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Three out of Four ain't bad
on 14 April 2002
This anthology is the usual mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. Sabrina Jeffries' offering is a strong opener, and probably the most successful of the four stories. It is a nice little romp about an uptight widow enetering a widows auction at a London bachelor's club in (I assume)the 19th century. Much to her dismay, she finds herself with a man she knows and is (oh horrors) secretly attracted to. The second story, by Emma Holly is asking for waaaay too much of a suspension of disbelief, even for an anthology entitled "Fantasy." A vampire, with a budhist monk (named Martin!- in Tibet!) Um, sorry, just can't buy it. Now that the bad and the ugly are covered (all in one) the anthology gets back to a higher level of entertainment. "Mr. Speedy" by Elda Minger, while a good story is sort of reaching to be a fantasy story. A female reporter infiltrating an all male workshop about how to score with a woman on your first date, in order to do an expose on the seminar and its inventor. After the previous travesty however, it is a nice break to return to reality for a while. - It is an all or nothing affair for the middle two stories. - The final story, "The Awakening" by Christine Feehan, is a little too short to accomplish what it sets out to. The introduction of a new 'species', their history in a nutshell and their current problems, as well as setting out a solvable problem for the hero and heroine to solve. Although the characters and the idea are interesting, the format is too short to do the story justice. I would have enjoyed the story much more if it was expanded into a full length novel.
To conclude, three of the stories were quite good, and enjoyable, earning at least four stars. The Emma Holly story however is sooo bad, that I have to give the book over all a three star rating.