Monday, May 28, 2012

Wild & Steamy Anothology

Type: Steampunk
Heat: 2-3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Kind of a strange collection of short stories. A little wild and a little steamy and all over the place. Steampunk, PNR erotica (and yeah that was a surprise!), Urban Fantasy. Not really what I was expecting but all very nicely written and interesting stories. Really enjoyed this collection.

The Blushing Bounder by Melijean Brook
"The search for a killer puts Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth's life in danger and her assistant, Constable Newberry, in the line of fire. But Newberry faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?"

This was my first time reading "steampunk" and I can't say it's the genre for me. A historical setting where humans are infected with nanobugs and have had body parts replaced by advanced machinery. Ex- The seamstress with body parts that actually do the sewing instead of having a separate machine. Was a take it or leave it kind of thing for me. Just didn't grab my interest all that much. 

That said I really love Brook's actual writing. She's one of those authors that can do amazing things in very few pages (about 50). I was easily sucked into the lives of the main couple, Temperance who is fighting a terminal illness and Edward Newberry who is a constable and serious blusher (too cute). I was fully prepared not to like Edward after how things started but once you get past some misunderstandings their story and romance is both incredibly sweet and very enjoyable. 
...she struggled through the pain in her chest, because she had to know--"Do you love me Edward?" 
"More than my own life." 
She laughed, and threw herself into his lap, and there--in the center of the yellow tent at the Temple Fair--pressed her lips to his, and kissed him until she could no longer breathe. 
Which wasn't nearly long enough.
I'm not sure if I'm ready for a full length steampunk novel but Brook's writing style along with the little bits we got of Wentworth (Newberry's boss who I really liked) will probably have me picking one up sooner rather than later. Brook's is just that good. 

Vixen by Jill Myles 
"Miko's denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn't want to choose between both wants them both."

Well this one definitely added the Steamy to "Wild & Steamy". Oh. My. This was my first time reading Myles and it turns out she's actually Jessica Sims who I'd been wanting to read. Nice, huh?! A short sexy read about fox shifter, Miko, who suddenly finds herself with two kitty shifter bodyguards when a group in town starts doing fox hunts. This one's definitely erotica and includes menage so if that's not your cup of tea you'll want to skip over it. I thought it was nicely done though. I liked all of the characters. Miko is coming to terms with her werefox nature and a frustrating relationship with her mom but is a solid character. The guys were great. Polar opposites but a great team and best friends. I liked that they'd known each other and had a great friendship. Jeremiah the quiet, thoughtful computer geek and Sam the flirty and mischievous plumber. They were a nice fit together. The relationship didn't feel awkward or forced but rather natural. So. All in all I liked this one even if I wasn't expecting it to be quite like this. And I loved the opening line. I think I fell for Miko right then and there....
Miko hated it when people showed up on her doorstep.

Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane 
"Sophia Sidway, Midcity's most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption...but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all."

Ah. The reason I picked up the anthology did not disappoint. I love Crane's Disillusionist series. It's so incredibly strange and wonderful all at the same time. Just fantastic UF. I'm waiting for the last book to come out in paperback so loved getting a taste of the Disillusionist world even if the focus wasn't on the main group of characters. Didn't bother me one bit. This time we get Sophia Sidway and Robert Ferguson's story. She's kind of a bag guy and trying to get herself rebooted. The two have a really long history together but haven't seen each other in years. Yall know I'm a sucker for those second chances. I loved their struggles. How she couldn't seem to stop herself from revising memories and how Robert was consumed by hopelessness and despair. Crane's books really aren't your light, fluffy romances at all. A lot of the time a happily ever after doesn't actually look like it's going to happen. One of my favorite things about this one was finding out about the Tangle. Loved getting to see it's history and how it came about. For some reason I've found it fascinating throughout the series. Oh and there are some sleepwalking people eating zombies thrown into the mix too. Damn I loved it! 

Get your copy:   Amazon    Barnes&Noble   

Have you read a Steampunk story? What did you think of it?! Do you like authors that are just a little twisted like Crane?

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