Monday, October 19, 2015

Dark Secrets: A Paranormal Noir Anthology - Review




Title: Dark Secrets: A Paranormal Noir Anthology

Author: Anthology
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 560 pages
Publisher: Indie
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Source: Author Request
Rating: 4
Heat Rating: 2
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.

MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine

Valentine is a detective with two major problems: he's been offered a kidnapping case that will probably get him killed, and his partner won't let him turn it down. He owes her that much … since his partner's a ghost, and he blames himself for her death. A dark, haunting noir mystery of love, hate and loss.

FEMME FATALE by Cynthia Eden

PI Mick Swayne has seen it all—his clients have included liars, thieves, and even killers. He thinks he can handle anything and anyone. Then she walks into his office. Savannah Moreau is beautiful, seductive, and…a vampire? The gorgeous vamp hires Mick to help her track down a killer who is hunting in Chicago, but as Mick slips deeper into Savannah’s paranormal world, he wonders if he can really trust his new client…

DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Megan Hart

When the devil starts the music, you'd better get ready to dance. Kathleen Murphy has sold her soul to the devil. Fame, fortune, success...everything she's ever dreamed of is hers, and all she has to do is the devil's bidding. When love comes knocking, the last thing in the world she wants to do is involve Jake in her twisted world, but the devil's started up the jukebox and Kathleen has no choice but to learn the steps

THE CONSORT by Suzanne Johnson

Faulkner Hearne, the captain of the ruthless Fae Hunters, finds his duty at odds with his heart when he’s ordered to capture the consort of Faerie’s cruel Prince of Summer when she flees across the veil into modern New Orleans. Can Faulk turn Liandra over to a certain death at the hands of the prince, or will he risk a war with Faerie in order to save her?

An all-new novella set in the Sentinels of New Orleans multiverse.

HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella

A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name. Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix.

THE DJINN IN THE MIRROR by Mina Khan, a Djinn World novella

A paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked, sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother.

Dahlia, the step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, promises to free a djinn trapped in a mirror if he rescues her from impending death. But Ashmael the djinn has his own agenda: to trick & seduce his way to freedom. The only problem is he ends up falling for Dahlia. Can he win his freedom and save the girl?
This was a really great mix of stories. There is a little bit of everything here, and it all has a bit of a dark twist to it. While not all are technically romances (it doesn't claim that either) they all have an element of a love story and a few do have the HEA we all love.

Marion, Missing:
Old school noir detective story - but with a ghost. This was a good old fashioned PI that was determined to find his bad guy. Did it help that he was just a little in love with the ghost that asked him to take the case? Maybe. A really great story with very subtle paranormal elements. Even non-paranormal readers will really get into this one.

Femme Fatale:
This one was a lot of fun. A vampiress hires a PI to protect her and find out who is giving vampires a bad name by leaving bodies all over the place. This one gets a little complicated as two of the main characters have different stories to tell. You will be left guessing up until the very end to try and figure out who is really the bad guy in this one. Lots of action and intrigue.

Dance With the Devil:
What does selling your soul to the devil really mean? There's a definite twist on the tale in Dance With the Devil that I absolutely loved!!! Kathleen has been doing the devil's bidding for years - afraid that she will lose everything she has if she stops. But things aren't always what we think and be prepared for quite a surprise ending on this one.

The Consort:
While I loved the world concept in this one, the story fell a little short compared to the rest. There were a lot of dynamics that I don't think I was able to pick up on in the short novella form that I would have liked to be there. The story is definitely romantic, with Faulk willing to put his life and people on the line to save Liandra from becoming, well, basically a sex slave to a seriously creepy guy.

Heart's Blood:
This is definitely the darkest of the stories, but it was also one of my favorites. Not only does it deal in love and romance, but it tackles the concept of individual identity and what it really means to honor a vow. I loved every word - even the ones that had me sitting there with my mouth hanging open in shock at how horrible the pretend Princess is. Nix may seem like a wilting flower at first, but she is one of the most powerful female characters I've read - and she gets there in just a short novella!!! I may be buying this entire series very very soon.

The Djinn in the Mirror:
Djinns - you gotta love the tricky creatures. It helps that they seem to fall in love with human women just when she needs them the most. This was the sweetest of the stories, but still had some definite dark moments (the cellar near the ends still makes me shudder). A really great twist on Cinderella. At times I didn't realize I was in the modern world, the characters were kept so away from everything that they almost existed in a time unto themselves. I loved our little glimpse into the Djinn world and a taste of all the intrigue and politics there as well.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

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