by Kate Hill, Claudia Rose

October 2003
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Much More Than Blood, is Kate Hill`s latest installment in her Ancient Blood (Immaculate) series. Hybrid vampire, Rosa Ferrer, is bored. Ever since her business went legit Rosa started getting disenchanted with all the male vampires. She needs some excitement. She has never tried turning any human into a vampire and she decides that it is about time for her to try it, and she goes on the prowl. As Alik Lennox, Royal Marine Commando, sits at a local bar, lost in his own thoughts, facing a bleak future, he is approached by this attractive female with startling blue eyes. They start a bit of verbal sparring that soon enough ends up in bed. Rosa believes she has found what she wants but she needs to 'try' him a bit first. Alik does not even suspect that the sexy woman is the key to his future.

Even though this story belongs to a series, and there are some recurrent characters on minor roles, it can be read as a stand-alone. Much More Than Blood, is a well-paced novella that tells a story about two people that are changed by love. One of them is changed emotionally and the other is changed physically, but they both learn and accept that they cannot stay apart from each other. The plot is nicely developed and the characters well drawn. The love scenes are satisfyingly hot. Much More Than Blood is a story for all vamp lovers and definitely a must read for fans of this series.

The second story in this anthology is Claudia Rose`s Prey For Me. Detective Jessica Croft is forced to take a leave of absence after she killed a suspect from one of her cases. She takes advantage of that forced vacation to go visit her deceased Aunt Rose`s house. Although she didn`t know her Aunt Rose that well, Jess was her last living relative and she left everything to her. The last thing Jessica expects is to find a vampire in the basement...a vampire that wants to be left alone. However, she cannot leave him alone. Her life is now in peril precisely because of him and she will need his help.

Prey For Me, is a quick paced story with elements of suspense that keeps the reader`s attention from beginning to end. The heroine, Jess, is big and strong both physically and emotionally. She is tough and does not fear taking risks. The hero, Prey, is not only an extremely powerful vampire, but also extraordinarily handsome and elegant. When these two characters come together they burn the pages of this novella. This is the first paranormal that I've read from Ms. Rose`s pen and I really enjoyed it.

Overall, this is an anthology that will appeal to all vamp lovers. I found both novellas equally engaging so I can`t really say which one I liked the best. There is some violence in both stories so, if you don`t particularly fancy violent scenes, you may want to skip this one. If not, by all means, get this book, it sure provides a good ride.

Reviewed in December 2003 by Mireya.