Once Upon A Romance

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Treasure Trove, Volume III: an Anthology


Treasure Trove III cover art Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Treasure Trove III: an Anthology - Third in Jewels of the Quill Series
Author: Karen Wiesner*, Christine DeSmet, Liz Hunter, Nancy Pirri,
Jane Toombs, Cassie Walder, and C.J. Winters
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
ISBN: 978-1-59374-683-4 (trade paperback) 978-1-59374-684 (electronic)
Release Date: March 2007
Genre/Sub-genre: Romance
Year/Setting: Various
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Some Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: N/A

The Turquoise Talisman , (North of Nonesuch Series, Book 2), by Jane Toombs – Paranormal Romance:

Ella has been given a legacy gift from her late uncle’s estate. He has given her the turquoise talisman that has been in their family for centuries. She is now the last of the Rose family. Since she was never told about this item and the history behind it, is she ever surprised when Talil Aziz enters her shop and tells her he is the gift of the talisman. Right after he appears, strange things begin to happen to her and she starts seeing things that are impossible. What’s a girl to do with a genie guardian helping her ward off evil? Especially when the guardian is as sexy as Talil.

This story was the best out of all the works I’ve read by Ms. Toombs. It wrapped me up so completely in the plot that I just couldn’t stop reading.

The Tanzanite Curse, by C.J. Winters– Paranormal Romance:

Jillian Beaufort purchased a large tanzanite pendant with part of her divorce settlement. After getting rid of Alan—the jerk—she thought this would be a great investment. When she’s contacted to be interviewed by an author writing a book about cursed stones, she finally relents to speak to him. When the author shows up with an assistant, Drew Ferris, she’s drawn to Drew and can’t imagine why. He insists he knows her from the past, but can he be trusted. Is she just listening to the sizzle she feels when she’s around him?

This story sizzles to life. It touches mysteries we’ll never understand. What Ms. Winters writes about boggles the mind. I found the ending to be a let down. Others might not feel this way, but it leaves questions unanswered. I prefer a cut and dry ending. My other issue is that this story was so interesting that I wanted more. I would have preferred it to be novella length instead of a short story. I truly enjoyed the story; it was just too short.

Princess Sapphire , by Nancy Pirri – Historical/American West:

Laura Woodbury has just received news that rocks her world. Not only has her father died, leaving her alone in the world, he’s appointed a guardian to make sure she marries. She’s got a ranch to run and doesn’t have time for dresses or frills or women’s work. To top it all off, the guardian couldn’t come to oversee her and he’s appointed his nephew, Matthew Hill to be the guardian. They didn’t meet under the best of circumstances when Hill finds Miss Woodbury in the arms of the ranch foreman (or former ranch foreman). Can these two ever stop fighting long enough to get to know each other?

I had a great time getting to know these characters. Ms. Pirri has the gift of writing short stories that give you the feeling you’ve read an entire novel. She can get all of the details novel readers crave into the shortened format. I have always enjoyed her stories.

Mrs. Claus and the Moonstone Murder , (A Mischief in Moonstone Story, Book 3), by Christine DeSmet – Humorous Romantic Mystery:

Lily Schuster is in her second day on the job (county deputy of Moonstone) when pandemonium breaks out. What does a deputy do when called out for giant beavers and lavender chickens? Life isn’t always quiet in the town of Moonstone. It’s one thing after another until a murder is committed. When you’re running from your past and trying to make a well ordered future for yourself, this just won’t do. Can Marcus Linden, the beaver hunter, help her get to the bottom of the mysteries? And could Lily ever loosen up enough to see Marcus for the sexy hunk that he is?

It’s another comedic foray into Moonstone. This town is filled with characters who are truly "characters" in every sense of the word. Ms. DeSmet has written another humorous slice of life story from Moonstone. It’s just a fun story with a crazy ending.

Bloodstone Legacy , (The Saurian Series, Book 2), by Cassie Walder– Paranormal/Science Fiction:

Lucian has been sent from his home planet of Sauria in search of Bloodstone. His shape-shifting dragon species requires bloodstone to regenerate and heal. He is on his way to Heita, a planet that used to have stores of bloodstone. It may also have Kindred’s living there—those who left Sauria and have lived on other planets. Sometimes the Kindred people know where they come from and other times they are so ingrained in the new society that they have forgotten. Lucian is charged to bring the Kindred people back to Sauria with him.

When he arrives in Heita, it’s a battle zone. He is contacted by Mina, whom he suspects is a Kindred, and helps her end the conflict. Now how can he get the stone and Mina back to Sauria without first being killed or getting everyone killed by the Beasts?

For a second in a series book, Ms. Walder picks up the story in such a way that new readers won’t feel bewildered. I enjoy the Saruian series with its complexities. It’s hard to describe the intricacies of the story, but it is easy reading. The ending will leave you hanging (like me) and waiting for the next installment. I’m not always one for cliff hangers, but I really want to see what happens with Mina and Lucian.

Garnet Nights , (Troubled Waters Series, Book 3), by Liz Hunter – Romantic Suspense:

Sam Barrington is an FBI agent trying to bring down a man whom he thought was a friend. Walt Carlisle has left his wife after draining all their accounts, re-mortgaging their home and embezzling from client accounts. Sadie Carlisle is left to deal with reporters and creditors and has to raise their two young daughters alone. When Sam offers to help Sadie out, can she trust him? Is he just after Walt or does he want a little "repayment" for his services?

I found Sam & Sadie’s story to be a quick read. It moved along and while it kept the romance as the main focus, I enjoyed the suspense portion of the plot. Sadie & Sam have felt the sparks between them since they first met at the yacht club. Will the two of them be able to move past their trust issues to explore the fireworks? Take a gander and see what goes on.

Featured Story:
Revenge in Amethyst , (Adventures in Amethyst Series, Story 2) by Karen Wiesner – Romantic Thriller:

Scott & Melina are back in the newest installment of the Adventures in Amethyst series. This story picks up about sex weeks after the first story ends. Melina is a former famous sex therapist, Dr. Mindy Rose. She’s returning to her roots and walking away from her practice because she’s starting to suffer dealing with her clients’ problems. She wants to remain Melina so she can leave Dr. Rose behind. However, somebody in town leaks to the press the location of Dr. Mindy. Now she feels like her life could be in jeopardy from some of the more violent and deviant clients. With a wedding to Scott "Romeo" Romero coming up and a baby on the way, can she ever feel safe again? Will her family forever be haunted by the nightmare of her past?

I admit to some surprise at the tone of this story in the series. It was a darker, more serious tale than I was expecting. I think Ms. Wiesner did an excellent job of bringing the "thriller" portion of this romantic thriller to life. I have said before that Ms. Wiesner surprises me with the depth of her writing and this was no exception. I truly thought this would be more comedic than thriller---I was wrong, dead wrong.

This story brings out even more personality and depth to Scott & Melina, as well as other characters. It also brings about a surprising look into the minds of psychotics—or at least one psychotic. The story builds layer after layer of suspense and concern. I stayed up extra late trying to finish the story before falling asleep. I was glad to get more of Scott & Melina’s story this time. I felt like the first story ended before I was ready. This second story gave me that sense of completion.

For those who haven’t read the first story, you’ll catch on and catch up without any trouble---but I think this series begs to be read in its entirety. I did notice that the Adventures in Amethyst Series Collection will be released in September 2007. I look forward to more adventures from this quirky town.


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