I read this book, because TGTBTU offered a contest about it, and I discovered that Kresley Cole had her introductory story of the Immortals After Dark series published in the anthology. I’ve been following the series, and knew I had to get my hands on the story that “started it all.”
Turn Up the Heat by Sherrilyn Kenyon
This is a contemporary romance, and part of the Bureau of American Defense (B.A.D.) series. Allison George is an average heroine, whose life changes when she wins a sweepstakes to be a heroine in a book. Her friend happens to work for the company and pulls a few strings. There’s a lot of action, because the hero Vince Cappelleti is an ex-mob hit man, but the family isn’t willing to give him up. This story wasn’t entirely believable, and I found myself most interested in a secondary character, “Z” – Wulfgar Zimmerman. For once, I didn’t mind the story was so short. In fact, it would have worked just as well if it were shorter.
Grade: D +
Read an excerpt here.
Hunter’s Oath by Jaid Black
A paranormal romance dealing with modern day Vikings who live underground, the story isn’t quite what you expect. We’re introduced to Sofia Rowley when she’s in a cab going back to Fairbanks, AK after attending her brother’s funeral. What happens is she’s kidnapped by bride hunters, who provide the underground Vikings with women, because a prophecy says some day women will be near extinction above ground.
It’s cute because the Viking men are taught that their brides are the best thing since sliced bread and that they’ll love them – even though they’re told the brides might give them trouble and try to run away and hate them for a while, because, you know, they were kidnapped! Interesting, because the women are stripped naked, oiled up, some are drugged, and they’re auctioned off like chattel.
A creative idea, but I didn’t really get into this story. I found it too unbelievable, and that the relationship between Sofia and Johen depended too much on his indoctrinated belief that he’s to love his bride. And the sex they have. Lots and lots of sex.
The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole
This novella starts of the Immortals After Dark series, and tells the story of Nikolai Wroth and Myst, the Valkyrie. This book like many of Ms. Cole’s others includes a reversal or roles. The woman holds all the power and knowledge. Wroth is a vampire, but he doesn’t really know much about vampires, or any of the other creatures in the Lore (paranormal beings). Myst is Wroth’s Bride, but after she bloods him, leaves him, and he hunts her for five years, in a very, um, ready state. (When a vampire is blooded, his heart begins to beat again, among various other changes.) Five years makes the Viagra cautionary message seem like a joke. Wroth is displeased, to say the least, and has a violent reunion with Myst.
Myst hates vampires, but finds herself attracted to Wroth. He’s different from all the others, and might just be the one to show not all vampires are pure evil. He kidnaps Myst, and ends up able to control her through a spell. Their relationship is troubled and dysfunctional, but it works with their personalities.
I really enjoyed this story and recommend reading it because it’s very well written, and provides helpful background for the IAD series.
Read an excerpt here.
A quick anthology that was overall enjoyable, but not outstanding. I’d recommend this to Sherrilyn Kenyon fans, and would go far as saying it’s a must read for Kresley Cole’s IAD fans.
New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon and rising stars Jaid Black and Kresley Cole unlock the pleasures and perils of embracing the boldest and most powerful of lovers — 100% alpha males — in three sensually erotic tales. Discover the physical rapture of his muscular arms…. Become a prisoner of passion, swept away by an encounter with his primal side…. And get lost in the all-consuming thrill of white-hot pursuit by a relentless stranger who may be your most dangerous foe, the best lover you’ve ever had — or both.
Let your fantasies run wild with these unforgettable novellas where bigger is most definitely better — and playing easy-to-get is the only way to go!