Valentine’s Heat I by Ally Shields, Nessie Strange, Keith Melton, C.L. Bledsoe
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (210 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown
“Heart’s Pride” by Ally Shields
The Guardian Witch Series
When their wedding is ruined by a werepanther attack, Katrina is left hospitalized and Blane is just…gone. But when he finally finds his way back to Riverdale, he learns he’s not the only one who’s been tracking Katrina…
“Lost Soul, Lost Love” by Nessie Strange
The Living Dead World Series
It’s Jen MacLellan’s first trip back to earth as a new reaper, and Mardi Gras is in full swing. When she happens upon Chip, a partier stuck in a perpetual 1983, Jen decides to help him find the woman he loves so he can move on. Assuming all goes well when he finds her…
“Red Dogs” by Keith Melton
The Zero Dog Mission Series
Mercenary pyromancer Andrea Walker has just saved the world from bloodthirsty hagworms and is late for her Valentine’s date with Jake. Until she hears that Jake has already left her house…with her…
“V-Day” by CL Bledsoe
The Necro-Files Series
Daisy and her friends think going to a frat party on Valentine’s Day will be a fun, not-at-all-desperate Girls Night Out. What they don’t expect is to have Delilah’s succubus pheromones accidentally set off the apocalypse…
Valentine’s Day is for suckers…
At least that’s what the majority of the stories in this anthology relate to. In the first story, “Heart’s Pride” by Ally Shields, we meet a cat shifter with a few unwanted beaus that turn from rowdy drunks to kidnapping slavers. Katrina is searching for her lost mate and is derailed from her mission, only to find hope in the darkest places. Great tension, strong characters and I was sad when this story was over.
In the second story “Lost Soul, Lost Love” we meet a new Reaper getting her education about the other side of the proverbial fence. She meets a lost soul who won’t give up the ghost of his former life and has to decide if tangling with her mentor Sam or Death is worth the education. Great story. It made me want to read the rest. The telepathic link from Sam to the new reaper was fun and awkward all at the same time.
The third piece “Red Dogs” by Keith Melton was more militaristic than some of the other stories. An unpleasant surprise awaits a team of elite fighters when their mission to contain a disturbance at an antique shop goes horribly wrong. Mistaken identities, spiritual warfare and a sexy dinner out might be just the thing to get this Valentine’s Day heated up.
The last story is “The Necro-Files: V-Day” by C.L. Bledsoe. I love this series and this story was a fun addition. It lends itself to a common problem at frat parties. What do you do when someone spikes the punch and if a succubus with insane lusty powers drinks it, how many men do you think will still be standing? This was a hilarious car humping story that had me snorting through my nose more than once.
All of these stories had a unique view on Valentine’s Day foibles and just how much of a trial it can be. From outdated ghostly love to a doppelganger style manifestation to lusty punch and kitty shifters, this was a blast to read and I am going to go back and check out the authors I haven’t read before. Fans of the Anita Blake books, Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris will love these authors.
If you want some short reads that are urban fantasy style romance with snark, these are for you.