November 2004
ISBN: 1-891873-547
Reviewer Graphic Button OpenCAD International Inc.
Trade Paperback

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When faced to review a book with anything over three stories in the book, it is a little daunting. Imagine the feeling when a book has eighteen different stories and you try to pinpoint the few that stand out in your mind, whether the story appealed to you or not. That in itself is a challenge and trying to make the one that really stands out to take a seat, so you can move on to the other stories is difficult.

The Abyss is being called “Dark Romance” by the authors and publisher. Not sure what “dark romance” is? Well, it seems to have a variety of different meanings. One of the means is that it doesn’t have to have a happily-ever-after that most, if not all, romance readers want. We want to escape to another world or time or even today, but we want to know that the hero and heroine will be happy in the end, even if they have hurdles to go over and through to make it to that place. With most stories in the book you will not find the happily-ever-after. So if you looking for that, then you will be disappointed with the book no matter how great you think the stories might be. So with that in mind, if you like edgier, not so happily-ever-after, and can look past the everyday romance for more, then you will be delighted with The Abyss.

A few of these stories had me looking at the author’s website to see if they were part of a story, stand-alone or part of a series of stories. When I mean "with part of a story", I mean just like a chapter or two from the story, just to give us an idea if we like the author and the way he or she might write. Almost all of these authors are new to me and sure, I might have seen their name before, but I had not picked up one of their books to read.

One story that comes to mind is Sword Sworn by Terri Pray. After reading the few pages in the book, I went to find out more about the author and see; if by chance, there was a book by the same title or with the characters. There is and believe me I will be buying the book so I can finish the story. The story is about a persons calling, she is drawn to the sword. So off to the academy she goes to train and learn to fight with the sword. The story in the book leaves us hanging as to whether she takes the oath or she fights.

Once In A Blue Moon by Tabitha A Bradley is another story that I liked and would like to know more about. This story deals with Regina who thought she had inherited a home and a place for her shop as well, but it turns out she did not and now she must face that she just might lose the place she calls home and where she has her shop. It seems the person that has control is well, someone she is attracted to and scared of as well. It seems there are more forces at work then just Drake trying to bend Regina to his will.

Going over the stories, there is not one of them that I did not like. Each story was unique in its own way. Some authors had a couple of stories in the anthology and others only had one story. Some of the stories were edgier than others, by edgier I mean darker, more sinister than the others. Some of the storylines included paranormal elements, other worlds, creatures, and couples. Each story had a twist, some left it up to you to imagine what happens next, while others might let you see just how it would turn out between the main characters.

I’ve only written about two of the stories in the book, believe me there are a lot more that had my attention, but it is just too hard to write about each and every one of them and would be way too long. Briefly here are some of the things you will find in the stories of The Abyss: unwanted attraction, destruction, some bdsm, the future, and love.

If you want a taste from authors (Charlotte Boyett-Campo, Brenna Lyons, Allie Bates, CT Adams, Patricia A. Rasey, Tabitha A. Bradley, Rob Preece, Morgan Huxley, Jordan Alexander, Terri Pray, Adrianna Dane, Steve Lazarowitz, and Amy Eastlake,) that might not give you the happily-ever-after you are looking for, then pick up the The Abyss and try them out for yourself. It will leave you searching for other works by the authors. And it must just prove to you that not all stories have to have the happily-ever-after that we are always looking for.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Pam.