ARC Review: Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh

wild embrace

Wild Embrace
Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling (Novellas)
Rating: B-


“Wild Embrace” is a collection of four novellas set in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. Unlike past collections, all four of these stories have never been published elsewhere.

Echo of Silence

Engineer Tazia Nerif gave up her family to follow her dream of working on the deep-sea station. Facing another lonely mandatory shore leave, she’s surprised when the aloof Psy she works with suddenly invites her to spend the time off with him.

Out of the four stories in this collection, “Echo of Silence” was the one I was the least excited about. So, of course, it actually ended up being my favorite in the anthology. The glimpses we saw of the deep-sea station were fantastic. The novella really worked to wet my appetite to see more of this setting and the people working there.  Continue reading

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Review: Must Love Hellhounds by Various

must love hell hounds

Must Love Hellhounds
Authors: Various
Published: 2009
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Anthology
Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries #9, Guild Hunter #.5, Kate Daniels #3.5, & The Guardians #5.5
Rating: B


The Brittingens Go to Hell by Charlaine Harris

Rating: N/A
Didn’t read this installment in the book. I’ve tried to read Harris in the past but could never really get into her. So I decided to skip this one.


Angels’ Judgment by Nalini Singh

Rating: A-
This is a short prequel story to Singh’s Guild Hunter series. It features Sara Haziz right before she decides to accept the Guild Hunter director job. Its basically a “how they met” story about how Sara and her husband, Deacon, got together. I loved this story.

Sara and Deacon are assigned the job of finding out who is behind a spurt of vampire slayings in the area. Signs point to it being a hunter who has gone rogue. However, things begin to get complicated when one of the archangels decides to test the potential new guild director.

Like most of the things I’ve read from Singh, this was pretty fabulous. However, places felt a little rushed. Singh had several good plot threads going that could’ve easily carried a longer story. Great installment for fans of the series. Continue reading

Review: Merry and Bright by Jill Shalvis

merry and bright

Merry and Bright
Author: Jill Shalvis
Published: 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: N/A
Rating: C


Merry and Bright by Jill Shalvis is a collection of three short stories set around Christmas. I don’t normally read holiday setting books, but I picked this one up for the Ho Ho Ho Read-a-thon.

I’ve only ever read one other book by Shalvis and this collection reminded me why I never picked-up another. While the stories aren’t bad, they’re just not my thing. If I read a contemporary romance, I tend to want the conflict to stay at believable levels.The fact that Shalvis seems to think that all her stories need a conspiracy or life and death situation annoys me.

The first story Finding Mr. Right was the best story in the collection.  Chemist Maggie Bell has a crush on the contractor working outside of her office. Even though she knows he’s completely wrong for her, she decides to pursue him for a short term relationship.

Maggie has the habit of spewing out random facts when nervous. At first I liked this, but the character trait was overused to the point where it started to get annoying. Even though Maggie’s wikipedia knowledge started to get on my nerves, I still liked her character. I only wish that Shalvis had stuck with character conflict between the heroine and hero to move the plot forward, rather than going the action/conspiracy route.

The second story, Bah, Handsome, features Hope, a B&B owner, who owes a ton of money to her loan shark step brother. When one of her step brother’s lackeys shows up at the B&B, Hope doesn’t expect to be attracted to the man. This one really didn’t work well for me. Hope was annoyingly stubborn and I honestly didn’t care at all about the relationship. I also really hated how meddlesome her friends were.

The final story, Ms. Humbug, focuses on city planner, Cami, who discovers the man she’s dating is banging the office assistant. Disheartened, she takes up with mayor and long time verbal sparring partner, Matt. Another story that would’ve worked better for me if Shalvis hadn’t taken the action/conspiracy route. While this one wasn’t bad, I thought the characters were the most underdeveloped, compared to the first two stories. Despite this, I still generally enjoyed the lighthearted tone and bickering between the main characters.

Shalvis has an engaging writing style and her characters are fun, so I can see why her novels are so popular. However, she’s not for me.  If you’re looking for a cute holiday read and are a fan of Shalvis, this is probably worth checking out.

Review: Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh

Wild Invitation

Wild Invitation
Author: Nalini Singh
Published: 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Chinging Series #0.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5
Rating: A


Wild Invitation is a collection of 4 stories set in Singh’s Psy-Changling world. The first two had been previously published in An Enchanted Season and The Magical Christmas Catbut the last two were new for this collection.

Beat of Temptation is set before the first book in the series, Slave to Sensation. DarkRiver’s pack healer, Tamsyn has been waiting years for her mate, Nathan, to fully claim her. Unfortunately, he seems intent on making her wait indefinitely. I love this short story. It hits all the right angst levels for me and I enjoyed seeing younger versions of some of the characters from the main books. Continue reading

Night Shift

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Night Shift

Authors: Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane

Publish Date: 2014

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Series: Psy/Changeling 12.1, Kate Daniels 6.5, SPI Files .5

Rating: B+


Night Shift is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in a while with contributions from three powerhouse writers in their respective genres.

It says something when the “worst” story in a collection is from Nalini Singh. Secrets at Midnight is her contribution and it’s pretty boring. Leopard shifter, Bastien Smith, has scented his mate but quickly finds out that not all is well with her. Singh can write some compelling short stories, so I was surprised at how she seemed to have sleepwalked through this one. The conflict is non-existent and it’s painfully obvious what is going on with his mate from the minute Bastien starts talking about her. If I had to rate this one on an individual basis it would be a C –.

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews was the reason I had been so anxious to get my hands on the anthology. The story takes place in the Kate Daniels world and follows the characters Jim and Dali who were featured in Magic Dreams, which I had adored. This story completely lived up to my high expectations. Dali is approached to look into the case of a missing person and Jim tags along for the ride. It was great to see Dali take the lead and I loved getting a little more of these two working together. I’m still holding out hope that we’ll eventually get a full-length novel featuring Jim and Dali, as they’re just fantastic. A+

Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin was the only author in the collection who was new to me. Makenna Frazier is a seer who gets pulled into a high profile case involving leprechauns on her very first day of work. I’m guessing this is a prequel to Shearin’s Urban Fantasy series starring Makenna because the story works to set-up a much more involved plot. All in all, this was a good contribution and I was intrigued enough by the characters to potentially read the first book in the series. B+

The Beast of Blackmoor by Milla Vane (aka Meljean Brook) was my second favorite contribution in the anthology. Mala is on a quest for her goddess to tame the beast of Blackmoor in a corrupt kingdom dominated by a tyrant. I really loved how different interpretations of words and personal perceptions influenced this short story. I’m not a huge fan of medieval settings but this one worked for me. I’ll be looking forward to the first full length book set in the world. A-

All in all a great anthology that is well worth the money.