Out of the Shadows, Into the Light by Lori FosterErin McCarthy
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: August 4, 2009
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This is an anthology by 3 authors that each have 2 interwoven story lines within 4 novellas.
In Have Mercy by Lori Foster we meet Wyatt Reyes and Mercedes “Mercy” Jardine. They’ve been dating for 6months and Mercy is ready to take their relationship to the next level: marriage. She really feels it’s something that needs to be done, especially before she gives birth to the baby that she’s not quite told Wyatt about yet.
Wyatt, who pretty much has a plan for his life is not ready for marriage. In fact he tells Mercy that he will never get married and definitely never have children. He loves Mercy, and wants to stay with her but moving in together would be as far as it would go. He’s got secrets from his past and he decided a long time ago that he wasn’t a family man.
I don’t want to tell you anything more of the story or it will ruin for you. This was a cute little contemporary story. I liked both of the characters, with Wyatt being a completely stand up guy, and wanted to see them get their HEA – which I thought was well done considering how hard it is to pull off in a novella.
The next story, Deal or No Deal by Erin McCarthy, focuses on Katie who was a russian princess about 1oo years ago. She’s now a vampire and lives in Las Vegas with the vamp that made her, Nick, and her 13 year old brother who’s also a vamp. She thought she had found true love all those years ago but she had been betrayed by her lover and hadn’t found another man to love and trust since then.
Michael is also a vampire, and the man that Katie loved so long ago. When he finally locates her in Las Vegas he is anxious to find her and re-connect with his lost love. Problem is that Michael doesn’t get the reception he’s always been dreaming of and he can’t quite figure out what the issue is. On top of this there’s the vampire Rasputin who wants to take over all the vampires and eventually the world.
This was also a very cute story. Katie had dreamed of Michael for so long and then there he is in front of her. I could thoroughly believe her reaction to Michael and was so glad that it was a strong one. After everything she’d been through I would’ve been verbal about things too. Michael is just a patient man and though this was a novella, and we don’t get to see too much of the characters lives, I thought he was someone that I really liked.
In Total Control by L.L. Foster we got to find out more about Braxton Jardine. He is Mercy’s brother (from Lori Foster’s novella, Have Mercy) and he’s not who we thought he was. From Mercy’s story we believed that Brax was just a thriving business man. But we learn that he has a special ability…the ability to control someone’s thoughts and emotions. He’s decided that his assistant, Cameo Smithson, is the woman that’s going to help him with his emotional recovery. Read: sex. 🙂
Cameo’s more than a little shocked when Brax starts propositioning her but after proof of his ability as well as some terrifying events she’s ready to take control.
I really liked Brax in Have Mercy and was pleasantly surprised to see him as the star of Total Control. He is an alpha male all the way and there were a couple of times where it got to be a bit much. But in the end he was the perfect alpha – protecting those he loved and loving the hell out of his woman. Cameo was such a strong female character and I appreciated the fact that she didn’t take any crap from Brax.
The last story in the anthology was Undead Man’s Hand by Erin McCarthy. The story focused on Nick, the vamp who had made Katie in Deal or No Deal, and his relationship with a police officer, Jordan. Jordan is investigating a series of murders in Las Vegas and she goes to question Peter, Nick’s 13 year old son. But Peter isn’t really 13. He’s about 113 and he’s a vampire. Peter’s got issues stemming from living so long in a child’s body and isn’t real coherent when he’s questioned by the police. But Jordan and Nick hit it off and start dating.
I think this was my favorite of the 4 novellas. Nick and Jordan’s relationship just seemed so natural and I loved reading about the two of them. Yes, Nick had to lie to her because he’s a vamp (don’t they always?) but it just didn’t seem to be too big of an issue until the end of the story. This was a romance/suspense story and a very nice end to the anthology.
Overall a good anthology. I loved how the stories we inter-connected because I tend to want to read about a particular character right after I finish a story and with these stories that was taken care of. I was diggin the instant gratification.
Rating: 4 out of 5