by Annalise, Vonna Harper, Cassie Walder

March 2004
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A magical dagger connects past, present and future in Equinox II , an anthology from Ellora’s Cave.

In Annalise’s historical, Eye of the Hawk, we find Adara trying to survive and keep her sister safe. The English have invaded Wales and a lingering hatred simmers between the people. When she finds out that the dagger she purchases at the market is really a magical athame, she isn’t sure what the future will hold for her. Gavin is the captain of the English king’s guards in the small Welsh town. He finds himself intrigued by the beautiful Adara. Willing to do anything to get her into his bed, he offers her his protection. She has no choice but to accept. Can two people who have no reason to even like each other find a way to fall in love?

Moondance is Vonna Harper’s contemporary contribution to the anthology. Derika Ritter finds herself in the German countryside. She’s looking at a castle her great-aunt wants to buy and renovate. She’s sure that she’ll be able to convince her that it’s a bad idea and get out of Germany without having wasted too much time. The farther into the countryside she gets, the more Derika feels something is working on her. A feeling of coming home swamps her as she looks at the castle. Ritter Reinhard is determined to make his great-uncle’s dream come true, even if it means he spends years restoring this castle. He didn’t count on the lust that turns his blood to fire every time he’s near Derika. The appearance of an ancient dagger indicates that more than just lust is involved. They must decide if the love they feel is real or just the magic of the celebration of Ostara.

The future comes alive in Night and Darkness by Cassie Walder. On the planet, Kaeradearth, the situation is serious. There are only ten thousand men genetically able to breed. Without females who are compatible with them, the entire race could become extinct. Their scientists are trying to find a solution. In another galaxy a hundred billion light years away, a legendary dagger has reappeared to Alia Raveensdautter. She is a Priestess of the Light and is about to take her place as Servant of the People. She will be one of the two most powerful people on the Planet Heita. She is afraid the coming of the dagger will bring about a great change in her world. When Matt Belmont appears and asks for help for his doomed race, Alia knows she can’t refuse. Yet how can she chose between Matt - a stranger she finds herself falling in love with, and Noller - her fellow Servant of the People and the man she has always loved.

Steamy sex and fated love ties all three of these stories together. The characters, their doubts and love become real as the stories move along at an even pace. While there are some questions left up in the air in Cassie Walder’s story, ultimately love, magic and an ancient dagger make this anthology an entertaining read.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Jenni.