Vampires Gone Wild (Supernatural Underground) by Kerrelyn Sparks, Pamela Palmer, Amanda Arista and Kim Falconer

VAMPIRES

Vampires Gone Wild (Supernatural Underground) by Kerrelyn Sparks, Pamela Palmer, Amanda Arista and Kim Falconer
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (258 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

V is for VampWoman by Kerrelyn Sparks

Pamela decides to shed her prim and proper ways for spandex and a mask to help fight the Malcontents. Now if only she weren’t so distracted by the sexy vampire fighting by her side . . .

A Forever Love by Pamela Palmer

Trapped in Vamp City, Lukas has been unable to return to the beauty who stole his heart. But now that she’s stumbled into his world, it will take every ounce of cunning he possesses to keep her alive.

First Dates Are Hell by Amanda Arista

Valiance’s first date in a hundred years is going great . . . until they’re attacked in the parking lot and quiet, unassuming Esme turns out to be way more than she appears.

Blood and Water by Kim Falconer

Beneath the waves of San Francisco Bay lives a vampire race that wants nothing to do with the “landers” except to feed on them. But when Stellan sets eyes on Angelina, everything changes.

Readers are in for major fun and entertainment when they dive into this compilation of awesome stories by four very talented and creative authors. I expected to find at least one story that was hit or miss but every one showcased why these authors are at the top of their game.

V is for VampWoman by Kerrelyn Sparks

In the first few paragraphs there is this one sentence about the hero, Mikhail. “…one thing Mikhail valued, it was a life free from limitations.” That is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. What is the worst case scenario of a bona fide bachelor? The scary limits of being “in a relationship”, that’s what.

Wait until readers get a gander at just how long the hapless hero avoided a certain potential “limitation”. I have to give him credit for will power. Part of the ease of his resistance came from a mistaken belief about the heroine, Vamp Woman, a/ka/ Lady Pamela. Her entrance is a hoot but the hero’s response to her was the tip of the iceberg. What comes after is a courtship mixed with action and a bit of soul searching.

In this short story, I was able to immerse myself in the fun world that Ms. Sparks has built while getting to see another terrific happily ever after come together in a fast but believable rate. It was completely entertaining. Lest a fan lament that the author wouldn’t be able to get in a few of her famous quips, she skillfully wove in a little gem. I enjoy Monty Python and this reference was cute in the movie but I loved how Ms. Sparks used the Holy Grenade of Antioch because it cracked me up on a whole new level. I never know when this author is going to pull a funny, and she’s so good at it too!!

A Forever Love by Pamela Palmer

This was a bittersweet happy sort of paranormal story with hope and tears. The author plunks a reader down into a most heartfelt and sad moment in the heroine’s life. She’s alone, lonely and missing the one man who makes her complete. Except, all is not as it appears. It’s only when she disappears that all becomes clear, sort of. Elizabeth, the heroine, finds out that Lukas, her beloved, has a violent side to him. Her initial shock was only the first of many reactions the heroine had to navigate as she discovered how very different her man, and her world, is from what she knew. She had to make some decisions, some emotional, very fast because this wasn’t a slow moving short story. It was over before I was ready for it to be done but the ground it covered was fascinating. Some anthologies manage to introduce readers to a new world they didn’t know was out there. That’s what happened to me with reading A Forever Love. It ends with a happy for now with the high potential to be so much more and I believe I’m going to have to buy the next story that picks up where this one leaves off. Elizabeth and Lukas’s story was engrossing and I know there is tons more that has to go on before they get their full happy ever after. As it was, for what I was given, this one was a very good read.

First Dates Are Hell (A Those Who Wander Story) by Amanda Arista

This story was cool. It has action, it was exciting, different, and is a crazy way to start an HEA.

Valiance is a man who gave up all he knew to back Violet, the new Prima. I love the Wanderers series so this was a treat for me to read. Valiance was a mystery to me before now. I almost wish his story could have been longer but he certainly was a character that deserved something good to happen to him. Odd that it took an invisible girl to make the hero see his true worth and make him believe that he had the right to be happy too. I mean, seriously, the most exciting action in his life at this current juncture was his shopping trip to buy sheets. Sounds so ordinary, right? Why is a man of action, a hero and wiz with swords doing something so boring? Love comes to those who aren’t looking, sometimes in the oddest of places – think Bed, Bath and Beyond. I think this story comes under the heading of ‘beyond’.

Even though this story is solidly focused on Valiance and Esme, the unlikely heroine, it was nice to be reminded why I liked Violet, the Prima, in the first place. It was her story that got the series rolling and it’s been a wonderful trip so far. This story is barely an appetizer of the whole scope of richness that Ms. Arista plays with in her bigger books. But, a reader catches a good glimpse of the kind of story telling this author is capable of. I wasn’t disappointed. I totally enjoyed this short and I recommend it highly.

Blood and Water by Kim Falconer

I have a whole new view of Mar-people (read: mermaid type folk) after reading this story. In fact, it’s almost as though the author mixed up two favorite genres and morphed them into one. It’s sort of freaky and unique. The Mar came across as inherently violent and callous. Stellan, the hero, obviously isn’t like his sister, Salila, and for that I was thankful. The sister made an effective villainess but the author also threw in a teaser that maybe she wasn’t always so twisted, and maybe in some future book, could be saved. At this point, I didn’t care for her, which was a great asset to the plot conflict.

Angelina is the human who has captured Stellan’s heart but dating a human comes with pitfalls as this story reveals. She’s a sweet lady but a bit of a rebel. Her openness and willingness to trust made their fast and furious courtship believable. The reason for the natural catastrophe that occurred was a nice paranormal twist to history. That impressed me.

What I found the most unique were the steps that had to be taken to make a human change into a water breather. That was a first for me and I applaud the originality of it. The duration made me sad because I understood the enormity of what Angelina was giving up but the hope for a happy ever after was worth the cost.

Blood and Water wasn’t a comfortable read for me because of what seems to be the inherent nature of the Mar but I cannot deny that this was a well told story with fascinating undercurrents. Excuse the pun. I just might look into more of this world that Ms. Falconer has created, it has the potential to be a new favorite series.

On the whole, Vampires Gone Wild is a wonderful montage of paranormal treats for old and new fans of these authors. All four stories are well written with tightly woven little plot conflicts that kept the reading pace intense and entertaining. These authors have infused these tasty niblets with the very essence that obviously makes their bigger novels such successes. I highly recommend this book to all paranormal romance fans. It’s a winner.

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