I’m a big Patricia Briggs fan, so I have to pick up this anthology. And…I really enjoyed it.
“Alpha and Omega” by Patricia Briggs. This story is set in the same world as her Mercy Thompson series, but the focus is on a different set of characters, namely Charles (Sam’s half-brother) and Anna, a relatively new werewolf who hasn’t had an easy time of it since she was turned against her will. Anna is pretty damaged and vulnerable, but in the right hands I love damaged, vulnerable characters who are able to move forward to a better place. This is a not a long story, and Charles and Anna’s relationship is just beginning, but I loved it and look forward to their novel.
“Inhuman” by Eileen Wilks. I’ve skimread a few reviews, and while I can’t remember specifics, I wasn’t sure this story would work for me. But I loved it, too! Wilks is balancing a lot of different elements (multiple realms, empaths, hellhounds, sidhe, queens), but she pulled it off for me. I found the worldbuilding fresh. The hero is a man, but he used to be something else, and I quite adored him, the slightly alien feel of him, and his strong sense of honor. The writing itself was very strong, too. I read Tempting Danger a few years ago and loved it. Since then, I’ve twice tried the second book in the series, Mortal Danger. But I’m going to have to try it again. Because this just reminded me how much I like Wilks’s writing.
“Buying Trouble” by Karen Chance. Karen Chance is a new-to-me author and I was very happy to be introduced to her writing. This is probably the tightest story of the three, although it took me a chapter or so to get properly sucked in. This is more fantasy romance than paranormal romance to my mind. (I don’t think there is an official line there.) It does start off in our world, but there are any number of magical creatures and a big chunk of time is spent in the Faerie. I don’t really want to give anything away, because there are a lot of twists and turns for a novella, and the author is juggling lots of different creatures. But she weaves in the worldbuilding seamlessly while giving you characters to root for. Loved the hero, too. I’ll have to look up her novels, though I fear they are not at all related to Claire and Heidar.
All and all, a very successful anthology. There’s one more story to go, but I’m going to save it for another time.
I liked the stories a lot more than the above, but there are some interesting observations in the reviews.