Friday, April 27, 2012

Tied with a Bow by Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks and Kimberly Frost

Supernatural Romance is one of the most popular genres in Romance recently, and with the release of this book, 4 new short stories of Supernatural romance heat up the pages.

Upon a Midnight Clear brings us the story of Aimee. Imprisoned in the Bastille with her mother, the Angel that is drawn to her mother's prayer to save her daughter and free her from the prison, he goes too far and takes the girl over her pleas that she wants to stay with her dying mother. For this abridgement of free will, he is exiled from heaven and reborn as a human. Lucien, the illegitimate son of the Earl of Amherst, is actually the angel, and his father is a similarly fallen Angel, along with all of Lucien's Siblings.

Lucien has continued to help humans, setting up a former prostitute with a home where she can help other women who otherwise might have to become what she was to survive. But Lucien refuses to tell the Earl this, leading to him thinking Lucien has set up his own brothel. But when circumstances force him to take a rich wife, he finds that Aimee, the girl he once rescued, is living with the family of his bride to be as a poor relation. As his heart becomes engaged for the beautiful girl, can he put aside money to marry the woman he loves, or will he marry for the money he needs to support himself?

First Light by Kimberly Frost concerns Kate Devane, a journalist who is famous for rooting out a nest of vampires. All of her life since college, Kate has dreamt of a man who has appeared to her in her dreams, ever since she found and lost a strange old ring when she was at college. But when that man comes into her life, Merrick has amnesia and can't remember anything about himself. All Kate knows is that he is extremely powerful- the Ventala, human-vampire halfbreeds, are no match for his combat abilities.

But he isn't a Ventala himself, and nobody seems to know exactly what Merrick is, and with Merrick being unable to remember, all Kate can find out is that there is a very powerful Ventala who is out after Merrick. Can Merrick be the rarest of all supernatural creatures, an unfallen angel? But how can Kate be with him if he is? And will the Ventala defeat him, or will he be able to triumph over the man who killed his family back when he was a man? And will Kate ever see him again if he is done protecting her?

Human Error by Eileen Wilks has Lupi Benedict going to spend Yule with the family of his mate, Arjenie Delacroix. But when a vicious murder happens not too far away, it's discovered that two of Arjenie's young cousins have been trying to summon Raven, a power not normally called on by her Wiccan family, and has gotten Coyote instead. But they have summoned him without a body, and instead he takes over the family dog. The murderer is real, though, and is one of the worst things in existence: a Skinwalker- an always malevolent human who takes on animal form through a skin he has specially prepared. And the Sheriff needs Ben and Arjenie's family to help him contain the person before they can go on a REAL rampage...

An Inconvenient Mate by Lora Leigh pairs Coyote Breed Malachi with American Indian Isabelle Martinez. Isabel is feeling frightened and sexually wanting after having nearly been raped by a fellow tribesman who managed to get away with the near-assault. Seeing Malachi emboldens her and makes her want him-and he wants her, knowing that she is his destined mate. However, as the daughter of the Tribe's chief, she is off-limits as Rule Breaker, leader of the Breeds, bargains with the tribes for information about Native women who might have been imprisoned and forced to bear the children who became the breed. But when the mating heat becomes too much for both of them, they give into it, forcing Isabel's former attacker to kidnap her for the "crime" of having sex with Malachi. But her attempted rapist has never had to deal with a Breed defending what is his- and can Malachi find her before she is raped or killed?

So, this book has two Angel stories and two animal/shifter stories, which was nice to see, because Vampires, while ubiquitous, are not the sole supernatural creature in Urban Fantasy. The Angel stories were nice to read, because they were different, but I would have to say that my favorite story was "An Inconvenient Mate", because I loved the part where Malachi rescues Isabellle from her attacker. He's trying to teach her a "Lesson", but it's he who gets schooled. Second was "On a Midnight Clear", which I really loved. It just flowed beautifully and the characters were amazing.

The other stories were nice in their own way, and "First Light" was a little confusing because it threw so many terms at readers right out of the gate. It seems like the story was part of a larger series than just this one story, much like the Lupi and Breed stories were, but I haven't seen any Angel stories like that anywhere else. The Lupi story was also very good, as we get to see one of the characters there severely out of his comfort zone and fighting for his life. And his love supports him all the way- even against her own family.

So, overall, an excellent short story collection, short and sweet and with lots of good stories. Most of them are part of an ongoing series (or at least a side story in that series), but all are excellent and well-done. If you are looking for something different in your supernatural romance, this book will have something to scratch that itch.

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