Published by Jove on august 4, 2015
Source: Advance Reader Copy
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Take an all-new excursion in the world of the Carpathians from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan—joined here by Maggie Shayne and Lori Herter, two other masters of vampire romance in an original anthology that takes dark fantasy to rapturous new heights.
Dark Crime by Christine Feehan
Blaze knows who killed her father and she has merciless plans for payback. Until a phone call from a seductive stranger pleads with her to wait. Retribution is in his blood, too. Now, he and Blaze will be united in the blood of the guilty. Tonight, vengeance is theirs.
Dead by Twilight by Maggie Shayne
Bloodsuckers may be an accepted minority but one of them is getting away with murder. Until a female vamp teams with a mortal detective to end the killing spree. Now the night belongs to them—and so does every pleasure and danger lurking in the shadows.
Cimarron Spirit by Lori Herter
While excavating an Anasazi ruin, archeologist Annie Carmichael uncovers the resting place of a centuries-old vampire who finds in Annie the liberating mate he has longed for. But how much is Annie expected—or willing—to surrender for the man she now desires?
Such a disappointment.
I went into this anthology so excited for some fabulous Paranormal Romance. I love it, I hear it’s making a huge comeback this year, and these are some big names in the PNR world.
Dark Crime by Christine Feehan: DNF
So I think I’m just not a Feehan fan. I have yet to like anything she’s written. This is the worst so far. This one starts out strong. Blaze is getting ready for war. Her father owns a bar, and because he wouldn’t give in to the local crime boss, he is beaten to death then dumped at her feet.
So she is planning a spectacular revenge…but she knows that when she lures these guys to the bar, there’s a slim chance of anyone getting out alive, let alone her. But the hero has offered his help. And his version of help is something I can do without.
She’s his fated mate. I don’t mind that. But between the hero not speaking above a whisper yet, and then biting Blaze without her even believing him or being ok with him, I see no attraction. She’s afraid of him. And he just bites her! I was done with this.
He just bound their souls together without telling her. Seriously. With that bite, he bound them together. Without her permission, without her believing what he is, without her wanting it. He’s ignored every No she’s said, he’s essentially bound their souls/married her, taken her blood, and now has her in bed, once more ignoring her protest. I’m out. There’s alphahole and there’s this guy. He’s got his own rapetastic category.
Dead by Twilight by Maggie Shayne:
This one was interesting, but very, I don’t know…early ’00s? It reads as if PNR is still a new genre. There’s so much to work with here, but she doesn’t utilize it.
Chloe is a cop, she’s also a vampire. And she’s teamed up with another detective to form the new Paranormal Squad. But he hates all bloodsuckers…
The romance is good, but bland. And at one point they have to go undercover into a BDSM club. Now I know BDSM isn’t for everyone. I don’t really enjoy reading it, but that doesn’t mean I think people who are into that lifestyle are sick. But our hero and heroine apparently do. These comments, really really bugged me.
Phrases used to describe the BDSM club: “God, the crap that turned people on.” Said with disgust/disdain.
“There was a floor show, a three-ring circus of people abusing other people.” –For the last time, BDSM is not abuse!
Now they’re all perverts. I’m offended on behalf of all who enjoy BDSM.
So, unfortunately, what could have been an enjoyable, if bland PNR dropped to a 1 or 2 star rating for me.
Cimarron Spirit by Lori Herter:
Okay this was the one with the most potential. Annie is the first to be allowed to excavate some Anasazi ruins that previously no one has had access to. But she’s staying at the ranch owners property, and he’s looking to marry her. Annie isn’t averse to it. He’s handsome, stable, strong, and attractive. But while she’s out working on the dig site, she finds a wolf. When she thinks he’s attacking her she shoots him, then instantly feels awful, and apologizes and tries to help him. Well he’s Rafael, a Conquistador era vampire, so obviously he heals.
Then he decides he wants Annie. And oh she wants him too. But once she’s addicted, the housekeeper tells her to be careful, that Rafael was her lover once, and she’ll be ruined for all men and relationships later on. So she runs. Then she doesn’t. It’s ridiculous. I’m still not sure if the ending was a happily ever after, or if she was led to her doom. Rafael was really painted as a bad guy, and I wanted her to end up with the handsome rancher.
It was really over the top, and read like a parody of vampire romance. Maybe I’d have appreciated this in the late ’90s/early ’00s when PNR was still new, but this is a new story by an experienced author and I’m so disappointed.
***ARC courtesy of Berkley