by Anthology

August 2009
ISBN: 978-0-425-23052-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Lori Foster launches this anthology with short contemporary romance Have Mercy. Mercedes Jardine is in love with Wyatt Reyes and she has a secret she wonít be able to keep hidden much longer. However, her dreams of a happily ever after with marriage and children might not be possible when Wyatt makes it clear heís not interested in either. Wyatt has his reasons and Mercy's only hope is to show him that love isnít something to fear.

The Vegas Vampire series continues with Deal or No Deal by Erin McCarthy. Katie and Peter Stolin are the only ones to survive their family massacre a century earlier. Katie unwittingly calls attention to herself, alerting her enemies to her location. Michael St. Markov was Katieís first love, and he has been looking for her since her disappearance, never willing to believe she was dead. He is shocked by her reaction when sheís angry rather than happy to see him. Somehow he has to find a way to convince her that he didnít betray her before itís too late.

L.L. Foster Ė Lori Fosterís Urban Fantasy non de plume Ė pens Total Control. Brax Jardine (brother of Mercy in the first story) has decided to stop fighting his feelings for his personal assistant Cameo Smithson. But first he has a secret he hopes sheís willing to accept. The men in the Jardine family have special talents which allow them to get into the minds of criminals. It is exhausting though, and the best way to recharge is to feed off a womanís sexual pleasure. Cameo may want Brax, but has no desire to be used or manipulated. She does however, wish to love and be loved in return.

McCarthy concludes this collection of short stories with another Vegas Vampire tale titled Undead Manís Hand. Detective Jordan Waters finds herself inconveniently attracted to Nick Stolin when she and her partner interview Peter, whom she believes is Nickís 13 year old son. She may get creepy vibes from Peter, but Nick makes her remember just how long itís been since sheís had sex. Nick knows itís probably not wise to get involved with a cop, let alone a human, but he wants Jordan. The trick will be to keep her from finding out heís a vampire. But, when the killer sets his sights on Jordan, nothing is more important to Nick than keeping Jordan safe.

Foster and McCarthy both contribute an interesting blend of romance and paranormal which work together perfectly. Whether writing short or long stories, romance or urban fantasy, these talented authors' stories are always to be anticipated.

Reviewed in July 2009 by Jackie.

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