Wild Thing Paperback – May 1 2007
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About the Author
Maggie Shayne is a national bestselling author who has appeared on the USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller lists. When she's not writing, she spends her time exploring the mysteries of the cosmos, reading Tarot, collecting crystals, and studying the customs and rituals of long-forgotten civilizations. She lives in upstate New York.
Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney who has lived and worked throughout Asia. She hails from both coasts, but currently resides in the Midwest, where she writes full-time. When not writing, she enjoys listening to music, painting, designing websites, and returning to old movie favorites, some of which involve light sabers, various applications of the Force, and small green men with pointy ears. She is also, occasionally, commandeered by poodles.
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!).
Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods, and hid under her blankets at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances. She left the forest and went on a misguided tour through the world of accounting, banking, and a (very) brief teaching career before focusing on her first loves, reading and writing--and she realized that monsters, superheroes, and happily-ever-afters are easily found between the covers, as well as under them, so she set out to make her own.Meljean lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and daughter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The four, unrelated stories of "Wild Thing" pack their own heat, of the passionate paranormal kind. In Maggie Shayne's "Animal Magnetism", Jay, a "hot young cop" (or "me", as I like to call him) tracks down a rapist and becomes involved with Macy, a beautiful lady vet who can talk to and understand animals. One animal in particular, a dog, can identify the rapist, and Macy must convince a skeptical Jay before the determined rapist silences both her and the only witness. Reminds me of the movie "Witness", if you replace the talking dog with that Amish boy.
Marjorie M. Liu's "Hunter Kiss" kicks off her Urban Fantasy series and introduces a young woman who is covered by living tattoos. These personal demons come out at night to protect her from the darkness and evil that lurk in the shadows, but who will protect her from her own demons? Maybe a handsome young cop? Or a slightly paunchy, middle-aged one? Who knows. You'll have to read the story.
Alyssa Day's "Wild Hearts in Atlantis", the second book in her Warriors of Poseidon series, continues the saga of the Atlanteans, sworn to protect humankind but not to desire them. Reminds me of my own oath of duty. Something about protecting, honoring, defending, keeping clean, and being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, and other things. Atlantean High Prince Conlan sends his trusted, outwardly good-natured warrior Bastien to play the diplomat with their sworn enemies and enemies of humankind. One of them, a half-breed, draws in Bastien and draws out his true feelings, testing his allegiance and the pledge that defines his being. My allegiance was tested once. Pepsi One? Diet Coke? But I stayed true, and my being remained intact.
Meljean Brook's "Paradise" is the third installment in her The Guardians series, dealing with vampires and forces that would both tempt and destroy them, like donuts. In "Paradise", the vampire Lucas Marsden, former DA, now a theater owner and head of the vampire community in Ashland, Oregon, receives a visit from the beautiful and mysterious Guardian Selah, sent to protect him and his people from demons that are hunting them. Lucas finds himself immediately attracted to Selah, but can he trust her?
I had to rip the cover off the book because I didn't want my partner to see its provocative cover. Not that I was ashamed to be reading any of the authors, but my partner has a very rigid idea of what a cop should read. When he asked what I was reading, I told him it was a book about a rogue cowboy who shoots a bunch of outlaws. That seemed to satisfy him. These fantastical and passionate stories will satisfy you, bringing out your inner beast and your inner, dare I say it, wild thing.
Maggie Shayne opens up this anthology with "Animal Magnetism". Macy McNamara is an excellent veterinarian but she has a secret: Macy can communicate with animals. Unfortunately, this talent puts her in jeopardy when Detective Jay Harris enlists her help with an injured dog who has witnessed a brutal crime.
Maggie Shayne takes readers through a gamut of emotions with "Animal Magnetism". She sharply contrasts the brutality of the rapes with the charm and unconditional love of the dogs, particularly with Cassie. The romance between Macy and Jay is extraordinarily well done and I love the witty repartee between the two of them. Maggie Shayne provides some clever but very dark and shocking twists in this phenomenal tale.
"Paradise" by Meljean Brook is yet another entry in her Guardians series. Someone is killing vampires and Guardian Selah is determined to put a stop to it. But first she must enlist the help of Lucas Marsden, leader of the vampire community in Ashland. Lucas is devastated by his guilt after one of the recent deaths. Will Selah and Lucas be able to stop the terror stalking the vampires or will Lucas' guilt overwhelm him instead?
Meljean Brook has created a fascinating world. The depth and complexity of her world building leaves me literally in awe as I want to know more. There are some continuing characters from her other Guardians' book and I think readers who have read her previous books in the series will probably appreciate the characters more as a result.
Marjorie M. Liu introduces readers to "Hunter Kiss". Maxine has a unique gift that enables her to hunt demons. She thought she knew the pattern her life would take but meeting Grant Cooperon turns her whole world upside down.
"Hunter Kiss" is the first story in a new urban fantasy series and wow, what a start! Marjorie M. Liu teases the reader with fascinating tidbits about this phenomenal new world while still providing a very satisfying short story. I love the gumption of Maxine and the entire concept behind the tattoos is perhaps one of the cleverest things I have ever read. "Hunter Kiss" is a tantalizing tale that promises readers a new series that is sure to be a hit.
Alyssa Day concludes this anthology with "Wild Hearts in Atlantis". As one of the Warriors of Poseidon, Bastien considers himself more brawn than brains so he's horrified when he is sent to be a liaison between the Atlanteans and the shape-shifters. His contact is the fiery shape-shifter Kat Fiero, a woman he hasn't been able to forget since their first encounter. Will another one of the Warriors of Poseidon lose his heart?
Alyssa Day really hits her stride in this second story in the Warriors of Poseidon series. Bastien's story incorporates all of the best elements of this complex but very intriguing world. The first book in the series, ATLANTIS RISING, set the stage for the conflicts between all of the various factions within the supernatural community and "Wild Hearts in Atlantis" directly follows up on those uneasy relationships. If you haven't read ATLANTIS RISING, be forewarned that "Wild Hearts in Atlantis" reveals much of the finale from the book. Alyssa Day has solidified me as one of her fans with this very solid sequel!
WILD THING is one of those rare anthologies in which every story provides an interesting twist to the more traditional paranormal themes. There are no dull moments in this anthology! WILD THING is definitely a must read for fans who like their stories on the dark side of paranormal. Easily recommended!
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
Let me note that this review contains spoilers, as I feel the need to vent exactly what I disliked instead of being vague about it.
"Animal Magnetism" By Maggie Shayne: Ive read a few of Maggie's solo novels, and some of her short stories in other anthologies, and while I never especially *liked* them, I didnt actively dislike them. She changed all that for me with this story. It'll be a cold day in hell (or a *really* great short story by a fav author that happens to share book space) before I give her any more of my money. I'll start with the most mundane parts. The heroine was a complete snot. In the sample, she wasnt too bad. Sure, chilly and rude, but I figured she'd warm up to the point where I could at least comprehend the hero coming back for more (she never did). The hero was 'eh', although I had to question his judgment for bothering at the effort. My biggest problem came with the plot; they were trying to catch a serial rapist. Right off the bat, that should have raised an eyebrow. I have nothing against edgy romances. I love mysteries and thrillers and am not bothered by the 'very idea' of a rapist villain. But short stories are at heart, fairly formulaic and easily digestible; they just dont have the word count to go through complex layers. When youre dealing with a plot that involves a serial rapist active for several months (according to the story) that has 3 rapes happen in the course of the story itself .... maybe a week? ..., youre using it gratuitously. You owe it to your readers to show that this isnt just insert-random-problem, it means something and can be dealt with, looked at, examined. This wasnt, at all. I cant imagine your average woman looking for a quick distraction/entertainment read and finding several fairly graphically (in terms of detail) written rape scenes. And .... spoilers .... therein lies my biggest complaint. The bad guy breaks into Macy's house for the finale and (surprise) tries to rape her. As the author is describing Macy being held down, and unable to breathe (with a lovely description of the rapist thwarted only by his inability to get it up - gosh, thanks for spending two paragraphs describing that for me, Maggie), Macy isnt fighting or "raging against the light" or anything. She's wishing she could just pass out so this would be over.
What. The. Hell. In real life? I can see this being a very viable thought. In my fiction? I want my girls to be kicking, screaming, fighting, til their last breath so I can at least cheer when she defeats him or the hero comes crashing in to save her (<rolls eyes>). As an example, when the villain pushes her down to the bed, she tries to think of anything she could grab as a weapon. She remembers a sharpie marker on her bed table. At this point I'd have fine with something incredibly cliche, like stabbing him from behind and hitting him in the eye with the sharpie. Anything! Instead she uses her last few moments on earth to write "I love you Jay" on her hand. The icing on the cake was when she wakes up in the hospital room and everything is all sunshine and rainbows... you see, she didnt get "penetrated" (as the author phrases it) so she wasnt really raped, and thus doesnt have to deal with any emotional or psychological trauma or anything.
Who was the editor who read this and signed off on it? For a romance novel?! Argh!!!
I didnt realize I was going to write so much so I'll sum up the other 4 stories.
1) Two-dimensional emotionally scarred and standoff-ish female? Check
2) Two- dimensional gentle but strong hero who puts up with way too much crap? Check
3) Plot points that seem like the author put a grand total of 20 minutes into developing? Check
I'd give the other stories in this book maybe a 2.5. They're not horrible, but theyre not something you want to waste 2 hours of your life on. Or $7.
Oh, and dont be fooled by the Kindle sample, which is "Animal Magnetism" -- it didnt start off horrible (just, 'eh') but it goes downhill from there.
Paradise, Guardians, 1.5
Hunter Kiss, Hunter Kiss, 0.5
Wild Hearts in Atlantis, Warriors of Poseidon, 1.5
An anthology of four short stories on a paranormal romantic theme.
Maggie Shayne's Animal Magnetism was cute. A veterinarian, Dr. Macy McNamara, can sense everything an animal can and helps Detective Jay Harris find a rapist.
Meljean Brook's Paradise finds Lucas Marsden, a former cop-lawyer-theatre owner/nosferatu, struggling to recover from the murder of his consort, Olivia Jordan. Lucas heads up his small community of vampires in Ashland, Oregon and can only maintain it if he has a consort. A choosing he has been avoiding. It's as he is tearing down a set that Selah, a Guardian appears. But is she a threat to his community or not?
I do like that Brook has created a community of cooperative vampires!
Marjorie M. Liu's Hunter Kiss provides the background on Maxine Kiss and former Father Grant Cooperon's meeting for the first time when she saves him from assassination by minions of Blood Mama, the queen of one of the demon realms. Blood Mama wants to harness Grant's power to serve her.
I do like this series!
Alyssa Day's Wild Hearts in Atlantis is a cute pairing of Atlantean heroes with shapeshifters in the Florida Everglades. My one objection is the ending is just too simple on two counts. I do like Day's concept however and I think I'll check out the series.
The cover is a rainbow with a well-muscled, blond hunk staring out at us, wings on his back in a kaleidoscope of color.
The title vaguely connects these stories together: dogs, vampires, demons, and shapeshifters. Like I said, rough.