Review - Anthologie "Burning Up" by Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra, Meljean Brook

Burning Up (Berkley Sensation) -  'Meljean Brook',  'Virginia Kantra', 'Angela Knight', Nalini Singh

Passion runs as hot as a fever dream in these all-new stories by four New York Times bestselling provocateurs of the paranormal...

In Angela Knights's Blood and Roses, a vampire warrior and his seductive captor join forces to stop a traitor from unleashing an army of demonic predators on their kingdom.

New in Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series is Whisper of Sin, in which a woman in lethal danger finds an unlikely protector- and lover- in a volatile member of the DarkRiver pack.

Virginia Kantra continues the haunting tales of the Children of the Sea inShifting Sea, the story of a wounded soldier rescued by a strange and enigmatic young woman.

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series with Here There Be Monsters, as a desperate woman strikes provocative- and terrifying- bargain to gain overseas passage.

 

So, in between books I like to read Anthologies, to freshen up my mind, (I tend to continue to think about the book I finished in the days that follow), and to discover new reads and new authors. It works for me this way.

In "Burning Up" we have a very good start with "Whisper of Sin".

The story is set in Chinatown and we have the story of Emmett and Ria.
Ria comes from a traditional family and is attacked by order of a gang because her family denied to pay "protection".
Emmett is part of the Dark River pack and is a leopard. He almost instantly recognizes Ria as his mate and from that moment on the game starts.
Between leading with Ria's family and wining her over to him the bad guys are taken down and we have a happy ending.

I pretty much enjoyed this story and got me wondering why I never read the Psy-Changeling Series or anything from this author. She won me over and I'm a fan.

What I really enjoyed from this story :

1) Emmett - I'm a sucker for a big, bad macho that loves his woman and protects her from the ugliness of life.
2) Ria - I love a woman that can face up the challenge of taking on her family and fighting for the man she loves. Shows character, perseverance, and wise knowledge. Love it when that woman can pull this through without hurting those she loves and doing it quietly right under their noses.
3) Emmett and Ria lovemaking - I do love a good attraction and when that infatuation turns into a good "rub" and winds up into a hot "fight" between the sheets or anywhere else, you got me. We can't forget that Emmett is a big wild cat and Ria is a little, but very smart woman who knows how to take care of the big bad cat, so ....
4)Short story - Even though this is into an Anthologie and is a short story, in the end I didn't get that feeling that things rushed out a little or that the development of the story got cut in short, so this was a goog thing.

I will take up on this series from the start and enjoy this beautiful Psy-Changeling, and when I get here, I'll probably re-read Ria's and Emmett's story with pleasure.

"Blood and Roses" Angela Knight

So, this author was a first read for me even though I've read a lot about her Megaverse Series.
I'm not going to write about the story itself because I found it short and fast, but I'll tell you about the aspects that I think stood out in the story.

The idea of a Blood Rose, women being born to tame the vampire knights is original and I've never read this idea in any other book, so this was a positive thing to consider.

The setting where the story was placed is appealing to me, the fact that this is probably away from the center of the kingdom and far away from the eyes of the king where traitors and ambitions rise up as facts of broken unity of the nations peace, another point in favor of this read.

The fact that both characters have been betrayed by their loved ones and have to work out their feelings to trust another again, yes this does appeal to my head, it makes the characters grow and is always a fact that puts my mind to work and understand their feelings.

I don't know if the relationships in that time were as easy as it is written, but sex was easy and without taboos, in a way simplified by where people belonged in the social hierarchic class, this is also very well explained in this story.

Now, the bad guys. The fact that there is a barrier and a mean universe behind that barrier, magic and sacrifice to unleash an evil through out the kingdom, a very well placed threat in the plot.

Over all, this was a nice story to read, I'll probably be catching up on more of Ms. Knight's books.

"Shifting Sea" Virginia Kantra

This was my first read from M. Kantra and boy did I like it.

Major John Harris comes back from the war to become a land owner in the beautiful country of Scotland, and .... "He only hoped his best would be good enough".
Used to the war, he begins the journey of healing from the terror of the war and becoming a more human soul without all the darkness.

When he sees this beautiful woman, as he describes " A woman's skirts, a woman's hair, flowing loose in the wind, shining like sea foam in the sun.", his heart takes leap and he falls in love with this image.

Morwenna is a selkie, a finfolk, children that belong to the sea but this immortal woman wants to live and make a life for her in land along with the human kind.
When she meets John she feels that her response to his "attention" is not the usual feeling within her, it tangles with her heart.

This was a beautiful story, a heart warming change of scenery from what I usually like to read but it spiked my interest to keep turning the pages until the end.

Even in the small amount of pages that this story goes, our author knew to pace it beautifully along with images that stayed in my mind like ... "Lowering his face to the side of her head, he inhaled the clean, salt tang of her hair. She smelled of sunshine and woman, of sex and the sea." ... or ... " you took something of mine when you returned to the sea.You took my heart. The wind sighed. The salt air touched his lips like a cool kiss, like the taste of tears."...

Did I open up your appetite ?
It shure did open mine, I want more !

"Here There be Monsters" by Meljean Brook

This was also my first Steampunk read and my first with M. Brook, let's just say that I didn't realize that this futuristic world would be so vivid in pictures and interesting to my imagination.

Of course, our author helps us to picture a dark and dirty London, a sea that brings many bad things but it also brings a love story between a very bad man and a girl fighting barely to just get by, and brings the most crazy world that I've known to be created. I think I'm going to get to know more about it.

So basically, it goes down like this :

Seven years ago London had finally thrown off the brutality of Horde rule, but many still remember life in the creche. Ivy is one such person. When she finds herself one foggy London night once more paralyzed by a Horde implement and very nearly taken, she runs straight to the only man she knows of who might be able to get her out of the city before the Horde once more take it over: Mad Machen. 
But when Machen refuses her paltry monetary offer and wants instead her virginity, Ivy reneges on their deal and finds other passage out, all the while knowing that Mad Machen is very intolerant of folks who welch on deals made with the devil.
Two years later Ivy finds herself in Mad Machen's clutches once more. 
Only this time he demands she build him a diabolical device that will 
destroy other ships on the seas.

Beyond this fact troubles comes in a passion so strong that Ivy wonders if she can let go of this pirate ...

Oh, how I loved Mad Machen, a strong heart, a dangerous man, and a warm, rough lover. What more could a woman want ?
Ivy, on the other hand was sweet but calloused by life, a very intelligent mind, a mechanical mind should I say.

Over all, this anthologie was a five star for me and is going to my favorite shelf.