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Shifter by Angela Knight, Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, and Virginia Kantra Gwen’s review of Shifter by Angela Knight, Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, and Virginia Kantra
Paranormal romance anthology released by Berkley Sensation on 4 Mar 08

This anthology focuses on, you guessed it, shapeshifters and their loves.  And can I say that this is a tremendous collection of authors?  LOVED the book.  Well.  Mostly…


Mad Dog Love by Angela Knight
Sci-Fi romance

Summary: Interstellar empress Zarifa Lorezo desperately needs protection against the royal assassins who are out for her blood. She decides to buy a bodyguard — a powerful werewolf slave named Rance “Mad Dog” Conlan. She soon realizes that despite his slave collar, Rance is a very dangerous man — and not just because he can turn into a seven-foot wolf. Read an excerpt.

I liked this little story by Angela Knight.  According to her site, it is in a different world than her Mageverse and other stories.  I didn’t quite believe the sexual tension between the H/H at first, but that probably had more to do with the brevity of the story than anything else.  Of all the things edited out, I would think emotional buildup between two strangers is the most likely.  I enjoyed the details given this new world, but felt that less is more – not all of the names of materials and the like are needed.  Good, but not great story.

Grade: B-


A Jaguar’s Kiss by Lora Leigh
Futuristic paranormal romance, Book 15 in The Breeds series (by chronology, not release)

Summary: Jaguar breed Saban Broussard has a job to do. His assignment? To protect the first teacher chosen to teach breed children. And protecting Natalie Ricci is exactly what he’ll do. With just one kiss and his touch, the mating phenomena begins that will tie her to him forever. Unless her ex-husband manages to get them both killed.  Read an excerpt.

Have I told you lately how much I love Lora Leigh?  Well, I love Lora Leigh.  If I ever met her, I’d be star-struck.  I love her writing.  I love her characters.  I LOVE her erotic scenes.  Hey!  I just realized that this story didn’t have her trademark buttsecks!  Holy cow!  This was a good Breeds story – more novella than short story, actually.  A very likable heroine and hero, a very believable if stupid villain.  This story stands alone just fine, if you haven’t been following the Breeds series.  I was very happy to see these two work it out.  You will LOVE the scenes of when she first arrives at her new posting with Saban in tow, helping her shop.  I laughed several times and could really feel the sexual tension between them.  Good story that alone is worth buying this book.

Grade: A


Shifter’s Lady by Alyssa Day
Contemporary paranormal romance, Book 4 in the Warriors of Poseidon series

Summary: Alpha were panther Ethan is finally starting to make an edgy peace with the first Atlantean to encroach upon his territory. But will he need to make room in an even rockier terrain — his heart — when the Atlantean’s beautiful sister Marie arrives and disrupts every facet of Ethan’s well-ordered existence? Read an excerpt [you may have to sign up to the members-only section of the site to read the excerpt – it’s painless and free].

This was a very fun entry in the WoP series.  I liked Ethan and somewhat liked Marie.  I don’t think we get to see enough of Marie, though.  I don’t recommend attempting this story unless you’re following the WoP series or unless you have handy the resource materials available on the author’s site.  Nice action and I was glad to not see the vampires in this story – it almost strictly dealt with shapeshifter politics, specifically the jaguars.

Grade: B


Sea Crossing by Virginia Kantra
Historical paranormal romance, Book 1 in the Children of the Sea series

Summary:  None available from the author’s or publisher’s site.  So I’ll make up my own.  Appears to be set in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.  A nearly destitute young woman, reeling from being taken advantage of by a former employer and shunned by her family, sets off to the Canadian west and new opportunities.  Her steamship sinks off the coast of Scotland and she’s rescued by a Selkie.  Should she fall for this seal-man?  What about her stained reputation?  Oh my!  No excerpt available.

I just have two words for this story:  fish breath.  And thank goodness it was short.  Sorry.  It was very difficult for me to take seriously a romance with a man who can shift into a seal.  I mean – flippers, eats fish.  I just have a hard time thinking of a seal as sexy.  Wolf – sexy in a dangerous, feral sort of way.  Big cats – same thing.  Seal?  Just ain’t happnin’ for me.  The writing isn’t bad – even if I didn’t like the heroine (she’s a reluctant tramp) and didn’t believe the romance.  I doubt I’ll be reading this series.  Even the available excerpt of the next book in the series, Sea Witch, wasn’t enough to make me want it – though a female selkie I can deal with more.

Grade: D


This was a good anthology with just the one exception in the Kantra story (I really didn’t like it).  If you’re following the Breeds or Warriors of Poseidon series, I highly recommend getting this book.

Gwen's iconOverall Grade: B

From the back cover (a summary which says absolutely nothing – pretty typical Marketing Speak):

          In this seductive anthology, four masters of paranormal romance explore the boundaries of erotic shape-shifting fantasy – and shatter them.

Something happens when the beast within is teased and tempted.  Something dangerous.  Something inescapable.  Something so irresistible no woman would want to run from it.

Whether transforming beneath the cool blue moon, prowling the night streets with feline grace and blood-red talons, or panting with pleasure, the shifters come alive to fulfill your wildest fantasies…