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I Belong


Review: Entangled Anthology

TitleEntangled Anthology

Authors: Jennifer Estep, Edie Ramer, Nancy Haddock, Misty Evans, Dale Mayer, Cynthia Eden, Michelle Miles, Lori Brighton, Liz Kreger, Michelle Diener, Allison Brennan

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publication Date: September 7, 2011

Format: eBook, 335 Pages

ASIN: B005LXWPI6 (Authors4theCure)

Reviewed by: Sheila

Synopsis:

Ghosts, vampires, demons, and more! Entangled includes ten suspense-filled paranormal short stories from authors Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Edie Ramer, Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, and Michelle Miles, plus a Seven Deadly Sins novella by Allison Brennan.

Stacia Kane contributed the foreword. Formatting and cover art were also donated to the project by Lori Devoti and Laura Morrigan.

All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Stories include:

HALLOWEEN FROST by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep (author of the Mythos Academy, Elemental Assassin, and Bigtime series) — It’s Halloween at Mythos Academy, but Gwen Frost and her friends are in for more tricks than treats when they run into a mythological monster intent on killing them.

THE FAT CAT by Edie Ramer (author of Cattitude, Galaxy Girls) — In a battle for the souls of seven women, a wizard has the god of war on his side; all the witch has is a fat, black cat.

MEDIUM RARE by Nancy Haddock (author of the Oldest City Vampire trilogy) —What’s spooking the spirits of St. Augustine? As the witching hour of Halloween approaches, ghost seer Colleen Cotton must team with a by-the-book paranormal investigator to locate the one ghost who can save the city’s specters. If she fails, her own great grandfather’s spirit may be lost forever.

SWEET DEMON by Misty Evans (author of the Witches Anonymous series) —When Chicago’s vampire king insists Kali Sweet join his empire, the vengeance demon must rely on her ex – the half-human, half-chaos demon who left her at the altar three hundred years ago – in order to escape the vamp’s clutches.

SIAN’S SOLUTION by Dale Meyer (author of the Psychic Visions series) — When a vampire discovers the human man she loves has been captured and hung in a blood farm, she goes against her own kind and risks everything to save him.

A BIT OF BITE by Cynthia Eden (author of NEVER CRY WOLF and ANGEL OF DARKNESS) — A killer is stalking the streets of Crossroads, Mississippi, and it’s up to Sheriff Ava Dushaine to stop him. But when suspicion falls on werewolf alpha Julian Kasey—Ava’s ex-lover and the man who still haunts her dreams—Ava knows that she’ll either have to prove his innocence…or watch the whole town go up in flames.

SINFULLY SWEET by Michelle Miles (author of the Coffee House series) — When Chloe bakes a little magic into her pastries, she attracts the attention of Edward, the sexy half-demon, half-witch, who’s come to warn her those who murdered her sister are now after her.

A NIGHT OF FOREVER by Lori Brighton (author of A Night of Secrets and To Seduce an Earl) — Who is Aidan Callaghan? Mary Ellen James is intent on uncovering the truth about the mysterious man, but as she soon finds out, some things are best left buried in the past.

FEEL THE MAGIC by Liz Kreger (author of the Part of Tomorrow series) — Jenna Carmichael’s magical attempt to rectify Jessica Manfield’s birth identity takes an unexpected turn when the past comes back to haunt her.

BREAKING OUT by Michelle Diener (author of the Tudor-set historical suspense novel In A Treacherous Court) — Imprisoned in a secret facility, powerful telekinetic Kelli Barrack and two other ‘special’ inmates grab a chance to escape, only to confront their worst nightmares on the outside.

GHOSTLY JUSTICE, an all-new Seven Deadly Sins novella by New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan (author of the Seven Deadly Sins series) — Demon hunters Moira O’Donnell and Rafe Cooper are dragged into the dangerous world of nocturnal predators to find “Ghostly Justice” for a virgin sacrificed to an ancient blood demon.

Quick & Dirty: This anthology is full of fabulous tales of assorted Halloween mischief.  Plus, all proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which can always use the help.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Stop right there.  Did you read the synopsis?  Well, let me reiterate; ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION. Take a chance and help out a GREAT cause.  Believe me; they can use all the help they can get.  And you win by getting great short stories out of the deal.  Win, win!

This is a collection of stories that have a Halloween theme.  It’s like a smorgasbord of stories spanning across several genres.  Let me warn you: I have not read ANY of the following series before.  I know, right?  How did that happen?  I’m not sure, but I will be looking into some of these now.  My review will reflect my ignorance and I will base my ratings off of having no prior knowledge of any of the characters in any of the stories.  It will also reflect whether or not each story can survive as a stand-alone.

“Halloween Frost” by Jennifer Estep (Mythos Academy series #1.5)

Gwen Frost is a student attending an academy that teaches warriors chosen by the gods of the Greek pantheon.  She and her friends go trick-or-treating around the local community and end up in a fight for their lives type of battle.  Gwen is rescued by her crush, Logan.  Afterwards, they have a “moment,” right before his girlfriend shows up.  Later in her room, Gwen resolves to make a “go” at Logan because she thinks it’s fated.  *sigh* I wish I still saw the world that way, like when we were in school.  First loves are always so, well, emotional and epic-feeling.

Rating: 3/5

“The Fat Cat” by Edie Ramer

We all know that cats have attitude, Samson has more than most.  Mostly, because he is able to communicate with his human, Tory, telepathically and can “voice” all the things that we think cats are really trying to tell us.  Tory is also a witch and a good friend to have.  When she hears that Nikki, her old pal, is being held against her will by a warlock, it’s up to Tory and Samson to get her out.  I know what you’re thinking, who brings a cat to a fight?  Samson may be the perfect “man” for Tory after all.  This is a neat story that gives kudos to our furry friends, and the power of friendship.

Rating: 4/5

“Medium Rare” by Nancy Haddock

This is a tale about Colleen Cotton, therapist to the haunted.  She communicates with ghosts and helps them out.  Usually, it is about making deals between the ghosts and the people living in the places they haunt.  Colleen along with the sexy ghost hunter, Brick Fraiser, helps out the local ghosts fight against an evil pirate spirit that is trying to consume all the local ghost’s spiritual energies.  I love the byplay between Colleen and Brick.  At first, Brick believes Colleen to be a scam artist but by the end of the fight with the evil specter of Robert Searle, he finally admits she’s legit. The story ends with “A promise of more to come.”  This is a fabulous idea and now I really want to read a full-on book about Colleen and her escapades.

Rating: 5/5

“Sweet Demon” by Misty Evans (Kali Sweet series #0.5)

Kali Sweet is a vengeance demon and her job is to protect humans from other supernaturals, like herself.  She is a member of the Bridge Council, a Supernatural Justice Department, and has been assigned to deliver a warning to the vampire king, Raj Nudra, about him hurting humans.  It doesn’t help that by doing so, it brings her into contact with her old lover, Rad Beaumont.  Lots of bad history between them, including Rad leaving her at the altar some three hundred years ago.  Now, she must deal with him trying to make amends right when she needs to concentrate on the threat by Nudra.  But when she is kidnapped, Rad comes through and helps rescue her.  Can they reconcile the past and try again?  Can love truly overcome all the obstacles between them?  A little taste of love reignited.

Rating: 5/5

“Sian’s Solution” by Dale Mayer (set in the Blood Ties world #0.5)

This story is set up like an episode of 24: It counts down to the time Sian has planned for her great “escape”.  Sian Tallant is a scientist and a vampire.  She is currently working in a human harvesting facility and is planning to break out one of the humans, her lover, Taz.  Taz doesn’t know that she is a vampire.  But when she tried to break things off between them, he follows her into vampire territory and gets captured.  Now it is up to Sian to free the man she loves, even though he might come to hate her for what she is.  The whole thing is very suspenseful and kept me riveted.

Rating: 4/5

“A Bit of Bite” by Cynthia Eden

Ava Dushaine, Sheriff of Crossroads, Mississippi, has a problem.  Someone has been killing humans in her little town and making it look like the werewolves are doing it.  Of course, she and the werewolf alpha, Julian, have a history together.  One that he would like to see happen again and one that she is dead set against.  All of this couldn’t have happened at a better time, for there is a legend about Crossroads and the blood moon, and the apocalypse to follow it.  It implies that the humans are in grave peril around the supernaturals in the town during All Hallow’s Eve.  Can Ava solve the murders while still protecting Julian and his wolves?  Can Julian save Ava from those that will harm her?  Will they reconcile their relationship and start anew?  This is one of my favorite stories in this anthology.

Rating: 5/5

“Sinfully Sweet” by Michelle Miles

Chloe O’Shea owns and operates a small time bakery, using her grandmother’s recipes and her own secret ingredient, magic, to make delicious pastries.  Of course, she wishes for one “delicious” costumer to take notice of her, the dark and sexy Edward.  Perhaps she should have given more thought to adding magic into her food, since she is on the run from her old coven.  Perhaps she should have given more thought to pursuing Edward before she knew more about him, like the fact that he has been sent by the coven in question to retrieve the item she stole.  The item, a pendent, they want is the only clue Chloe has to her sister’s murder.  Can she persuade Edward to change his mind and help her out instead?  FYI, this particular story has a wonderful scene with interesting alternative uses for cupcake icing.  Yum.  I really liked the fact that, even though this was a short story, it was packed with sexuality and suspense.  I can’t wait to find out more about Chloe and Edward!

Rating: 5/5

“A Night of Forever” by Lori Brighton (The Night Series #1.5)

Set in Victorian England, this story is about the difference between marrying someone based on listening to your head or your heart.  Mary Ellen is searching for a husband with her head.  She is looking for a man of prestige and wealth, and no matter how much she thinks about him, Aidan Callaghan is none of those things.  She wants stability, not poverty.  Aidan can’t stop thinking about Mary Ellen as well.  He wants her, badly, but refuses to give in to the notion.  Aidan’s secret is that he is a vampire and assumes that Mary Ellen could never learn to accept him for who he is.  Or can she?  When they are forced into a desperate fight for their lives, Mary Ellen and Aidan come together.  But when the adrenaline wears off, will the chemistry between them be enough?  This story is a bit more romance than paranormal.

Rating: 3/5

“Feel the Magic” by Liz Kreger

Jenna Carmichael is a Practioner, a member of a magic-using profession that has only been legal for about a year.  She is putting her name and professional career on the line today: She is going to change Jessica Mansfield, a human woman, into a cat.  Jenna will be doing this with the full blessing of the courts and the judge, Judge Sheila Warren, will be there to witness the transformation.  Of course, things go very wrong when Jessica’s pimp barges in and tries to stop the change from happening right in the middle of the ceremony.  I like this story mostly because it’s has lots of courtroom logistics.  Overall, it comes across as very technical, like the early Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books when zombie raisings were performed.  Lots of objections and legal jargon.  This novella is paranormal meets People’s Court with a little Jerry Springer Show mixed into it. 

Rating: 4/5

“Breaking Out” by Michelle Diener

We first meet Kel locked away in what appears to be a prison/mental facility cell.  She doesn’t know if there are others in the facility with her, until she hears a commotion outside her room one Halloween night.  Nate is being moved out of the facility, and he’s not going without a fight.  When he falls into Kel’s room, he knows that he must escape with her and his friend, Giles.  The three of them must work together, or none of them will make it out alive.  Of course, Nate and Giles are military trained and Kel has a secret weapon all her own, so the odds tend to favor them.  This is a story full of military know-how and psychic experimentations with unforeseen consequences.  It keeps you spellbound throughout the whole thing.  If you enjoy Firestarter by Stephen King or Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series, you might want to try Breaking Out.

Rating: 5/5

“Ghostly Justice” by Allison Brennan (the Seven Deadly Sins series #2.5)

Demon hunters Moria and Rafe take a break from hunting down super evil demons, the Seven Deadly Sins, and go to fight against a psychic vampire using blood sacrifices meant to resurrect an ancient demon, Baphomet, in return for immortality.

Just as I said before, I have not read any of the series attached to the authors that contributed to this anthology.  That being said, I believe I would have enjoyed this story more if I had more knowledge about the world and some of the main characters beforehand.  There was almost TOO much background added in and I felt that it distracted me from the overall flow of the story.  That being said, I plan to add Allison’s series to my TBR pile just based on reading Ghostly Justice.

Rating: 4/5

All in all, an excellent collection of stories by some very talented authors.

FTC Advisory: Jennifer Estep provided me with a copy of EntangledNo goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only things I receive for payment are hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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One Response to “Review: Entangled Anthology

  1. Tanyaw1224No Gravatar
    1

    that had more 5/5 than most anthology’s I’ve seen. This is one I’ll be adding to my TBR list. Thanks for your review.

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