Review: Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane

Pub Date: December 2014
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin)
Length: 378 pages
Format: mass market paperback (also available in e)
FTC: Purchased by me at Safeway

Happy New Year! Here's hoping that this year doesn't suck as badly as last year did regarding reading and blogging for me. Ugh, but it was a tough year.

I've managed to finish a book, though, and for the most part was very pleased with it. It's an Urban Fantasy anthology with four stories in it. I went into this without any marketing buzz because I was too busy to procrastinate on Twitter much during the fall. So yea! It wasn't tired by the time I got to it.

Secrets at Midnight by Nalini Singh:
Most Nalini fans are either a Psy fan or a Changeling fan. I'm neither in that I enjoy the books equally. I will admit, though, that the Changeling stories tend to become repetitive after awhile. And there's a ton of deja vu for me with this story. It is a sweet story, but it lacks some of the punch of the author's edgy stories and features another latent shifter. There wasn't anything outstanding about the story other than it was pleasant. B-

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews:
I'm not sure how this story would go over for someone who hadn't read the Kate Daniels series. But for someone familiar with the stories, this is a fun side story about two of my favorite characters: Jim and Dali. They've had their own short story before, but as with the Daniels series, the authors move the relationship forward with each installment. This is a compact little story that manages to include both a mystery and the relationship stuff. The mystery wraps up a little too quickly for me, but I adore the relationship progression shown here. Worth the price of the book just for this story. I love me some Jim and Dali. LOVE. A-

Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin: 
I'm not familiar with Lisa Shearin at all, but this was the funniest of the installments  in the anthology. She has a sly voice that fits well with the over-the-top shenanigans in this story. There are horny, naked leprechauns, a Russian werewolf (also naked for a time), dragons, goblins, and all kinds of other supernatural creatures. This is basically a caper/mystery story with some really funny stuff going on. Like those ridiculous stories you hear cops tell from time to time, amped up to 1000 on the supernatural angle. It's also the set up for a series, which I'm fine with. The first person POV helps throughout most of the story, but it hampers getting to know Mac's partner at all, which I would have enjoyed.   A-

Beast of Blackmoor by Milla Vane (Meljean Brook):
Oddly enough, despite my mad love of Meljean Brook, I really disliked this story. It was just not my cuppa tea and the multiple references to rape (although not of the heroine) really bothered me. Added to that is the fact that as a child of the 80s, I'm so over barbarian anything. I've had enough Conan, Red Sonja, Beast Master stuff to last me for the rest of my life. I know the additional pen name is to differentiate this series from the Meljean stuff, but ugh. It wasn't downright awful, but the world building was nowhere up to the author's normal standards, and I could not give a crap about the characters. C-

Overall, I picked a solid book for my first read of the year. I'd recommend it for fans of Nalini Singh and Kate Daniels for sure. (I'd probably advise against it if you haven't read either author yet).

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