Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moon Fever - Susan Sizemore, Maggie Shayne, Lori Handeland & Caridad Pineiro

This is an anthology of four paranormal stories. Since three of the four authors were new to me, I thought this would be a good one to check them out.

Story #1 : Tempting Fate by Susan Sizemore

Desiree dreams she spent a passion-filled night with sexy rock star Jon Coyote…and that he told her he was a vampire. But when Desiree discovers she is mysteriously pregnant, her erotic fantasy takes a strangely realistic turn.

This story starts off confusing, as it weaves between the past and present, and it isn’t well done. Trying to make sense of what’s happening robs much of my enjoyment of the story … a shame really, because the story has the potential to be riveting. Perhaps due to space constraint, the story is choppy and rushed. While Desiree the heroine is somewhat a bland character, Jon the hero is interesting, but only for a moment. The ending, with its motley bunch of characters, borders on a joke.

My rating: 2
Sensuality rating: Warm

Story #2 : The Darkness Within by Maggie Shayne

An angry ghost is haunting Caroline’s house. But when sexy private investigator Jim Lipton offers to help discover what is going on, Caroline suspects that he has a personal interest in her ghost – and in her.

This is the best story of the four. Fast-paced and sensible, it’s also witty and spooky. The author managed to create the creepy effect with just a few sentences, and this attests to her talent. The lead characters and the twists and turns of the story are as well-developed as the space allows. Trust me…this is an enjoyable mini suspense tale. Caroline and Jim are realistic and likeable…especially Jim, who turns out to be such a tender and wonderful man. Their love story is well told too. Caroline is unlucky in love and has major self-esteem issues. She can’t allow herself to believe that the gorgeous and much younger Jim loves and cherishes her. The author has done a very nice job indeed.

My rating: 4
Sensuality rating: Warm +

Story #3 : Cobwebs Over The Moon by Lori Handeland

Manhattanite Carly Kelly is pursued by werewolves across the wintry Alaskan wilderness, and only ruggedly handsome soldier Dylan Shepard stands between her and death.

I’ve read Handeland before, so I know what to expect. This story bears her trademark wit and spookiness, and it pretty much reads (and feels) like her full-length Nightcreatures books. It starts out spooky and interesting. Someone tries to kill Carly, and her father and his aides are brutally murdered but their bodies mysteriously disappear within a short time. Carly was told that her mother died when she was a child, but she finds evidence that her mother is still alive. So with killers pursuing her, she sprints off to look for her mother. And meets Dylan. Their love story is hot. Carly’s mother’s story, on the other hand, is quite ridiculous. Oh, and the “cobwebs” in the title? I can’t, for the life of me, see how they relate to the story.

My rating: 3
Sensuality rating: Warm +

Story #4 : Crazy For The Cat by Caridad Pineiro

Lycanthropy takes an exotic tropical twist. When scientist Jessica Morales travels to the Amazon jungle, she discovers that beneath the savage grace of her local guide, the handsome Javier da Costa, lurks a hidden wilderness that is as tempting as it is dangerous.

I like this story. The prologue, in which Jessica’s colleague, Vincent, is killed by a jaguar, sets the tone and background for the story. Between Jessica and Javier, I like Javier more…his is the more sympathetic character. When he fights with his nemesis, the bigger and stronger Armando, he nearly always lose – and I find this quite amusing – which is a departure from the traditional hero who always wins. Jessica is intelligent, single-minded, and a little cold – but she can certainly hold her own in a fight, not to mention saving Javier twice. I find their love story quite tender, in spite of the sometimes brutal fights that take place. What I don’t like are the Portugese words and phrases which the author used rather liberally - I think is too indulgent of her.

My rating: 3.5
Sensuality rating: Hot

Overall rating3
Sensuality ratingWarm +

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