Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
Clay and Elena are on their honeymoon when Clay realizes they are being Stalked (by Kelley Armstrong) by a non-pack werewolf out to claim Elena for his own. Hunting the mutt may be exactly what this couple needs to liven up their honeymoon which has been rather *gasp* boring.
Stalked is an excellent introduction to the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong for people new to that world. It is also a great interlude for fans of the series to revisit some old favorite characters. The romance between Elena and Clay is very strong, if demonstrated in a different way. I felt their emotions as neither one wanted to admit they weren't enjoying themselves and even more strongly when the perfect opportunity for excitement presents itself.
In Heorot by Jim Butcher, Harry Dresden is called upon to help rescue a young bride from a hideous monster so she can still make it to her honeymoon on time. With a little help from Marcone's house wizard, Gard, Harry will enter the bowels of the city and discover there's more to Gard than he ever expected.
Heorot is a thoroughly enjoyable venture into Dresden's life once more. He is reluctant to get involved in the mystery of the missing girl but at the same time knows he is needed if she has any hope of survival. Gard turns out to be a fascinating woman when her history is revealed to us. While her story may not have as much of an impact on readers new to the series, long time fans will love the revelation. Ancient legends also come into play in Heorot when we find out what happened to the young bride.
In Roman Holiday, or SPQ-arrrrrr by Rachel Caine, we meet again with the formerly cursed pirate, Captain Liam Lockhart, as he's about to set sail for his honeymoon with Cecilia, the woman who broke his curse. However, other cursed captains have heard about Liam's good fortune and led by Roman, Salvius, and they want Cecilia so she can break their curses as well and will do whatever it takes to get her.
Roman Holiday, or SPQ-arrrrrr is the continuation of Caine's contribution to My Supernatural Wedding, the prequel to this book. As such, while everyone is likely to enjoy the tale, people who have not read the first story will not have as much of an emotional investment in this story. This is a lively adventure and I loved hearing about Liam's former curse and those cast on other sea bound souls stuck forever sailing the vast ocean. Liam and Cecilia's love story is wonderfully done for the length of the tale.
Vampire PI Jack Fleming takes us back to 1930s Chicago where he is hired to help a mobster daughter, Dorothy, track down her husband who went missing immediately after the wedding ceremony. As he is cracking the case, Jack realizes Dorothy is truly Her Mother's Daughter (by PN Elrod).
Her Mother's Daughter was my first venture into PN Elrod's series. I enjoyed my visit and can see me trying a few full length books in the series to see how I enjoy those. I loved the fact the era covered in this story is one not often visited in the novels I read. The 30s were full of glitz and glamour, and danger with speakeasies and flappers and the mob running rampant. Elrod does a good job portraying the thoughts and behavior of people from that time period. I wasn't surprised by the resolution to the mystery. I was surprised to see just how much Dorothy is like her mother when we get a brief glimpse into her mother's history.
In Newlydeads, Detective Pete Caldecott and her friend Jack Winter are on a vacation when strange things begin happening. People are disappearing from the Paradise Palace Casino & Resort and it appears they may be human sacrifices to a terrifying monster.
Newlydeads was probably my least favorite story in the anthology. Not because it was bad, mind you, just because I was quite confused. This novella was a bit too ambitious for the length. With as much detail about the world and its rules as had to be squeezed in, the story was a little bit hard to follow and got lost occasionally in the information. I did like the ending and how everything was wrapped up. I just wish it had been a little simpler of a road to get there.
In Where the Heart Lives by Marjorie M Liu, we are given a glimpse into the world of Dirk & Steele before the agency ever existed. Young Lucy is hired by Miss Lindsay to keep house and while there she sees a strange image in the forest of a young woman needing help, leading up to the revelation of just who these people she is now living with are.
I love the Dirk & Steele series by Liu so I was very excited when I found out Where the Heart Lives tells the story of exactly how the Dirk & Steele agency began. There is not one but two lovely romances explored in the story. I felt myself more emotionally involved in the story of Henry and Mary than I was in Lucy and Barnabus's tale but both were beautifully done. And Miss Lindsay was a fascinating person as well, who I'd love to know more about.
In Cat Got Your Tongue? by Katie MacAlister, Raphael St. John and Joy are on their honeymoon in a castle haunted by three ghosts when one of them begs their assistance in cursing her husband eternally. However, as they try to figure out how to do that, they find all is not as it seems with these three ghosts. Nor is it with Raphael who receives the shock of his life when he and Joy discover something about him they never knew.
Cat Got Your Tongue? is the most humorous story in the collection. Katie MacAlister writes with all the same hilarity and romance that has made her a household name. Fans of her series will enjoy finally discovering the secrets of Raphael St. John so tightly guarded even he wasn't aware of them. The three ghosts in the tale add extra charm to the short story.
In Half of Being Married by Lilith Saintcrow, newlyweds Kat and Mitchell discover neither was exactly entirely truthful before the wedding. When their honeymoon finds them holed up in a small town overrun by a vampire nest, they discover a few secrets about each other like the fact Kat is a vampire hunter and Mitchell is a werewolf. With a couple like that you know adventure is the name of the game!
Half of Being Married reveals what can happen when the happy couple is not entirely truthful with one another. Kat and Mitchell were afraid of how the other would react if they knew the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so kept their secrets close. Their mutual surprise to find one a werewolf and the other a vampire hunter is brilliantly done and adds a little extra punch to the story. As if fighting side by side to destroy a nest of deadly vampires wasn't already enough to deal with already. Having not read anything else by Saintcrow previously, Half of Being Married was a great introduction to this urban fantasy author.
This collection of stories is closed out by Ronda Thompson's Wulf in Groom's Clothing. Laura Wulf hates the outdoors while her husband Sam adores them. While on their honeymoon in a cabin in the forest, Laura has a close encounter with a wolf when her new husband is overcome by the family curse that has him howling at the full moon.
Wulf in Groom's Clothing by the late great Ronda Thompson brings the cursed Wulf family out of the annals of history and into modern times. It is also another comedic addition to the series. What do you get when you cross a man cursed to become a werewolf and hoping to break said curse with a young pampered princess who hates the outdoors and animals but is afraid to tell her nature-loving new groom? You get a delightful romance blended with a touch of humor that is sure to keep you turning pages. Seeing how Sam and Laura overcome their differences in a whirlwind romance won't disappoint.
My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon is an eclectic mix of urban fantasy and paranormal romance tales that explore the unusual side of romance. Whether you enjoy a rip roaring good time or a more serious story, you are bound to find a couple tales to enjoy here. I'd have to say my favorite story is Where the Heart Lives but I found quite a bit to love in every single installment in the collection.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, September 2008. All rights reserved.