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Monday, August 07, 2006

Surf's Up anthology.

This romance anthology's stories are loosely connected by water. I'm mentioning this for 2 reasons: 1) a couple of the bad reviews on Amazon seemed upset by the presence of paranormal stories, thinking it was a straight contemporary romance anthology, and 2) it took me a minute to figure out how they were connected, so I figured I'd do you a favor and point it out. (I'm choosing to believe it wasn't obvious to everybody, though it probably was.)
  • **** "Hot and Bothered" by Janelle Denison. Contemporary romance.

    Divorced jewelry designer Claire gets caught in a riptide and is rescued by her next-door neighbor Shea. They start a relationship based on the attraction both had felt but not acted on while she was married, but then a valuable jewel is missing, and Shea's past makes her suspect him.

    This was a nice, complete story. Nothing earth-shattering, but the characters are likeable and understandable, and it didn't feel rushed or forced.

  • **** "Paradise Bossed" by MaryJanice Davidson. Contemporary paranormal romance.

    In an extremely unusual start to a romance story, heroine Nikki dies while snorkeling in the Caymans. She'd been on vacation with friends, who refuse to leave until her body is found. Nikki's ghost is still there, and they can't sense her, but psychic Tom can.

    He can also interact with her while astral projecting.

    I love MJD's writing. She's got a blend of wit and sensuality that just works for me. And I loved this story. Until the end. ****spoiler****I can't be happy about Nikki's future with Tom. He's the only person she can interact with, ever. It's nice now, but I just kept thinking how that would grate on both of them a year or so down the line.**** It's entirely possible I'm over-thinking this, though.

  • ***½ "Hot Summer Bites" by Nina Bangs. Contemporary paranormal romance.

    Reporter Kristin is visiting the Castle of Dark Dreams to investigate rumors that the fantasies there are sexual in nature, and vampire Taurin is tasked with keeping her from causing trouble. Unfortunately, she's the same reporter who recently outed a group of vampires in Texas, and Taurin hates her.

    Cosmic troublemaker Sparkle Stardust, meanwhile, tasks her apprentice Deimos with getting the two together.

    This is a cute story, and there are some funny moments involving Deimos and weresharks, but I'm just not the reader for this series. Sparkle Stardust irritates me no end, and there seemed to be too much going on, too many characters and supernatural types introduced, for a story this short.


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