This novella collection features three mostly new-to-me paranormal romance authors. There’s a little bit of everything here with stories that vary in tone from wildly over the top to deadpan serious. All three stories feature variations on the fated mate trope.
Bearing His Sin by Eve Langlais – This story opens with the mercenary hero perched in a tree thinking about his penis and about possibly assassinating some people. Then all hell breaks loose when Cole is confronted by the Russian farm girl who owns said tree and is not at all interested in dealing with his shit. The woman, Anja, is also his fated mate and that is a complication he is so not interested in dealing with. The story is crazy over the top but fun and it kept me highly amused while reading. The hero POV can be kind of challenging to get through because he’s such an arrogant jerkwad. Fortunately, his amazing heroine and her feisty grandmother are more than worth putting up with him.
Cole should have killed Anja the moment he realized she was his mate. Instead, he let her live and now they’re on the hunt, chasing the morons who think they can force her to marry another man. Like hell. And while this shapeshifting bear might have his share of sins, he’s not going to let little things like murder and mayhem prevent him from having the woman meant to be the keeper of his heart.
Bought By The Bear by Milly Taiden – Josilyn is struggling financially after a terrible divorce and custody of her young nephew could hang in the balance. A job as a “fake mate for hire” for her friend’s paranormal dating agency might be just the break she needs. Xander is looking for a fake mate to keep his grandmother at bay, but when he meets his fake mate and realizes she’s actually his real mate, plans change and he’s got some major wooing to do. Xander and Josilyn make a good pair and it’s entertaining to watch them get to know each other.
Josilyn Martinez just needed the money to help raise her nephew. That’s it. There’s no other reason she would take a job posing as a shifter’s mate so he can assure his grandmother he’s settled down. There’s no reason to stay at his place so they learn “more about each other.” And there’s definitely no good reason she should get involved with the hard, hot, and handsome shifter that’s hired her.
Xander just needs a fake mate for a week to get his grandmother off his back. But what’s a bear shifter to do when the impostor mate he hired turns out to be his actual mate? All sweet, luscious curves and a heart of gold, Xander’s not going to let his mate get away. Now all he has to do is show her that they belong together, one kiss and touch at a time…
The Alpha and I by Kate Baxter – In isolated Idaho bar owner Devon finds a half-dead naked man in the snow on her drive home and rescuing him sets her life on an unexpected course. Her handsome stranger wakes up the next day and brings with him more questions than answers. Liam can’t tell Devon what happened because he doesn’t remember. She’s human, so he also can’t tell her that he’s the alpha to a werewolf pack that recently relocated to the area and that she’s his mate. What he can do is try his best to reconnect with his pack while keeping Devon away from whatever or whoever is targeting him. I’m a fan of snowed-in stories and the isolated aspect worked really well here.
Devon Kincaid is happy with her new life in Lowman, Idaho. Her little bar on the outskirts of the tiny, isolated town is doing well, and she’s not even interested in finding a man. But when she finds a bleeding man—a hot, hard, handsome, naked bleeding man—in the snow one night, Devon brings him home to care for him. He’s definitely not like any man she’s ever met before, but what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not just a man…
Liam Murphy isn’t simply a werewolf. He’s the Alpha. In a heated battle with a deadly bear shifter, he’s moved his pack to the Sawtooth Wilderness in order to draw danger from them. He was hoping to escape his problems—but the last thing he expects to find in the isolated Idaho wilderness was his mate. Fragile and unfamiliar with the violent supernatural world, the only way he can protect Devon is to make her what he is: a werewolf. He only hopes that in the process convincing her to enter fully into his world, that he doesn’t drive away the one woman he can’t live without.
Overall, I enjoyed all three stories in this collection and I look forward to reading more.
Overall Grade: B