I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It is part of the , , , series and is a paranormal fantasy, paranormal romance that was published by Penguin on February 1, 2011 and has 392 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Forbidden Fantasies, Styx's Storm, Moving Violations, Cops and Cowboys, B.O.B.'s Fall, "Dragon Prime", Live Wire, Navarro's Promise, Forbidden Pleasure, Beyond the Dark, Black Jack, Tempting the Beast, Dangerous Pleasure, Maverick, Man Within, Midnight Sins, Wild Card, Tied with a Bow, Lawe's Justice, Legally Hot, Deadly Sins, Stygian's Honor, Surrender to Fire, Nauti Temptress, Submission & Seduction, Wicked Sacrifice, Secret Sins, Nautier and Wilder, Shameless Embraces, Wicked Pleasure, Only Pleasure, Guilty Pleasure, Wicked Lies, Twin Passions, Nauti Enchantress, Shattered Legacy, Intense Pleasure, Knight Stalker, Enthralled, Secret Pleasure, Rule Breaker
This is an anthology of four short paranormal romance stories by Lora Leigh, Jory Strong, Michelle Rowan, and Ava Gray.
“Primal Kiss” (Breeds, 23)
“Bleeding Heart” (Nightshade, 1.5)
“Skin & Bone” (Skin, 2.5)
“Angel-Claimed” (Ghostland World, 3.5)
Lora Leigh‘s “Primal Kiss” is part of her Breeds paranormal romance series. They’re not shapeshifters, but men and women who were genetically created in a lab using the DNA of felines, wolves, coyotes, and marine life. They’ve broken out of those torturous, inhuman labs, and they are finally finding life although the Breeds must still fight for their freedom from those who don’t believe they should exist…or, at least, not as humans with human rights.
The Breeds are still desperately searching for a cure for a months-old infant injected by Brandenmore as part of an experiment. In this particular story, Jonas has Creed Raines (Lion Breed) working as undercover security for Horace Engalls, brother-in-law and partner of Philip Brandenmore in researching drugs to restrain Breeds. Raines has escaped detection for over a year. A year in which he’s had plenty of opportunities to attract Kita Engalls, the daughter.
“Primal Kiss” advances the primary storyline and, yes, the sex is good, but the story itself doesn’t have much tension to it.
The primary characters in Michelle Rowen‘s “Bleeding Heart” are a dhampyr (half-human, half-vampire), Declan, who hunts rogue vampires for an organization and his charge, Jill. While held as a hostage, Jill was injected with Nightshade, a poison which, when mixed with human blood, will cause any vampire who bites her to go up in flames (see Nightshade, the first in the Nightshade series). That’s the positive side. The negative side is that it’s killing Jill, and she and Declan are desperate to find a cure. In Bleeding Heart, they believe they’ve found that cure until everything goes tits up.
I like the storyline but I could wish the writing were better.
Jory Strong‘s “Skin & Bone” makes me think of Lora Leigh’s Breeds series. There are some humans who have paranormal abilities, and there are labs scattered throughout the world dedicated to capturing and experimenting on them…sound familiar? In this episode, Silas is caught in an earthquake in Ecuador where he’s fled after he escaped one of those labs. Rescuing a young woman, Juneau, sets Silas off on a heroic stint in which he spends days in little Puerto Lopez helping Juneau care for other quake victims before he gets worried about detection. Juneau seems to have the same need to hit the road, and they take off together. Unused to a woman accepting him, Silas and Juneau have an uneasy trek which is made worse when Silas has to use his power to gather supplies. Juneau becomes very accepting until that detection becomes reality. Thank god for the counter-organization which is looking to recruit those gifted individuals!
In the five years he spent in the lab, Silas managed to fool the scientists into believing that he was stupid and had no powers. I have a problem with just how gullible the scientists were, if they actually believed that a professor of theoretical physics was stupid.
That’s my only quibble. For the rest, their abilities seem fascinating, and I’d like to know more about Mockingbird, Tanager, Finch, and the rest. Juneau’s family is warmly accepting, and I’m curious as to how their existence fits into the story.
Ava Gray‘s “Angel-Claimed” is a different fantasy. The humans lost the Last War, and now the vampires are at the top of the hierarchy. Having taken over a number of cities, humans must bond themselves as blood-slaves or companions to the human child(ren) of a vampire. Think Mob family loyalties. In this story, the San Francisco-based Sajia is companion to Corrine Tucci who turns up missing. Major problem for Sajia as she could lose her life…brutally…as well as see harm come to her family. Frantic, Sajia starts her search in a magic shop in Oakland where she encounters a hunk who sets her body afire with desire. The hunk, Addai, is an angel, one of the powers on Earth, and he knows what Sajia does not. That she is the reincarnation of his long-lost love and he will allow nothing to stand in the way of his claiming her.
Although he seems a bit of a pushover as Sajia gets him to give way in everything major: he wants to take her to his lair in the Sierras while she refuses to ignore her sworn oath to the Tucci family, and then she insists on starting the search of the Bay that afternoon when he would prefer to wait ’til morning. Of course, Addai does make use of her resistance to push memories and sexual images of her submitting to his bondage, so I suspect he doesn’t mind the major and minor rebellions too much.
It’s actually an interesting little story in which Gray has managed to cram a ton of information about this world. I’m curious to find more.