In "Shades of Gray" by Katie MacAlister, Noelle is a Guardian: a demon-wrangler, imp-banisher, and all-round secret protector of humans from the Otherworld. While working on the set of a ghost-busting reality show in a haunted castle, she meets a sexy vampire, and together they prevent a Master Demon from killing everyone in the castle.
In "Undead Sublet" by Molly Harper, executive chef Tess Maitland is banned from her five-star kitchen in Chicago to recover from "exhaustion". Choosing a random rental house in Half-Moon Hollow to spend time in, she's unaware that the house comes with a strange man. Even though Sam Masden's ex-wife has rented the house out from under him, the divorce settlement allows him access to it for another ninety days. With Tess unable to go anywhere else, and Sam unwilling, a war of epic proportions is declared - and romantic sparks and heavy pots fly.
Jessica Sims's "Out With a Fang" features Ruby Sommers, a lonely were-jaguar who signs up for a blind date through the paranormal dating agency Midnight Liaisons. When she arrives, she finds out that her date, a vampire, was the human she'd been in love with four years ago but was forced to dump.
©2012 Katie MacAlister, Molly Harper, and Jessica Sims (P)2012 Tantor
The first two short stories are well written and performed. The last one, "Out with a Fang".... felt like a chore to get through. Seemed like a story written by a randy teenager. The narrator, her constant "chipperness" started to grate on my nerves.
The first story was neither here nor there - didn't really do it for me. I think the narrator captured the spirit of the characters well enough but they weren't for me.
The second story is the reason I bought this compilation. I love Molly Harper's Half Moon Hollow books and was not disappointed with this story. The narrator did an excellent job bringing Tess and Sam to life. If there is anything to be disappointed in, it's that she gave Zeb the voice of a yokel in his two or three lines. Not enough to really worry about, though.
The third story was a pleasant surprise. I think I'd like to read/listen to more from this author. The narrator was brilliant. I love her rich vocal range.
I mainly got this book for the stories by Katie Macalister and Molly Harper. Their stories are part of the dark ones series and half moon hollow respectively. Both are great though I found Jessica Sims to be lacking. Hers lacked a lot of the quirky humor the other two had. It wasn't bad just not as good as the other two.
I highly recommend the Molly Harper story, especially if you are familiar with the Half-Moon Hollow series. This is the story of Tess and Sam, who we met in the Christmas novella. Classic Molly Harper style-- funny, snarky, some trials the characters must work through. The practical jokes are great.
The Jessica Sims book is good. This is the first I've read and it was good enough that I'd consider more from this author. Nothing laugh out loud funny (like with Molly's books) but you can't have that every time. I liked the were-jaguar. I'm tired of all the were-wolves.
The Katie MacAlister book was bad. I was prepared for bad because I read some of the reviews. I don't know why I didn't skip it-- curiosity I guess. It's hard to figure out why Molly and Jessica would have a combined effort with this author and why on earth would they give her top billing! Skip it. Or, if you can't stop yourself, listen to it knowing you are going to hear some terrible dialogue. I had to laugh (that cringe/laugh) when hearing about Gray's "titanium" member.
To Ms. MacAlister: I hate to give a bad review without explaining why. You did not give back story or explanation of the world your characters live in. That's fine when writing a contemporary romance set in the real world. But you write paranormal. So you need to explain what the rules are for a "Guardian", "Dark One", and "Beloved" are in your world. We eventually figure most of it out (although Dark One is still a little vague). When you introduce a new type of being you need to explain their purpose and what they can/can't do. Also, your dialogue was too ridiculous. A couple of times you had Noel comment that Gray's language was strange. It was too silly. If you feel the need to have your character make fun of the language that may be a sign that you've taken it too far. I could get past the lack of backstory. I don't think I will ever get past the titanium penis.
This is not worth the money! The first story was absolutely dreadful and the narrator couldn't do a British accent. The third story was not any better and just garbage. The molly harper story was decent but didn't have her normal narrator so it looses a lot of the character Amanda Ronconey adds. Don't waste your time, you'll just skip through most of it.
I agree with other reviews stating the first story is a bit painful. For me, it is hard to say if a story is good if the narrator's performance is awful.
THE SECOND STORY STARTS AT CHAPTER EIGHT.
The other two were pretty good. MH is always awesome. The last of the three kind of dragged then it was like the author got tired and wrapped it all up in a HEA.
I didn't like the first story. It was very vague and didn't give me a longing to rediscover the characters in other related books. I also didn't like the ending of it. It seemed to glamorize an abusive relationship between the dark-ones parents despite the circumstances. The second story was hilarious, and the third was my favorite. Although I was already a fan of the author.
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