Zombies, shapeshifters, and witches! *thumbs up*
Fire & Frost anthology
Genre: paranormal romance, steampunk
Meljean Brook – Website | Twitter
Carolyn Crane – Website | Twitter
Jessica Sims – Website | Twitter
Amazon – Kindle
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Speed Mating by Jessica Sims
Estrella may be going into heat, but she’s determined to remain in control. Just because she’s ovulating doesn’t mean she has to settle for just any man (or his beast). Her sexy alpha’s determined to find her a tiger to take care of her heat and father her child…but no one seems to look quite as good as the man in charge. Will giving in to her need for her alpha ruin her tenuous relationship with her clan or be a match made in heaven?
My weakness for sexy Alpha male shapeshifters reared its ugly head… well, actually, it wasn’t so ugly. Let me try this again…
This story was packed with all the things that I adore about paranormal shapeshifter romances. A hot Alpha who is determined to do the right thing even though it’s kinda killing him on the inside? CHECK. A strong, opinionated female who can hold her own against the men in the pack? CHECK. A heat cycle that comes as a MOST inconvenient time? CHECK.
Estrella’s loneliness despite being part of a pack came through loud and clear. Her dual heritage makes her a tolerated outcast but she’s wary about forming bonds. And I get that. As Alpha, Vic doesn’t want to push himself on an unwilling female – *thumbs up* to that, dude! – so he hides his attraction to her. In fact, he does his best to make sure that she’s taken care of by bringing in some (douchey) out-of-the-area shifters to see if any of them are compatible. Oh, and the whole “Janitor as a last name” thing that one of the guys had going for him kinda made me giggle madly.
Sexy with likeable characters and amusing situations. *thumbs up*
Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane
The witches of the world ridiculed and rejected nerdy Veronica for trying to use newfangled computers to enhance old world spellcasting. Well, it’s 1984 now, and she’s perfected her spellcasting computer program. Hey, who needs friends when you can conjure virtually anything…or anybody? So when Veronica makes powerful new enemies, she conjures Max, a pitbull of a cop, to deal with the pesky hitmen who keep coming around. Maybe Veronica can finally get some peace and quiet so she can work on her computer. But tough-guy Max is in no mood to play lapdog to a gorgeous witch.
Part of me had a hard time getting into this story but I’m still thinking about it after I’ve finished the book so… I think this is one of those stories that has hidden depths.
My biggest issue was that I had a hard time connecting with Veronica. This was more because she didn’t seem to have an understanding about *why* conjuring someone for a few days of fun wasn’t entirely … ethical. Or, not ethical but skeevy. She’s pulling people out of a frozen moment in time and using them to fill the lonely places inside her. Okay, maybe she did eventually reach the point where it began to sink in that what she was doing wasn’t quite right but she was very blase about throwing her power around for a while.
All can say is that I’m still thinking about this one. The fix to the problems Veronica and Max were facing opened up a whole world of possibilities and I’m incredibly intrigued by the potential there.
Dangit, Carolyn Crane, I think you broke my brain. Well played.
Wrecked by Meljean Brook
Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear—and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go…
Oh, Meljean Brook, I always lament that I haven’t caught up entirely on this series when I read one of your stories and/or books. I MUST REMEDY THIS. Because zombies mixed with scary nanites mixed with AWESOME characters make me all weak in the knees. And the worldbuilding… *swoon* There’s just SO MUCH going on in this world that it’s VERY easy to get sucked into it. Which is fantastic.
This story packs a wallop. No joke. It gives you a fairly pointed overview of the zombie badness while keeping you engaged with the characters and their issues. Those issues, by the by, aren’t little. Elizabeth and Caius are dealing with a morally reprehensible plot, matters of trust, and being brave enough to bare their souls to one another and admit that *maybe* there might be something more than dislike between them. Something like HAWT SEX. Steampunk sexiness… I just love that.
Seriously, I’m going to get caught up on this series. It’s too fun for me to put off any longer.
Overall, all three stories hit the spot. While I had to take a bit to digest one of them, it’s sticking with me and making me think. I like being made to think. It keeps me on my toes.