Shifter Mass Market Paperback – Mar 4 2008
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"Angela Knight is a spectacular writer." -ROMANCE REVIEW "Lora Leigh takes [readers] on a sensual roller coaster." -LOVE ROMANCES "Alyssa Day roars onto the paranormal scene." -ROMANCE JUNKIES "Virginia Kantra is an up-and-coming star." -NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR KAREN ROBARDS
About the Author
Angela Knight is the USA Today bestselling author of the Mageverse series and the Warlord series for Berkley Books. She has also written for Red Sage, Changeling Press, Loose Id and Ellora's Cave. Besides her novels, Angela's publishing career includes a stint as a comic book writer and ten years as a newspaper reporter. Several of her stories won South Carolina Press Association awards under her real name. Angela lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a polygraph examiner and hostage negotiator for the county's Sheriff's Office.
Lora Leigh is known for her deliciously intense and satisfying erotic romance. Her characters come to her in her dreams, inspiring her with the possibilities of What If... Most days, Lora can be found in front of her computer weaving daydreams while sipping the ambrosia of the gods, also known as coffee. When not writing, thinking about writing, or plotting what to write, Lora, a Kentucky native, enjoys gardening, fishing, and hiking with her husband and children.
Alyssa Day is the pen name (and dark and tortured alter ego) of Alesia Holliday, winner of Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award for excellence in romance fiction. Alyssa is a graduate of The Ohio State University and summa cum laude graduate of Capital Law School. She lives with her family and children somewhere near the ocean (they move a lot!).
Bestselling author Virginia Kantra credits her love for strong heroes and courageous heroines to a childhood spent devouring fairy tales, her fondness for kickass women to her daughter, and her knowledge of guys to her husband and teenage sons. Virginia is the author of over a dozen books for Silhouette Intimate Moments, including her popular "Trouble in Eden" series. Her first single title romantic suspense, Close-Up, will be released by Berkley in July 2005. A five-time Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist, Virginia is the winner of numerous writing awards, including the Golden Heart, Holt Medallion, Maggie Award of Excellence and two National Readers' Choice Awards
Top Customer Reviews
~ Mad Dog Love by Angela Knight ~
Princess Zarifa Lorezo is on the run, afraid for her life, afraid and knowing that her fiance and her uncle would do anything to keep her in their grasp, to rule the empire she will inherit. In disguise, she's looking for a bodyguard to keep her alive so that she can bring very important information to her half-brother, the rightful ruler of the Empire.
Enter Rance "Mad Dog" Conlan, a Freeworlds werewolf, has been betrayed, the traitor seeing fit that he become a slave. The collar that the slaver, Casus, had put around his neck has reprogrammed his nanobot system, and is now able to inflict pain on Rance whenever he sees fit. Casus has found a potential `buyer'... Zarifa.
Rance discovers who Zarifa really is and isn't happy, but she intrigues him. She's not at all like she's portrayed to be in video clips he's seen. Convinced she'd been controlled, he's vowed to keep her alive until she can turn the reins over to her brother.
**No matter if Knight is writing a novel or novella, she certainly knows how to grap and hold a reader's attention. The hero and heroine seem real enough for the reader to wish this was happening in real life. Quickly, Zarifa and Rance learn to trust each other, despite the shaky circumstances. With a twist in the plot near the end, Knight brings another great story to a close with a happy ending.
~ A Jaguar's Kiss by Lora Leigh ~
Natalie Ricci is a human no-nonsense woman who stands up for herself and fights for what she wants. She desperately wanted the teaching position to the Breeds in Buffalo Gap, but what she wasn't counting on was this fierce wanting she feels for Saban Broussard.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
~Mad Dog Love by Angela Knight~
With not only her life, but the entire empire at stake, empress Zarifa Lorezo needs a bodyguard to ensure she reaches her destination safely. When she learns of a slaver in possession of a werewolf slave, she decides that "Mad Dog" is the man for the job.
Even wearing a slave-collar, Rance "Mad Dog" Conlan proves himself more than a match for the empress on the run...
Whether it is a full length novel or a novella length story, Angela Knight never fails to sweep you up in any tale she spins. She effortlessly creates edgy characters that enthrall the reader, making you wish this story were not a work of fiction, but real people fighting the good fight in our own world and leaving it a better place.
And so it is with her entry in the Shifter anthology, Mad Dog Love. In this short story, she brings together a hero and heroine of the highest caliber who, although they meet under decidedly shaky circumstances, quickly learn to trust one another as they see each other with more than their eyes, opening their hearts.
With a fantastic twist at the end that I admit to never anticipating, Ms. Knight deftly wraps up a gripping plot while leaving the reader fervently hoping for a continuation of this exciting universe with future stories. Mad Dog Love is a must-read for any reader who enjoys a red-hot interstellar romance!
~A Jaguar's Kiss by Lora Leigh~
Hired as the first teacher to the Breed children in Buffalo Gap, Natalie Ricci thought she was prepared for everything the job had in store for her. Nothing could have prepared her for Breed Enforcer Saban Broussard and his sexy Cajun accent. She was even less prepared for this thing they call the Mating Heat...
Saban is determined to win the woman he recognized at first sight as his mate. No one will come between them - not her overly aggressive ex-husband and not the evil scientists intent on capturing a Breed Mate for their nefarious studies...
It amazes me that after so many Breeds books, Lora Leigh is still able to find fresh angles for stories in one of my favorite book series. With A Jaguar's Kiss, she brings the story of a Breed male who finds his mate is a divorcee, with an ex-husband all too present - something guaranteed to drive his jaguar fury wild, but exacerbated even more when the man tries harder and harder to separate Saban from Natalie.
As a schoolteacher, Natalie brings a no-nonsense attitude to this story, and as a recent divorcee, she brings the pain of a woman struggling to exert her long-denied independence even as the Mating Heat drives her into Saban's life and into his arms.
Even with the frenetic pace driven by the Mating Heat and Saban's courtship of Natalie, Ms. Leigh manages to weave a very nice dose of intrigue throughout the story, effortlessly tidying up any loose ends by the end of this novella.
Whether you have previously read one of Lora Leigh's Breeds stories or not, A Jaguar's Kiss is sure to tantalize, thrill, and totally titillate.
Series Order (NY books only):
Megan's Mark (The Breeds, Book 1) (Berkley Sensation)
Harmony's Way (The Breeds, Book 2)
Tanner's Scheme (The Breeds, Book 3)
Dawn's Awakening (The Breeds, Book 4)
Hot Spell (The Guardians, Book 1) (The Breed Next Door) (The Countess's Pleasure) (The Blood Kiss)(Falling For Anthony)
Beyond the Dark
Shifter (Berkley Sensation)
~Shifter's Lady by Alyssa Day~
First Maiden of the Nereids, Marie hasn't left Atlantis for any reason in four centuries, much less a vacation. With her brother's mating to a shifter in the land Above, it is time for her to make the journey to that world to meet her new sister and the panther pack they belong to.
With centuries of life, she has had her share of lovers, but none could have taught her quite what to expect from a man like Ethan, the Alpha of that very panther pack. She finds him alarmingly irresistible, a situation that Ethan is all too happy to use to his advantage.
Ethan swears his protection for the beautiful Atlantian, a feat which proves more and more challenging as the mysterious threat to his lands and the creatures within them grows daily.
I have to confess, although I have read the first book in Alyssa Day's Atlantis Rising series and have purchased all of the stories released so far, I am woefully behind in reading this spell-binding saga. Because of this, I was gratified to find that Shifter's Lady worked very well read out of series order, in addition to being perfectly poised as a standalone story guaranteed to entice readers new to Alyssa Day's work into buying the rest of the books in this saga.
Although centuries old, Marie is charmingly innocent, having lived the majority of those years as the First Maiden of the Nereids, a position that keeps many of the Atlantian men from regarding the lovely woman as more than a friend. It is that charm coupled with her beauty that instantly captivate Ethan.
Marie may have met men like Ethan before, but none who harbored the desire for her that Ethan does, much less who stirred the same yearnings within her. Although she never imagined herself with a warrior, it isn't long before she succumbs to Ethan's amorous advances.
The ending of Shifter's Lady is very interesting, wrapping up some of the storylines, yet leaving room for another tale starring this endearing couple. In the meantime, this fan will be moving the other books in this saga up in her TBR pile...
Warriors of Poseidon: Atlantis Rising (Book 1)
Warriors of Poseidon: Atlantis Awakening (Book 2)
Shifter (Berkley Sensation)
~Sea Crossing by Virginia Kantra~
After being ruined by a man and summarily dismissed from her teaching post at an all-girl's school, Emma March forges on with her life, entering herself into service in exchange for passage to Canada. Long before her boat reaches its destination, tragedy strikes, necessitating the abandonment of the now sinking ship. In the midst of the turmoil, Emma falls overboard.
Certain she is to meet her death, she is surprised to wake nude in the company of a virile stranger on a remote yet populated island. It seems that the chances of a ship arriving anytime soon are slim to none, but lucky for Emma, the odd residents of the island happen to be in need of a teacher...
Virginia Kantra was the only author in the Shifter anthology that was brand new to me, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. We began the book with a futuristic science fiction romance, and Ms. Kantra closes the anthology with a paranormal historical romance, titled Sea Crossing. Incorporating the myth of the Selkie into a historical setting, it feels as if the author has transported us to another world. And I suppose the island of the Selkies could be considered just that, with their own ways of life, removed from the human world, although still tinged with bits of humanity through the children they've fostered with mortals.
As she struggles to find her place in a world that leaves unmarried women with few choices, Emma's dilemma is palpable. Her resolve to find a life where she can be of good use while still maintaining her morals is admirable. Of course, it is just those morals that keep her and the handsome Griff apart for so long. Well, those morals plus the secrets he is keeping from her...
It is easy to see why Emma is drawn to Griff, despite those pesky morals. Strong, mysterious, and caring - he is the epitome of everything she could want in a husband. For that matter, he is the epitome of what most women want in a husband.
In the end, all secrets are exposed, and watching as Emma comes to term with this strange new world she discovers is heart-warming. If Griff could fall any more in love with her, then he most certainly does in the end. And the very same could be said of Emma as she discovers the true depth of Griff's feelings for her and just what he is willing to do in order to be with her.
Shifter (Berkley Sensation)
Sea Witch (Children of the Sea)
Rance Conlon, also known as "Mad Dog" has been enslaved by a traitor. The nanobots inside of his body have been reprogrammed so that escape is not a possibility. Rance despairs of ever being free and so spends his time being as obstinate and vicious as possible. Informed of the fact that he is being put back on the slave block, Rance can only hope that his new master will not watch him vigilantly so that he can make his escape. He doesn't take into consideration that his new master could in fact be a new mistress thus provoking hidden instincts that he isn't ready to face.
Queen Zarifa Lorezo is on the run. She has come into her inheritance and has been able to change her internal nanobots which hide her from the enemies wishing to control her. She is on a mission - a mission that could very well cause her death. She needs someone powerful enough to help her accomplish this undertaking. Someone strong and loyal. Someone just like the slave known as "Mad Dog". She fails to take into consideration that in gaining a slave she may also gain a lover she will not wish to lose - that is, if they are able to stay alive long enough.
A Jaguar's Kiss by Lora Leigh
Saban Broussard is a Cajun breed enforcer with the DNA of a black jaguar. Stealthy, steadfast and loyal, he has been given the mission to protect the new teacher hired by the pride leader to instruct the breed children of Sanctuary. Saban is nothing if not thorough and so relishes the task set before him. His tongue is swollen and his senses are on alert. Now he must convince his independent mate that life in his arms doesn't mean giving up her stability. It means a lifetime of being loved and cherished. And it starts with just one kiss.
Natalie Ricci has just been through a messy divorce in which her very existence and emotional independence were tested. She wants nothing more than to educate the breed children she has been trusted to teach. She doesn't want nor does she need her assigned protector. The fact that her bodyguard sets her body aflame and her mind reeling makes her nuts, but it is his kiss that she craves. Though she knows without a doubt that just one kiss from her jaguar will change her life forever, Natalie is ill prepared for the feelings that come forth - feelings of arousal and love she has spent months trying to ignore.
Shifter's Lady by Alyssa Day
Marie, the First Maiden of the Nereids, is traveling to visit her brother. Sensing that he needs her, she will not be deterred and thus is allowed to cross through a portal in order to get to the other side where her brother awaits her arrival. Their reunion is short lived, however, when Marie's brother is asked by the Atlantean god's high priest to help with the search for Justice. Though she is told to return to Atlantis for her safety, Marie refuses. Because of this, her brother finds her a protector - and he just happens to be the Alpha of the local were-panther pride and irresistible in Marie's eyes.
Ethan has become uneasy friends with the Atlantean who has made his home upon Ethan's land. Since the man has mated one of the women of Ethan's pride, decides to play nice. His emotions are tested when panthers from his pride are found murdered with no leads or witnesses as to who would commit such a brutal act. Since this investigation is taking up all of his time, Ethan is able to forget his failures. Failures that come to haunt him once his inability to resist Marie's charms become common knowledge. Tested by those who should be loyal, Ethan knows one thing - Marie is his. And what is his, he keeps.
Sea Crossing by Virginia Kantra
Griff is a selkie. Given the task of finding a teacher for the young children of his island home, he doesn't hesitate in his mission. Answerable only to the prince of the selkies, Griff tries his best to persuade the woman to want to stay on the island. His feelings for her have nothing to do with his wanting her to accept himself and his people. Or so he tells himself over and over. But when it all comes down to emotions and love, Griff knows that he will follow his lover wherever she wants to go.
Emma March has lost her job and her family with just one mistake of the heart. Trusting a man when she shouldn't have, she finds herself at the mercy of the sea when the ship she is traveling on slowly begins to sink. Doing her best to be brave, she thinks of others safety before her own and finds herself drowning. Or so she thought. Emma has been rescued by an enigmatic man that makes her yearn for the baser needs that she has in her body - needs that she doesn't want to acknowledge but finds herself exploring. When one of her students matures in ways unheard of by Emma, her life on the island changes in an instant and the end result might not be what she or Griff is expecting.
Each and every novella in this anthology captured my attention and held me spellbound in a world full of paranormal hotties and the women who loved them.
Angela Knight's, MAD DOG LOVE, grabbed me from the start with Rance pacing the cage like the wolf he is. I found his protection of Zarifa loyal and unfaltering, even when he discovers that the woman he thinks she is turns out to be an allusion. His yearning for freedom is unwavering and I found myself more than once torn between wanting him to be set free and wanting him to be tied to Zarifa for a lifetime.
Lora Leigh's, A JAGUAR'S KISS, is absolutely outstanding. As a huge fan of Lora Leigh's Breeds, I placed this amazing author on my auto-buy list years ago - and I'm happy to say this novella is more than worthy to stand beside the other books from this series. Jaguar breed Saban Broussard is sin personified with a Cajun accent and a penchant for whispering sweet nothings in the ear of his beloved. His passion for his mate has no boundaries, even when he is being tested. Incidentally, while Saban likes to cherish his mate, Natalie likes to challenge hers. Fiercely independent but secretly needy, she wants Saban to want her because of love, not need her because of genetics. Ms. Leigh more than proves to Natalie that Saban is the perfect mate and breed for her.
Alyssa Day's contribution to the anthology - SHIFTER'S LADY, takes readers back to the world she introduced with her Warriors of Poseidon series. While Marie is accustomed to being a cherished member of Atlantis, she is no wilting flower. Her character is strong and determined as well as gentle and kind. Her love for Ethan is evident in every encounter and I couldn't help laughing more than once at her emotional ties to rain. Ethan is pack Alpha and one of the toughest male characters I have read about in a long time. Loyal to a dead mate even though he didn't care for her, Ethan continually surprised me. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting back and grinning when his panther side comes to the forefront and demands Marie.
SEA CROSSING by Virginia Kantra took me to a world I seldom read about but think I may have to investigate further. I really enjoyed how she makes her selkies realistic and how she portrays the dynamics of the selkie hierarchy. I found Griff to be blatantly sexy but somewhat shy. Emma March is a worthy heroine to his hero for sheer guts alone. Stranded on an island, unknown by the inhabitants, and without any family around her, she has made the best of her situation. She is courageous and I don't blame Griff one bit for his feelings for her.
Thank goodness I don't have to pick a favorite from this four novella anthology because I would be hard pressed to do so. Know that each and every story will capture your attention, engage your mind, make your palms sweat and your cheeks blush. The conglomeration of authors is the perfect recipe for this enticing and well written anthology.
Angela Knight's story was delightful. Short but enough story details. - 4 stars
Lora Leigh's story was dragged on a bit too much. Natalie character really got on my nerve. She was so whiny. I didn't like her at all. The hero was better but still stuck at the "breed" logic. - 1.5 stars
Alyssa Day's story was surprisingly good. However, the ending was open for more details to envelop. Also, I think the heroine could use some more transitions in thought to decide to jump in bed or seeing the hero in different light. - 2.5 stars
Virginia Kantra's story started out pretty good. However, the last chapter seemed too rush. It didn't even resolve all the problems, such as the hero's pov of marriage or even their argument's end. And what did they decide? To live long or grow old as humans? Ending wasn't clear - 2.5 stars
"Mad Dog" - Angela Knight does an excellent job of bringing together two powerful and intelligent leads in her futuristic tale of a disguised Empress Zafira who purchases a enslaved virile wolf shifting warrior Rance to serve as body guard as Zafira flees the regent that held her captive for years. Zafira can truly empathize with Rance's frustration at his loss of freedom since she herself has lived as a virtual slave in her palace, literally controlled by the regent out to steal her throne. While slave warrior Rance gives Empress Zafira the edge she needs to help her save herself and her empire from the regent's evil plans, Zafira is clearly a force to be reckoned with. I love that both Rance and Zafira recognize that they have more than just heat to offer each other and that it is Rance's trust in Zafira's capability during the final confrontation that allows her to set them both free.
I haven't read Lora Leigh's full length Breeds novels, but "Jaguar's Kiss" far exceeds her previous short "The Breed Next Door" from the anthologyHot Spell. I really enjoyed this one. While Leigh's previous tale had a great setup, it fell apart once the mating heat took over. That's not the case here. Jaguar Breed Saban with his Cajun accent is totally dominant even as he tries to deny his nature and charm instead of claim Natalie using techniques he's learned from dating books. But Natalie senses the animal behind the teasing and banter and is wary of Saban's controlling nature having recently started to enjoy her independence from her control-freak ex. I thought that it was great that even though Saban attempts to push Natalie into accepting that she's his mate by initiating the hormone driven mating kiss, Natalie fights back and doesn't allow Saban to dominate her even though the bond is near undeniable.
In "Shifter's Lady" Alyssa Day combines a shifter's mate bond and the Atlantean's soul meld and the result is one incredibly sizzling attraction. Here Day hooks up Ethan the Jaguar shifter alpha we met in "Wild Hearts in Altantis" ( Wild Thing) and Atlantean healer Marie from the last book Warriors of Poseidon: Atlantis Awakening (Book 2) to give us a nice little fill in to Day's Warrior's of Poseidon series.
Finally, the last story by Virginia Kantra "Sea Crossing" was a much stronger contribution than her previous Fae inspired efforts in anthologies Over the Moon and Man of My Dreams. I loved watching gorgeous Selkie Griff help 'ruined' school teacher Emma to overcome the fallout from her very unpleasant `first time' with passion and tenderness, even as Emma melts Griff's gruff practicality and inspires in him a desire for a permanent bond that is unusual for a Selkie.
All in all this is a fun collection of shifter romances from ladies that really know how to write the steamy stuff but who still manage a decent story at the same time. The icing on the cake here is that we not only get four terrific alpha males but the women that are destined to be their mates are more than strong enough to hold their own when these macho guys' animal sides come out to stake a claim.