Fire and Frost by Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane, Jessica Sims
Series: The Iron Seas #3.4, , Midnight Liaisons #2.3
Also in this series: The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1), Tethered (Novella), The Kraken King Part I, Here There Be Monsters (Iron Seas, #0.5), The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4), Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2), Wanted: Wild Thing
Publication Date: 2013
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For the first time in print, six wild and steamy tales from three of today's hottest paranormal and steampunk romance authors.
The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook – While the search for a killer puts Constable Newberry's life in danger, he faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?
Vixen by Jessica Sims – Miko's denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn't want to choose between both men…it wants them both.
Kitten-Tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – Sophia Sidway, Midcity's most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption…but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.
These lovers create their own heat, even when surrounded by ice...
Speed Mating by Jessica Sims – Estrella may be going into heat, but she's determined to remain in control. Just because she's ovulating doesn't mean she has to settle for just any man (or his beast). Her sexy alpha's determined to find her a tiger to take care of her heat and father her child…but no one seems to look quite as good as the man in charge. Will giving in to her need for her alpha ruin her tenuous relationship with her clan or be a match made in heaven?
Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane – The witches of the world ridiculed nerdy Veronica for trying to use newfangled computers to enhance old world spellcasting. Well, it's 1984 now, and she's perfected her spellcasting computer program. Hey, who needs friends when you can conjure virtually anything…or anybody? So when Veronica makes powerful new enemies, she conjures Max, a pitbull of a cop, to deal with the pesky hitmen who keep coming around. But tough-guy Max is in no mood to play lapdog to a gorgeous witch.
Wrecked by Meljean Brook – Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father's huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe's zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn't the only danger she has to fear—and now that he's found her, Caius doesn't intend to let her go.
From the authors who brought you Wild & Steamy come three all-new tales of lovers who create their own heat, even when they’re surrounded by ice…
This was a good collection of short stories. I’m familiar with Meljean Brook’s writing, as well as Carolyn Crane’s, but this was my first read by Jessica Sims. Though short, each story was well written and engaging.
Speed Mating by Jessica Sims – Estrella may be going into heat, but she’s determined to remain in control. Just because she’s ovulating doesn’t mean she has to settle for just any man (or his beast). Her sexy alpha’s determined to find her a tiger to take care of her heat and father her child…but no one seems to look quite as good as the man in charge. Will giving in to her need for her alpha ruin her tenuous relationship with her clan or be a match made in heaven?
Estrella has always felt like an outsider. As the only liger in a tiger clan, she doesn’t fit in and feels the wariness of everyone deeply. She tries to keep to herself, but she can’t keep it quiet when she starts to go into heat. Not only does she need a male to help her burn it out, but this may be her only chance to have a baby..and she wants it, bad. What she doesn’t want is to be tied to an idiot male for the rest of her life. Sadly that seems to be all she can find…unless she looks at the alpha. But that isn’t a good idea…or is it?
This was a quick read. I liked that Estrella was determined to make her own future. No, she didn’t have control of going into heat, but she did have control over who she shared it with and she made the best of it. Some of the dates she went on made me laugh. It was obvious to me as the reader that the alpha was having a hard time not claiming her for himself, but she was clueless.
The only complaint I have is her plan at the end. I thought that was immature and not in keeping with her character. It didn’t ruin the story for me, it just made me shake my head.
A solid and engaging read.
3.75 out of 5
Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane – The witches of the world ridiculed and rejected nerdy Veronica for trying to use newfangled computers to enhance old world spellcasting. Well, it’s 1984 now, and she’s perfected her spellcasting computer program. Hey, who needs friends when you can conjure virtually anything…or anybody? So when Veronica makes powerful new enemies, she conjures Max, a pitbull of a cop, to deal with the pesky hitmen who keep coming around. Maybe Veronica can finally get some peace and quiet so she can work on her computer. But tough-guy Max is in no mood to play lapdog to a gorgeous witch.
Veronica figured out how to complain technology and magic to conjure people and things from pictures. Basically, she scans a picture and the image comes to life. But it isn’t a copy of the original..it’s the real deal. When she conjures Max, he comes with all his memories, baggage and natural protective instincts. The problem? He only lasts for 7 days before she has to conjure him again.
For months Max has been acting as Veronica’s bodyguard. He may disappear every 7 days, but he comes back with all the memories he made while with her. He sees past her tough exterior to the woman beneath and he’s fallen for her..big time. But he’s just a shell of himself and she isn’t interested…unless he’s more than that and she is…
Though short, I was really pulled into the story and became as attached to Max as Veronica did. Crane did a good job of creating a strong backstory for both characters. The action was good and kept the story moving forward.
I did struggle a bit with some of the deeper issues of conjuring a person. When either one would reference the future, it always niggled at the back of my mind that Max wasn’t really real. I also had a hard time with Veronica making decisions about Max without really thinking them through.
That aside, I enjoyed the story. The romance was believable and the characters solid. Plus, it was a kick being brought back to the 80’s..
3.75 out of 5
Wrecked by Meljean Brook – Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear—and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go…
Elizabeth thought she fell in love with Caius when he was her guard, but he betrays her and she realizes he was just his father’s henchmen after all. When he finally catches up to her, she’s surprised that he seems to want to help her. But can she really trust him? Or is he just determined to get her back to her father.
I love Brook’s Iron Seas series. This story is set in the same world. Elizabeth is a strong, capable, independent heroine. She’s on the run from her father and knows how to take care of herself. I think her capability is especially noteworthy since she’s so young. Brook writes men I want to know in real life. Caius had a strong sense of right and wrong, but didn’t come off as pious or overbearing. I really enjoyed him.
My only complaint is the length. Though everything was wrapped up to my satisfaction, I wanted more time with them as a couple.
Though short, the story was engaging and well-written. Definitely my favorite of the three.
4 out of 5
This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.