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I Belong

Review: Tied with a Bow Anthology

Title: Tied With A Bow

Authors: Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks, Kimberly Frost

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publication Date: November 1, 2011

Format: Paperback, 426 Pages

ISBN-10: 042524329X (Penguin/Berkley)

ISBN-13: 978-0425243299 (Penguin/Berkley)

Reviewed by: Kiwi


#1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh features the Breeds in her story. New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra brings a haunting tale of a fallen angel. USA Today bestselling author Eileen Wilks returns to the shapeshifing lupi for another magical tale. National bestselling author Kimberly Frost introduces a new paranormal world of muses and vampires.

Quick & Dirty: Four stories that will have you wishing for your own hot holidays.

Opening SentenceThe angel came down in the long gallery of the Conciergerie prison, the notorious antechamber to the guillotine.—Upon a Midnight Clear

The Review:

“Upon a Midnight Clear” by Virginia Kantra

A unique story about an angel named Lucien, who chooses to defy heaven itself to save the life of a young girl headed for the guillotine in 18th century France. For his sins, he is cast down to Earth as fallen, and must live out his life as a human. But the fallen are not born as a human, they arrive at the age of 17 or so, and are placed among the peers as the acknowledged bastard of the Earl of Amherst, who is also the head of the fallen. When the Earl decides to cut off his allowance, Lucien decides to follow the footsteps of many a broke nobleman and marry a rich wife. For it is money he will need to keep his boarding house for the less fortunate running. When he attends a holiday party at the home of his current interest, he comes face to face with one of the most important people in his past.

It was eight years ago that Aimée was unwillingly rescued from certain death by a mysterious man. She was, at first, angry at being forced to leave her ailing mother, and the only home she had ever known. Since her rescue, she has stayed at the home of her mother’s cousin. She now lives the life of an impoverished third cousin who is relegated to the attic when real people come to visit. It is a fate she has come to terms with, and she can now say she is grateful to at least have her life. At this year’s annual holiday ball she is introduced to a man who feels startling familiar to her. Eventually, she realizes that he is none other than the mystery man who rescued her from that prison back in France.

But a shared past is not all that is between these two. When their mutual desire becomes too hard to ignore, they spend one glorious night together. One night is never enough for a pair like this.

Cute story. Easy to read. Not so much series related back story, so it can be easily enjoyed without needing to have read its longer counterparts.

Rating: 4/5

“First Light” by Kimberly Frost (Etherlin #0.5)

In a world where vampires are breeding with humans, and muses—yes, muses–are real, we find Pulitzer winning journalist Katherine Devane somewhere in Colorado around Christmas.

Besides the gift from the muses that makes her such a good journalist—is that how it works?—Kate has one more, let’s say, supernatural quirk. Since college, when she found an antique ring on the sidewalk, Kate has been dreaming of a man, the same man every time. In most of these dreams, this man is fighting another man to the death, sometimes saving Kate’s life. In the rest of these dreams, the man is doing other things with Kate that have not much at all to do with saving her life…

This man is the archangel Nathaniel, who comes down to Earth every so often to vanquish his sworn enemy, a demon called Gadreel. And this time, his awakening has a new twist. Well, two actually. First, he has been sent down without any of his memory. He remembers nothing of his archangelhood, not his enemies, not Kate, not even his name. Second, he has been sent to the woods in Colorado instead of Italy, and placed again in the path of Kate, the woman to whom he is bound.

And this time, their dreams may become reality, and this time Nathaniel and Kate can go on til death do them part.

I liked this story well enough. Terribly frustrated about that ever present back story that I had no clue what was about.

Rating: 3/5

“Human Error” by Eileen Wilks (World of the Lupi #8.5)

If I had to write a one liner about this story it would be…Virginia…Where Christmas with the in-laws is never ordinary. But in this case, Yule comes with a bit of magical adversity and dressing on the side.

Benedict is joining his wife/mate/lover(?) and her family for the Yule holiday at their family home. But their meeting goes terribly wrong when he is magically forced to change into his wolf right in their front yard. How’s that for first impressions?

Arjenie just wants her family to like the man she loves. And when they get off on the most wrong of feet, well the task gets a bit harder, doesn’t it.

But, all the relationship stuff gets put on hold when the local sheriff shows up asking the family of Wiccans for help with a case. It appears a man has been attacked by a bear… a bear of a species that lives across the country. He also reluctantly asks for Benedict’s assistance in tracking the creature in wolf form.

But, it ends up being no ordinary bear, but a man in bear clothing, who has an evil plan for Arjenie’s family. And when Benedict proves he is willing to do anything for his love and her family, well all that relationship worry goes straight out the window.

I heart this story. I love a good shifter tale, and something tells me I am missing quite a bit of a storyline I’d very much like to know more of. Well Done.

Rating: 4/5

“An Inconvenient Mate” by Lora Leigh (Breeds #25)

Breed men are one of my favorite page turning delights. Yum! Anyway, this story is not unlike any other Breed novel, in that it includes danger, power and lots of the good stuff.

Malachi Morgan is not your average Breed male, however. He is Coyote. A brand of Breed designed to keep the other Breeds in line, and not feel bad about it. But, like all other Breed males, he has been quietly searching for his mate, the one who holds the other half of his soul.

And he has found her at the most inopportune moment. He is in Navajo country searching for a group of missing Breeds, and they are in negotiations with the tribal leaders for access to their lands and records. On the night before the big meeting, he encounters his mate in a bar of all places. And when his supervisor learns of her identity, he asks Malachi to hold off on claiming her, as she belongs to the tribal leader’s family. Needless to say, Malachi is not a happy camper, but is obligated to follow orders.

Isabelle Martinez is a woman with a traumatizing past that she can’t seem to outrun. Which is what makes her behavior in a particular bar with this particular Breed male so surprising. But something has created an inexplicable connection with this handsome stranger, and she is helpless to resist it, or him for that matter.

When the couple do finally get their chance at happiness, Isabelle’s past comes screaming back for her in the form of her ex-would-be fiancé-almost rapist. He has decided that if he cannot have her, than no one can, and he might as well get some money from the deal by selling her to some evil scientists or something.

Rating: 4/5

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley provided me with a copy of Tied with a Bow. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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One Response to “Review: Tied with a Bow Anthology

  1. Jen GreysonNo Gravatar

    Anthologies are always tough for me, because I feel like I’m just getting to know the characters and then the story’s over. These sound really good though, so I’ll have to check them out!

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