Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nights of the Round Table and Other Stories of Heroic Fantasy by Tanya Huff

Explore uncharted territory in this collection of heroic fantasy shorts from Tanya Huff. Annotations provide background and insight on each story. Peppered with Huffs trademark tongue-in-cheek wit and the brilliant, funny, wise, ruthless heroines that have made her famous, this is a collection you wont want to miss. Travel to Camelot in Nights of the Round Table and to ancient Egypt in Succession. Revisit beloved fairytales in All Things Being Relative. Sail the seas in Blood in the Water and Oh Glorious Sight. Also includes What Little Girls Are Made Of, A Womans Work, and Slow Poison.

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A solid collection of short stories. There weren't any that I truly didn't care for, though certainly I liked some more than others. Below are my comments on each story, added as I finished each.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ceremony of Three by Evangeline Anderson

When Elaina Stevens is viciously attacked by a rogue vampire, she survives only because another vampire intervenes. Rafe is a Night Dweller, sworn to protect humans from the ravages of his own kind, feared creatures known as Dark Wanderers. To protect Elaina, Rafe puts his mark on her and in the process brands her very soul. But Rafe's vows forbid him to touch her again-no matter how much she wants him to.Then Elaina discovers Thorn, the vampire who attacked her, wishes to repent for his past sins. But the process of bringing a Dark Wanderer back to the light requires a human host-someone willing to be filled with the essence of both vampires at the same time.To be with the man she loves, Elaina is willing to do almost anything - even act as the host for her most feared enemy. She agrees to accept both Rafe and Thorn in a single night as the mysterious act of sex magick draws the rogue vampire from darkness into light, not knowing what will happen between vampires and human when the Ceremony of Three is over.

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While this story is fairly short, and the action a bit rushed at times, still the characters are wonderfully developed and vivid. The author does a great job of pulling the reader into the story and getting you to feel what her characters are feeling, and for the most part, their emotions and reactions are fairly realistic given the situation. Yes, some things feel a bit forced at times, especially as regards the way Elaina is fairly quick to agree to participate in the sexual ceremony with Thorn despite the terror of him that she still feels because of his attack on her a year previous. Thorn is shown in a very sympathetic light with his desire to renounce his dark ways, and Elaina is soft-hearted enough that her acceptance of him isn't wholly unbelievable, especially since it's made clear throughout that she's not just flipping a switch to turn her fears off. Instead, she's having to work through them continually all the way through the encounter, and balks at several points, which keeps the story within believable bounds (assuming a certain amount of suspension of belief that's necessary to accept the whole scenario to begin with). Overall I'd probably really give the story 4.5 stars since there are a few awkward spots that keep it from being truly a 5 star "perfect" story, in my opinion. Still, as quick, erotic stories go, this one is definitely among the best quality and most enjoyable ones.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dangerous Tides by Christine Feehan

With her sensual blend of paranormal romance and breathless suspense, New York Times bestselling author “Christine Feehan boldly goes where no writer has ever gone”*. Now she introduces Libby Drake, of the magical Drake sisters—each mysterious, gifted, and enchanted by prophecies of love…

Dr. Libby Drake is sensible and practical. To her more adventurous sisters, she’s always been the “good girl”. Certainly not the kind to attract the attention of a genius like Ty Derrick—until a tragic accident leaves the handsome biochemist at her mercy.

Acting on her uncanny ability to heal, she stirs in the reawakened Ty his own long-suppressed desires for the woman who saved his life. But he’s not the only man with designs on Libby Drake. Her miraculous and selfless power has also captured the attention of a dangerously influential admirer. He’s pursuing the elementally gifted beauty for his own wicked purpose. And he’s willing to go to deadly lengths to make it happen.

Where to Buy

This entry in the Drake sisters series takes a bit of a step back from the high danger atmosphere of international crime syndicates that pervaded much of the previous book. While it doesn't fully return to the lighthearted sweetness of the first two books, it does manage to strike more of a balance between the joy of two people finally admitting to themselves and to each other how much they love one another, and the dangers posed by those who seek to murder either one or both of them for reasons unknown. Ms. Feehan does a great job with spinning the mystery of who exactly is after Libby and Tyson until the very end of the book, successfully directing attention in other directions so that the truth, when revealed, plays out as a nice twist on how it had seemed things were going to turn out. While there are some hints along the way as to the would-be killer's identity, still it comes as something of a surprise when that identity is finally revealed.