Secrets: Dark Passions Vol. 18

19 Jan

Favorite Lines: “Hey, neighbor. Thought you might be wondering what happened to your butt plugs. Need to borrow some lube? Oh, wait, there’s fifteen different types in the box. Have fun.” (Ione, 73)

I won Alison Kent‘s Flesh to Fantasy give away which was a copy of Secrets Vol. 18. The book is an anthology written by Rae Monet, Larissa Ione, Cynthia Eden, and Linda Gayle.

Larissa’s contribution is Flesh to Fantasy a story about coming to terms with the hand you’ve been dealt. Kelsa Bradshaw is a gamer. She tests out video games for a living and retreats into a fantasy realm in an attempt to ignore reality. She does get out of her apartment occasionally which is when she saw her neighbor Trent Jordan. Trent is a paramedic who used to live in the fast lane of the rich.  He has lived in a fantasy world where only he mattered and now is firmly standing in reality.

These two different people are brought together by a box of adult toys that are delivered to the wrong address and learn that there is pleasure to be found in fantasies and reality. Kelsa is a believable character to a point. She is a gamer and gamers are notorious for shutting out reality while playing. However, I had a hard time believing that she was completely traumatized by events in her past, yet able to overcome them so quickly.

Linda Gayle wrote Heart Full of Stars. This story is about humans who have been traveling on different planets because of earth being inhabitable for years. Fanta Rae is a singer that just completed her contract. She is ready to return to earth. Her ship breaks down on Mars and it is there that she meets Alex Decker, an Ex-Marine.

Alex lost his family and saw the worst of humanity when the evacuation orders came. He lives on Mars as a security guard and is the only human as well. The two humans hook up for mind blowing sex (it’s been many years since either has gotten any) and danger that threatens their lives. Somebody wants Fanta and it’s up to Alex to protect her.

This story was okay. It travels from Mars to Earth but wasn’t extremely clear on the poinson that killed off much of humanity. I also was unclear how humans were able to rebuild their societies and upgrade their technology to the level portrayed. If you can get past this and just run with the story, it can be used as a lunchtime read.

Rae Monet’s Lone Wolf Three proved to be the weakest of the four stories in this anthology. Taben Zias is a war hero turned politician of his planet. His planet has dedicated certain areas for wolf sanctuaries. Taben needs a negotiator to help him deal with the people who want the sanctuary for mining. In steps Lakota Blakson (negotiator). When she arrives, she finds that Taben has retreated to the forest and tracks him there. The two learn about each other and find that there is an immediate sexual attraction. Taben also knows that Lakota is his fated mate. Danger stalks the two predictably and an unexpected (obvious) traitor is revealed.

The foreshadowing is so heavy that it is obvious who the traitor is and what will happen. This story didn’t do anything for me. It wasn’t a complete waste of my time, but I would never recommend it or read it again.

Finally, Cynthia Eden closes out the anthology with The Wolf’s Mate. Kat Hardy is living a secret life. She is attacked three times within days and it is during one of the attacks that she is saved by Michael Morlet. Michael is a werewolf who has searched the world for his mate and finds her in Kat. He is determined to stick with her and protect her despite her attempts to push him away.

I liked this story the best out of the four because it has the least amount of plot holes. As usual, the heroine isn’t very bright (she can’t tell that the hero is a werewolf).

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2 Responses to “Secrets: Dark Passions Vol. 18”

  1. Rene January 20, 2007 at 4:46 pm #

    I haven’t read a “Secrets” for ages. You kind of get tired of them after awhile. However, I would never have discovered Angela Knight or MaryJanice Davidson without them.

  2. scooper January 20, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    This is my first Secrets book. I’ve recently become interested in short stories in an attempt to find the best and discard the rest (I know it sounds stupid).

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