Thursday, July 24, 2008

Three Short Scorchers

Last week I read three short, but extremely hot stories from Changeling Press. Two were a part of their Heat Stroke series, while the third was a novel to begin a new series.

Solar Flare by Elizabeth Jewell was the first of my reads. Blurb: It's the one place in the universe where a vampire can bask in full sunlight without danger of death -- a red star, deep in open space. Kristof's newly purchased ship will take vampires there, to experience the novelty of constant day. But he himself is afraid to take that last step into the light. Until Tomas arrives to show him just how arousing the sun can be.

I love vampire stories of all kinds and this really appealed to me. Every vampire is looking for a way to see the sun again, to sunbathe and feel its warmth. She gave them just that and then some. It was well-written and very, very hot. Great fully-developed story in just a few pages. Well worth the read. I was looking for more by the end. J Note to self: bug author for more!

Sanctuary by Fire by Hunter Raines was the second of my short reads for the week. It is also part of the Heat Stroke series. Blurb: Vampire Lord Theodore Grantaire is hopelessly in love with his human thrall. But being with Reed means turning him into a vampire, and no bliss is worth that price. The only solution is to find an ancient relic and become mortal himself. What he finds instead are vampire hunters.

After a morning of torture, the unmerciful sun's rays have claimed Theo as their own. But the memory of Reed's touch has the power to soothe, even as it engulfs the vampire Lord in a different type of flame.

Can a scarred vampire find sanctuary in the arms of a human? Reed believes he can. Over and over and over again…

First, I love Hunter as she is the alter ego of a very dear friend, Lacey Savage (who also has a Heat Stroke title out, go on, you know ya wanna buy it…). In what could have been a terribly dark story, Hunter takes the dark situation and infused light into it. I'm always amazed at how someone can establish a relationship and such tension in so few pages. Very well done.

Missing You by Belinda McBride was the last of my weekly reads for last week. This is the first of the Imperative series, with two more at least (or at last count, right Belinda?) to come. Blurb: In the future, we don't choose our mates; Nature chooses for us. Nature doesn't make mistakes. And if you don't pay attention to Nature's Imperative, you suffer.

Aquamarine Davis has an exciting future. The up and coming young choreographer is leaving town for a new job when she feels the unwelcome call of the Imperative. Hounded by an intense, biological compulsion to find her mate, Marina reluctantly attends the local mating assembly.

Artist Con Montgomery is thrilled that the Imperative finally called! At 32, he believed his time had passed. For years, he's been haunted by visions of blue which he knew symbolized his mate. The Imperative leads him to Duncan Sinclair, and Con immediately recognizes his future in the smiling blue eyes of this man.

When Con and Duncan walk out of the Assembly together, they leave something behind: Marina. Their mate.

This, I believe, is Belinda's first published work and wow, she really amazed me with this. Great world building and she made it very believable. In a world like ours that cherishes free will so much, you were wanting and hoping for this to happen to you. I cannot wait for the next in the series! And so nice to see Mother Nature is so hip – she doesn't just pick traditional couples. She picks male-male as well as female-female couples too. And on that special occasion… maybe a trio?

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