Monday, October 5, 2009

Hot for the Holidays by Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Anya Bast, and Allyson James

Featuring four all-new novellas of sensual surprises and seasonal spirits, this collection includes a new tale of the Breeds from Lora Leigh and a return to the world of the Mageverse from Angela Knight.

Well that crappy description is on the back of the book too, so I'll do a quick recap of the four stories. Allyson Jame's contribution to this anthology is a decent shape-shifter love story, with a bit of Native American mythology that includes a Skin Walker. Anya Bast has written a story where the world of the Fae takes the forefront, with the main characters belonging to the Seelie or Unseelie courts. And as the description says, Knight includes another story from her Mageverse series and Leigh another short tale from her Breeds books.

I really wasn't totally impressed with any of the stories besides Leigh's. Even Knight didn't pull out a brand new addition, but instead seemed to be cycling things from her other short stories - find an unawakened witch (Majae), pair her with a hot knight (Vampire) and let the story take care of itself. Bast and James made ok showings, but again I didn't feel like they were really worth my time or money, though James' story made me at least a little excited about the possibility of a sequal. After looking at the other stories, what makes Leigh's really stand out is the fact that it was an independent, unique story that has a beginning, middle, and end that gets the reader involved. The elements of the 'mating heat' are still there, so the instantaneous connection between the Jessica and Hawke exists, but the back story of her 'betrayal' and the way the two of them interact is what makes the story worth it.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up, but only because Leigh's story is included her. The rest of the anthology gets more of an ambivalent vote, and it might be more worth your time to check it out from the library.

Series - Knight and Leigh are adding to their own popular series in this anthology, which I won't list here, but Bast and James seem to have written stand alones.