Usually, in an anthology, there's that one or two outliers that don't quite work. Those stories that you write off as being the price you pay for being able to get your beloved authors' work. Not so in this anthology.
Not only did each and every one of the stories fit the theme, but they were all very well rendered. In fact, not only did I not regret picking up this anthology for the authors I already knew I'd like, I've found a couple more authors that I otherwise wouldn't have tried.
Saskia Walker, as usual, delivers a hot, sassy tale. Not tremendously outstanding in light of the other superlative offerings, but still a solid read.
Dominique Sinclair's offering shines. Cat is clever, feisty, and definitely has claws and teeth to go along with those sterling qualities. She doesn't just talk tough, she shows that she can definitely handle whatever is thrown at her. Noah is the perfect foil for her, although sometimes one wishes that Cat would be able to take him down a peg or two.
Nicole North's Catriona and Torr are fun and entertaining. Their story is sweet and engagingly non-complicated.
Nathalie Gray's Chimera has put Gray solidly on my must-buy list. Chimera is sexy, dependable, and heartbreaking. I'd kill to have a Chimera of my own. Selene, odd as it is to phrase it this way, is the only woman I'd ever give up Chimera for. Lovely story, devastatingly moving.
Wonderful collection that does a brilliant job of showcasing these authors. Now to look for their backlists.
Chimera by Nathalie Gray
All warfare is based on deception
—Sun Tzu’s Art of war
From the overcrowded slums of a future Earth, he rose as the perfect tool of lethal justice and deception. Cold and stoical by choice, alone by circumstances, he will neutralize any and all threat to his client then move on. Blunt, direct. Nothing personal. But when his next assignment involves a popular politician who’s as smart as she’s attractive, the greatest betrayal would be to deny his heart.
Edge by Dominique Sinclair
The search for the truth leads to the edge of danger, revenge and love… A beautiful hellion, the first woman trained by the Department of International Intelligence, Catlina Demarco left her life without so much as a goodbye. Deep in Mexico, she’s close to finding the man who can give her the truth of her past, or kill her.
Agent Noah Tyler, Cat’s former partner and lover, is the last man she expects to show up with handcuffs and intent to bring her back to headquarters. No one has ever left the agency alive, Cat’s no exception. Only she refuses to go anywhere with Noah, he betrayed her trust. Forced into the jungle by three armed banderos, Cat finds her and Noah once again working as partners, their thoughts as one, their bodies craving, their goals conflicting.
Hot, angry and infuriated, Catalina must rid herself of Noah Tyler before everything is lost, including her heart.
Beast in a Kilt by Nicole North
Scottish lady Catriona MacCain has loved Torr Blackburn, a fierce Highland warrior, since she was a young lass, but Torr only sees Catriona as his best friend’s little sister. When Catriona’s family promises her in marriage to a detestable chieftain, she desperately needs Torr to save her from a fate worse than death. But Torr is under the spell of a witch of the dark arts and is cursed to spend his nights as a kelpie water demon. He doesn’t believe himself worthy of the virginal Lady Catriona. However, she is determined to seduce Torr and claim him… body, heart and soul, if only they can banish the curse and defeat the enemies who have vowed to possess and enslave them both.
Sweet-talking the Opposition by Saskia Walker
London-based journalist, Eliza Jameson, is on assignment on a luxurious Rhine river cruiser when she finds the perfect distraction on board — old flame, Marcus Weston. But Eliza came dangerously close to falling for Marcus last time around, and in order to play him at his own game, she decides to call the shots. Meanwhile, Marcus has his own agenda. In the ensuing battle, who will end up on top?