Pub Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Length: 315 pages
FTC: ARC courtesy of the publisher
I'm weird, but anything with less than 3 stories in one book does not qualify as an anthology for me. It's a two-in-one book (duology?). The first story is the one that really piqued my interest, having become what can only be described as a squeeing fangirl of Shelly Laurenston's books. Her humor just does it for me, but I was curious how she could turn the scariest, most violent character in her series into a hero. We find out in this prequel novella, Like a Wolf with a Bone.
Egbert Ray Smith is one scary guy. Even his own family is leery of him and the ease with which he takes life. But he is also very protective, and those protective instincts take center stage when he saves the youngest Lewis sister, Darla Mae, from an attack. And once he has her in his care, he's reluctant to let her go. Darla, a pastry chef for a ritzy shifter restaurant, is intrigued by this taciturn wolf who is at ease with violence.
For those who are fangirls, too, this is Dee-Ann's parents' story. And I don't think there's anything more adorable than the badass Eggie being so discomfited by a wolf famous for her pie. This is classic Shelly Laurenston. Meaning, you'll be laughing at the turns of phrase, the situational humor, and the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm while watching a really unlikely couple make a life together.
I'm less familiar with Cynthia Eden's series, having only read one previous book, but Wed or Dead clicked with me in ways the prior books did not. It is more action-packed than Laurenston's story and has far less humor. If the characters weren't furry, this would be a solid romantic suspense story. As a bonus, it's easily read as a stand alone.
My Grade: A-/B+
Shelly Laurenston - "Like a Wolf with a Bone" -
Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn't be happier when the most-feared member of the South's rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there's nothing like a big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts- and have her surrender however and whenever she wants...
Cynthia Eden - "Wed or Dead" - Gage Ryder knew his human bride had a wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem - Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla's secrets. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game...