Nocturnal – Anthology

Nocturnal – Anthology 
* I received this ARC/book free from the author in exchange for an honest review*
 
Product Description:
“The Phoenix Project” by Jacquelyn Frank. Held captive, Amara is subjected to bizarre experiments that test the limits of her sanity. But nothing prepares her for being locked away – naked – with a sexy ex-cop…after they’ve been pumped full of drugs that increase their sexual appetites to animalistic intensity…

“Crystal Dreams” by Kate Douglas – When Lemurian Guard Darius chases a demon spirit to Earth, he faces a lethal battle between good and evil. His ally is Mari, a breathtakingly beautiful human who unknowingly holds the key to victory. But before the war is over, Darius’ desire for his mortal companion threatens to erupt – and could cost Mari her life…

“Spark of Temptation” by Jess Haines – Blackmailed into taking a treacherous case, P.I. Sara Halloway is thrust into a demon war. Sara seeks guidance from a charismatic mage, but their hunger for one another soon becomes a deadly distraction…and the danger surrounding them only makes their urges more powerful…

“My Soul to Take” by Clare Willis – New Orleans native Dr. Maggie Dillon thought she left her past behind her – until she’s enraptured by a handsome patient who has been possessed by a malevolent spirit. To find a cure, Colby revisits her magical roots – and unleashes a primal lust too vital to ignore…

This was a very good anthology.  I enjoyed all 4 stories but my favorites were The Phoenix Project and Crystal Dreams.  I also found two new to me authors in Jess Haines and Clare Willis. 

In The Phoenix Project you have a little bit of everything: love, sex, death and an evil scientist.  The female lead Amara is strong, beautiful (she refused to cut her hair off) and very defiant.  She had pulled herself out of the Hell she called childhood and was surviving on her own, until she was kidnapped.  She is determined that she is going to do what she can to survive but every day it gets harder for her. 

Nick is/was an undercover cop investigating missing children until he was captured by the mad scientist.  He is now part of the experiments he was trying to rescue the children from.  He is a strong alpha male character and he refuses to give in to them and they are having trouble controlling him. 

Both Amara and Nick are the perfect alpha couple to lead this group of Morphate’s into the future.  They are forced to deal with their new nature and everything that goes with it, including mating heat and alpha challenges.  They realize they are going to have to organize the rescue on their own and that they are going to have to police themselves because no one else will be able to.

The story was interesting and action packed.  It had plenty of details but didn’t over state anything.  The characters were strong and well developed.  As I read the story it incited a range of emotions in me from worry to excitement and the sex scenes were pretty HOT.  I wanted them to have their HEA and was pleased with the ending.

In Crystal Dreams the war with the demons continues.  Each day they are gaining form and becoming more sentient.  Something is drawing the demons to Crystal Dreams and the portal won’t stay closed.

We are introduced to new characters that join the fight against demons.  Darius is one of the four Lemurian guards that carry a crystal sword.  He is charged with keeping the demons out of Lemurian at all cost.  He takes his job seriously and follows the demons to Evergreen where he is attacked by Mari by mistake.

Mari is home to help her parents while her dad recovers from surgery.  She moved away but now that she is home, she realizes what she has missed.  She doesn’t know what to think when she is attacked by the stray cat her mother has been feeding.  The cat isn’t supposed to have red glowing eyes and a double row of teeth.  A strange man waving a sword comes in and she takes him down.

One of the things I love about this series is that in each book the females are strong and able to take care of themselves.  They fall in love with immortal warriors and each female gains her immortality in a different way.  It keeps the stories fresh and new. 

With each story I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen.  The books are getting better with each one.  We are learning more about the Lemurian history in bits and pieces that leave you wanting more.  What happened to all the female warriors?  I can’t wait to find out.  I am looking forward to Starfire when it is released in April 2011.

In Spark of Temptation we are transported into a world where vampires, mages and shifters co-exist with humans.  The lead character, Sara is a PI that normally stays in the office doing trace work on the computer.  Her partner was injured on their last case dealing with an evil mage so now Sara has found herself out in the field, trying to stay alive.

She is a strong female lead that is capable of taking caring for herself but isn’t afraid to accept help when she needs it.  She will do anything to keep her sister safe and ends up in a war between the vampires and the Anti Others Alliance because of this. 

The characters are complex and the world is interesting.  I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading other books in this series.

In My Soul to Take Maggie is chief resident at a psychiatric hospital.  She is used to seeing all kinds of people come through their doors, until she meets Derek.  There is something different about his diagnosis; he is possessed, not mentally ill.  She is determined to do whatever she can to save him, even if it means calling her sister in New Orleans.

This story was a little slow getting started but about halfway through, I was hooked.  The lead character is caring and compassionate but she is hiding something.  As the story progresses you see that there is more to her than meets the eye.  I really liked the characters; they were well written and had depth to them.  The descriptions allow you to imagine the scenery and put yourself there. 

Overall I really enjoyed the stories in this anthology and give it 4 flaming hearts. 

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