by Christine Feehan Sabrina Jeffries Emma Holly Elda Minger

April 2002
ISBN: 0-515-13276-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Jove Books
Mass Market Paperback

It’s been a while since I’ve read an anthology, and with good reason. The stories are too short, and this doesn’t give the author enough time to properly develop the characters. Also, I feel that the plot is also sacrificed, so that the story-length, will meet with the publishers demands. There are a couple of stories in Fantasy that fall into this category, but while the rest were delightful, I feel they would make a wonderful full-length story.

The Awakening by Christine Feehan. Maggie Odessa is a zoologist, whose main study is that of the big cats. Ever since she was a young girl, Maggie has been fascinated with leopards, cheetahs, and panthers. When an attorney contacts her and informs her that she has inherited her dead parents’ estate in the rain forests of Borneo, she jumps at the chance to study these cats in their natural environment. Little does Maggie know that she’s being stalked in the jungle by a mysterious creature - a creature that will steal her heart and soul, as well as her very physical being.

The Widow’s Auction by Sabrina Jeffries. Isobel Lamberton, Lady Kingsley, is one of the governing-board members for the Lamberton’s Boys’ School. Justin Antony, the Marquess of Warbrooke, is also a member, and has the most outrageous and utterly impossible plan to bring much needed money to the school. He proposes to build a factory on the school grounds, to teach the boys about trade, and the handling of business. Isobel is outraged that he would think of building something such as this on school grounds. So she comes up with her own idea for money. She will sell herself to the highest bidder at an event called ‘The Widow’s Auction’. She will earn herself a good percentage of the bid money, and set a scholarship fund for the boys in the school. Little does she know, no matter how noble the deed, that the buyer would turn out to be Lord Warbrooke, the one man who can set her temper flaring and her senses soaring.

Luisa’s Desire by Emma Holly. Luisa del Fiore, vampire, daughter of the night, is seeking guidance to help control her cravings to feed. She no longer wants to depend on the blood of her innocent victims; she needs to find her inner strength and self-control. She seeks advice from a wise monk, high in the Tibetan mountains. What she finds is the one man who can make her lose all self-control that she now possesses and may make her lose her very life as well. Martin, a young monk, is fascinated by what Luisa is and wants to help her achieve the goal that she has set for herself. But in doing so, he may give his own life as a monk, to quell her desire for blood.

Mr. Speedy by Elda Minger . Miranda Ward, a reporter for a small California magazine, has taken it upon herself to attend a seminar on learning how to seduce women. She disguises as a man, and starts out on how to learn to seduce women, better know as ‘the enemy’. Once this weekend is over, she plans to expose Anton Levine as the fraud and man-pig that he truly is. Jake Blackhall, renowned exposé author, is also attending the seminar, with the same purpose, to expose this nut for what he truly is. But what Jake doesn’t count on, was being attracted to his roommate for the weekend, Miranda dressed in disguise as a man. The attraction between them is undeniable, but can Miranda reveal herself as a woman without jeopardizing her objective? And what will Jake feel when he discovers that she’s deceived him?

If I had to choose a favorite story in this book, it would have to be The Widow’s Auction by Sabrina Jeffries. It was fun and I enjoyed the sex too. The most complicated story was Luisa’s Desire by Emma Holly. Although it was nicely written, it was hard to read, as there was a lot of ‘brain work’ that you needed to do to get through the story. Mr. Speedy by Elda Minger was cute in that ‘I’m a woman trying to get away with something, without being caught by the handsome stranger’ kind of thing. And The Awakening by Christine Feehan was just down and out strange. It may have been a better story if she had more room to develop the plot as well as the characters.

My feelings on the book as a whole… I thought it was okay, but the writings of each author would be much better in a full-length book than in an anthology.

Reviewed in April 2002 by Debbie.