An anthology with Vivian Arend,
Carina Press Publication Date 12/06/2010
E-ARC provided by Publisher through NetGalley
No remuneration was provided.
Contains three Novellas, Marketing Copy below (netgalley.com)
By Vivian Arend
By Vivian Arend
She's the cat's meow, and he's ready to pounce!
Five miles of leather-clad leg is all it takes to lure Kyle Branegan out from his carefully hidden lifestyle as part of the Cougar Corp, a secret branch of the Shifter Enforcer League. He's hoping for a night of fun and frolic, cat-style, no strings attached. With a sultry swing of her hips, Eloise Scott tangles him up in her ball of tricks, and just when he thinks he's about to get lucky, she cuffs him-naked-to her bed.
An undercover cop in the human police force, El's been given a top-secret mission to keep the big cat under her paw until he's needed to testify in court in the New Year. Her decision to take him home for a quiet Christmas in her sleepy hometown turns out to be far more interesting than she expected. Her parents are suddenly rich, her old boyfriend is sniffing around and all six-feet-plus of sexy cougar male is sleeping in her bed.
And that's before they announce their fake engagement...
As neither El nor Kyle know the real mission behind her orders and his protective custody, it is easy to see that this is about relationship, specifically a relationship between two were-cougars and their were-cougar families. Somehow family gets brought in; not just her newly well-off family – where she takes him for Christmas, but his powerful “ruling” family.
As I read this I really enjoyed the way Vivian Arend wrote the love scenes and the physical action of the characters in cat form. But this story is really about sex and how it brings these two people/cats together. It would be trite if sex weren’t a big part of the cougar personality. But there is quite a bit of sheet scorching, that goes with it.
Kyle was a fairly typical romance character but El was very independent and accomplished. Unfortunately, living in the human world has made her a bit leery of showing her cat side. Kyle helps her free her inner cat! Twists, turns, and mayhem. Enjoyable and fun, if a bit predictable.
By Vivi Andrews
By Vivi Andrews
When Sasha's boyfriend, Jay, is sucked through a fiery vortex to Hell, an angel reveals that Sasha's been chosen as the Champion of Virtue in the battle for his immortal soul. As a perennial offender on Santa's naughty list, Sasha can't believe she's anyone's idea of a girl fighting on the side of the angels. But if she doesn't save Jay, he'll be stuck in Hell forever!
Jay-aka Jevroth-isn't surprised to find himself back in Hell. His visa to visit the mortal plane expired three months ago, but to steal more time with Sasha he's been ignoring his mother's demands that he come home to spend time with his new stepfather: Lucifer.
Sasha has until dawn on the twenty-fifth of December to fight the Legions of Hell and rescue Jay, or be trapped there for eternity herself. But now she must decide if the lying son-of-a-demon is even worth saving...
Nothing like having the above happen on Christmas Eve. And, hey, she gets to spend Christmas Even in Hell, with her own immortal self to worry about too. And, she has been chosen by the Powers-That-Be to rescue said boyfriend, and having just learned he had been lying to her and that he might be breaking up with her, she’s not so sure she wants to rescue him.
The story uses an interesting adaptation of Angel weaponry, sort of like the Devil’s daughter in MJ Davidson’s Queen Betsy series. But, there’s not much here in terms of relationship or action. The last scene lives up to it’s potential and finally brings some resolution and interest to the story.
By Moira Rogers
By Moira Rogers
She can't survive in his world; he can't stay sane in hers
A twenty-first century ice age dulls the magic that emanates from the earth. Shane Sullivan is a lone wolf above the freeze line. He has no desire to join the packs that range closer to the border, where feral instincts can turn a man into a monster. Not until the winter solstice, when he stumbles across a dying witch who needs his help to get back to her people-and her magic-in the south.
Nadia is a powerful woman in her own world, but she's been drained by her escape from captivity in a northern lab. She knows it's foolhardy to trust a werewolf, but he's her only chance to survive the vast white wilderness. The farther south they travel, the harder it is for Shane to keep the beast within under control, and as their mutual attraction intensifies, Nadia's no longer sure she wants him to.
A darker story, this takes place in a post-apocalyptic, North America. There are fewer temperate zones and more freezing areas. Supernatural beings like witches and wolves are “out” and there are some who like the thought and a bunch of scientists who don’t. The Were, Shane is north to let the cold subvert his wolf side, and Nadia is north because she was kidnapped by those mean scientists. The only problem is that she can’t survive there and he fears he will go all wolfy on her if he goes too far south. The characters are well-developed; especially for a novella.
Shane is living with some survivor guilt and is quite generous, if a bit taciturn. She is weak because the earth’s energy is stilled in the frozen north. She’ll die if she can’t pull the earth’s energy. But once she warms up she is much more powerful.
I liked how the relationship in this story developed. It didn’t feel rushed, but it was very interesting, as this pair has to fight to survive. Because the relationship takes a while to develop there is a lot of angst involved and that dragged on some. The intimate scenes run a gamut from tender to outright hot-monkey.