This anthology contains four novellas, each featuring a different brand of supernatural love story. There is not a lot of cohesion among the offerings. They vary in everything from the tone… to the hot-factor… to even the species of supernaturals involved. There wasn’t one that was boring, but I enjoyed the last two quite a bit more than the others.
“Hidden” – Lila is in trouble. The beautiful Fae princess has made a binding deal with a human trying to take over the forests where her people live. Now she must convince the neighboring werewolf pack to give him their lands instead. Of course, the wolves aren’t interested, so she resorts to kidnapping their leaders to force their cooperation.
Rafe, the Alpha’s son, crosses Lila’s path when he comes to rescue his packmates. He’s immune to most of her magic, but her beauty and her personality are harder to ignore. Can the two of them work together to find a way to save both of their homes?
This was a pleasant, easy read. It wasn’t too much of a love story, though you could say it’s the beginning of one. It’s got simple world-building with an easily defined obstacle and a creative solution.
“One Soul to Share” – Nolan is on a quest to replace the soul he lost when he became a vampire. He has discovered that he might be able to obtain one from the old sea hag, so he ventures out to find her. He meets a mermaid named Sarina, who agrees to act as his guide to find the hag’s underwater lair. But Nolan has no idea that Sarina is really hoping he’ll survive long enough for her to trade him to the hag for her sister’s soul.
The two of them meet one challenge after another as they journey toward the hag. In their own way, each reveals themselves to be something beautiful and something monstrous. They are kindred spirits and eventually come together in something more than their missions.
It’s not everyday you get a vampire/ mermaid underwater love-story. And I found that I kind of liked it. The story wasn’t like anything I’ve read before and that’s a rare thing. Both main characters are believable (in their own fantastical ways) and romantic in the ways they were willing to sacrifice for one another.
“Cruel Enchantment” – The fairy Bree has no idea what to expect when she is kidnapped by werewolves and locked up with a hungry vampire. She certainly would have never dreamed that the vamp would be her Intended mate. She knows fairy ichor is like a drug to vampires, but she allows Rev to drink from her anyway. They go their separate ways once they make an escape, but they never forget one another.
It took Rev months to overcome his addiction to fairy dust, but now he’s clean. His job investigating the vampire fight clubs has brought him face to face with Bree again. It turns out that she is an informant who has stopped helping his organization. When the two meet again, their connection is undeniable. But it seems like they are doomed before they can even begin. Rev can’t be with Bree without wanting to drink from her. So how can they make something work between them?
This was one of the stronger stories in the anthology. It’s sexy and hot. I found myself wanting Rev to ravish Bree almost as much as she did. The story is part of Hauf’s Beautiful Creatures world, but this works easily as a stand-alone. Dark, steamy, and tough to put down.
“Enemy Embrace” – They saved the best for last with this uber-hot demon story. Nicole is a half-demon, on the hunt for revenge against the vampire who killed her family. But she is outmatched… until the sexy demon Dak comes along. From the moment she lays eyes on him, all she can think about is, jumping his bones. She discovers they are meant to be mates. Once they sleep together, they will be tied to one another for the rest of their lives. But Dak is reluctant to make such a huge commitment. He tries to teach Nicole to draw on her demon side to help her prepare to the fight the vampire. And the more time they spend together, the less they can fight the attraction.
This story was HOT. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for these two to come together. Patti O’Shea… where have you been all my life? I haven’t read from this author before, but I’ll be looking for her other work after this.
Overall, it was kind of a mixed bag. Though there were no stories I disliked, the last two were definitely more of a hit for me. A little less than 4 stars.
*ARC provided by an author for review
Crave the Nightby Patti O’Shea, Lori Devoti, Michele Hauf,and Sharon AshwoodRelease Date: October 5, 2011Publisher: Swell Cat Press