Tag Archives: Dina James

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance edited by Trisha Telep

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance
Author: Trisha Telep, Carrie Vaughn, Cheyenne McCray, Kelley Armstrong, Anna Windsor, Anya Bast, Jean Johnson, C. T. Adams, Cathy Clamp, Holly Lisle, Mary Jo Putney, Eve Silver, Ilona Andrews, Dina James, Maria V. Snyder, Catherine Mulvany, Jeaniene Frost, Lori Devoti, Sara Mackenzie, Lynda Hilburn, Alyssa Day, Michelle Rowen, Rachel Caine, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Meljean Brook & Allyson James
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 3rd July – 30th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I also didn’t feel threatened, or that I should try to escape his firm but tender grip.

Synopsis

Fall in love with someone out of this world

If love transcends all boundaries then paranormal romance is its logical conclusion. From the biggest names around, here are 24 tales to take you to another time and place.

Let Alyssa Day, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Cheyenne McCray, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, Maria V. Snyder, Carrie Vaughn, Allyson James Marland and others show you powers beyond your wildest imaginings.

Within these pages mythical beasts, magical creatures of all shapes and sizes, heart-stoppingly handsome ghosts, angels, and mortals with extra-sensitive sensory perception play out the themes of extraordinary desires.

Thoughts

The thing that I love most about this collection is that it completely runs the gambit of supernatural and paranormal creatures. There are a number of standalone stories and tales that are part of series. But mostly, there’s just stories which feature vampires and werewolves; djinn and selkies. Some of the paranormal beings that feature in this are not ones that I normally come across. Which of course just made it all that much more exciting. You didn’t know what sort of paranormal creature would be next!

These stories were all sweet and incredibly easy to read. They’re tales which make you happy and kind of hopeful about true love. Something which I think everyone needs at some point in their lives. Having said that, there were a few unwieldy stories in this collection. They weren’t annoyingly so, but a few did need to be reread so that I could grasp what was really happening.

I recognised most of the authors in this collection. Which was good, because then I could turn to my shelves in some cases and grab down the books that will get me a further fix of their writing. There were a few that I need to add to my wish list. But mostly I got to enjoy the collection, without feeling the insane need to buy more, more, more books… which is probably a good thing for my bank account.

<- The Mammoth Book of On the RoadThe Temptation of Robin Green ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 edited by Trisha Telep

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of vampire romance 2 book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2: Love Bites
Author: Trisha Telep, Jordan Summers, Deborah Cooke, Karen MacInerney, Caitlin Kittredge, Dina James, Camille Bacon-Smith, Rosemary Laurey, Patti O’Shea, Angie Fox, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Jamie Leigh Hansen, Carole Nelson Douglas, Diane Whiteside, Jaye Wells, Stacia Kane, Jennifer Ashley, Justine Musk, Jennifer St Giles, Dawn Cook, Nancy Holder, Larissa Ione, Jeanne C. Stein, Tiffany Trent, Ann Aguirre & Devon Monk
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Vampires
Dates read: 22nd March – 9th November 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Le Cirque de la Nuit.

Synopsis

From the biggest names in vampire romance, 25 tales of a hunger like no other.

Bloodthirsty new vampire romance, including thrilling new stories from bestselling and award-winning authors aush as Jordan Summers, Jaye Wells, Larissa Ione, Jeanne C. Stein and Deborah Cooke. You’ll encounter gothic romance and gritty contemporary tales of urban vampire love, from stand-alone short stories to well-loved (and feared) characters from established series.

Ruthless but tortured, gifted with paranormal sensitivity and sexually mesmerizing, vampires show they can be gentle and caring, too.

Forget the everyday world. Forget the rules. Succumb to a different kind of love.

Thoughts

I really think that Twilight kind of ruined the idea of vampires for me. And vampires with romance… it’s something that I’ve taken forever to truly get into. And even now, with this collection, I thoroughly enjoyed it in short bursts. Some of these stories were absolutely amazing. Many others weren’t. And some sat nicely in the middle. Which mostly just made this collection, fun, easy and a great break from reality late at night when I was no longer able to concentrate.

Having said that, the introduction sounds kind of pessimistic. That’s not the case with this book. It’s definitely an anthology that I would suggest to others. And one that I think people would thoroughly enjoy. I’ll probably even read it again in the future – just take my sweet time about it to space out the vampire overload.

As with all of the other Mammoth Books that I’ve read so far, I found this a great introduction to authors. Both new ones, and a reminder that I need to add some previously read authors to my wishlist too. I just need to magically find more money to actually purchase everything that has been added into my list.

<- Untitled 12Paris After Dark ->

Image source: Bookdepository

Once a Demon by Dina James

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: Once a Demon
Author: Dina James
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Demons, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 31st October 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: She made a wonderful effort to pronounce it, and asked if she could shorten it to simply ‘Kail’.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Katrina has decided that Kyle needs a good friend. With the help of her husband, she lures this reclusive vampire into their home. But, when she finds out more about his past, she has to question everything that she’d believed to be true.

Thoughts

Unlike many of the short stories found in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, the two leads in this story aren’t the love interests. Actually, there’s no romance whatsoever between them with Katrina being a very, very happily married woman and her counterpart in this tale being a fairly notorious recluse. I liked the departure from the expected. It was nice to have two different people who had found their soul mates connecting on a more platonic level and finding common ground in their stories.

I absolutely adored Katrina in this story. She was so obviously in control of all of the men in her life and it was her very naïve sweetness that allowed her to do this. A bit of a reminder that we can conquer all with our femininity, as well as with a sword (but that would be other stories which feature a sword). Having the men wrapped around her finger helped to draw out the other characters and almost offer a sense of healing that was previously missing. Something that I think is so important, and completely beautiful.

Using a demon / vampire hybrid was totally unexpected. But very much welcomed. I’m actually quite disappointed that this is just a standalone short story. I would have loved to explore both the powers of Lucifer’s son and the politics behind his fall. Because, although the fall was beautifully described in this short story, I feel like there could be so much more going on behind the scenes… maybe I’ll just have to make it all up in my own mind’s eye.

 <- Grace of Small Magics ReviewNight Vision Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Deliver Us From Evil by Dina James

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of vampire romance 2 book cover

Title: Deliver Us From Evil
Author: Dina James
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 1st April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: How had he found her, and how had he gotten in here?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

He lost his soul generations ago, but a chance encounter with a symbol in a psychics shop could turn everything around for him. Help him find his way back home to his family.

Thoughts

This play on a soulless vampire was quite good. Normally when stories focus on the lack of soul in a vampire, it is either to excuse his evil, or to set him on a journey to find that which he has lost. And isn’t it funny that it normally features a male in these stories…? This tale took a slightly different take on the idea. The vampire was still soulless and searching for something that he couldn’t remember searching for. But, when he found it, it wasn’t his soul, it was a whole other mythos which helped him find his peace and salvation. And more, importantly, to find his way back to his family.

I like Mary in this story (she goes by a few different variations of the name throughout, but I like the name Mary the most). She is forced into situations that she doesn’t really like. And there is a level of complex vulnerability to her. Yet, she still manages to show her back bone throughout the tale. Every time she is backed into a corner and feels so obviously uncomfortable, she digs deep, sticks her feet in and pushes right back. Something that I admire more than a woman who can actually fight her way out of every situation in some circumstances… after all, it’s a little bit more relatable and tough to be fierce when you can’t actually defend yourself.

 <- Perdition ReviewBlood and Thyme Review ->
Image source: Bookdepository

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance edited by Trisha Telep

Overview
The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance

Title: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance
Author: Trisha Telep, Sherri Erwin, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Jenna Black, Jenna Maclaine, Raven Hart, Delilah Devlin, Keri Arthur, Kimberly Raye, Alexis Morgan, Lilith Saintcrow, C.T. Adams, Cathy Clamp, Susan Sizemore, Dina James, Colleen Gleason, Barbara Emrys, Savannah Russe, Shiloh Walker, Vicki Pettersson, Rebecca York, Rachel Vincent, Amanda Ashley, Karen Chance & Nancy Holder
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: I have travelled the world in search of knowledge, studied with every important intellectual from da Vinci to Hawking.

Synopsis

Love is a weapon in the face of evil.

From the biggest names in paranormal romance, here are over 25 tales of a hunger like no other…

Let Karen Chance, Keri Arthur, Lilith Saintcrow, C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp, Amanda Ashley, Vicki Pettersson and Susan Sizemore and others take you hot-blooded on the trail of the sexiest creatures of the night.

In the world of the Undead there are strange codes of conduct, dark rituals and dating games, as they seduce the locals and engage in the most sensual encounters you’ll sink your teeth into this side of the grave.

These ain’t your mother’s vampires!

Thoughts

I kind of loved this collection. It definitely isn’t one that you can read cover to cover in one sitting – there’s only so many vampire romances that I can happily read before they start to blend into one. But as a slow read that I just picked up every now and again… it was really, really good.

The short stories in this collection ranged from the classical and predictable vampire stories to ones that took a whole new spin on the ideal. Some were just sweet and some just downright disturbing. And although they all follow a similar theme, not one is the same. I now have a very long list of new authors and series that I want to sink my teeth into…

<- Red Letter DayFade to Black ->

Image source: Goodreads

Play Dead by Dina James

Overview

The Mammoth Book of Vampire RomanceTitle: Play Dead
Author: Dina James
In: The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasyVampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: Isn’t he an enemy of yours?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Nik thinks that he’s found the woman of his dreams, but will his vampire brethren stop him from being with his soul mate?

Thoughts

I both liked and got bored with this short story. It was kind of interesting and fun. And I really liked the idea of one of the soulless damned (a vampire) finding his soul mate. There was a great little twist of irony in this and it was kind of sweet that even a soulless blood sucker could have that whole perfect fit, love at first sight experience.

The execution on the other hand just didn’t quite draw me in as far as I had hoped. I don’t know if that was because I just wasn’t interested in reading a vampire romance short story at the time or the style of writing. But, regardless, I actually skim read most of this story which is always a sure indication that I’m interested enough to finish it, but not interested enough to actually read everything word for word and truly absorb it. A weird little paradox that one…

 <- Dancing with the Star Review In Which a Masquerade Ball Unmasks an Undead Review ->
Image source: Goodreads