Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Magical Christmas Cat anthology + giveaway

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Type: Paranormal Romance, Shifters/Witches/Demons
Heat: 2-3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

I've been wanting to read this anthology for ages. And oh, wow, there were some surprises! Each is set during the Christmas season and somehow includes cats as a main part of the storyline. I LOVED how differently each author approached the kitty aspect. Not at all what I was expecting but really nice.

Stroke of Enticement by Nalini Singh
Damn! I can't believe I've waited this long to read Nalini Singh! Not even 10 pages in and I was completely captivated by her easy writing style, believable characters and humor. It's filled with sexy, charming leopard changlings, an undeniable attraction and a lot of heart. There's no real plot other than a fantastic love story and overcoming ones families but it really worked for me. Zack and Annie were wonderful together. I loved all of their interactions. How terribly Zack, damn near twinkling with humor, teased Annie. The fire he sparked in her and how she held her own with him. And just how perfectly they complimented each other. It really felt like these two had known each other for years instead of days/weeks. This one's short and sweet with a fast moving relationship but it never feels rushed or incomplete. Next chance I get I'll be grabbing up the rest of this series. That. Good.
She jumped. "You walk like a cat!"
"I am a cat, sweetheart." He wanted to tease her again, so he let a low growl rumble up from his chest. "See?"
Streaks of vibrant color stained her cheeks once more. But she didn't back down. "Are you planning to move?"
"No." He drew in a deep breath, fighting the urge to nuzzle at her throat. "You smell good. Can I taste you?" It was a half-serious question. "Just a little?"
"Mr. Quinn!" She took a step around him and headed off.
But he'd already caught the tart bite of arousal in her scent. Satisfied, he followed, on his best behavior now. It wouldn't do to scare Annie away. Not when he planned to keep her. 
Christmas Bree by Erin McCarthy
Now, I love Erin McCarthy but man was this one a dud for me. Bree Murphy is a witch and for the last year has been having some very steamy dreams about a mystery man. One day lawyer Ian Carrington shows up on her doorstep with an offer, from one of his clients, to buy her house. Not only is he her mystery man but he's been dreaming of her all along too! I just didn't feel the sparks between Bree and Ian. There were some steamy moments and I did like that they kinda sorta had a connection to one another already but actually feeling the sparks between them and believing the relationship unfortunately never happened.

There's was a bit of drama from Ian's overly determined client wanting to force Bree from her home but it all gets wrapped up nice and tidy in the end. What I think got me most was never really finding out WHY the client was so hell bent and determined to have her home. Loose ends drive me nuts. I really wanted to love this one since I do enjoy McCarthy's writing but in the end it just fell completely flat for me. I think I'll be sticking to McCarthy's full length novels. Those she's a freaking master at!

Sweet Dreams by Linda Winstead Jones
Linda Winstead Jones was the wild card for me. I'd never even heard of her before picking up this anthology but she wasn't bad. Her writing was easy to read, flowed nicely and wrapped up in a fairly satisfying way. It was a little predictable but really not bad at all for a quick read.

The basic plot is that an ancient evil is about to escape captivity and wreck havoc and destruction starting with bakery owner Ruby Kincaid who doesn't believe in any of that woowoo stuff and has no idea what's about to happen to her life. Ruby's a sweet character whose life is a little dull. She's a hard worker and spends most of her time growing her business. Zane Benedict, her neighbor, though. Let me tell you. First thoughts on him were "socially awkward asshole!!" I'm not sure I've met a hero who gave a worse first impression but he managed to completely redeem himself and I kinda like him now. There's drama, action a bit of betrayal and a soul sucking cat that'll make you look at your feline residents a little more closely. Jones did a fantastic job using dreams/visions that'll make the little hairs on the back of your neck rise. I was pretty impressed with her.

Christmas Heat by Lora Leigh
This was my second favorite of the anthology since I know the world and enjoyed getting a taste of it again. It's book 17 in the Breeds series (I'm only at #4) so a lot of things have changed. New characters/matings, political issues, medical discoveries, etc. If you just brush past that and go with it it's a great read. If you're already reading the Breeds series you might want to hold off on this one until you've read all of the earlier ones. There are a couple little spoilerish discoveries talked about in the story.

Haley is the town librarian and Noble a Breeds enforcer (Love that they're both into books/reading). The two have been dancing around each other for months and are finally given a push when Haley's life  is put in jeopardy by a Breeds betrayer and a company out to eliminate her for testifying in court against them. This one's short and quick but I liked the characters together and that they have some history together. There was a lot of heat, sweetness, caring. My gut always clinches reading about the Breeds and how hard their upbringings were. Not understanding a lot of human emotions or things like celebrating Christmas or getting a simple gift. So I loved this one and Noble finding someone that was his, experiencing Christmas and getting his first gift, etc. 

Get Your Copy:   Amazon     Barnes&Noble     BookDepository

Do you have a favorite "Feline" story? Is it a sexy shifter or the ultimate soul sucking evil? A sweet mystery or just one where there's a pet cat in the picture?


There's two choices for today's giveaway!

A brand new copy of Lora Leigh's Guilty Pleasure 
(a menage from her Bound Hearts series)
or
a slightly used copy of Erin McCarthy's Houston, We Have a Problem 
(stand alone- I really liked this one!)

Just leave a comment and a way to reach you!
The Giveaway is international and open until 7/31

31 comments:

  1. I haven't read any of these authors. I do love reading anthologies as I always find someone new I like. I would love to read Erin McCarthy's Houston, We Have a Problem if I win. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    Sue B
    katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. That's such a fun book Sue. I think it was my first McCarthy :)

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  2. I love reading anthologies their perfect for reading in the summer pool or beach side. I'd like Lora Leighs's book :) If I were to win that is.
    Thanks for having another great giveaway :)
    - Kimberly
    turning.the.pages@hotmail.com
    (the periods are part of my e-mail so copy and paste it) :D

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    1. They are really nice when you just want something that you can finish quickly. Love getting to find new authors too :)

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  3. One of my favorite "feline" stories is any of the Lora Leigh feline breeds books. I would love to win Lora Leigh's Guilty Pleasure. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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    1. I'm really enjoying that series Natasha. I'm only up to book 4 but it's getting better and better with each one :)

      Good luck!

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  4. I love Shelly Laurenston's Pride Series. There are some awesome feline shifters.

    mythic021@gmail.com

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    1. Oh yeah those are some of my favorites. Shelly is hilarious. Love those kitty shifters. Her bears are pretty awesome too.

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  5. Ooh I really wanna win Lora Leigh's Guilty Pleasures... Love the Bound Hearts series!!!
    andieleah78@gmail.com

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  6. I like stories with animals in them - makes me want to get a kitty, but too many family allergies so I just have to read about them.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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    1. Aw allergies stink. Definitely good you can get the fix through reading :) I've got a herd but still love when they pop up in books. Good luck!

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  7. I looove the Alpha Pack novels and was so intrigued with Kalen Black when he stepped on the page. In the first book of the series, I was already anxious for his story. J.D. Tyler gave us a little sneak peak with the short story of Kalen, the sexy black panther shifter, in Black Magic and I'm on pins and needles waiting for his full book, Black Moon to release

    Thanks for the great giveaway and chance to win

    june111(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Oooo this one's new to me. I've heard of JD Tyler but haven't read any of them. Will have to pick up a copy soon! Thanks for the suggestion!

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  8. Thanks for the giveaway! This anthology sounds awesome!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. It was pretty great Emily :) Definitely worth hunting down a copy.

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  9. I always loved that in the Succubus series by Richelle Mead that Georgina had 2 pet cats. Basically she had my dream life; living in an apartment with my cats and working at a bookstore.
    Thanks for the giveaway!! And for making it international :)

    jessicamariesutton(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. Oh I forgot about her kitties! Love Richelle Mead. I really need to read the rest of the Succubus series. I'll second that being a dream life!

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  10. i have not read the two authors's book, but love to win and read them :)

    eli_y83@yahoo.com

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    1. They're both great authors Eli. Good luck :)

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  11. Both books sounds awesome! I haven't read any of them yet, but I really would like to! Thank you for the giveaway!
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

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  12. This book sound great and i like feline. Can't wait to read this book.

    filiafantasy@gmail.com

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    1. It was pretty enjoyable Filia. I was so excited to find two new authors to read!

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  13. I haven't heard of this before but now I'm really intrigued! Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway. :)

    pocketofbooks@gmail.com

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    1. It was a really nice surprise. I'm so glad I found a copy and gave it a read! Good luck!

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  14. I love Nalini Singh's Psy Changeling and she is one of authors that can write Feline shifter story so well.
    Another Feline theme books I like is Pride and Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston

    Thanks for the giveaway =)
    Ren
    sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. I got my greedy little hands on the first of Singh's and am dying to start it. The little taste in this anthology really got me hooked! And LOVE Shelly Laurenston! She's written a lot of my all time favorites :)

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  15. I love anthologies, they are an awesome way to find some great authors. Thanks so much for the chance to win. wendynjason04@gmail.com

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    1. You're very welcome :) I'm really enjoying the anthologies lately. Have found some fantastic authors recently. Always a good thing!

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  16. Shape-shiters are interesting characters and I've come across many unique ones. I like reading about female werewolves because I don't come across them as often as males. A feline shifter would be cool (I haven't read about one yet) but they seem smart and strong with their claws.

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

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I always enjoy hearing what YOU think so come on and leave a comment. Everyone's welcome :) And feel free to leave comments on old posts. I'll check in on you there too :)

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~Anna

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