Sunday, November 23, 2008

Review – “First Blood” Anthology

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
Four all-new stories of forbidden passion and dark desire.

You never forget your first blood...Susan Sizemore returns to the universe of her Laws of the Blood novels with a sizzling story of the relationship between a vampire enforcer and a werewolf.

Erin McCarthy's Sasha Checkikov flees the bright lights and dangerous slayers of Vegas for New Orleans, where she is saved by a vampire haunted by his past-and hungry for passion.

Set in the Vampire Babylon world, Chris Marie Green's story puts the bond between twin female vampires to the test when one of them falls for her prey.

Meljean Brook's vampire Annie Gallagher needs help to save a young human girl, but she doesn't expect the help to come from the FBI agent she loved-and had to give up- when she was transformed.
First Blood is an urban fantasy anthology featuring novellas about vampires and romance from four masters of the genre. Each author has gifted us with a story from their existing series universes, so fans won’t want to miss these.

'Cave Cane' by Susan Sizemore.
This is the shortest and most light-hearted of the offerings. The title, Cave Canem (Beware of the Dog) is a cheeky reminder that the story after all is about hell hounds. Valentine from the earlier Laws of Blood books meets up with an old flame igniting fresh sparks and an unexpected romance befalls the enforcer Dan when he teams up with the werewolf Tess to track down his stolen ‘puppies’.

'Russian Roulette' by Erin McCarthy.
Sasha Checkikov was the victimized wife of the thuggish vampire Gregor featured in the Vegas Vampires series. A two month fledgling, she has fled Vegas for New Orleans after her husbands death only to be kidnapped by an another unscrupulous vampire willing to sell her to vampire hunters. Rescued by bar owning/musician vampire Alistair, he becomes her protector. The romance that unfolds between them is told with finesse, gently exploring Sasha’s struggle to learn to trust and reconnect, and Alistair’s search for love and intimacy.

'Double the Bite,' by Chris Marie Green
Briefly mentioned in the third Vampire Babylon novel Break of Dawn, this is the story of the twins Ginny and Geneva sired by Soren. This is perhaps my favourite of the four novellas. Here we have two powerful and poignant love stories. Ben is human, an ex-cop investigating the murder of his brother in New York City which leads him to Ginny. Ben learns the truth about his brother and about Ginny’s nature but still falls madly in love with her. Ginny is forced to confront the truth about her deteriorating bond with her sister with tragic results. There is a very bittersweet HEA with a wonderful twist that ties in directly to the ending of the Break of Dawn. Get out your hankies for this one.
Read an excerpt.

'Thicker Than Blood' by Meljean Brook
This is another wonderful love story and part of the Guardians series. In the most recent Guardian novels we learned that the nephilim had wiped out the entire vampire populations of cities all over the globe. This tale is set against the aftermath in Philidelphia. The reunion of Annie, the lone surviving vampire, and former soul-mate FBI agent Jack is told against a desperate search for a missing girl being hunted by a remaining nephilim. Jack is introduced into the secret supernatural world and learns the truth about Annie’s ‘death’ and the events surrounding it. A strongly emotional and heartfelt story.
Read an excerpt.
Berkley
Published: August 2008
ISBN #: 9780425224007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336

4 comments:

  1. So what was your overall opinion? All of these authors, except for Sizemore, are new to me and I have this sitting on my desk. Is First Blood a good representation of the author's style? Do I need to read their series before reading this?

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  2. Hi Jackie, well I have to admit to some bias because I have read all of these authors series and enjoy them all. As examples of their style, the Brook and Green stories are dead on. The McCarthy story is somewhat darker then the series novels which are usually an interesting mix of the dark and humour. Overall I thought this was a strong collection with intelligently written romances that stand on their own merits apart from their respective series.

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  3. I've read The Vegas Vampire series but I haven't read any of the others before.

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  4. Hi Lady_tink, these these types of novellas collections are a great way to check out authors you may not be familiar with. Of the four, Meljean Brooks and Chris Marie Green's series are my favourites.

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