By J.A. Belfield, Jennifer M. Eaton, J. Keller Ford, Terri Rochenski, Lynda R. Young, and Kelly Said
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing (Dec. 3rd, 2012)
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Format: eBook (Anthology)
Source: Provided by Publisher
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)
Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski
An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.
With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.
The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford
There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.
After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.
Birthright by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.
She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she's never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.
Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.
Petrified by Kelly Said
A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.
The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.
Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton
Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.
The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.
Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield
From a charity auction, to a stroll in the park, to the craziest night of her life. Nicole Harrington can’t help but wonder how a simple event went so drastically wrong.
Of course, the male escort she booked is wholly to blame. Not only charming but shrewdly intelligent, Benjamin Gold drags Nicole into a platoon of unimaginable problems—ones from which she’ll have to find the courage just to survive.
I liked four stories out of the six. Though not all were for me I do believe that many people will enjoy this anthology.
I loved the concept of this story. The idea that the Sovereign's daughter is to be made a virginal sacrifice to appease a Goddess because of an unhappy accident is interesting. Alesuela takes the news as you might expect. She is sad and depressed but she tries to stay positive for her father. Her father is just as heartbroken. This was a very sad story until the very end but I was enthralled the whole time. The lead up to the sacrifice was nail-biting.
The Amulet of Ormisez
This story had so much potential. The idea that an amulet can turn people greedy and malicious was fascinating. I think if this story was expanded on and lengthened it would have been great.
Another great concept. It was spooky at first which kept my interest. I didn't know were the story was going to go until the author wanted me to.
Now this story I liked. Once I got my head around what was happening, I was pulled in. The characters were well developed in such a small time frame and the mystery was excellent. I was genuinely surprised by the end. This was a really well written story.
Last Winter Red
Now this is the story to read. I would buy this book just for this story. If the author decided to expand on this story by turning it into a full novel, I would be all over it. The concept was both eerie and complex. Nothing is as it seems. Emily has lived a life separated from other societies. All she knows is that she was made to birth healthy babies, free of the disease that ravages the Outside.
Emily is so naive it's sad. People take advantage of her and all she wants to do is be an active part of her society. But on the Outside she finally learns the truth about the world and the people she grew up with. Along the way, she finds a few friends who grow to love her as much as she loves them.
I loved the twists in this story. I was genuinely surprised by what was really going on. I only wish there was more to read.
Escort to Insanity
This one is a whole bunch of insanity. This story has everything one would want: action, flirting, shapeshifters, and naked men. Nicole thought getting an escort for another one of those horrible charity events would make things run smoothly. No such luck. Benjamin is not just a escort, he is a whole lot more. Unwittingly, Benjamin drags Nicole into his world, one with violence and shapeshifters. And when the bad shapeshifters take Nicole's roommate as hostage, Nicole finds the courage to take matters into her own hands.
I really had fun reading this story. The characters were cute and funny. The action was superb. And the drama was constant. I would also like to see this story turned into a full length novel.
I think the ending was a little too convenient for my taste.
The Amulet of Ormisez
This story needed more substance. It needed to be longer. It felt so rushed and it was confusing the way it was written. It spent too much time on the little things and not enough time on the action and drama.
There was so much potential but I just didn't enjoy the story in the end. It was somewhat awkward and didn't have enough going on to make me want to read the second half.
The story confused me at first. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on.
Last Winter Red
There is nothing bad about this story. I loved it all.
Escort to Insanity
I just have one thing to say: Benjamin better pay Nicole back because that's not right for her to lose that much money because of his problems.
We get some sexual situations but no sex scenes. I did like the potential romances that bloomed in many of the stories.
I enjoyed enough of the stories in this anthology that I would definitely suggest it to other people. The last two stories are pretty much a knock out. If only they were longer so I could enjoy more of them. Recommended.
I followed him when he headed for the rear of the car, trying hard not to get distracted by the sweet, sweet curve of his bum as it tick-tocked with each step. "I swear I've seen you without clothes more than with."
"And she says that like it's a bad think," Kellie piped up from her seat.
"Tracing family trees is harder than you think. I've marked each point of change where the women have moved to a new point of origin, but I've not been able to find the reason behind the change. Not all women stay in that place. They'll live somewhere and return when they're ready to settle. Salmon do a similar thing. When they're ready to spawn, they'll return to the place they were born."
"You're comparing me to a fish?"
"A tasty fish." His eyes sparkled in the low light.
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