I’ve never read anything by any of these authors before, so this book was a nice introduction to them. This is a collection of four novellas by four popular authors. This anthology stands on its own and you don't have to know the series in order to get the stories.
Ever Night by Gena Showalter – I give it 3.0 out of 5 stars.
On her eighteenth birthday, Rose Pascal gets pulled into a dark world - the opposite of our (light) world. Captured by the monsters that roam that world she's brought before their leader, the handsome but domineering warrior king, Vasili. On the first night, he bonds with her through a blood ritual. Every year she returns to learn more while trying to avoid the undeniable pull she feels to him. She may be the key to bringing peace between their worlds.
3 stars for the sexual tension, but other than that I was underwhelmed. The ending was so predictable and dare I say it ... lame. I'm not giving up hope that something of Showalter's will catch my eye and hold my attention.
The Collector (Sentinel Wars, #3.5) by Shannon K. Butcher – I give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Demon hunter Neal Etan seeks out antique dealer Viviana Rowan to acquire a powerful artifact that will heal his dying friend. Neal's life is also coming to a slow and painful end, until a simple touch from Viviana takes away his pain and magic surrounding them tells him that she is his savior. When she's in danger of being attacked by demons, he swoops in and saves her. Together they race to find the missing artifact but end up finding much more. The plot and action were great with very likable, well-rounded characters.
My favorite of the four and the reason why I'll be purchasing the rest of the series.
Crystal Skull by Jessica Andersen - I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Great plot, very descriptive, nailbiting action. The story was very interesting with Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones undertones. Archaeologist Natalie Albright discovers a Mayan temple housing a crystal skull. Of course she removes it which triggers the unleashing of demonic creatures from the underworld. In order to save the world from the 2012 doomsday war, she teams up with her ex to seal the hellmouth, finds out about her birthright and discovers the secrets that surrounded JT. I'll definitely look into the Nightkeepers series.
-0.5 stars for Natalie expressing her euphoria over her discovery with a litany of Oh Gods and Oh Shits. I get it, you're excited. Just yell eureka once and get over it.
Red Angel by Deidre Knight - I give it 2.0 out of 5 stars.
This story bored me. Vampire hunter Jamie Angel is seemingly cold and closed off, with a revolving door to his bedroom until Sunny Renfroe steps into his life. He senses she isn't human and makes it his mission to seduce the mystery out of her. Bad idea. She's an angel. Once he finds out, the two main characters .... it's not even worth it to continue. The 2 stars are for the passion and the supporting characters.
Overall, I loved the anthology and would definitely recommend it, or books like it to familiarize oneself with these stories and authors.