- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1026 KB
- Print Length: 497 pages
- Publisher: Zebra; 1 edition (1 Sept. 2010)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003IYI75A
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #429,153 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Nocturnal (H&W Investigations Series) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Kate Douglas's 'Crystal Dreams' was readable enough although I wouldn't be going back for more. Jess Haines 'Spark of Temptation' was OK. I'd be tempted to read her debut novel from the glimpes of it alluded to in this one - if I got it at a bargain price. But, as to the Clare Willis story 'My Soul to Take', hate to say it but I couldn't get beyond the first 20 pages - and I did try. The entire premise just didn't work for me. Sorry, but to each his own.
I'm not a fan of anthologies cos you usually get one favourite author amongst a mix and are sucked into buying the book because of that. It's also a way to discover new authors, I know, but I generally find that I'm liking the one story I bought it for and that's the case here.
However, it was worth the purchase price for the Frank story alone.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Paranormal Romance - Sept. 7, 2010
4 ½ stars
Nocturnal was generally a fantastic paranormal anthology. I enjoyed most of the stories. Most of them are part of the authors' current or due to be released series.
The Phoenix Project
In The Phoenix Project Jacquelyn Frank begins a new genetically altered shifter paranormal.
Amara has lived a rough life and it only got worse when she was kidnapped and is now being experimented on. When she wakes up and is thrown into a room with a gorgeous cop, named Nick who was also taken, she finds that she can't keep her hands off of him. Their sexual attraction flares and she can't control the fangs and claws that suddenly appear and neither can he! They form a desperate bond but their short happiness is threatened by unscrupulous scientists with armed guards. Can they escape?
This was a phenomenal story. I would have bought the book for this story alone. I can't wait for the author's upcoming book to find out more about these amazing and savage shifters. I loved both of the characters and there was so much sexual tension that it was hot, hot, HOT! I could feel how much the characters belonged together. 5 stars
In Crystal Dreams Kate Douglas continues her Demon series. Demons enter through a portal to earth. Darius is a Lemurian Guard, 1 of 4 guards with his crystal sword that can kill demons. He is from an alternate plane and decides to track them down before they cause further damage. He hunts them down to a mystical store where he meets an amazing woman named Mari. Although she doesn't believe him at 1st, they soon become a team to combat the demons entering earth. And both of them have an undeniable attraction for each other.
This was an excellent story that made me want to know more about Darius and the land he comes from. The crystal sword also captured my imagination. I enjoyed both of the main characters since they were strong and easy to care for. 4 ½ stars
Spark of Temptation
In Spark of Temptation Jess Jaines continues her Other series with the human P.I. Sara. Sara is doesn't like working for the Others (vampires, shifters etc) but when she is blackmailed by a powerful vampire to help him she feels she has not choice. But problems ensue when her human boyfriend argues with her not to work with the vampires and they break up. Then she is threatened by the AOA, the Anti-Other Alliance and their plan to undermine the vampires. As Sara comes to lean on a mage for help she must re-evaluate her life and what she thinks of the Others.
This story was in 1st person which is good if the main character is interesting but Sara was a very bland character. Also since she was a human she really appeared weak next to the Others and even other humans. So I didn't enjoy this story as much. 3 stars
My Soul to Take
In My Soul to Take the author, Clare Willis writes a new and original story about a handsome artist named Derek who has been possessed by a ghost who wants revenge. Unfortunately, Derek finds himself in a psychiatric ward. Feeling helpless and in despair he tries to end his life to prevent the ghost from coming free and taking over his body. But Derek unexpectedly meets a remarkable doctor named Maggie Dillon. Maggie feels a connection to Derek and begins to believe his story of possession but can she save Derek and remove the ghost before it is too late?
This was an intriguing read. I loved how the author built upon the story and moved it in directions that were unexpected and entertaining. The story was in 1st person and I thought Maggie was a charming voice to read. 4 ½ stars
Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
Here's a quick little blurb for the stories which make up Nocturnal:
Spark of Temptation- Jess Haines - continuing directly after her urban fantasy series, Hunted by Others, PI Sara is blackmailed into taking on a job working for vampire leader Royce, which puts her in the sights of the most radical of the anti-Others groups. but luckily she has mage Arnold watching her back (I liked this one mostly because I liked the geeky Arnold, there is some very mild romance but it is oddly executed.)
My Soul To Take - Clare Willis - A pyschiatric intern is drawn to a talented young man who is not crazy but possessed - (I found this to be the most appealing of the stories, I thought that the Willis did a good job of making a connection between her leads and I liked the touch of voodoo too.)
Crystal Dreams - Kate Douglas - connected to her Demon Hunter series, a lemurian warrior must protect a women who appears to be a magnet for demons which have escaped to the Earth - (pleasant enough romance with a nice bit of steam.)
The Phoenix Project - Jacqueline Frank - Genetically modified shapeshifters can't fight their new animal instincts to mate and to fight - (This is the most erotic story in the book and The hero has real potential but the story was too short to morph the pairs' animal need to claim a mate - and to violently protect that claim - into a romance. This felt like it should be series starter, but I checked Frank's website and it's not.)
Amara was kidnapped from a workhouse and is now in a living nightmare where the prisoners are experimented upon for God knows what. Pain and suffering is a daily reality for Amara and those held captive with her. Seeing a new male in the building proves to be the beginning to Amara's new life. Nick Gregory is a Federated States cop who got too close to what the scientists were doing and now he is one of the captives. When he is forced to mate with Amara, the results will show just who is the most powerful, the experimented on or the scientists who dared to fool around with Mother Nature's best creation.
"The Phoenix Project" proves that no one is above justice. As I turned the pages, I wanted Amara and Nick to find a way out and maybe even help the others and kill the project. I got more than my wishes answered by the time I finished. I loved how Nick not only protected Amara but how they both just knew how to work together and show the others what Alpha means. The love that developed between Amara and Nick was the perfect counterbalance to the horror they faced. While the immediate story is over, it left me with many questions that have me hoping to see more of this world down the road. "The Phoenix Project" takes science fiction elements and combines them with romance in such a way that leaves you satisfied, yet wanting more. A wonderful start to this anthology.
"Crystal Dreams" by Kate Douglas
Mari Schwartz, well her official name is Marigold Moonbeam Schwartz, so you can see why she goes as Mari. Right now she is off to run her mother's magic shop. Not that Mari believes her mother's claims that they are witches, but the shop does well. Darius of Kronus is a Lemurian guard who is protecting the entry into his world when he sees demons escaping into Earth. Following his orders to the limit, Darius goes after them. Mari and Darius' meeting is a bit explosive but that is only a hint at what awaits them as they fight to rid Earth of demons, and to figure out why the magic shop has become a welcome beacon for them. Can an Earthling and a Lemurian find a way to defeat demons and protect their love?
"Crystal Dreams" proves that your soul mate doesn't have to be from your own realm. I saw that Mari and Darius had more going against them both in the area of love and fighting the demons. However, it became clear to me really fast that both Mari and Darius were more than willing to sacrifice themselves for the other, and that type of sacrifice should always be rewarded. I found the adventure and the magic to be a great combination to go along with Mari and Darius' story. Ms. Douglas gave us a wonderful glimpse into yet another couple from her new series Demonslayers.
"Spark of Temptation" by Jess Haines
Sara Halloway is a P.I. who has been blackmailed into working for a vampire to find out who is asking questions at his club, and why. Sara just wants to get the job done and discovers that her quick answers are only the tip of the iceberg.
Arnold is a mage who wants to protect Sara, and maybe get to spend some personal time with her. Danger seems to follow every move of this assignment, and becomes a job that turns out to be much greater than was expected. However, Sara and Arnold know just how to not only defeat a group that threatens the peace in several circles, but also how to protect the passion that is springing up between them.
"Spark of Temptation" shows Sara that not all mages are the same. I loved Sara's spunkiness and Arnold's determination to prove that they belonged together. Sara and Arnold's adventure was action packed and had me wondering just what would happen next in several spots. That they could defeat powerful enemies while discovering a future together wove in perfectly with the adventure. I loved that the vampires were not the `bad' parties just because of what they were. Another world I hope to see expanded upon. Yet another great story that is making this book a keeper.
"My Soul to Take" by Clare Willis
Dr. Maggie Dillon is the chief resident just coming on shift and is told jokingly that a new patient is possessed. Maggie is unsure how to take that but as she reads the notes on this patient, she finds he isn't unknown to her. Derek Fielding is a folk musician, a very successful one. Normally a very easygoing guy, lately Derek has been acting nothing like himself and with this attempt to take his own life, his family is worried. Maggie can't put her finger on the problem but she knows that it isn't normal depression. Together, Maggie and Derek find the answers to what has attacked him even after he leaves the hospital. Deciding that she can't help Derek herself, Maggie calls in the big guns from her past in New Orleans. Derek and Maggie risk everything to defeat this evil from within.
"My Soul to Take" has Maggie and Derek defeating a foe from the past. I could understand Maggie's needing to try science first before going on to other ways. Just as I could feel Derek's desperation to make sure no one else suffered from the spirit that threatened take over his life. I could tell it was the passion between them that allowed both Maggie and Derek to seek the answers no matter where they came from. And that in turn gave them a future of joy rather than sorrow. A fantastic last story from a truly wonderful collection of stories.
Nocturnal combined not only a slate of great authors but even better stories. There was not one I found to be less than the others. Through them I traveled from the near past to contemporary times to somewhere in the future. It didn't matter if it was a nasty spirit, demons, or mad scientists, they were all defeated by the same thing - true love. Nocturnal is a must read for any paranormal lover, and one you will want to read more than once. It gives you shivers and cheers from the beginning to the last page.
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
* I received this ARC/book free from the author in exchange for an honest review*
This was a very good anthology. I enjoyed all 4 stories but my favorites were The Phoenix Project and Crystal Dreams. I also found two new to me authors in Jess Haines and Clare Willis.
In The Phoenix Project you have a little bit of everything: love, sex, death and an evil scientist. The female lead Amara is strong, beautiful (she refused to cut her hair off) and very defiant. She had pulled herself out of the Hell she called childhood and was surviving on her own, until she was kidnapped. She is determined that she is going to do what she can to survive but every day it gets harder for her.
Nick is/was an undercover cop investigating missing children until he was captured by the mad scientist. He is now part of the experiments he was trying to rescue the children from. He is a strong alpha male character and he refuses to give in to them and they are having trouble controlling him.
Both Amara and Nick are the perfect alpha couple to lead this group of Morphate's into the future. They are forced to deal with their new nature and everything that goes with it, including mating heat and alpha challenges. They realize they are going to have to organize the rescue on their own and that they are going to have to police themselves because no one else will be able to.
The story was interesting and action packed. It had plenty of details but didn't over state anything. The characters were strong and well developed. As I read the story it incited a range of emotions in me from worry to excitement and the sex scenes were pretty HOT. I wanted them to have their HEA and was pleased with the ending.
In Crystal Dreams the war with the demons continues. Each day they are gaining form and becoming more sentient. Something is drawing the demons to Crystal Dreams and the portal won't stay closed.
We are introduced to new characters that join the fight against demons. Darius is one of the four Lemurian guards that carry a crystal sword. He is charged with keeping the demons out of Lemurian at all cost. He takes his job seriously and follows the demons to Evergreen where he is attacked by Mari by mistake.
Mari is home to help her parents while her dad recovers from surgery. She moved away but now that she is home, she realizes what she has missed. She doesn't know what to think when she is attacked by the stray cat her mother has been feeding. The cat isn't supposed to have red glowing eyes and a double row of teeth. A strange man waving a sword comes in and she takes him down.
One of the things I love about this series is that in each book the females are strong and able to take care of themselves. They fall in love with immortal warriors and each female gains her immortality in a different way. It keeps the stories fresh and new.
With each story I can't wait to see what's going to happen. The books are getting better with each one. We are learning more about the Lemurian history in bits and pieces that leave you wanting more. What happened to all the female warriors? I can't wait to find out. I am looking forward to Starfire when it is released in April 2011.
In Spark of Temptation we are transported into a world where vampires, mages and shifters co-exist with humans. The lead character, Sara is a PI that normally stays in the office doing trace work on the computer. Her partner was injured on their last case dealing with an evil mage so now Sara has found herself out in the field, trying to stay alive.
She is a strong female lead that is capable of taking caring for herself but isn't afraid to accept help when she needs it. She will do anything to keep her sister safe and ends up in a war between the vampires and the Anti Others Alliance because of this.
The characters are complex and the world is interesting. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading other books in this series.
In My Soul to Take Maggie is chief resident at a psychiatric hospital. She is used to seeing all kinds of people come through their doors, until she meets Derek. There is something different about his diagnosis; he is possessed, not mentally ill. She is determined to do whatever she can to save him, even if it means calling her sister in New Orleans.
This story was a little slow getting started but about halfway through, I was hooked. The lead character is caring and compassionate but she is hiding something. As the story progresses you see that there is more to her than meets the eye. I really liked the characters; they were well written and had depth to them. The descriptions allow you to imagine the scenery and put yourself there.
Overall I really enjoyed the stories in this anthology and give it 4 flaming hearts.