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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
This is an anthology of stories set in the world of the Women Of The Otherworld. Let me say first that I have not read any of the novels in this series, despite the fact that a good friend of mine is always singing their praise (or the fact that I'm interested in watching the Bitten show that is based off them). Now, I want to read them even more, especially the one about Hope. These short stories are intriguing and intense, even if all of them don't end happily.
This one is short and sweet and to the point. It's the journey of Talia to find out more about her sons abilities and how to help him control them. It's pretty easy to follow and clear cut. I wanted to know more about this boy. I think it plays out pretty well from my perspective of a newbie. People who have read the series already know about Adam and what he is, but I think it's readable for either set of people.
I wasn't a huge fan of this story. It's about Cassandra trying to make her yearly kill to remain "alive" for another year. It's an interesting concept, having to kill someone yearly to remain a vampire. For whatever reason, is finding this task more difficult than normal this year. The short was well written, it just bored me a little bit. Typically, when I'm reading an anthology, I try to finish the short in a single sitting, but this one took two to finish because it just didn't hold my interest.
This was my very first look at Elena, who I know is the start of the fist few books in this series. From this story alone, I wasn't in love with her. Clay, her mate, is fascinating. I may have liked him more because it was told via his perspective. It's a story about them taking a honeymoon and being stalked by a stray werewolf. It's clear from this little tale that these two are completely in love. The hints about their past make me extremely interested in getting my hands on their novel. I image their journey back to each other is far from easy, but hopefully it'll be worth it.
This story is heartbreaking and therefore my least favorite of the set. It's about Reese falling in love with a girl and the consequences of that mistake. I can't really say much without giving it away. I will say that when I started it, I expected it to be my favorite and it turns out that I hate it. I like happy endings. This was the very opposite of that. I realize it's just Reese's back story and whatever adventures he takes in the future would not have been possible without this tragic thing, but that doesn't mean I want to read it and have my heart stomped on.
Ah. This is my favorite. Hope's story is so interesting that I couldn't tear myself away. This is possibly the most humorous of the tales, cause me to snort and giggle on more than one occasion. I love the banter between her and Karl. If I didn't have a need to read stories in order, I'd find a copy of her particular book in the series and devour it quickly. This is the story of a demon being released and the ensuing chaos. It was extremely entertaining.
This story is what made me fall in love with Elena. She's so strong and tough, but soft and vulnerable. Her love and fierce determination to protect her children is something I think we can all relate to, even if we haven't had children yet. The way she agonizes over how and when to tell her children that she and Dad are werewolves is endearing. She wants to make the right choice when it's obvious that there is no right answer. Speaking of her kids, Kate and Logan are amazing. I want a spinoff of their story. Do we ever find out if they turn on their own or not in the normal series? I need to know! Anyway, this is the story of Elena and Clay finding the bad guy and saving their children all before a perfect Christmas morning. This is the longest story in this anthology.
From Russia, With Love
This is another Elena story. It's just a little tale of the lengths Clay and Elena will go to protect their children, even if the threat isn't as serious as they originally perceived it to be.
Savannah's story is a bit different than the rest. It's about her protecting a kid with teleportation abilities, but it's also about her fixing her relationship with her boyfriend. Things seem perfect and are, in a lot of aspects, but there are problems they are avoiding and the events of this novella make them impossible to set aside any longer. I really enjoyed their story as well as the others and I'm very interested in reading their novel.
Well, there you have it! Those are my thoughts on all the stories. Anthologies aren't normally a favorite thing of mine. There aren't many authors who can give me a fully satisfying story in so short a time. They are either rushed or they leave me with unanswered questions or I just feel like they need more. That wasn't the case with these. Even though I know there are novels written completely about some of these characters, Armstrong manages to tie everything in neatly and give me exactly what I need to follow the stories. I think it's a great tool to grab someone's interest and make them want to read the series as a whole!
****Thank you to Piatkus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review****