Thursday, February 20, 2014

Marked by Lauren Dane, Vivian Arend, and Kit Rocha

Three stories of passion, possession, and ink.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lauren Dane takes you into a brand new world in ALL THAT REMAINS. Summer Killian falls fast and hard when Charlie arrives in Paradise Village. But the heat turns all the way up when she learns Charlie is also with Hatch -- the man she loved four years before. While she's not sure she's cut out for a triad, neither man is going to give her up. (Metamorphosis Series, #1)

Take a ROCKY RIDE with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Vivian Arend as she leads you back to the Six Pack Ranch. Anna Coleman might be the law around Rocky Mountain House, but bad boy Mitch Thompson knows that under the stiff RCMP uniform is a woman with a passion for speed and pleasure that matches his own, and he's not giving up until she's his. (Thompson & Sons, #1 -- a Coleman Cowboys spin-off series)

Kit Rocha returns to Sector Four in BEYOND TEMPTATION. A promise to a dying friend backfires when Noah Lennox finds that the girl he was supposed to rescue is all grown up -- and wearing O'Kane ink. He wants to protect her from the secrets of their past, but she wants him. And an O'Kane woman always gets what she wants. (Beyond #3.5, set between Beyond Pain and Beyond Jealousy)

[Quick note - Marked is on sale at Amazon for $2.99 through the month of February!]

The is one of those rare anthologies where I wasn't only happy with one author's story - each one had something unique to offer and provided a glimpse into how each person writes their own HEA's. 

Originally I was only interested in this collection for Lauren Dane's story. She's been a favorite of mine for years and even though this was going to be a foray into a new series for her, I trust her voice and was confident I would enjoy it. Which I did. I think she does a great job grounding her characters in a new future, creating sympathetic people who made choices they had to live by or atone for. I think my only problem, which I admit to being incredibly personal, was that I couldn't detach enough to really believe in how this future had unfolded. I've read too many dystopians where less women equaled less independence (for "protection" reasons) so to see how this society had evolved to revere women was a bit of a surprise. But like I sad - personal problem, I can't really attribute this to anything Dane did or did not do. 

Vivien Arend's story was great, the kind of contemporary erotic romance that I like so much, but Kit Rocha's entry was the biggest surprise for me. I'd heard a lot of good things about her Beyond series but somehow none of the reviews I'd read had pushed me over the edge into giving her a try. Marked was the perfect entry in her world as it not only included cameos by characters in previous books, it also tantalized me with just enough information about the world itself to leave me wanting more. I'm pretty sure though it was the except from Beyond Shame that finally did me in completely - I gotta know what happens!

Overall Feeling - A

Series - Various

*Title won in a Twitter contest*