Series: Sentinel, Book 0.5; Immortal Guardians, Book 3.5; Underworld Detection Agency, Book 4.5
Author: Alexandra Ivy, Nina Bangs, Dianne Duvall, Hannah Jayne
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Published: May 7, 2013 by Zebra
Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy
Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he's actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other...
Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .
In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Immortal Richart d'Alençon can't forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .
High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay's design contest rival is found dead, she's the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He's the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him--and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Like any anthology, this is a mixed bag: enjoyed first two stories, adored the third and meh-ed the fourth.
The Set Up: Just read the synopsis above because I am way too lazy to recap four different stories. I will say the only thing that ties this anthology together is that they’re all paranormal romance stories.
Why I Read this Book: DIANNE DUVALL! I adore her Immortal Guardians series and have awaited Richart and his mysterious love interest since it was hinted at in book one of the series. I am also an Alexandra Ivy fan, though this is the beginning of a new series for her.
What I Liked: I *adored* Duvall’s story, In Still Darkness. It’s rare that a love story I’ve been waiting for lives up to its hype but this totally did. Richart is the Immortal who can teleport and he was involved in a secret love affair with a human in the first three books in the series and we finally get to see his love interest, Jenna. I love that Jenna isn’t your typical romance novel heroine in that she’s older and has an adult son. Given this is a short novella, the romance between Richart and Jenna is fairly straight forward and they’re honest with each other which I always like in romance. Jenna’s son plays a charming and believable character and the Immortal Guardians I’ve come to adore in the series have short roles here too which rounds out a perfect story.
What I Also Liked: I also really liked Ivy’s story, Out of Control. The world building is good here but not clunky since it’s probably only about 25,000 words. Our hero, Niko, is a Sentinel, a police officer of the supernatural who live in a realm above Earth called Valhalla, though known to humans. Niko is on a mission to capture a rogue supernatural who is hunting Professor Angela Locke for her skills in genetic research. I quickly became enamored of this world, especially as I got glimpses of Niko’s fellow Sentinels and boss who are delicious yummy heroes for future books. Angela and Niko fall a bit into the insta-mate trope but managed to have good enough chemistry for me to enjoy the story.
I have to admit to a reluctance to read Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs but I totally enjoyed it. I’ve tried this author before and couldn’t ever manage more than 30 pages of her vampire books but this short novella I enjoyed. Human Cassie with her seeming fragility was a great foil for vampire Ethan who has a “Second One” whose morbid beauty kills those who look at him. They have a gentle chemistry that I total bought and think other readers will too. Their romance is one that’s forged in battle with evil forces and I really liked the pacing of the story in both plot and romance. I did roll my eyes a bit at the end’s convenience but I read romance so whatever.
What I Didn’t Like: The fourth novella was meh for me. I’m predisposed to disliking fashionista heroines and High Stakes featured one. She was cotton candy to me with her perfection and even Pike, her love interest, was glitzy. This is a vampire-meets-Beverly-Hills story and it just didn’t hold my interest at all. I also didn’t think Pike and Nina have all that much chemistry which IMO is critical in novellas. To be fair, I read this after Duvall’s story which I adored so I’m allowing that I could have compared the two which made Jayne’s story suffer in comparison.
IMO: This is a good anthology with one huge highlight (Duvall’s story) and two others that are very good (Ivy’s and Bangs’) so I’d recommend paranormal romance fans buy this one.