October Releases

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Winter Wishes Anthology by Vivian Arend, Vivi Andrews, and Moira Rogers

Format: Ebook (EPUB)
Authors: Vivian Arend, Vivi Andrews & Moira Rogers
Release Date: December 6, 2010
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Paranormal/Erotic Romance

 A Twist on Tradition

A woman has the Christmas Eve from Hell. Two cat shifters play naughty games. And a witch brings out the beast inside the man. The magic of the season takes on a whole new meaning in these three fantastic—and festive—novellas from some of the best voices in paranormal romance.

Anthology includes:

Tangled Tinsel by Vivian Arend
No Angel by Vivi Andrews
Freeze Line by Moira Rogers

*Since there are three stories, you will get three reviews in one. Enjoy*

"Tangled Tinsel" by Vivian Arend

She's the cat's meow, and he's ready to pounce!
Five miles of leather-clad leg is all it takes to lure Kyle Branegan out from his carefully hidden lifestyle as part of the Cougar Corp, a secret branch of the Shifter Enforcer League. He’s hoping for a night of fun and frolic, cat-style, no strings attached. With a sultry swing of her hips, Eloise Scott tangles him up in her ball of tricks, and just when he thinks he’s about to get lucky, she cuffs him—naked—to her bed...

An undercover cop in the human police force, El’s been given a top-secret mission to keep the big cat under her paw until he’s needed to testify in court in the New Year. Her decision to take him home for a quiet Christmas in her sleepy hometown turns out to be far more interesting than she expected. Her parents are suddenly rich, her old boyfriend is sniffing around and all six-feet-plus of sexy cougar male is sleeping in her bed...

And that’s before they announce their fake engagement…

       First story of this anthology was Tangled Tinsel by Vivian Arend. Now I have never read a book by Vivian Arend, but I have always seen her name around, specially for Erotica. Well Erotic doesn't even describe it, just downright nasty. And well, I loved every last minute of it.

       Tangled Tinsel starts off with us following our male lead, Kyle Branegan, who is a werecat. He is hiding and on the hunt...for a fellow playmate. That is when he comes across Eloise Scott. Another werecat that he is sure can't resist him. But Kyle soon finds out that she had his number way before their little "get together" in a lingerie shop. Eloise (El) is an undercover cop who was sent to tail and keep tabs on Kyle. They know he is in the middle of a case (not they way they think) and he needs watching since he can't keep his hands to himself.

       While they are stuck together, El has to visit her family for Christmas. El is not the biggest fan of her ridiculously wealthy family and has tried to avoid them, but can't any longer. So while El and Kyle are together at her folks place, they end up together after El finally comes to terms that she is a cat, not a human. It is okay to just let go. While there, they also get a surprise visit from Kyle's uncle, who he can't stand and to get his uncle off his back and not think he is after El's family's money, he announces they are engaged to be married.

        This was a great story. Plenty of ups and downs between these two. I liked Kyle even though he was a manwhore to the max and El had her own issues, but I liked her too. She has been trying so hard to live in the human world. Didn't like her cat side because she wants her independence and didn't want to be like other female cats barefoot and constantly pregnant. Seriously, her parents needed to slow down. Goodness! Kyle was great too, I like that he helped El break her shell and actually changed in the book. 

        I did have a couple of problems though. I wish that we got to know more of Kyle's uncle. It was so random with him at the house. How and who invited him? We know it wasn't Kyle because he hates him which in turn means he doesn't talk about him much. So how? Then there was the almost fight at the New Years' Party. Kyle said it seems like his uncle was almost looking for someone to fight with, but we are never told why exactly.
        Nonetheless, this was a great story. It took a turn that I didn't see coming towards the end and it made me enjoyed it even more. I love books that do that. When you think you have it all figured it and just like that, you find out you didn't know anything. It was a fun surprise. I highly recommend this if you want a great story and you aren't offended by very graphic and detailed sex scenes. Vivian Arend is definitely not a shy woman. Wow!


"No Angel" by Vivi Andrews

When Sasha's boyfriend, Jay, is sucked through a fiery vortex to Hell, an angel reveals that Sasha's been chosen as the Champion of Virtue in the battle for his immortal soul. As a perennial offender on Santa's naughty list, Sasha can't believe she's anyone's idea of a girl fighting on the side of the angels. But if she doesn't save Jay, he'll be stuck in Hell forever!
Jay—aka Jevroth—isn't surprised to find himself back in Hell. His visa to visit the mortal plane expired three months ago, but to steal more time with Sasha he's been ignoring his mother's demands that he come home to spend time with his new stepfather: Lucifer.
Sasha has until dawn on the twenty-fifth of December to fight the Legions of Hell and rescue Jay, or be trapped there for eternity herself. But now she must decide if the lying son-of-a-demon is even worth saving...

       This was the second story in the anthology and this was hands down my favorite of the three. What a story! I love how unique it was. Never read anything from Vivi Andrews either, but I have added her on my must reads list after reading this.

        No Angel is about a young woman named Sasha Christian who lives in Los Angeles. Sasha is the daughter of the world's most beloved "angel" her Hollywood actress mother, Layla Christian. She hates the recognition, hates the attention and hates airhead blondes from Oklahoma who think being rich and famous is the key to happiness. But while on the phone being hassled by her mother over not ever getting the chance to meet Sasha's boyfriend (Layla believes he was made up), Sasha has the sinking feeling, he is going to bolt for good.

        Sasha's boyfriend, Jay, is in trouble. He is half-demon and half-human. But he hasn't told Sasha that. Not only that, but he is on a very tight schedule. Since he is a demon, he has limited time on earth. Demons aren't allowed on Earth on Christmas Day. Thing is, Jay doesn't want to go back to Hell with his ruthless mother who just happens to be the wife of the devil himself. Jay is in love with Sasha and doesn't want to lose her, but telling her he is a demon and his stepdad is the devil, will definitely put a damper on things.

         When Jay finally gets the courage to tell Sasha the real reason he can't be with Sasha on Christmas, it is too late. He is grabbed through a vortex to Hell in the middle of her kitchen while baking cookies. She is in shock, but to add to that, she gets a visit from an angel. This angel drops an even bigger bomb on Sasha to let her know she is God's Champion of Virtue and if she wants Jay back, she will have to go into Hell and save Jay or he will be there forever.

         I could talk about this story forever. It was so amazing. It was complex and simple all at once. The characters were amazing. I absolutely loved Sasha. She reminds me of myself. Nice, but is not afraid to show her edge and push back when she needs to. I loved Jay as well. The fact that he is from Hell and doesn't seem to have an evil bone in his body is insane.

         I also love that this story really takes what we think about Hell and twists it a little. When and how Sasha gets to Hell was definitely unique and funny. With such a topic as Hell, this book can be surprisingly light. It is full of humor, action, and apparently lets us know Lucifer isn't so bad.

         Like I said, this was a definite win for me. Only disappointment for me was that it wasn't longer. I would have loved to have read more of Sasha and Jay. Sasha is just a great heroine. Takes a lot for a woman to go to Hell to save her boyfriend. Nonetheless, highly recommended.


"Freeze Line" by Moira Rogers

She can't survive in his world, he can't stay sane in hers

A twenty-first century ice age dulls the magic that emanates from the earth. Shane Sullivan is a lone wolf above the freeze line; He has no desire to join the packs that range closer to the border, where feral instincts can turn a man into a monster. Not until the winter solstice, when he stumbles across a dying witch who needs his help to get back to her people--and her magic--in the south.

Nadia is a powerful woman in her own world, but drained by her escape from captivity in a northern lab. She knows it's foolhardy to trust a werewolf, but he's her only chance to survive the vast white wilderness. The farther south they travel, the harder it is for Shane to keep the beast within under control, and as their mutual attraction intensifies, Nadia's no longer sure she wants him to. 

     Now for the very reason I requested this anthology, Moira Rogers. Rogers is no stranger to amazing paranormal romance. I saw her name and knew I had to get this because I have read other works from her and knew I would love it. Unfortunately, this wasn't a love for me, a like, but not love.

     Freeze Line is about a werewolf named Shane Sullivan who lives on his own. Doesn't have friends or neighbors. So while out in the ridiculous winter, he stumbles on a witch named Nadia. She is on the verge of dying since she was above the freeze line. The closer to the line, the less powerful you are, which is what Shane wants since he doesn't like his werewolf side. But in order to help save Nadia's life, he has to go further South and he is afraid to lose control, of both his wolf and with Nadia.

    Now my issues. My problem, the biggest problem, were the back stories. Not just for the characters, but for the environment itself. When we meet Nadia, she is bruised and beaten into an inch of her life. We find out that she was either kidnapped or sold and somehow escaped her captors. Problem is, we don't find out who or why. All we know is that she was in a lab and was being studied and somehow got away. That's it. We do actually find out why Shane resents his wolf side so much and I was happy to get that, made me feel sorry for him.

    Then there's the environment. We don't know exactly where they are and even more, we don't know what exactly happened to America. California is not California, it is called the Gulf of California. Shane says he has heard of the place, California. They are in a time where everything is split up into tribes or regions. It says that they are in the middle of a 21st Century ice age, but how did America itself change? I mean it seems like there was an apocalypse of some kind, but we don't know for sure. Hell, we don't really know the year is exactly. Is it now or sometime way later in the 21st century?

     It has taken me a couple of days to do this review because I was debating what to give this. I won't line. As much as I enjoy Moira Rogers work, I was tempted to give this 2 stars, but at the end of the day, this was about the romance. I did love it. Shane has his demons and is afraid of his wolf side, afraid of hurting people (given his story, can't blame him) and I like that Nadia doesn't push him into it, I would have hated her for that. There is an attraction between them that was great because they really defended each other. Happy Nadia wasn't a damsel in distress, she really was a warrior and could take Shane head on if she had to.

     Overall, this was a good story, despite my complaints. I just wish I didn't feel like there was a whole chunk missing out of this story. When I read, I like being engulfed in a new world, I couldn't get engulfed in this world since I didn't really know where I was and what I should and shouldn't do. Hope that made sense. There will be those who love the simplicity of the story, which is great. But I just wish there was more development. 


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