by Leigh Wynfield, Blaise Kilgallen

November 2005
ISBN: 1-59578-183-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Liquid Silver

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In The Hangman by Leigh Wyndfield, Gabriella Etall is the third daughter of the King of Taurus people. She’s also an Empath and that makes her almost an outsider among a people that reject anything magical. After committing another ‘crime’, Gabby’s father decides that she is too much of a disgrace to the kingdom and he has informed her that she is to be sent to the Cloister of the Goddess nunnery for five years. At age 22, Gabby will miss her ‘mating’ season if she’s kept away during her 25th year. Desperate to not be left a virgin, she sneaks down into the deepest dungeons and makes a bargain with a prisoner. Brac, a Sagittarius ---people who embrace their magic --- agrees to her proposition in order to gain his freedom. But the sexual chemistry between them is stronger than either can comprehend and they find they can’t part after the bargain is sealed. Gabby finds acceptance in Brac’s world, and Brac finds his true mate. A bit on the ‘too-fantasy-too-weak” lines, this story’s merits were the love scenes and Brac’s gentleness with Gabby’s virginity.

In Taking a Chance, by Blaise Kilgallan, Joyce Winters boards a train, falls asleep and then wakes up in a different destination and an era past: she’s left stranded one hundred thirty five years in the past, in the Wild West of Wyoming territory. Immediately she decides she’d better get a job while trying to contact --- anyone --- by telegraph to come rescue her. Pete Rivers (Chance) is the saloon owner who gives her a job singing. Chance immediately makes advances and at first Joy wants to rebuff him. But their sexual chemistry is too strong to resist and they finally give in to their feelings. Just as they’re falling in love, the train arrives that will take Joy back to the future. She boards it, falls asleep again, and awakes back in her own time. On the way home she sees “Chance”’ in a man and knows destiny has brought them back together.

Chance’s attitude was a bit too degrading towards Joy for a reader to believe they could eventually fall in love. And Joy’s immediately “no questions asked, just accept” attitude about waking up in the past was a weak and damaging spot for the story. Although a short story in length, readers will find they’ll still want “more” development to this story.

Reviewed in December 2005 by Kari.