Series: Redwood Pack #7.7, Ludos Deorum #2, Fallen Alpha #1.5, Ashwood Falls #4.5, N/A, Watchers #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Publication Date: August 12, 2014
Published by: Fated Desires Publishing
Sweet or Spicy Romance: Spicy
Page Count: 396
Dark Fates: An All New Paranormal Romance Boxed Set
Six brand new, hot paranormal romance stories from USA Today and bestselling authors. Alpha heroes and heroines with dark pasts and the need to find their own happy ever after will draw you in and make you turn to the next page.
THE HUNTED HEART (A Redwood Pack Novella) by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan
Emeline might have been alive hundreds of years, but she’s never really lived. Noah has known Emeline was his mate since he first saw her, only he doesn’t know if she feels the same. When he finally takes that final step, he’ll have to pray she finds the connection and overcomes the past she thought she’d lost years ago.
JACKAL’S MEASURE (A Ludos Deorum Novella) by NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Marie Harte
Tortured by the god of chaos for centuries, Tariq knows only duty to numb the pain. When he’s sent to collect Eden, a sexy human accused of interfering in the Games of the Gods, his missing heart beats again. But love may not be enough to save them.
ALPHA’S SACRIFICE (A Fallen Alpha Novella) by Rebecca Royce
Hayden Chaucer is determined to make the best life possible for his pack and is ill-prepared to discover his true mate waiting for him in his home. Worse, his mate, Chelsea, has fled the True Believers, and her ability to see the future may cost them their present.
TOUCH OF DESIRE (An Ashwood Falls Novella) by Lia Davis
A submissive wolf who lost it all finds herself in a mating dance with the very dominant senior enforcer who will stop at nothing to claim her.
SANGUE FEVER by Ann Mayburn
Drifting without a purpose, vampire Lisabetta finds herself yearning for something more. She finds it while hunting for her next donor. Things are not quite as they seem when she seduces an older mortal man and finds herself in danger of falling in love for the first time in centuries.
FORBIDDEN RESCUE (A Watchers Novella) by Heather Long
All Jubilee Spector wants is to save her brother. The last thing she expects is to stumble into a dark world and another’s war. But Fox Arada is so much more than a man, and her secret threatens to change the Watchers’ world forever.
One of my favorite reasons to pick up an anthology is the opportunity to try out a new series or in this case a couple of new authors. I’m humbled to say that I’ve still not read all of Carrie Ann Ryan’s Redwood Pack but I’m going to be doing a major catch up for the entire series and have something special for you too in February. So make sure you stay tuned.
But The Hunted Heart can easily be read as a stand alone. Emeline is one of the elders for the Redwood Pack and has seen death, destruction and suffered the heartache of lost love. She is struggling to hold onto a reason to stay alive. Noah however is new to the pack, 28 year old and the current pack doctor, who isn’t adverse to a home visit.
The poignancy and heart which this story is told captures the true emotions of a woman at the end of her resistance and a man with the patience to wait for her to catch up to his emotions. There are moments where you could see Noah’s determination to give Emeline exactly what she needed but never give her up entirely.
Their struggle to discover a cure for North’s blindness binds them together, gives them a common goal and provides Noah with another chance to get closer to Emeline at every opportunity. This is a great addition and first book to lead off with in this anthology.
Marie Harte’s Jackal’s Measure tells the story of one of Anubis’ soldiers, Tariq, who has been brutally tortured by Seti, the God of Chaos for centuries, in order to use Tariq as a weapon to win the Games of the Gods. Never able to tell Anubis of his torture he struggles to maintain his sanity even after his heart has been stolen. And if that isn’t enough the Game of the Gods is occurring in Portland Oregon and a female wonders into the middle of a move by Anubis and Are’s pawns. Eden Dixon made a wrong turn and landed in the middle of the games but Set has been using Eden as well to produce a vial. But Eden is a strong woman and refuses to hand it over.
This story has twists, turns and surprises that I was not anticipating and was a true delight to read. I look forward to more from this series in the future.
Alpha’s Sacrifice is a unique twist on the concept of amnesia effecting one of the main characters. The reason behind the lapses in Chelsea’s memory made me feel part of this story since I’m new to this series and the author. Hayden’s unease as the alpha made for an interesting dichotomy between the ease in which he lead his pack and his unease at being the leader. The story was well told and I enjoyed it from the beginning to end. I will definitely check out more work by Rebecca Royce in the future.
I’m an avid fan of Ms. Lia Davis’ Ashwood Falls series and Touch of Desire continues that streak of fandom. Cora River & Torin Fisher’s story is as well told as I had hoped. There is just something about these two that I craved a happily ever after for them both. The fact that they find it together makes it all the sweeter. Cora has been struggling and withdrawing from her life, her wolf and her pack. But Torin and others refuse to let her worry, doubt and fear consume her and push her back into living by making her part of protecting the pack and, in the end, a purpose she desperately needed. This story can be read as a stand alone but I strongly recommend sitting down to an Ashwood Falls marathon. You can thank me later.
Ann Mayburn’s Sangue Fever was one of the books I was most interested to read out of this anthology because I primarily know Ms. Mayburn’s contemporary work or sci-fi books and wondered what sort of madness she would imploy in a vampire story. And she blew my mind yet again. I don’t want to ruin this wonderful story especially since it appears to me to be the only true stand alone in this book but let me just say that I am thrilled that her cowboy hero is not in his twenties but a man in his early forties. Here is her description of this scrumptiousness:
“He had close-cropped dark hair with thick shocks of silver streaking through it. A black cowboy hat sat on the table before him, and she had a sudden vivid mental image of riding him wearing just his hat. He was sexy, so damn sexy it made her teeth ache to taste him. His tanned face had faint lines, and she could see the solid, muscular build of his broad chest and shoulders beneath his plaid shirt. Something about him radiated power and control, but it wasn’t in the way of immortals. No, this man was one hundred percent human and utterly delicious. All thought of anyone’s gaze except for the powerful man before her vanished as pure primal need filled her.”
This paragraph alone makes me want to re-read this portion of the book.
Lastly is Heather Long’s Forbidden Rescue. I’m torn on this story. Not sure exactly but there just seemed to be something missing to place it at the same level as the other stories of this anthology. The narrative was good, the characters were interesting but the back story was missing development. The emotional connection just didn’t resonate at the same level. The reason for the “rescue” of Jubilee and her transformation just didn’t seem to be completely fleshed out. For me sadly this was the story that just left me feeling a bit blah and is the only book in this anthology that I put the book down for a few days during my review process. The idea behind this book/series is a great one and I look forward to seeing where it heads into the future but this was a lack luster start unfortunately.
Final Thoughts: If you haven’t delved into the world of paranormal romance and are looking for a taste of a few worlds then this is a great book to pick. You will be exposed to numerous authors and their series which I hope will drive you to look into one or more of them in the future.
Fated Desires Publishing provided me with a copy of Dark Fates but nothing else was exchanged for my honest review.