by Sahara Kelly, Ashleigh Raine, Jaci Burton

October 2003
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It is a rare treat for me to read a novel from Ellora’s Cave, since e-books are not “my thing.” Happily, I had the opportunity to receive a printed review copy of Mesmerized, and thoroughly enjoyed reading the anthology. Three extremely talented authors have delivered some entertaining stories.

Author Sahara Kelly brings us a historical gem in Sir Philip Ashton’s Eyes. Abigail Foxworth is tired of the constant matchmaking efforts associated with the Season. She is hoping that a demonstration of mesmerism planned for this evening will be entertaining. She certainly never planned to fall under the spell of the handsome scientist who presents both a lecture and examples of the powers of the mind. When he makes a very private suggestion, Abigail is compelled - and delighted - to obey.

Interoffice romance is the subject for Ashleigh Raine’s Magic in the Works. Elaine Ridgely behaves completely out of character when she flirts with a handsome hunk in her hotel hallway. She is mortified to discover that he is Mark Ranzetti, her new boss and that he is attending the trade show just to see how well her product performs. When the group attends a hypnotist’s show in the hotel, Elaine and Mark join the couples onstage. What sort of hypnotic suggestion is in their future?

Intergalactic law enforcement officer UlRic Lor is just getting started on a recreation break when he is summoned back to Earth. Since human women don’t appeal to M’Lorans, he is not too happy about his orders. Why should he be anxious to visit a planet that holds such skinny, ugly women when he could be spending his rec time with a pleasure aide? When he meets the hypnotist assigned to help him keep his prisoner under control, he understands her power. Author Jaci Burton spins a steamy tale of attraction in spite of overwhelming obstacles in True Lies.

All three stories are filled with the erotic imagery that has made Ellora’s Cave the premier romantica publishing house. In my personal preferences, I would have to select both the historical and contemporary settings. Futuristic romance is not usually one of my favorites, although this story is extremely well-written. For readers who wonder what it would be like to be under someone else’s spell, Mesmerized is the book for you!

Reviewed in January 2004 by Paula.