Tag Archives: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance edited by Trisha Telep

Overview
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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.

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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 Road ReviewThe Temptation of Robin Green Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Dream Catcher by Allyson James

Overview
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Title: The Dream Catcher
Author: Allyson 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: Paranormal romance
Dates read: 30th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: “Very, very all right,” Natalie tried to say.

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Synopsis

She’s considered unnatural because of her desire. But then she meets a man who might be able to make all of her dreams come true.

Thoughts

Everyone has dreams and desires. But, if you’re anything like me, you actually can’t solidly define them. There are so many thoughts, dreams, desires and wants rattling around in my brain that I can’t actually tell you what I desire. Which means that I kind of like the fact that the woman in this story actually knows what she wants. Even though it is something that she can’t actually have.

This story reminded me a little of the Psy-Changeling series in that it focuses on a society that completely removes any and all emotion. You can no longer have sex, but rather, you choose to formulate alliances and then utilise technology to have children. And wanting to desire a person? That is completely against their beliefs.

This was a super sweet and easy read. There was just something kind of wholesome about it. Although it’s ultimately about sex, it’s that sweet version of sex and sexuality that we all believed in when we were young and naïve.

 <- In Sheep’s Clothing ReviewThe Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

In Sheep’s Clothing by Meljean Brook

Overview
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Title: In Sheep’s Clothing
Author: Meljean Brook
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: Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters, Werewolves
Dates read: 30th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: She’d know him if she saw him again though.

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Synopsis

There’s a rapist and murderer hunting the women of her hometown, and then she gets a flat and realises that she’s next. But the consequences of her escape? She’s probably turned him into a werewolf…

Thoughts

I’m a big fan of werewolf stories. You can probably tell from how many are on my shelves and fill my bookcases. But, one thing that doesn’t tend to happen so often is that if there’s a female werewolf, the male normally is too. Something about not having a woman more powerful than a man or such nonsense I would suppose. But, that’s not the case in this story. The woman is a werewolf, the man she loves a normal human; and ultimately, it’s the woman that saves the day.

This short story centres around a couple reconnecting as they also fight off a rapist. Or at least, try and catch a serial rapist and killer. It’s quite an intense way to reconnect, but I love that ultimately, she gets her revenge on the man who tried to take her. Rather than her being scared, she’s actually actively hunting him down. A great departure from many of the female storylines I normally find.

This short story was yet another reminder of just how much I love Meljean Brook. Her writing always draws you in. Her world building is brilliant. And the characters make you want to reach through the pages and get to know them just a little bit better. The fact that she doesn’t just do this in novels and novellas, but also short stories was a fantastic surprise to my mind.

 <- The Wager ReviewThe Dream Catcher Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Wager by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Overview
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Title: The Wager
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Camelot, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 26th December 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: In his day that Sir had meant that he was a man with standing.

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Synopsis

Sir Thomas Mallory thought that it was all a dream. So there was a drunken night in a bar. Then there was a book. And then he remembered that it wasn’t actually a dream…

Thoughts

Here I’m speaking from personal experience: sometimes you should just keep your damn mouth shut. And the narrator of this short story is definitely in agreement with me. He should have kept his mouth shut, and then maybe he wouldn’t be in purgatory. Definitely enjoyed this story. But it’s in a collection of romances… and I don’t feel like this is a romance at all. Sure, there’s a little lust, but it’s not exactly about a romance between two individuals.

I love that this story uses the stories of Camelot, Arthur and Avalon. That the narrator is Sir Thomas Mallory. The senses of history and truth interwoven with paranormality and supernatural fantasy worked really well. These are the kinds of stories that I love – the ones that use fact and fiction to create a fantastic new reality that you just can’t help but dive into.

I’m kind of annoyed that this isn’t part of a bigger series. I would love one in which the stories of Camelot are true, but with a supernatural twist. Weirdly enough, I did just receive The Guinevere Deception in a book box… so this might be what I have to pick up next to get my fix.

 <- Blue Crush ReviewIn Sheep’s Clothing Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Blue Crush by Rachel Caine

Overview
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Title: Blue Crush
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Weather Warden #7.5, Weather Warden Universe # 13
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: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 19th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: We can’t save them.

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Synopsis

Jo and David just want to spend a nice, leisurely afternoon at the beach. But a group of thugs, a near drowning and some not-so-pretty mermaids are about to mess with their plans.

Thoughts

The Weather Warden series is one of those that I thoroughly enjoy. Yet, I don’t tend to pick it up as quickly. Probably because the chapters are pretty much half the novel. Having said that, reading Blue Crush reminded me how much I love this series and how much I need to read the next one. There is just something about Jo’s spunk that draws me in. Even when it’s a short story about a day at the beach with her lover…

This short story reminds me of the reasons why I hate swimming in the ocean. There is just something about it that gives me the heebies. And considering this short story also has mermaids in the ocean who want to kidnap and kill unwilling swimmers… ugly mermaids. Although, it adds an extra layer to the mythos of the series. An extra paranormal race which could be potentially very interesting further along in the series.

This short story is a sweet, fun and not-so-easy read. It’s quick, but so much goes on in just a few pages. Probably one of the main reasons I love Caine’s work. So much is squeezed into such a few pages. Leaving you feeling in shock and completely disappointed that the story was over so quickly.

 <- At Second Bite ReviewThe Wager Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

At Second Bite by Michelle Rowen

Overview
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Title: At Second Bite
Author: Michelle Rowen
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: Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 17th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Unless it was self-defence.

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Synopsis

She just wants to go home and curl up on the couch. But then a man walks in and tells her that she is his long-lost soulmate… resurrected. And then she meets his brother… things are about to get very interesting.

Thoughts

This story literally made me laugh out loud. It woke my dog up because he couldn’t figure why I was making weird, random noises. Occasionally I’ll giggle a little bit at whatever I’m reading. But an outright guffaw? Not something I tend to do very frequently at all. And when I’m reading a short story? Never. I just don’t get drawn in quick enough to justify an outright laugh. Until I read this story obviously. Maybe it was being overtired, but I choose to think that there was just enough of a dry humour moment in it to have me giggling.

Although I do believe in soul mates, I love that the lead female in this has zero belief whatsoever. It makes it even better when a vampire is trying to convince her that she’s the reincarnation of his own long-lost love… it just makes this story even more humorous. A story all about finding your soul mate… when the woman in question doesn’t even believe in the idea. A beautiful, fun little paradox there.

I seem to be picking up on ideas of karma quite a bit in the stories I’ve been reading lately. But I actually enjoyed the karma in this a little bit more than I expected. Especially when you find out what the bad woman has been reincarnated as… not sure how that works into the ideas of soul mates… but it was certainly entertaining!

 <- The Princess and the Peas ReviewBlue Crush Review ->
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The Princess and the Peas by Alyssa Day

Overview
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Title: The Princess and the Peas
Author: Alyssa Day
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: Fae, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 13th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Rhys’ niece gasped.

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Synopsis

A spoilt princess is about to run a test on the visiting fae… one that could potentially cost her life and the existence of a treaty.

Thoughts

I absolutely adored this take on The Princess and the Pea. I have no idea where the original story is from, but I might actually prefer this version of the fairy tale. It’s a little bit more gutsy, and considering the fact that I tend to find princesses in fairy tales mostly tedious, I loved that the spoilt princess in this completely got her comeuppance in the end.

One of the parts of this story that I enjoyed the most was the fact that it incorporated the fae into the storyline. I’m always a fan of any story involving the fae. Especially when it sticks to the more traditional ideas of them being incredibly dangerous and quite difficult to deal with. Partner this with a Lady’s Maid who has independence, strength and a moral compass of her own… well, of course I fell in love. This does tend to be a fairly typical trend with Day’s writings though.

The main message in this story – karma’s a bitch. And if you’re a bitch, karma is definitely going to get you. If you’re good, then you’ll get a good ending. Especially if you somehow have a tie to the fae courts…

 <- Blood Song ReviewAt Second Bite Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Blood Song by Lynda Hilburn

Overview
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Title: Blood Song
Author: Lynda Hilburn
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Music, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 6th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: What the hell, Ethan?

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Synopsis

Ethan has roamed this earth, cursed for decades. Yet, when he accidentally stops a woman from being attacked, her song could change everything. If only he lets it.

Thoughts

The idea of healing someone through music and sound was a really fantastic idea. Weaving through this ideas of vampirism and the lore that tends to be associated with that was just that much better. Something about the story and the blending of some very unique ideas drew me in happily, completely and perfectly. It was just such a great idea. And I’m really disappointed that it was only a few pages (which tends to be a bit of a trend with me anyway).

I love that vampirism is something that can be “cured”. It’s not an idea that I come across very frequently. Normally the stories I read about vampirism make them out to be some superpowered human-types. I liked that this took a darker, more traditional take on this supernatural beast. It was a refreshing change.

My favourite message in this entire short story was the idea that to become different you have to want to be different. You can’t be cured without wanting to be. It’s quite a powerful little message there and one that I myself believe in strongly… so it was nice to read a story that also emphasised this.

 <- The Lighthouse Keeper and His Wife ReviewThe Princess and the Peas Review ->
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The Lighthouse Keeper and His Wife by Sara Mackenzie

Overview
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Title: The Lighthouse Keeper and His Wife
Author: Sara Mackenzie
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: Paranormal romance, Time travel
Dates read: 3rd December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Zek didn’t disillusion her.

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Synopsis

Zek gave up his life and the lives of hundreds to save his wife. Now, he’s been bought back for a second chance. Will they get their happily ever after?

Thoughts

It took me a little while to get into this story. There was just something a bit “meh” about the beginning of this. But, then, after a few pages… something about the tone just flipped and I was hooked. Completely, happily and smilingly pulled in.

I like the combination of old gods and a new goddess (her name is never mentioned, which is really beside the point). Mostly, Neptune is just a huge douche nugget and liar face. Which works quite well into the storyline. It puts the humans in this firmly on the side of good and creates a story which has it’s nice, neat, happily ever after.

The Lighthouse Keeper and His Wife has a great righting the wrongs of the past in this. Second chances always make a great story, and using time travel to provide this. Not only for true love, but to save hundreds of lives… it was quite sweet.

 <- When Gargoyles Fly ReviewBlood Song Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

When Gargoyles Fly by Lori Devoti

Overview
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Title: When Gargoyles Fly
Author: Lori Devoti
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Gargoyles, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 27th November 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Her hands were wrapped around his neck, her cheek pressed against his chest.

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Synopsis

She wants to carve a beautiful gargoyle like the one she comes across everyday. But, when she’s pushed off the building and the gargoyle she bought to life saves her, all bets are off.

Thoughts

This is my first ever gargoyle story. Which is intensely exciting, because I got to create a new bookshelf in my shelves. I spent most of the time thinking about the funny gargoyle sidekicks in The Hunchback of Notre Dame though… which, considering this was a fairly serious gargoyle. And apparently a sexy one… the images in my head really didn’t suit this story.

I’m a big believer in the idea that everything has a “soul” or spirit. Something that vibrates at a frequency and connects all of us. Although I don’t feel a huge connection with stone, I do think that it does have some kind of life in it. This short story reflects that idea. It was kind of brilliant how it worked. And the idea that a woman / artist was able to somehow bring this to life…intriguing. Actually, I found the artistic side of this story so much more romantic than the actual romance side of it.

This is not my favourite romance in this collection so far. Which was surprising… it started out with so much promise! But there was something just a little… meh about the story. Mord just let the woman he loves roam around and get put into a crazy asylum… not my favourite way to deal with a romantic story, and no fun, powerful message behind it. He was just stupid.

 <- Pack ReviewThe Lighthouse Keeper and His Wife Review ->
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