Although all these novellas are part of series, I did not find this fact to be an impediment to my comprehension or enjoyment of them. There is a steady progression of hotness with Primal Kiss finally coming out and mentioning several body parts that need not be repeated every two pages. But enough about the finale, I’m going to try to talk about them in order because that’s the way I read them (except for dipping three chapters into Primal Kiss first of all to just see what all the buzz is about…
Bleeding Heart by Michelle Rowen – I like that all of these tales are very small episodes. We come in on a moderately sick girl, Jill, and her half vampiric, half vampire hunter boyfriend, Declan. They call him a damphyr and I can’t fully puzzle out why based on this sample but I suppose it’s because he suppresses a lot of his vampiric instincts. I suppose you can then figure out that this is principally a vampire novella. Declan’s old vampire hunter friend, fully human, helps them to find a scientist who promises Jill a cure. This novella has one pretty hot scene but afterwards gets caught up in a lot of minor character motivations yadadada. At its heart, Declan and Jill are an interesting test between hot and cold, the latter being applied to the former. Not your usual way of perceiving male/female dynamics. I liked this but I do think the action takes center stage a little too much. The advertisement, however, for the first Nightshade book that preceded this novella was quite enticing. The author writes boldly and compactly so I might check that one out myself.
Skin and Bone by Ava Gray – This one is certainly the most low-key of the bunch; however, it might also be the tighest. Silas, a mutant more fully fleshed than your typical X-man, has made his way down to Brazil to hide out from a treacherous force known as the Foundation. There he stumbles upon a kind-hearted and accepting English teaher named Juneau. They hit it off. If I remember correctly this is the coolest of the four. If it had a sex scene I forgot it. Its strength lies not in its erotic dynamic but in its down-to-earth and evenly paced story line. It’s an easy 7/10.
Angel-Claimed by Jory Strong – My favorite of the bunch exhibits a pretty wacky fire Djinn by the name of Addai who has the hots for Saija, his reincarnated wife. The joke is that she wasn’t supposed to come back human and he is not shy about pressing her with his long-bottled emotions. This one has a nice technique of either backseating the search and rescue which Saija is supposed to be on or outright negating it for you see Addai has been waiting a long time and would really like to see his wife in her proper position. She has her spine, however, and her allegiance as a human has been sworn to the vamps. He begrudgingly helps. As I said before, the author has a brilliant sense for incorporating the erotic into the mission. This book is flavorful if you couldn’t already tell from the names. Some reviewers have noticed this and called it elaborate world-building or convoluted story-telling. I’m just going to call it spicy and leave it at that.
Primal Kiss by Lora Leigh – I thought this one would be my favorite, it being supposedly the most explicit but eh sometimes explicit as you want isn’t really as explicit as you want. If you haven’t read the Breed series as I haven’t you might as well tune out of the plot, it is so cumbersome and littered with so many names it’s not even funny. This book has one thing truly on its mind and that is mating Kita and Creed. Now the former doesn’t know that the latter has had the hots for her for awhile, he being her bodyguard and such, but when Kita’s teenage rebellion takes her out of the house and to a supposedly secure safehouse, Creed shows her where he puts it. As I said before, this book does not pull punches about where so and so goes and so and so comes. I wouldn’t call it raunchy. It doesn’t have wide enough vocabulary for that. Rather it reads like a science textbook written on the stalls by a teenager. That’s probably going too far…I do like that it wants to foreground the erotic dimension but I think it failed in keeping it in step with its rather undeveloped plot.
My individual rankings would go:
Angel-Claimed by Jory Strong – 9/10
Skin and Bone by Ava Gray – 7/10
Bleeding Heart by Michelle Rowen – 6/10
Primal Kiss by Lora Leigh – 5/10
The average of these may very well not add up…
|Recommendation:||If you’re looking for a nice sampler of erotics…|
|Like this, like that:||There’s enough already here I think…|
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada