This was one of those “I finished the last thing I was reading and I’m bored, what’s already loaded on the iTouch?” reads. It was on there because the anthology includes Lori Handeland’s “Cobwebs Over the Moon” (Nightcreatures, #10) and I read all of that series a while back. I didn’t care to read the rest of the anthology at the time, but I hadn’t gotten around to deleting the book. Ah, happy digital packrat am I!
If I’ve read anything by Susan Sizemore other than “Tempting Fate” (Primes #6.5), it was eminently forgettable. I’m absolutely sure that I haven’t read anything else in her Primes series, because I probably would have thrown said material firmly into the nearest hard surface (or whatever the equivalent is with bytes) because of the insanely annoying number of times Sizemore feels it necessary to remind us that her vampires are Primes! Alpha Primes! They are! Really! And that means they fight a lot! Especially over women! Otherwise, it’s a Mary Jane story set in New Orleans. I have a strong feeling that most of the Primes series is Mary Jane-ish, but I may at some point be trapped and forced with the prospect of staring at the inside of my eyeballs or reading more of Sizemore’s stuff. I’m not sure which would be worse right now. I’ll get back to you on that.
“The Darkness Within” by Maggie Shayne feels terribly familiar, although I’m sure I haven’t read it before. I have, however, read other Shayne novellas in other anthologies, and this story follows a familiar pattern. Sexy gal who doesn’t think she’s attractive has had a run of hard luck and may lose the house she has bought relatively recently and loves. Said house has a spooky past that she didn’t know about when she bought it. Stalwart too-sexy-for-her man gets involved somehow, preferably in a way that allows her to question his motives. They are inexplicably drawn to each other and screw like bunnies (or near as makes no difference), then blame their lapse in judgement on whatever weirdness is going on in the house. (Yep, that’s what they all say — and no safer sex anywhere! Does paranormal activity preclude discussion of sexual history and prevent STD transmission?)
“Cobwebs Over the Moon” by Lori Handeland (Nightcreatures, #10) isn’t the most logical entry in that series. Neither is it the most illogical — but by the tenth entry, the series’ mythology has gotten a bit ridiculous, so I don’t know why I even bother bringing up something as irrelevant as logic. Silly me! In every book, we’re introduced to a woman who is in some way tangled up with werewolves, then to a man who is tangled up with her and/or the creatures and, of course, whose loyalties are uncertain. There is always an element of danger to add spice to the romance that has to grow between the two. The formula never changes at all. There are always evil werewolves, but sometimes there are also good ones. If you like predictability in your paranormal romance, Nightcreatures is a great series for you.
I suppose Caridad Piñeiro’s “Crazy for the Cat” isn’t technically any better or worse than any of the other three stories. There’s more variety in the shapeshifting and the main setting is the Amazon jungle. I couldn’t get past the bigotry and colonialism, though. Dark is bad, light is good, of course! Those poor benighted natives couldn’t possibly handle a few rogues without that white woman, could they? Spare me.