Thursday, August 13, 2020

#BookReview – “Edge of Darkness” anthology by Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne, and Lori Herter


Dark Crime by Christine Feehan
Blaze knows who killed her father and she has merciless plans for payback. Until a phone call from a seductive stranger pleads with her to wait. Retribution is in his blood, too. Now, he and Blaze will be united in the blood of the guilty. Tonight, vengeance is theirs.

Dead by Twilight by Maggie Shayne
Bloodsuckers may be an accepted minority but one of them is getting away with murder. Until a female vamp teams with a mortal detective to end the killing spree. Now the night belongs to them—and so does every pleasure and danger lurking in the shadows.

Cimarron Spirit by Lori Herter
While excavating an Anasazi ruin, archeologist Annie Carmichael uncovers the resting place of a centuries-old vampire who finds in Annie the liberating mate he has longed for. But how much is Annie expected—or willing—to surrender for the man she now desires?

“Dark Crime” by Christine Feehan

In book 23.5 of the Dark/Carpathian series, Blaze McGuire is full of rage and grief. Two rival mob factions have moved into her city, which is unnamed, and one of the groups—the Hallahan brothers—murdered her father. Blaze intends to kill the murderers and suspects she’ll die in the process. Signing over the rights to her family’s business to the rival gang, she expects them to carry out her mission to destroy the Hallahan brothers if she fails, but she never expected the mobster she spoke with on the phone to race down to the bar and save her life.

Maksim Volkov and his fellow Carpathian warrior Tariq are presenting themselves as mobsters and even opened a nightclub, but their main focus is hunting down vampires in the city. They haven’t realized, however, how deeply the vampires have integrated themselves into human society. Maksim knows Blaze is his lifemate as soon as he hears her voice. She’s a warrior, like him, trained to protect the ones she loves. She dead-set on revenge, and Maksim can do no other but help her achieve her goal.

Blaze and Maksim’s relationship develops fast. They’re likable characters. He’s understanding of her warrior spirit and she’s accepting of his protective nature. As always in this series, each heroine is more gorgeous than the last. Since repetition and multiple sex scenes stretch out the word count, this novella is the longest in the anthology. Head hopping and a few inconsistencies took me out of the story, but I liked the gritty urban setting and the overall narrative.

3 Stars

“Dead by Twilight” by Maggie Shayne

In this Wings in the Night: Reborn novella, book 3.5, city cop and vampire Chloe Madison is hunting down a powerful vampire that’s killing innocent human men. Believing she’s finally found the bloodsucker, she follows the lady vamp and her sexy victim to a graveyard. Turns out, the bloodsucker is just a human playing dress up and the vic is actually a state inspector who’s seriously pissed at Chloe for blowing his cover.

Inspector Shepard Daniels doesn’t want to team up with Chloe after his boss forms the new Vampire Crimes Unit, but he can’t deny her skill and knowledge when it comes to all-things vampire. Two years earlier, the world found out that vampires are real, but Shep doesn’t believe vamps and humans can co-exist. While investigating the murders, they check out a vampire-themed D/s club and the sexual tension between them soon ignites.

Chloe and Shep are awesome! She’s feisty and pretends to be human, he’s protective and bigoted against vampires, but they work great together. They have a HFN ending, but it’s easy to see the HEA coming up.

The story is told in first person POV, from Chloe’s perspective only, but I really would’ve liked some scenes from Shep. Still, I loved this novella. It’s my favorite in the antho.

5 Stars

“Cimarron Spirit” by Lori Herter

Archaeologist and professor Annie Carmichael is dating Brent, a wealthy cattle rancher, and excavating Anasazi ruins on his property. Though she feels comfortable with Brent and can see an easy future with him and his daughter, she secretly longs for passion and adventure.

Vampire and horse rancher Rafael de la Vega believes the ruins belong to him. After years of loneliness, he needs someone in his life, but his previous relationships with women ended badly. While trying to scare off the invading archaeologist, he realizes Annie is his soul mate and sets out to seduce her.

Annie and Rafael are interesting characters. The story is told predominately from Annie’s perspective, but there are a few scenes in Rafael’s POV. Their relationship bloomed fast and there was insta-love on his part.

There are a few unanswered questions. Will Annie be able to continue excavating the ruins since she chose Rafael over Brent? Will Rafael still have access to the kiva (an Anasazi ceremonial chamber and his preferred resting place) after the excavation team takes over?

Anyway, I really enjoyed this story and would like to read more of Ms. Herter’s work.

4 Stars

I love reading vampire books because each author changes the vampire mythos with new twists, but keeps the basic facts the same. I definitely recommend this anthology.

Book Overall – 4 Stars

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