I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hot for the Holidays by Anya Bast, Allyson James, Angela Knight
Published by Jove on September 29, 2009
Source: the library
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Dragon Bites, Nightwalker
Four paranormal romance novellas from four top authors revolving around the theme of sensuality and Christmas…woohoo…
In 2010, Allyson James’ “A Little Night Magic” was nominated for the RITA Award by Romance Writers of America for Romance Novella.
“Vampire’s Ball”, Mageverse #5.5
“A Little Night Magic”, Stormwalker #0.5
“Sweet Enchantment”, Dark Magick #1
“A Christmas Kiss”, Breeds #13.5
Angela Knight’s “Vampire’s Ball”
A well done novella, providing a good bit of background on the Mageverse with a sobering explanation of why these immortal witches and vampires avoid contact with their children.
The characters include Kat Danilo, a fitness instructor who cares for her suicidal mother, Mary, who thought Kat’s father had been John Lance. Karen had been Kat’s older sister; Jimmy Chosen had been Karen’s boyfriend. Grace du Lac is a Majae mated to Lancelot du Lac (Hot Blooded: “Seduction’s Gift”, 0.5). Caroline is Lance’s daughter-in-law.
Eighty-year-old Ridge Champion has been a vampire, a Magi, for the past sixty years, and Kat is his first (and only) conversion. Morgana Le Fay leads the Majae. Janice was the Majae who had brought Ridge over. King Arthur leads the Magi.
They live in the Mageverse, a parallel universe where magic is strong. The Healing Clinic is a magic one. Petra is a spiritual healer. A Truebond is a deep magical union between a Majae and a Magi. An alien, Merlin, had converted the knights and ladies of the Round Table and made it possible for their descendants to become immortal. Those descendants are the Latents. Direwolves were created by Merlin to act as a counterbalance.
Allyson James’ “A Little Night Magic”
This story introduces James’ Stormwalker series, casually mentioning Janet Begay, the primary character who first appears prominently in Stormwalker, 1. This short story is all about a Navajo shaman who unexpectedly discovers he’s a Changer and his arduous journey to understand it and get back to the woman he loves.
Based in Magellan, a crossroads, the characters include Jamison Kee, a Navajo shaman, latent mountain lion shifter, and a renowned sculptor. Naomi Hansen has a deaf daughter, Julie, whose books are her connection to the world. Naomi and the Medinas run Hansen’s Garden Center, her parents’ old business. Paco Medina is a mechanic. Heather Hansen is Naomi’s cousin who owns Paradox, a new age store in Magellan. Jamison’s grandfather doesn’t appear to like Naomi.
Nicole is a high school friend of Naomi’s who lives in Flagstaff. Alex Clay is an Apache shaman and hawk shifter in Whiteriver. Maude McGuire is married to the chief of police. Amy is Maude’s missing daughter. Jamison knows a Janet Begay, a half-Navajo, who investigates mysteries but moved to Flagstaff. Matto and Lira are Changers from Mexico.
Changers are shapeshifters. A skinwalker requires a hide to change.
Anya Bast’s “Sweet Enchantment”
This was terrible.
Lora Leigh’s “A Christmas Kiss”
This novella immediately starts with conflict: the joy and warmth of the winter holiday season versus the coldness of betrayal. Leigh takes her time, teasing it out as to why Jessica is imprisoned and yet not. It also provides a handy reason why Hawke is so wrought up.
It is somewhat annoying as Jessica whines on about how she can’t be with Hawke until she finally comes out with the why.
The characters at Haven, the Colorado Wolf Breed Compound on Wolf Mountain, include Jessica Raines, former military, who was drugged into betraying the wolves and has been imprisoned for a year. Her father and brother were part of a pure-blood organization. Craig Raines is Jessica’s uncle who is in prison.
Hawke Esteban, an advisor on security and communications issues, is a Wolf destined to mate with Jessica, if she proves true. Wolf Alpha Wolfe Gunnar (Hope is his mate; Primal Heat: “Wolfe’s Hope” (Wolf Breeds, 1), 8.5) is in charge. Jacob Arlington, who is his second-in-command, is mated to Faith (Jacob’s Faith (Wolf Breeds, 2), 9). Aiden Chance is Haven’s head of security and mated to Charity (Aiden’s Charity (Wolf Breeds, 3), 10), who recently gave birth to a son.
Ashley, Sharone, and Emma True are sisters and Coyotes. Amanda Bear is the daughter of a former president and mated to a Coyote. Anya Delgado, the Coya, is mated to the Coyote Alpha, Del Rey (Coyote’s Mate, 13). Mordecai is a steel-hard Coyote; Rule is a Lion who normally works Jonas Wyatt‘s (the director of Breed Affairs) personal security. Dr Armani is a Breed medic. Todd Bennett works in the communications center and is/was Jessica’s friend. Advert is a small town outside Haven.
The Cover and Title
Oh, yeah, the cover is also hot for the holidays with a partial frontal view of a man on the left with a chiseled torso, his hand hooked in the waistband of his blue jeans and a striped candy cane tucked behind it, pointing the way. The background is of a stone fireplace, a Christmas stocking hanging from the mantle. At the very top on the right is a yellowish orange info blurb of the two more prominent authors (in white text), another info blurb of the other two authors. At the man’s wrist is the title in a red script tilted like a Christmas card signature. At the very bottom is another info blurb telling us these are short stories, novellas.
The title tells it all, for each couple is Hot for the Holidays.