Primal Paperback – Feb 1 2011
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About the Author
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.
Michelle Rowen writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, futuristic romantic suspense, and young adult fantasy. She has been on the Waldenbooks/Borders Group romance bestseller list and was the winner of the 2007 Holt Medallion for Best First Book.Michelle lives in Southern Ontario and is the 2010 President of Toronto Romance Writers. She wields her power wisely. Please feel free to contact her, she loves hearing from readers!
Jory has been writing since childhood and has never outgrown being a daydreamer. When she's not hunched over her computer, lost in the muse and conjuring up new heroes and heroines, she can usually be found reading, riding her horses, or hiking with her dogs.
Jory has won numerous awards for her writing. She lives in California with her husband and a menagerie of pets.
Top Customer Reviews
Lora Leigh lost all thread of the story at the end. Maybe some pages were left out. Whatever ............ writing was harder to follow than usual. Please Ms. Leigh get a better editor who will help you write a complete story
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Paranormal Romance - Feb. 1st 2011
This anthology is a mix of action pack to ultra sexy stories. It features a short urban fantasy which is part of Michelle Rowen's new Nightshade series. It also includes a new Breed story by Lora Leigh and has a story that is part of Eva Gray's Skin. And finally, the anthology also has a novella by Jory Strong featuring vampires and angels. Each author has their own voice which makes this anthology an uneven if good mix.
Bleeding Heart by Michelle Rowen is a fast paced Urban Fantasy that really got me interested in her Nightshade series. The heroine is named Jill. She is on the run, because she was injected with a secret formula. This formula is deadly because it has changed her blood and made vampires crave it. However, her blood is poisonous to them. The other problem is that the formula is unstable and is slowly killing her. Jill is living on borrowed time unless she can find a cure. Thank goodness she has a cool and ruthless guardian named Delcan to protect her.
-This was an exiting read. The hero fascinated me. He is a scarred man who is half vampire. The story is fast and had me wanting more. Plus the heroine was very likeable. Great start. 4 ½ stars
Skin and Bone by Eva Gray introduces us to a man named Silas who was experimented on and gained super powers. He wants to be left alone and wanders the world trying to hide himself and his powers from everyone. Silas is in Ecuador when a disaster occurs and he happens to find and help an American teacher. They form an unlikely bond. She accepts him for who he is, but will he let her?
-This short story is a little strange because it doesn't have a real paranormal storyline and lacks action. It is more about the relationship that grows between two unlikely main characters. I enjoyed the characters' growing feelings for each other. I think this novella is more of a companion or addendum to the author's Skin series. As such, it does not feel like a complete story by itself because of the rather abrupt ending. Plus the author throws in glimpses of new characters that left me hanging. I kept thinking, where is the rest of the story?! Still, strong writing. 4 stars
Jory Strong's novel Angel-Claimed is set in an apocalyptic world where warring races fight and maintain their territory. Saija is a human who works for a powerful vampire family. When her young charge, Corinne, goes missing, Saija is commanded to find her or else. On her hunt she meets a handsome angel who tries to woo her but she is wary of his motives after living in fear all her life. Can she trust him when he says she is his reincarnated love? Or is it a trap?
-This story is a dark fantasy. Very edgy and atmospheric. It reminded me a bit of Joey Hill's novels except lighter on the BDSM. 4 stars
In Primal Kiss, Kita Claire Engalls is a poor little rich girl. Unfortunately, her father and uncle have been up to their noses in shady business that involves the Breeds (Men and women who were genetically engineered with animal DNA and experimented on.). To protect her from the savage Breeds, her father has hired tight security around Kita at all times but Kita wants a life, even if it means giving up eye-candy like tough guy Creed Raines. But what Kita doesn't know is that Creed is a Breed who has infiltrated her father's house to spy on them. Nor does she realize that her attraction is reciprocated. But can these two enemies have a chance at love?
-Because this is a novella, the story and characters are not as developed as the author's full length books so the relationship between them seemed a bit forced and rushed. But readers who love the series will enjoy this short story. 4 stars
Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
Bleeding Heart by Michelle Rowen ~*~ A woman now carries a deadly drug in her blood. The drug turns vampires to ash with just a taste, but it is also slowly killing her, so she and her dhampyr ally are hoping to find a cure. ~*~ This first story is a short connected to Rowen's new Nightshade series - it was the mildest of the romances and an interesting tease to Rowen's new series - in which she has supposedly left her trademark humor behind - it does fall in time after the first book, so I suspect it may be mildly spoilerish if you plan on reading Nightshade.
Skin & Bone by Ava Gray ~*~ When an earthquake hits in Ecuador, a man with much to atone for saves a woman caught under the rubble and finally finds someone who doesn't fear him, a woman who sees him as a hero instead of the monster he considers himself to be. ~*~ Connected to Gray's 'Skin' series, this was my favorite of the stories, I really liked both of the leads: the huge scary man who can be so gentle, and the free spirited woman who finally finds a connection she's willing to keep.
Angel Claimed by Jory Strong ~*~ An immortal seeks to reclaim the woman he lost centuries ago, despite his dreams of how their reunion will play out, he will not simply force her to submit to his claim but will first help her to keep a vow to the vampire family she is bound to. ~*~ I liked this one the least of the stories, the world building is interesting but confusing and I am not really into the dominance stuff (whipping, spanking, bondage). There are angels, djinn and vampires, this is my first story by this author so it may be connected to her other stories.
Primal Kiss by Lora Leigh ~*~ Breed enforcer Creed is undercover protecting the daughter of one of the Breed's enemies, she's a potential pawn just waiting to be used - by the Breeds or by their enemies - to force her father's cooperation. But Creed's priorities may well be tested if - as he has come to suspect - she is his mate. ~*~ My sense of this one is that if you follow the Breeds there is a revelation tied to the series arc that you will not want to miss. For me, I've read all of Leigh's stories in anthologies but only a few of her novels, so this didn't end up supplanting my favorite Breed short (I liked the one in Magical Christmas Cat the best), since - and I can't believe I am saying this - there was too much story and not enough of the romance even though there is still plenty of hot clenching, drenching, and throbbing for those who like Leigh's more explicit love scenes.
All four of the stories here use characters/worlds that have been previously established by their authors. For me to enjoy something like this the stories have to be well written, with compelling characters, and give me the ability to jump right in without feeling like I was missing something by not having read the previous books. Happily, I enjoyed each and every one of these, and the authors all did a great job.
The first novella was "Bleeding Heart" by Michelle Rowan. The characters are introduced in another book Nightshade and this one picks up not too long after that one ends. I was most worried about 'getting' this story but I have to say I felt the details were perfect and the characters were so well drawn I felt no lack by not reading the previous work. HOWEVER, it was good enough that Nightshade is now on my TBR list. Excellent and more of an urban fantasy feel to it, with Vampires and 'half vampires' being the flavor of the day, so to speak. Not so sparkly vampires I would like to point out and not so much on the 'hot' aspects of a relationship.
The second story was "Skin and Bone" featuring a character from Ava Gray's Skin Tight book, which I think is partway through her "Skin" series. This one I REALLY liked and these are now the top of my 'go back and read' list. The paranormal parts were focused around modified humans with various psychic (?) type abilities. Enough depth was given to the back story to make it hugely intriguing, yet the main characters in this story really drove it forward. This one progressed to a little higher on the relationship heat scale. I think this one stradles the paranormal romance/urban fantasy with romance line a little more--I would have to read the other books to decide.
The third tale is "Angel-Claimed" by Jory Strong and set in her (see if I get this right) post-apocolyptic world populated by djinns, vampires, weres, witches, angels (fallen and otherwise) and the surviving humans of 'The Last War'. I did like this one...maybe more of a 4 star though. This one was the hardest of the four stories for me to follow--she has several other books set in this world (Ghostland is the first in this series) and there has been some serious world building going on which was harder to grasp in this novella format. If you are a fan of this series though I think you will very much enjoy it. This one climbs higher on the 'adult reading scale' and I notice on her website the author calls the genre 'urban fantasy romance'.
The fourth is a Lora Leigh Breeds story, "Primal Kiss". I'm not as sure how this is as a stand alone as I have read her series previously (The full series and reading order for the Breeds can be found on her website...one of my favorites is Elizabeth's Wolf). Sigh...I have to say this is the one story that falls into my guilty pleasure category. That would be because my favorite way to describe these is as 'paranormal porn'. These are hot. Explicit and detailed and hot. Also, the series can be confusing at times as she has gone between publishers and it can be a little spotty in quality, but I really think the novella format is the author's strong suit and this story is much better than the last I read. However, despite any issues with writing/continuity issues, somehow the plight of the Breeds just compels. Plus they are hot. "Primal Kiss" advances the overall story arc that has been going on in the series, while focusing on a specific pair, and she goes into her usual detail about their adult activities (A LOT).
To sum up (finally), I really enjoyed this anthology--three new authors to explore, particularly Ava Gray. Plus a fabulous addition to one of my favorite series, Lora Leigh's Breeds.
Bleeding Heart by Michelle Rowan is the story of Declan and Jill.From the comments you learn that in a previous novel Jill's blood has been tainted with a poison and that Declan is on a drug to control his unnatural paranormal urges but unfortunately leaves him impotent. This play havoc with poor Jill who is in love/lust with the tortured Declan. 2.5 stars because I wish I knew background on this. It sounded exciting but I think the story relied too much on a reader having a previous idea of what was going on. which I didnt since I hadnt read the other book before this.
Skin and Bones by Ava Gray. I'm loving the Skin series and Gray's delightful ability to take a bad guy and make him a hero. Silas has done a lot of wrong in his life but he plans on staying under the radar and hopefully not using his pyschic powers ever again. An earthquake in Ecuador changes that and he soon finds himself helping a teacher who needs to make it back home. this is probably the only story in the group that had a simple plot and simple set up designed to survive the dreaded short pages alotted in a anthology. 3 stars
Angel Claimed by Jory Strong. I just started the Ghostland series and Strong has me caught up in her post apocolyptic world. Angel Claimed is a story of reincarnation and an angel that has been bidding his time for his true loves return. Very heavy on the dark sex tones and the heros dominating nature as he woos and encourages the heroines submissive nature back into play. Too much going on and not enough pages so the story felt a little abrupt and I didnt enjoy it much as a result. 2.5 stars
Primal Kiss by Lora Leigh. This contribution is a part of the breed series. While I enjoyed following this wonderful story line I really felt like a story about Engall and his daughter should have been a stand alone. Readers have been wondering about Engall and Brandemere and all the others that were and are involved in the stroy of the Breeds. Creed's been undercover just waiting for the opportunity to use Engalls daughter Kita to the breeds advantage. He never planned on the mating heat. If this could have been fully fleshed out I would have counted Creed as one of my top breed heroes. Leigh should use the novella's for side breed characters or scientist since the big spoiler in here would have been appreciated more if i had the pleasure of reading why Kita's father was tangled in this and how he hooked up with the Breeds. So much needed answering and Primal Kiss came acrossed rushed because of it 2.5
I really enjoyed "Primal Kiss" by Lora Leigh and can't offer too much of an opinion on how it rates as a standalone since I have read some of the books in the series and am familiar with some of the back story. However, I still felt it worked well even if you don't know the series. She focuses on the main characters and reveals enough background so that you don't feel totally lost. Also, she doesn't leave out any of the juicy adult activities and as in her other books does not skimp on the details.
"Skin and Bone" by Ava Gray was also really enjoyable. I haven't read anything by this author before but I will be looking for more from her for sure. She did a great job of explaining enough background so that you understood who the good guys (resistance) and bad guys (foundation) were but left you with enough curiosity so that you'll want to read more of her books in the series. I really enjoyed the relationship of the main characters because it didn't follow the usual ... we just met but I am totally in love with you and will follow you anywhere ... scenario you find in a lot of books.
The other two stories "Bleeding Heart" by Michelle Rowan and "Angel-Claimed" by Jory Strong I did not care for at all. Both stories felt like a lost chapter of a longer book. No attention was given to the backstory or world building. Yes, these novellas are part of a larger series, but there shouldn't be an expectation that I have read all the books leading up to this.
In "Bleeding Heart" for example, it's never explained why Declan (the half-breed vampire, dhampyr) is taking some "permanent serum" that has some unfortunate side effects. The two main characters appear on the scene already established in their relationship and we get a quick glimpse at one of their adventures ... only to be left with a "to be continued" at the end.
"Angel-Claimed" left me equally frustrated. The main character, who is apparantly a "Djinn", doesn't know what she is yet accepts that an angel has been waiting thousands of years for her to be re-incarnated (not sure). The fact that she's a Djinn is never revealed to her and the complicated world full of fallen angels, vampires, weres, and a minority of human servants is confusing to say the least in this novella format.