Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Rating: 2
Chimera by Nathalie Gray
All warfare is based on deception
—Sun Tzu’s Art of war
From the overcrowded slums of a future Earth, he rose as the perfect tool of lethal justice and deception. Cold and stoical by choice, alone by circumstances, he will neutralize any and all threat to his client then move on. Blunt, direct. Nothing personal. But when his next assignment involves a popular politician who’s as smart as she’s attractive, the greatest betrayal would be to deny his heart.
Edge by Dominique Sinclair
The search for the truth leads to the edge of danger, revenge and love… A beautiful hellion, the first woman trained by the Department of International Intelligence, Catlina Demarco left her life without so much as a goodbye. Deep in Mexico, she’s close to finding the man who can give her the truth of her past, or kill her.
Agent Noah Tyler, Cat’s former partner and lover, is the last man she expects to show up with handcuffs and intent to bring her back to headquarters. No one has ever left the agency alive, Cat’s no exception. Only she refuses to go anywhere with Noah, he betrayed her trust. Forced into the jungle by three armed banderos, Cat finds her and Noah once again working as partners, their thoughts as one, their bodies craving, their goals conflicting.
Hot, angry and infuriated, Catalina must rid herself of Noah Tyler before everything is lost, including her heart.
Beast in a Kilt by Nicole North
Scottish lady Catriona MacCain has loved Torr Blackburn, a fierce Highland warrior, since she was a young lass, but Torr only sees Catriona as his best friend’s little sister. When Catriona’s family promises her in marriage to a detestable chieftain, she desperately needs Torr to save her from a fate worse than death. But Torr is under the spell of a witch of the dark arts and is cursed to spend his nights as a kelpie water demon. He doesn’t believe himself worthy of the virginal Lady Catriona. However, she is determined to seduce Torr and claim him… body, heart and soul, if only they can banish the curse and defeat the enemies who have vowed to possess and enslave them both.
Sweet-talking the Opposition by Saskia Walker
London-based journalist, Eliza Jameson, is on assignment on a luxurious Rhine river cruiser when she finds the perfect distraction on board — old flame, Marcus Weston. But Eliza came dangerously close to falling for Marcus last time around, and in order to play him at his own game, she decides to call the shots. Meanwhile, Marcus has his own agenda. In the ensuing battle, who will end up on top?
Sweet-Talking the Opposition by Saskia Walker is the first story in the anthology. It is the story of Eliza Jameson and Marcus Weston. After a fling two years ago, when Marcus had loved her and left her, Eliza Jameson is not about to let the same thing happen again. Therefore, when she finds herself stuck on the same cruise ship for a week with him, she decides if they start a fling, it will be on her terms, so she can protect her heart. Her fantasy is to be in control of the fling, by setting rules that Marcus must follow. However, are rules enough to keep Marcus at arms-length or will they be Eliza’s undoing? What happens when the cruise ends, will her fantasy with Marcus end as well? Better yet, can she let him go? Ms. Walker’s story of Marcus and Eliza’s voyage is a wonderfully erotic love story set against beautiful, breath-taking settings along the Rhine River.
Chimera by Nathalie Gray is the second story in the anthology. This is a futuristic love story set in 2377. New Heraklion station’s Lady Mayor Selene Delian is on her way to a summit of the Planetary Commonwealth taking place in Iceland on Earth. She wants New Heraklion to be independent but Earth refuses to allow it because they want New Heraklion’s osmium. Her protector is a man she knows only as Agent Corinth from the Aegis agency. He can't tell her his real name, he always wears his helmet and talks through a robotic voice but that doesn’t stop Selene from being attracted to her. An erotic night of passion in the dark allows her to feel his face, hear his voice and know his real name Perseus. What starts as a wonderful affair takes a turn for the worse when at the Planetary Commonwealth Perseus starts hearing the word Chimera. The word programmed into his mind can only stop the voices when he completes his mission – kill Selene or go insane. Ms. Gray’s love story of a tormented soul and a beautiful woman he’s assigned to kill is wonderfully written and leaves you holding your breath. The erotic love scene is worth the read alone.
Edge by Dominique Sinclair is the next story in the anthology. Cat is a spy for the Department of International Intelligence (DII) who has fallen in love with her partner Noah Tyler. That is until she discovers that her entire life has been a lie and those closest to her, including Noah have kept secrets. Her father killed her pregnant mother during a jewelry heist. Cat finds out that he recently got out of prison and is living in Mexico. She goes rogue from the agency to find him. Noah takes off after her. The more she tries to get rid of him the more he hangs on setting the pace for a wild adventure in Mexico. Ms. Sinclair has created a great combination of an alpha female with an alpha male with the characters of Cat and Noah.
The last story in the anthology is Beast in a Kilt by Nicole North. Lady Catriona MacCain has always loved her brother Brody’s friend Torr Blackburn. When an evil witch curses Brodie and Torr into shape shifters, making Brodie a selkie (fish) and Torr a kelpie (a horse) they think they are banished to live out their life that way for all eternity. Without her brother as a man, her mother arranges for her to marry a chieftain that is old enough to be her grandfather. However, when Catriona learns that the curse can be broken if ‘love given and received in equal parts, with complete trust and without reservation’ she defiantly sets off on a quest to get Torr to help her break Brodie’s curse so she won’t have to marry the horrible chieftain. She also realizes that if she can make Torr love her than she can help him break his curse and she can marry him. The problem is that Torr still thinks of Catriona as his best friend’s little virgin sister and he feels he is unworthy of her love. Can Catriona convince Torr that she truly loves him and can help him break the curse? Can Catriona and Torr work together to break Brodie’s curse as well? After all, if one of the curses isn’t broken Catriona will have to marry the ugly, fat, disgusting, swine of a man, the chieftain John MacPeter. Ms. North has written a beautiful love story full of hope and possibilities set against the backdrop of Scotland. Catriona and Torr are wonderfully characters that you can’t help but root for their success.
This anthology has something for everyone: from the present day cruise, to the present day drudges of Mexico, to the future and to the past. All four women have created memorable characters who take you on some wild and erotic adventures. I truly enjoyed reading the anthology and I have to say that all four stories are wonderfully written.
4 1/2 Tea Cups!