New York Times best-selling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight, as the scent of Bastien Smith's elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that's as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he's found his mate, he'll do anything to keep her. In one New York Times best-selling author Ilona Andrews' novella Magic Steals, when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible. In Milla Vane's The Beast of Blackmoor, a warrior princess must tame a savage beast to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself. It's seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince's bachelor party goes every which way but right in nationally best-selling author Lisa Shearin's Lucky Charms.
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I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)
This is a very good anthology. I was already a fan of Andrews and Singh so I was willing to give it a try. The other 2 authors were new to me but I liked them both well enough that I may try more of their work in the future. I've included more individual reviews below:
Secrets at Midnight
This was a very good story. This is part of the Psy/changing series. Bastian is Mercy's brother and a changling. He finds his mate, Kirby, who appears to be human (but they both get a big surprise). I liked both Kirby and Bastien and enjoyed their story very much. It was interesting and sweet and a good (if short) addition to the series. :D
This was a very good story. This takes place while Kate and Curran are out of town and Jim has been left in charge of the pack. He and Dali are dating but can only get together infrequently. Dali likes Jim a lot but because she has a low opinion of her self worth, she has no hope that their fledgling relationship will last. I did find her lack of confidence a bit annoying and it does come up a few times but it really isn't the focus of the story. When Dali gets called in to help with a curse that's threatening a family friend, Jim goes along to help (although it's more to spend time with her than anything else). During their subsequent adventures in dealing with the curse, Dali (with help from Jim) realises that she has a lot more to offer than she thought and I was happy with her personal growth. I liked Jim in this story...we get a bit of his personal stuff and I loved how he has was with Dali. The story ends with Jim and Dali heading towards a HEA together.
This was a very good story. It's a prequel to the first book in this series, [book:The Grendel Affair|17912981]. This is the first story I've read by this author but I liked it well enough that I'll probably try more of the series in the future.
Basically, this short is about Makenna's first night on the job working for SPI. She gets partnered with Ian who is an experienced agent and doesn't seem too happy to have been assigned to Makenna. Their first case involves finding 5 lost leprechauns before something very bad happens...like an evil mage getting a hold of the wishes of a leprechaun Prince (which are much more powerful than wishes from a normal leprechaun). It's an interesting first night and Makenna learns a lot, some of which isn't good (specifically about some larger dangers she could be facing on the job which will probably be addressed in book #1). Ian and Makenna work well together, gaining mutual interest and respect for each other by the end of the story (but anything else is left for the next book).
This was a very enjoyable story. I liked Ian and Makenna as well as the cast of secondary characters. This story was interesting and kept me engaged and I had no major complaints about the story. Overall, this was a very good prequel to the series and I'd recommend it. :)
Beast of Blackmoor
This was an interesting story. I liked Mala and Kavik and their story was pretty good. This is the first story I've read by this author (and it appears to be only 1 of 2 stories she's written) but I liked it and may try more of this author's work in the future.
Kavik is from a land with an evil warlord and a monstrous demon that causes death and sickness throughout the land. He made it his mission to rid the land of both but hasn't had much luck. Kavik left his land to raise money for an army of men to help his take down the evil warlord but to no avail. He also tried to gain the aid of a goddess and when her priestess refused, Kavik let his temper out which brought about was seems to be a prophecy of his doom. Kavik has spent years trying to keep his people as safe as possible when he encounters a woman, Mala, that has been sent to his land on a mission. They have an unexpected connection and but her mission may not be something that's good for Kavik. Mala doesn't have ill will towards Kavik and actually has very good will towards him but she's unsure of exactly what her mission entails and the will of gods are hard to determine. Kavik and Mala have some trying times as they struggle between what their missions may entail and their want for each other. I will say that the story ends with Kavik and Mala heading toward a HEA together.
Anthologies are the perfect way to taste authors you haven't read before. I thoroughly enjoyed these short stories...filled with action, it will be difficult to sit the book down or stop listening..
Teacher, avid reader/listener, yarn-fiend, romantic cynic.
Yes and no. I purchased this anthology because I really enjoy Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling world and was eagerly anticipating finding out what Bastien Smith's story. The time that I spent listening to that story: well-spent.
The problem is that I was unfamiliar with the other three authors and took a gamble that I would enjoy them as well.
The middle two stories are okay, but didn't grab me like Singh's story did and the last story... I could definitely have NOT listened to that one. (As it is, it took me 3 tries to finish and I am seriously debating returning the audiobook because of this last story).
Nalini Singh's story added some interesting depth to her world. Instead of taking the typical changeling-human or changeling-psy story that she has been using, this one is a twist on a changeling-changeling and it is well done. It explains a possible problem with changelings and adds further depth to the world.
The two middle stories were occassionally funny and obviously continuations of previous worlds, but they didn't pull me in and were an easy listen without being very engaging. I will admit, they are both written first person and I tend not to appreciate stories written in the first person as much.
The final story in the anthology is set in a "barbarian fantasy" world and the ending is about the only thing I enjoyed in the entire book. I would NOT recommend this book to most people, because of the extremely graphic and violent "romantic" scenes throughout the book. The book starts with a battle scene and I was definitely interested, but was immediately turned off when the book began integrating the extremely violent abusive scenes. Interestingly enough, a couple of other reviews of this anthology said that they were glad that Nalini Singh had toned down her "intimate scenes", but they didn't mind this particular novella within the anthology. I would say that the Nalini Singh is a story of which the romance and intimacy is one part, but it does not dominate the story. The same can NOT be said of this novella - these scenes dominated the book and were much much more graphic than any of Nalini Singh's in ANY of her Psy-Changeling series (and I have eagerly read them all).
I am only going to address the novella that I liked (the Nalini Singh one):
If I truly put my favorite scene, it would be a spoiler. ;) So I will go with an early one in the book that made me smile.
The scene when Bastien pulls up to drop off the elderly packmate who he drove home and then turns around and sees the heroine Kirby is cute and has funny parts. The elderly packmate has a very snarky sense of humor and it is really fun to see them interact. Finally, at the end of the book, when the "kitten defurring tools" make a reappearance is another fun scene and a good look at protective Mercy looking out for her younger sibling (even if he is a full grown Dark River leopard).
**IF** you like more than just one author, yes.
**IF** you go into the last story knowing it is very violent and not everyone's cup of tea, maybe.
Would I purchase this anthology again? Probably not. I would much prefer to purchase just the one story that I really liked and have the option to go back and purchase the middle two if I decide later I want to listen to them. Is the last one worth ANY purchase price, IMHO? No.
Go in with your eyes open. Enjoy the ones you enjoy and bail on the other ones.
Say something about yourself!
Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.50
Audio Rating: 3.50 (not part of the overall rating)
Note: Only listened to Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews
Overall Thoughts: OH Jim! Way to ease into it :) <---that ending quite frankly had me fist pumping and going "WAIT! I need the rest of that scene". Overall I adore Dali and Jim and hope we get more stories from them in the future.
Narrated by Angela Dawe
I love Angela Dawe! I just want to say that upfront but it is hard for me to wrap my head around different narrators picking up characters that I already have in my head with another narrator. She did well but it wasn't the same. I don't blame Angela--just my head for liking it one way!
Part of my Read It, Rate It, File It, Done! Reviews
I love urban fantasy, paranormal romance, YA, and dystopian. My favorite authors are Ilona Andrews and Kim Harrison.
I got this for the Ilona Andrews story, but the narration was so lacking compared to the amazing Renee Raudman who normally narrates Ilona Andrews books. I think the other stories would be better if I knew more about the stories. To me, knowing nothing about the worlds of the other stories I wouldn't have been bored. I'm returning this one. I did enjoy the Ilona Andrews story!
I loved ALL the stories. The only one I HATED and will never read a book from that author was the one about the leprechauns. I was so confused and lost. I only continued to listen to it so I would know where the next story began. You'll like them except that one, but totally worth it.
Sassy dialogue, humor, and a great reader are important to me.
Wonderful,Creative and Fun. It takes better writing to do a short story. Very few words to paint a full picture, but you have to listen for it. If you are multi-tasking, you may miss some wonderful humor.
In each story, Ms Dawe brings to life what the authors' had intended: N.Singh references to cubs and food/bake goods, L Shearins' great use of southern humor, I Andrews "you are an 800 lb tiger, just sit on them". Now M Vane, may take your breath away as it did mine. She is a new writer for me, excellent, but more of the dark side of a story. Heroine is strong, language is very graphic and some scenes were disturbing. So this author did not fit in the same humor category, but was an excellent listen.
I am a big fan of Ms Dawe reads and purchased this book because she read all of the stories. THIS book is a WINNER. Her male voices are so yummy. You may have to get use to her cadence, as I did, but she is so good. Check out my reviews under Ms Dawe pages.
yup, I sure did! I was smiling on 3 of the stories and glued to the headset on the last.
I love N.Singh short stories as she makes them fun and cute.
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