Monday, April 30, 2012

Surf's Up anthology w/ Davidson, Bangs and Denison

Type: Paranormal & Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 3 out of 5

This was a nice little anthology for a hot summer day. None of the stories blew my socks off but they were entertaining and creative. Worth the read if you're looking for something easy to fill a couple hours and don't want anything too serious or dark. I hadn't read Bangs or Denison before and I enjoyed both. 

Hot and Bothered by Janelle Denison
Denison's story was the only non-paranormal contribution to the anthology and a nice read despite being fairly predictable. After her divorce Claire moved cross country to her vacation house at the beach to get a new start. Designing jewelry, finding peace and drooling over her next door neighbor and local pub owner, Shea. Drama, spunky pets, near death experiences and some sweetness. Lots of stuff all packed into 88 pages! I enjoyed the characters and the baggage from the past they were each working to overcome. The story/characters easy to get involved with and the writing had a pleasant feel. 

Paradise Bossed by MaryJanice Davidson
Davidson had a rough go with getting this one started and not confusing the hell out of the reader. After you get through a few chapters and can start figuring out a few things it's an enjoyable story. While on vacation with her friends Nikki has a snorkeling accident and dies. Not only can't they find her body but she can't seem to move on either. Her friends decide to call in a medium, Tom, to see if he can help find her. Turns out he's the only one who can see her. He also has the handy ability to spirit walk so he can actually touch her. Thought that was a damn creative way to get deal with the heroine being a ghost. Also led to Ghost sex. Huh. That's a first! There's some snark, some sarcasm, and a very sweet ending. I actually ended up liking this one quite a bit by the end. 

Hot Summer Bites by Nina Bangs
This one had a bit of a cheese factor to it and it wasn't the easiest to jump right into without being a little confused but once you get past that it's pretty entertaining. Reporter Kristen Hughes has gone to Texas to get the scoop on an adult theme park, Castle of Dark Dreams, where people can live out their fantasies. Looking for a sex scandal she gets a lot more than she's looking for with her guide, vampire Taurin Veris and an assortment of other paranormal creatures. I loved Kristen's reactions to all the paranormal things she encountered. She's really not your typical kick ass heroine but that's kinda what I liked. There's a little fainting, a bit of girly squealing. I really enjoyed the humor and the previous connection between Taurin and Kristen. She'd already done a story on him that he was less than pleased about and involved a bit of stalking on his part. Overall Hot Summer Bites was a pretty cute short story and I might just pick up another Nina Bangs book next time I'm out shopping.
She resisted the urge to back up and tried to immerse herself in the fantasy. "Come any closer, and I'll...cut you off at the ankles." Kristen sensed his smile behind her improvised mask. 
"Can't lift that sword any higher, huh?" 
"Stupid sword." 
"I guess I could bend down..."

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