Thursday, January 29, 2009

Review: Dead After Dark (anthology) by Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, Susan Squires, Dianna Love

Title: Dead After Dark
Series: Were-Hunters, Companion
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon, J.R. Ward, Susan Squires, Dianna Love
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: December 2, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 0312947984
ISBN-13: 9780312947989

Shadow of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Angelia has fought her entire life to make herself strong. Now, with her patria under fire, she has to protect her people from Fury and his werewolf clan. Vowing to bring him to justice, Angelia sets out alone… until the hunter becomes the hunted, and the only way for her to survive is to trust the very wolf she's sworn to kill.

The Story of Son by J.R. Ward
Claire Stroughton is a beautiful lawyer who would rather spend the night with a legal brief than the man of her dreams. Then a routine client meeting turns dangerous—and deeply sensual—when she is held captive by a gorgeous man with an unworldly hunger…

Beyond the Night by Susan Squires
When Drew Carlowe returns home to win back a lost love, he is quick to dismiss rumors that his estate is haunted by a stunning young ghost…until one passionate encounter leaves him mystified—and aching for more.

Midnight Kiss Goodbye by Dianna Love
Trey McCree possesses an insatiable desire for Sasha Armand—and supernatural powers that could endanger her life as a human. But when they team up to stop an evil warlord, Trey discovers that Sasha can do way more than drive men wild…

My rating:

There’s a love-hate sort of “thing” I have going for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s novella Shadow of the Moon. On one hand there’s Fury, my (currently) favorite wolf of the Were-Hunter bunch. I have a thing for tall, dark, handsome, and brooding, so sue me. I have a bone to pick (excuse the pun) with Angelia. For the better part of the story I just wanted someone to kick her judgmental, arrogant, narrow-minded butt. In the end, she finally seemed to see reason, but still, she takes second place on my least-favorite Kenyon’s character list (Artemis still reigns supreme)...Angelia aside, this was a good story, with Kenyon revisiting her past (and loved) characters – it’s always a pleasurable hoot to see good ol’ Z again.

J.R. Ward’s The Story of Son literally blew me away. I have only read half of this book so far, but I think this will be the best of the four. I mean, how can you top this?! It was as close to perfect as it could get. The heroine was a hoot to read. A no-nonsense, board-room killer lawyer with a sense of humor to die for and a level head on her shoulders. I absolutely adored her. And her hero…Yum, yum. The perfect guy. Gentle, incredibly polite, Old-World air (thanks to his books), yet when he “let loose” – yowza! I could have done with a little shorter hair, though.
This story indeed has it all going for it. There’s romance, drama, action, mystery, some chills and thrills...And most important of all, great characters (even the supporting cast left an impression). An amazing story.
This is the first story by this author for me and if BDB series is half this good, I’m itching to sink my teeth into it (again, no pun intended).

Susan Squire's Beyond the Night is yet another of her "Companion" stories. I can't seem to escape those. I only have her stories in novellas and each and every one of them is a "Companion". I'm not fond of that parasitic critter. I always get this nasty mental picture of the alien who ate crazy people in an episode of Buffy and I cringe. Vampires are supposed to be sexy, that mental picture isn't sexy...Ugh.

And now to Dianna Love's Midnight Kiss Goodbye. Somewhere in the middle I think my brain simply shorted out. The whole universe she's concocted was so complex, with mages, witches, gods, Hindu tribes yadda yadda, I just couldn't follow anymore without taking out a pad and pencil (and I was too bored and too lazy to get those). Maybe this is part of a series, or start of one, I don't know, but it was a little too much info to cram into a novella. Also, something must have rub off her friend and co-author Sherrilyn Kenyon, because the fighting scene and subsequent quasi-reunion of all the above mentioned fantasy critters was a little too similar to Kenyon's Hunters, complete with the Big Boss of the some sorts that could've been Ash or Savitar in disguise.

Again, the first two novellas earn this compilation that nice grade you see up there. Out of those two, J.R. Ward's is the best, Fury's story is a far second, while the other two are not worth the deteriorated brain cells.


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