. Try telling that to her heart. Brook’s ‘Here There Be Monsters’ sends Ivy to beg Mad Captain Machen for passage on his ship in a steampunk world. I went directly to the Kantra story when I opened this one. Jack and Morwenna share a scorching attraction, despite the secret she keeps from him, and when her secret is exposed, he has to make a hard choice: believe in something fantastical or lose the woman he’s come to love. I adore Virginia Kantra, and this series has been so much fun for me. I can hardly wait until the next installment. When I finished that one, I went to the Singh, since it was one of her shifter stories, which I’ve enjoyed. Emmett and Ria are hot, hot, hot, and, even better for me, there’s no Psy in this story for me to have to skip over in my reading, which made me very, very happy. I wish for more of these stories from Ms. Singh. I tried to read the Knight, but her vampires just do not appeal to me, I’m afraid. I also skimmed through the Brook story, though I’m not a steampunk fan. Ivy and Eben share plenty of steamy encounters, but I didn’t like her nearly as much as I liked him. For the Kantra and Singh stories, though, I’m borrowing four and a half of Cupid’s five arrows. These two certainly live up to the anthology title.
Until next time, happy reading!