Once Upon A Romance

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On the Hunt an Anthology


Cover art: On the Hunt Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: On the Hunt
Author: Gena Showalter, Shannon K. Butcher, Jessica Andersen, and Deidre Knight
Publisher: Signet
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-23243-4
Release Date: February 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Paranormal Romance
Year/Setting: Various present day locations
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Authors Website/Blog: See below

Ever Night by Gena Showalter www.genashowalter.com
It started on her 18th Birthday. She was waiting for midnight in order to call her best friend as an ‘official’ adult. At the stroke of 12, she finds herself transported to a living nightmare where it is perpetually dark and red-eyed monsters take her to a man in a tent. She is afraid for her life. She learns that the man, Vasili, is in charge and intent on killing her. He lets her know that if she lives, she will return each year on her birthday. After a bizarre ritual, she returns home. After the upheaval following her stories of the dark place—called Nightmare, she starts to learn that she’s a Dimension Walker.

Although she loathes Vasili, she is also strangely attracted to him and is consumed by longing for him. As she learns more about Vasili and his planet each year, her attraction to him continues to consume. When they are finally together, will the passion ignited fuel them to heal the rift or will it incinerate them—and their planets?

A spine-tingling thriller that kept me guessing until the last page. I really liked Rose and what a go-getter she is. She’s got a lot of spunk and determination. I admired her preparedness in learning weaponry and combat. She makes me smile with her attitude and determination to become a fierce warrior. Vasili is such a villain, but I had trouble seeing him as the bad guy most of the time. I could see his heart through his actions and while he’s mean in his actions sometimes, he really cares for his people…and Rose.

The Collector by Shannon K. Butcher www.shannonkbutcher.com
Neal Etan is a demon hunter and he’s after an artifact that would help heal a friend. When he meets Viviana Rowan, artifact collector, he’s in for a shock. He’s never been attracted to a woman on sight, but Viviana is like a sucker-punch to his well-constructed wall. He is pushing her to let him have the artifact that she doesn’t want to part with and inadvertently brings a horde of demons down on her house. He tries to protect her and convince her at the same time that she needs to stick with him and let him see/have the artifact.

Over the course of the story, Neal starts to realize who Viviana really is. He needs to let her know, but without scaring her. When the pieces of the artifact are missing, can Viviana’s skills finding things help them? Or will the bond they form to find the artifact end up killing Neal?

I didn’t like this story much in the beginning because demons and demon hunters aren’t my thing. Having stated that, I found myself totally entranced with the story and couldn’t put it down until it was done. Neal and Viaviana are such wonderful people. They are people whom I would choose as my own friends. I was rooting for them to succeed throughout the story.

As an FYI, for those who have read the Sentinel Series, this story falls between books three and four. While it wasn’t necessary to read the other books to understand and love this one, I think it would have helped you get up to speed faster if you had read them previously.

Crystal Skull by Jessica Andersen www.jessicaandersen.com
Archeologist Natalie Albright has found the dig of a lifetime. As she is frantically cataloguing the artifacts found in the cave as the villagers are threatening to shut down the dig. When the villagers threaten the team and they plan to blow up the site, she knows she has to contact JT, her ex, and team up with him to get the villagers to allow her to stay.

JT discovers that she may have found a site that allows demons to enter this world. He’s with the villagers in wanting to blow it up. But when he discovers she has removed a Crystal Skull from the site, he has to let her know enough of what’s going on to get the Skull back from her. Since it appears to be a part of her past and the only connection to the family she never knew, she does not want to share.

But when the demons attack in force, JT and Natalie have to decide if they will keep up their feud and secrets and possibly die—or will they learn to trust each other and let themselves into each other’s lives? Can either one of them stop all the demons coming through the portal at the equinox?

This story deals with many of the Mayan prophecies and tells the stories in a way that helped me understand things I’ve never understood before. Natalie is the driving force behind the story and while we do meet JT later on, it is still Natalie that makes the whole thing happen. JT is a strong and forceful man, but comes across as a bit of a jerk until towards the end of the story. Natalie is sunshine and light in a world full of horrors.

This is the shortest story in the book and I would have liked it to be a bit longer. A little more back-story and some additional interaction to build the romance between Natalie and JT would have been nice. It’s the second book in the Nightkeeper series and I would like to go back and read the first one. It’s still a fantastic story that did keep me reading through the last page. I would like to read one of Jessica Andersen’s full-length books in the future.

Red Angel by Deidre Knight www.deidreknight.com
Jamie Angel may be leader of the Nightshades, a deadly group who tracks every kind of monster and demon known, but he’s never been up against the likes of Sunny Renfroe. He knows his family is trying to set him up with Sunny because they have found bliss when they fell in love. Well, Jamie isn’t going to have anything to do with it. And since Sunny’s best friend is a vampire—the very thing he’s sworn to fight—makes him angry.

So when Sunny shows up at his house for a dinner party, he comes across as rude, snarling and just downright mean. Once he meets Sunny, he knows there’s more to her than meets the eye. He can see sparkles in her aura and realizes right away that there’s something supernatural about her. He decides you catch more flies with honey and begins to try to change her mind about him by becoming charming. The only problem is that in charming her, she mesmerizes him.

And when he successfully lures her away from his family for a rendezvous, he discovers the truth of her aura. In finding out the truth, both Jamie and Sunny realize the feeling they have for each other are not allowed and could destroy the very fabric of the people they are sworn to protect. They decide to stay away from each other…forever…but forever is a long time when you desire the other person with everything in you. Can they ever find a way to be together?

I loved this story and while Jamie came across as rude in the beginning, I was never overly angry with him. He had his reasons for his behavior and it is a protection mechanism. Sunny was a ray of sunshine throughout the story. She exudes all that is good in the world. As we learn more about who she is, I really fell in love with her and the choices and sacrifices she made.

This is another story sandwiched into the midst of a series. Deidre Knight did an excellent job of keeping new readers up to date so I felt this story stood alone the best. We go through some moments of despair as every search for a loophole and keep coming up empty. This story has a different flavor than the rest in this anthology and it rounds up the end of the book very nicely.


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