Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: August 7, 2007
Format: Paperback, 342 Pages
ISBN-10: 0425216594 (Penguin/Berkley)
ISBN-13: 978-0425216590 (Penguin/Berkley)
Reviewed by: Sheila
On the make. On the scent. On the edge.
“Alpha and Omega” by Patricia Briggs
The werewolf Anna finds a new sense of self when the son of the werewolf king comes to town to quell unrest in the Chicago pack- and inspires a power in Anna that she’s never felt before.
“Inhuman” by Eileen Wilks
Kai has a secret gift of sensing thoughts and desires. What she senses in her neighbor Nathan could be dangerous. Because he has a secret gift, too, and it’s about to be let loose.
“Buying Trouble” by Karen Chance
In a New York auction house, a Lord of the Fey crosses paths with a fiery redheaded mage named Claire. But in this strange underground society, the rarity up for sale is Claire herself.
“Mona Lisa Betwining” by Sunny
Among the children of the moon, Mona Lisa is of Mixed Blood- part Monere, part human, and destined to be alone. Then she meets a man who could be her salvation- or her downfall.
Quick & Dirty: This anthology delivers tantalizing views into well-loved worlds. Fun reads that can be enjoyed without prior knowledge of the series.
I don’t normally read all of an anthology. I will go to the sections with my favorite authors and then call it good. On the Prowl is not your usual anthology. The novellas are long enough to satisfy my need for details yet short enough to wet my appetite for more. I had not previously read anything by Eileen Wilks and nothing about Karen Chance’s spin-off series, Dorina Basarab. Now, I can’t get a hold of their other books fast enough!
“Alpha and Omega” by Patricia Briggs (Alpha and Omega series #0.5)
Events in this story follow along with what’s happening during the Mercy Thompson novel, Moon Called. Charles Cornick, werewolf enforcer of the North American Werewolves and son of the Marrok, travels to Chicago to investigate the allegations of selling newly made werewolves for profit, misconduct of the Alpha, and murder. He goes to do his duty as he always has, alone. Charles is rare for his kind; he was born a werewolf, not made one. He is about to meet someone equally rare; Anna, an Omega. Anna Latham has been used and abused by her pack. It is her sense of ethics that prompt her to get their leader, the Marrok, involved. She doesn’t realize how her position as Omega really works. As an Omega, she has the ability to calm those werewolves around her; most packs would consider her a gift. All of the dominate leaders in the pack she’s currently in have tried to beat her into submission and it leaves her with a warped sense of how a true pack should work. Her skittishness around Charles is understandable after learning about her abuse. That doesn’t seem to stop Charles’s wolf from claiming her as his mate. This novella is the beginning of a beautiful relationship between two people who come together after their wolves have already committed them for life.
“Inhuman” by Eileen Wilks (#3.5 of the World of the Lupi series)
This novella tells the story of Kai and Nathan. Nathan is an otherworldly being, working with local cops on magical cases. Kai is a telepath and the target of a serial killer who is hunting those with Gifts, or magical abilities. Nathan and Kai’s relationship to this point has been about friendship, no matter how much Kai would like more. As Nathan begins to hunt down the killer, he ends up falling into bed with Kai while “protecting” her. She finds out that Nathan used to be Nadrellian, a hell hound. In the end, they find love and discover the truth behind the killer’s true motivations; a need to belong. It is this ability, the voluntary binding of hearts, which prompts the Winter Queen into sending Kai, Nathan, and Dell on a quest to prove Kai’s resolve and fortitude.
“Buying Trouble” by Karen Chance (#1.1 of Dorina Basarab series)
This novella follows what happens to Dory’s roommate, Claire, in Midnight’s Daughter. Claire is a projective null meaning that magic doesn’t work well around her. She is on the run from harvesters, people that will drain her magic and turn it into a bomb, and her family who wants to sell her to the fae for breeding purposes. She works for a magic auction house. Little did she know that tonight’s auction, containing objects like a mad djinn’s bottle and a rune that creates portals to Faerie, also includes her in the bidding. Heidar, half-human/half-Light Fey, helps Claire escape the auction; unfortunately they land in faerie enemy territory. Lots of fighting ensues and Claire gets to use her powers as a weapon. Run, run as fast as they can…nope, they get caught making whoopee and bringing out a part of Claire that has remained dormant until now. No, I’m not gonna spoil it for you. Read it and find out yourself; it’s more fun that way anyhow.
“Mona Lisa Betwining” by Sunny (#4 of Monere series)
I like the Monere series, I really do. I can’t seem to get enough of it. Fair warning: this novella and the series as a whole, is considered to be erotic paranormal. Lots of lovin’ involved, if you catch my drift. With that out of the way…Mona Lisa is still reeling from the loss of her first love, Griffon. Dontaine, her new Master at Arms, keeps trying to get in her pants. Don’t worry folks, he gets there eventually. The circumstances surrounding his death and that of the former queen of Louisiana, Mona Louisa, must be explained to the High Council. During the inquiry, Mona Lisa realizes that she holds more than just the essence of the dead queen, but the bloodlust too. Her response to the High Lord of Hell’s demon daughter, Lucinda, is now cause for concern. In times past, those like Mona Lisa were hunted and killed by the demons. Only the High Prince of Hell’s mate claim keeps Lucinda from destroying our heroine. More lovin’ (go Dontaine!) and we end with another uniqueness, and reason to kill, added on to Mona Lisa’s repertoire. A little hard to follow? I’m not surprised. I recommend reading the full Monere series in order to truly understand what’s going on in this novella.
My only beef overall for the book is with Sunny, the last author. I detest having to read novellas in order to follow an ongoing series. For the next book in the Monere series to make sense, you have to read “Mona Lisa Betwining”. Oh sure, you can read the novella and enjoy it for what it is but Mona Lisa Craving, the third book in the series, begins right at the end of the novella, and if you read just the book, it feels like you’re missing something. I am of the notion that novella’s are extra and not crucial. Extra points-of-view and side stories are a wonderful way to enhance a writer’s world. Sometimes when you love a series, you need those extra bits to get you through the waiting for the next book. Some of the extra stories are a way for authors to explain events without bogging down the main book and I can respect that. If it’s crucial to a storyline, it should be including in the original books. It feels like, as a consumer, I’m forced to buy extra books I don’t want in order to properly follow a series. I like to be given a choice, thank you very much.
FTC Advisory: No one provided me with a copy of On the Prowl, I bought it myself. No 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 boys.
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