The Real Werewives of Vampire County an Anthology
Kensington (Nov. 2011)
Trade: $15.00; ebook: $8.99 (Amazon)
Where Darkness Lives by Alexandra Ivy
No one’s more surprised than Sophia when she’s struck by an unfamiliar maternal urge to move near her daughters. But instead of being greeted by a welcome committee, she’s targeted by kidnappers…and saddled with a gorgeous bodyguard on a mission to protect–and seduce…
Favorite Line: “It’s all that testosterone rotting your brain.” (p. 28)
If you are unfamiliar with Alexandra Ivy’s Guardian’s of Eternity series you may have difficulty connecting to the characters in Where Darkness Lives. Four of the key characters in the Guardian’s of Eternity series are Sophia’s (the heroine of Where Darkness Lives) daughters. I’ve read most of the eight full length books and one of the two (other) anthologies set in the Guardian world, and I still felt disconnected from the characters.
I’m not sure there is any way Ivy could have made me like Sophia. Sophia gave birth to quadruplets as part of an experiment to save the werewolf race. She is regarded as an ice queen and that characterization followed her into this short story about her finding love. Sophia is a hot number. She dresses in low cut tops, high heals and miniskirts. She also runs a male strip club. Her love interest Luc is an alpha male who’s not afraid to express his desire for Sophia.
The attraction is instant and page burning, but the story is light-hearted despite the attempts to murder Sophia. I was surprised by plot beneath the would-be assassination story line, but overall I felt BLAH about the novella.
Murder on Mysteria Lane by Angie Fox
When a werewolf trophy wife is found dead in Vampire County, Heather McPhee goes undercover to investigate. Heather’s never been a mascara-and-manicures sort of girl, but she’s willing to learn. Especially with sexy vampire detective Lucian Meade posing as her husband…
Favorite Lines: “What did the guy want? I’d kept my red thong. God, I couldn’t wait to get back to the pack where I could run around naked in peace.” (p. 127)
Murder on Mysteria Lane is the best short story included in the anthology. It’s quick to anger heroine Heather is hilarious. She acts/reacts so honestly there is little doubt on how she feels about those surrounding her. For a woman blessed/cursed with such an awesome ability (in addition to being a werewolf) it was surprising to see how innocent she was.
Her hero Lucian is described as a beautiful piece of eye candy, but he’s also a man who knows what he wants and with the patience to wait for it. He didn’t steal the novella. Nope, it was a secondary character named Vinny. Vinny is irreverent and capable of great feats. (Ha, wait till you see what he can do. Consider him the X-Man of the group.)
Murder on Mysteria Lane is a paranormal romance that made me laugh. I didn’t know who the murderer was right away, as those women in the gated community were pretty much all vicious manipulators. It was a cute story that ended with not true love or mates for life, but hope of a happily ever after. *Happy sigh*
Werewolves in Chic Clothing by Tami Dane
Ever since Christine Price moved in with her fiance, Jonathan, and his twelve-year-old son, she’s worked hard to fit in with a cadre of local women whose lives seem picture-perfect. Except no one in Jon’s upscale neighborhood is quite who they appear to be. Least of all Jon…
Favorite Lines: “I just want to have sex. Who would have thought that would be such a problem.” (p. 204)
I was not impressed with Werewolves in Chic Clothing. It’s a paranormal mystery with a hint of romance. The couple was already in love via the Internet. They spent plenty of time together prior to sharing a home, but the heroine was not told about the paranormal ties until the very end. The reader knows it’s a paranormal story despite the story being told in the first person from the heroine’s POV. The heroine never considers the paranormal until she is told about the paranormal. I don’t think it adds to the story. This is a story that could have easily had the paranormal removed without losing much.
Werewolves in Chic Clothing is slightly entertaining, but the conclusion felt forced and left me wondering why I wasted my time reading it. I didn’t like any of the secondary characters and the hero had so little page time that there was never a chance of my connecting with him. I’d skip it if I were you.
What’s Yours is Mine by Jess Haines
Still Waters is like many other exclusive gated communities–except that it’s home to one of the largest werewolf packs in the state. But Tiffany Winters isn’t frightened of her big, bad new neighbors. In fact, she intends to take her place among the pack…
Favorite Lines: “So did I. Until he started telling me how much I reminded him of his sister.” (p. 315)
What’s Yours is Mine is in no way, shape or form a romance. It’s a piece of fiction filled with paranormal creatures or an urban fantasy without any hint of romance. I didn’t particularly care for it because it confused me. The blurb made me think it’d be a short story focused on Tiffany, and in a way it was.
However, What’s Yours is Mine is told in the third person and follows the machinations of several different characters. It never focuses on just one person. The actions of all the characters culminates in an ironic ending which may be funny to some people, but left me irritated. I bought into the idea of a paranormal romance anthology and this story is not a romance. I won’t be re-reading it.