Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Review: The Magical Christmas Cat (anthology) by Lora Leigh, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, Linda Winstead Jones

Title: The Magical Christmas Cat
Series: Breeds, Psy-Changeling, Murphy Sisters
Author: Lora Leigh, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, Linda Winstead Jones
Read copy: Paperback
Published: October 7, 2008
Publisher: Berkley Trade
ISBN: 0425223558
ISBN-13: 9780425223550

New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh and top-selling authors Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, and Linda Winstead Jones have a special gift for readers this year: never-before published holiday stories featuring passionate romance, paranormal adventure, and a distinctly alluring feline touch. With four new stories, including one featuring Lora Leigh's genetically altered Feline Breeds, this is a collection packed with more surprises than Christmas morning, and more chills than the snowiest winter night.

My rating:

I was surprised, and pleasantly so, by Nalini Singh's contribution. It's the first story I've read by this author and I have to say I'm literally itching to read more about the Psy-Changeling universe. I know the market is inundated with shifter stories, yet this series apparently has a slightly different angle and I loved what I've read so far.
The characters were alive and well-developped, the conflict more than believable, and the plot, though holiday oriented and not much of a shocker was nicely delineated. The story flowed nicely, and the Christmasy touch added that little extra something special to make this story a little more sweeter and cuter than it already was...Talk about season for miracles. ;)

The middle two stories by Erin McCarthy and Linda Winstead Jones were the "pebble in the shoe" for this anthology. While McCarthy's strove for a bit of paranormal ending up with a shared dream was still passable, though not a great achievement (the characters seemed a little cold and the whole falling into each other's arms - despite the dream - was a bit too rushed to be believable), Winstead Jones' contribution was simply meh.
The weakest of them all, in suspense, though it tried really hard (and the ending of the first chapter was promising), characters and story. And what was with the constant use of the Italian? Wouldn't it been enough to use the word once and then revert back to English? But I guess it sounded fancier...At least if you decide to sound fancy and use a foreign language, at least try to use it correctly. A dictionary is a good help, sometimes. Il Collettore is spelled with two T's and not one as you did, Ms. Winstead Jones. Also, the Italians tend to use an apostrophe when the noun begins with a vowel so the correct use would be d'Anima and if we're using strict grammar, soul should be plural (he needs nine)...Il Collettore d'Anime. Just for the record.

Lora Leigh is simply Lora Leigh. I like all her stories (some more some less, depending on the publisher LOL) and this one was no exception. Yet another nice mix of action, romance, and steam, just the way I like 'em. Also, the Christmas backdrop added a nice warm, homey touch to the romance between Noble and Haley.
The story was nicely tied in to the previous books, Noble getting shot in Dawn's Awakening and the party and mate issues from Mercury's War. I love it when the bad guys go down and that b**** had it coming. *evil grin*

So the first and fourth novellas earned this anthology its 4-star rating because these two were worth the money spent on this book (which isn't often the case with anthologies). So I recommend this for Leigh and Singh fans...And for those who need a Christmas fix in the middle of the year. ;)


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