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!"Christmas Bree by Erin McCarthy
"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.
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.
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)
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
The Giveaway is international and open until 7/31