Exploring the myriad pathways of paranormal romance, these four novellas of demons, beasts, vampires, werewolves and humans range from night to day, and all the dark pleasures in between.
** The Countess' Pleasure - Emma Holly **
In an alternative British Imperial India a disappointed widow is taking tentative steps to find her own pleasure. But when Georgiana, Countess of Ware, goes to see a Yama demon dance, she knows her life will never be the same again.
Be prepared because this story is intensely hot from the off. Yet amidst this fury the relationship between Georgiana and Iyan is surprisingly tender. Skilfully done. 5 STARS.
** The Breed Next Door - Lora Leigh **
Having fought his way free from the labs where he was created, trained and tortured, Lion Breed Tarek has spent the last six months living next to Lyra, trying to fit in. But it isn't just the scents of coffee and freshly baked bread that keep attracting this kitty to her door.
Part of the extensive Breed series, this tale had the confident feel of a well-established world, though for someone new to it (like me) it's an easy read. Lyra could have had a bit more personality, and I'm not sure about the whole Mating Heat thing, but Tarek was cute. Good, but nothing special. 3.5 STARS.
** Falling for Anthony - Meljean Brook **
Having been in love with Lady Emily Ames-Beaumont for years, Anthony Ramsdell is devastated to be sent to serve as a doctor in the Peninsular War. But he promises to return to her, and Anthony is a man who keeps his promises - even after death.
As a huge fan of the Guardian series, it was nice to go back and read the novella that came first. However, this is probably my least favourite of Brook's work. I didn't like Emily, but I did appreciate the changes in Anthony after he became a Guardian - and it's always fun to see Lilith winding up Hugh. Not to mention see Michael admitting to his mistakes. A tantalising glimpse for newcomers, and a missing piece for existing fans. Check out the series, it's even better. 4 STARS.
** The Blood Kiss - Shiloh Walker **
When the younger brother of Roman, king of Wolfclan Montgomery, is imprisoned by vampires, Roman will do anything to get him back. Luckily for him then that the daughter of the House of Capiet is so very appealing...
Hmm... Roman, Julietta, Montgomery and Capiet, old enemies and young lovers... Huh. Well, in spite of that, this is a fairly solid tale of family loyalty and escaping a monstrous father. 4 Stars.
** With some standard offerings, Emma Holly's is undoubtedly the best of the bunch. Enjoyable.