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Wild ThingGwen’s review of Paradise by Meljean Brook, short story in the anthology Wild Thing by Brook, Marjorie Liu, Alyssa Day** and Maggie Shayne
Paranormal contemporary romance released by Berkley Trade 1 May 07

This short story is part of the Guardians continuum. I can’t tell you where it lies in the chronology, as I haven’t read the others (yet). While I might have gotten more out of it if I had read the preceding stories/books, I can tell you it reads very well on its own. This story is about a vampire, Lucas, and a guardian, Selah, who have to find and defeat a demon before it opens a gate to hell. Along the way, they discover quite a bit about themselves and each other, including love and what looks an HEA. 

To my knowledge, this was the first Meljean Brook I’ve ever read. I can safely say that I am now her bitch. I really liked this story. The pace was quick, the dialogue was snappy, and the erotic scenes were smokin’. I like paranormal, if it’s done well, and this was done very well. The characters were likable, believable, and oddly human for inhuman beings.

Other reviewers of this story say Meljean does “too much world-building” but I sure didn’t get that vibe. I haven’t read any of the other Guardian stories and I wasn’t left behind. I just enjoyed a ripping good story. Meljean’s writing style is such that she doesn’t belabor details or conversational points, so perhaps the other reviewer felt left behind. Readers of this kind of prose have to stay on their toes (HA! unintentional rhyme). I prefer this writing style to being treated like a dimwit by an author (e.g., incessant repetition of inane details). Meljean treats the reader as if we have a brain and I LOVE that.

I have read the other authors in the anthology and have enjoyed nearly everything they’ve written. However, simply based on the quality of Meljean’s story, I’ll be buying this anthology as soon as it comes out and I recommend you do the same.

faye.jpgGrade: A

Here’s the story blurb:

Lucas Marsden has faced nosferatu before and survived, but he doesn’t know how to defeat the demon who hunts the vampires in his community…But he knows exactly what he wants from the beautiful Guardian sent to protect them.
Read an excerpt.

Here’s the Wild Thing book blurb:

New York Times bestselling authors Maggie Shayne and Marjorie M. Liu, and sizzling newcomers Alyssa Day and Meljean Brook discover the wild instinct in everyone with four all-new stories of feral heat. Fans will get swept away by the passions in the unfathomable depths of Atlantis; they’ll follow the shadows that stalk both the living and the undead in a world of vampires and guardian angels; they’ll enter the forbidden world of the demon horde and their willing victims; and they’ll be privy to the secrets of a beautiful animal-whisperer who’s drawn closer to the most suspect of all male animals-man.

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