Handsome and sensual, surrounded by an aura of danger, mystery, and the forbidden, a lover steps from the shadows. But is he mortal? Or is he an ancient god, a sorcerer, or a mythical beast who can possess a woman's heart...and her very soul?
Four of romance's most popular authors have created this spellbinding collection of stores filled with dark passion and desire. Under the cover of darkness, their heroes inhabit worlds haunted by ageless hungers and deadly forces stronger than any seen by day...and vanquished only by the power of love.
Now travel into realms where dazzling wonders roam the night, where magic replaces reason, and where a kiss unleashes a raging fire in the blood. And here, if you dare, discover the seduction that begins at the bewitching hour when a man and woman partake in...Midnight Pleasures.
I finished this anthology last night and whilst I normally like to review books in the order that I read them in. However, with this one I wanted to write the review straight away because otherwise I knew that I was going to forget some details! I originally got this book from the library so that I could read the novella Phantom Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon as I continue glomming the Dark Hunter series. I had never read any of the other authors in the book. As soon as I got it, I read Phantom Lover and then I tried to start the other novellas.....and now I am not even sure where to start!!
The price of saving her dying mother is Channa's promise to spend a year at the castle of the tormented nobleman, Lord Darkfest....to obey him as his servant, or as his secrets are revealed, or become his salvation. And her own.
The first story in the book was Darkfest by Amanda Ashley. I am not sure how to say this any other way but........WHAT A STINKER! Starting from the characters names - the hero's name is Darkfest and the heroine is Channa Leigh! Now Darkfest is a wizard - to me it sounds more like the name of a convention of warlocks and wizards, not an individual!! Now, not only is he a wizard, he can change into a wolf. Channa Leigh is blind but can see when she is touching the wolf.
In exchange for her mother's life, Channa Leigh has to spend a year with Darkfest, and then when that year is over, she will be able to go and marry her betrothed Ronin. Now things get really silly when Darkfest turns Ronin into a frog. Also featuring in this story is a dragon, and then I did wonder if Darkfest was also going to turn into a vampire as well because he seemed to have an aversion to sunlight as well that either wasn't really explained or I just skimmed over what explanation was there. There were a couple of really squikky moments when he was a wolf and ....well, you get the idea. If I could put a book down when I wasn't enjoying it, I wouldn't have finished this one, but I can't so I did, and I tell you it was a relief when it was over!!! If I was rating this story I would give it a 1/5.
Haunted by recurring nightmares of terrifying beasts, Erin McDaniels is afraid to sleep - until a hero arrives in her dreams to save her....and makes erotic, incredible love to her. But can she find him again when she is awake?
Phantom Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon was the first novella that I read out of this book, and I really enjoyed it. This short story introduces the Dream Hunters into the Dark Hunter series, and so whilst it really could be read alone, I suspect that this novella provides yet another platform in the series.
The hero is V'Aidan, who is not necessarily the good guy at the start, but something about Erin reaches his feelings, something that he is not supposed to have as a Skoti:
Skoti are not supposed to have any creativity of their own. They're not supposed to want love. Not supposed to want anything except a single night of dream surfing, hopping from one person to the next.
I really enjoyed this story, and it was very, very steamy! It will be interesting to see where the Dream Hunter story lines go in the future.
A consultant for a TV series about one gorgeous witch, "white witch" Melissa St. Cloud plans to make the show authentic. But once on the set she is pulled into the arms of a man who opens up a doorway to the dark side and chilling peril.
Next up was Under Her Spell by Maggie Shayne. As soon as Melissa St. Cloud meets Alexander Quinn she is irresistibly attracted to him, but she is also immediately aware that there is some kind of darkness around him. As the story progresses we get to find out more about him, and where that feeling of darkness comes from. As part of that we find out about a 30 year old mystery, and the influence of the father that Alexander never actually met over his life.
Whilst I didn't mind this story, there was a bit too much info dump in it, especially around the spells and what have you. It wasn't a bad story I guess.
Running away from an arranged marriage, Elise steals aboard a wagon in a traveling circus and finds herself in the bed of the Beast Tamer, Sterling Wulf, who is something other than he seems....and suddenly all Elise desires.
The final story was A Wulf's Curse by Ronda Thompson, and to be honest, this is the only author out of the three new to me authors in this anthology that I will read again. All of the males in Wulf's family have been cursed - if they love, then they will be destined to become werewolves whenever there is a full moon. For this reason, Wulf has basically withdrawn from the world, and women in particular, but when he finds runaway Elise Collins in his bed, suddenly he realises that he hasn't withdrawn far enough away. As Elise negotiates to stay with the circus until they get to Liverpool where her aunt lives, it is agreed that it is under the condition that she will work for her keep, and in a circus that means performing. In order to try and scare her away, it is suggested that she will do the Dance of the Veils, something that should mortify a well bought up young lady of the ton, but fear is a powerful motivator, and Elise is terrified of being found by her uncle and forced into marriage with the man of his choice. As Elise and Wulf spend more time together their feelings grow stronger, until the secrets that they both have are revealed.
This seems to be an introductory story in a new series, and having read this, I have added the other three books featuring the Wulfs to my TBR list.
So overall, one stinker, one okay read, and two pretty good reads.