Wednesday, December 1, 2010

25 Days of Christmas: Day 1 + Review

Winter Wishes
By Vivi Andrews, Vivian Arend, and Moira Rogers
Released November 6, 2010
Source: Review copy provided by NetGalley for review.

A Twist on Tradition

A woman has the Christmas Eve from Hell. Two cat shifters play naughty games. And a witch brings out the beast inside the man. The magic of the season takes on a whole new meaning in these three fantastic—and festive—novellas from some of the best voices in paranormal romance.

“Tangled Tinsel” by Vivian Arend

She’s the cat’s meow, and he’s ready to pounce!

Five miles of leather-clad leg is all it takes to lure Kyle Branegan out from his carefully hidden lifestyle as part of the Cougar Corp, a secret branch of the Shifter Enforcer League. He’s hoping for a night of fun and frolic, cat-style, no strings attached. With a sultry swing of her hips, Eloise Scott tangles him up in her ball of tricks, and just when he thinks he’s about to get lucky, she cuffs him--naked—in her bed.

An undercover cop in the human police force, El’s been given a top-secret mission to keep the big cat under her paw until he’s needed to testify in court in the New Year. Her decision to take him home for a quiet Christmas in her sleepy hometown turns out to be far more interesting than she expected. Her parents are suddenly rich, her old boyfriend is sniffing around and all six-feet-plus of sexy cougar male is sleeping in her bed.

And that’s before they announce their fake engagement….

Oh, the opening scene had me totally fooled about El’s personality just as it fooled Kyle. She seemed like a cat who was totally unrestricted with her sexuality but in reality she tries to be more human and caged her cat so well that when she lets it out it’s the most fun she had…ever.

Kyle is enamored with El just like you as a reader will be. When she pissed, happy, thoughtful, in any mode he finds her hot and intriguing. I liked how the relationship grew in his eyes to more than just sex; he wanted to spend real quality time with her. She has real fears about getting to close to a guy because she doesn’t want to be like any other female cat giving up her career to pop out kittens. Which is understandable for her, but I like how her character grows.

“No Angel” by Vivi Andrews

When Sasha’s boyfriend, Jay, is sucked through a fiery vortex to Hell, an angel reveals that Sasha;s been chosen as the Champion of Virtue in the battle for his immortal soul. As a perennial offender on Santa’s naughty list, Sasha can’t believe she’s anyone’s idea of a girl fighting on the side of the angels. But if she doesn’t save Jay, he’ll be stuck in Hell forever!

Jay—aka Jevroth—isn’t surprised to find himself back in Hell. His visa to visit the mortal plane expired three months ago, but to steal more time with Sasha he’s been ignoring his mother’s demands that he come home to spend time with his new stepfather: Lucifer.

Sasha has until dawn on the twenty-fifth of December to fight the Legions of Hell and rescue Jay, or be trapped there for eternity herself. But now she must decide if the lying son-of-a-demon is even worth saving…

Sasha and Jay are a really fun couple with witty repartee that had me cracking up. Sasha has some one liners that were classic. Jay has a demon cousin Verin who have great conversations. I thought when reading the description I wouldn’t love the story but I was wrong. Vivi Andrews was a new author for me and this very fun story is a reason for me to pick up more stories by her.

“Freeze Line” by Moira Rogers

She can’t survive in his world; he can’t stay sane in hers.

A twenty-first century ice age dulls the magic that emanates from the earth. Shane Sullivan is a lone wolf above the freeze line. He has no desire to join the packs that range closer to the border, where feral instincts can turn a man into a monster. Not until the winter solstice, when he stumbles across a dying witch who needs his help to get back to her people—and her magic—in the south.

Nadia is a powerful woman in her own world, but she’s been drained by her escape from captivity in a northern lab. She knows it’s foolhardy to trust a werewolf, but her only chance to survive the vast white wilderness. The farther south they travel, the harder it is for Shane to keep the beast within under control, and as their mutual attraction intensifies, Nadia’s no longer sure she wants him to.

This was a very simple story with only the two characters, Nadia and Shane. In this world, the Earth gives or takes power from Witches and werewolves depending on how close they are to the borders. Nadia seems weak in the beginning because she has just escaped a compound where they were using her for experiments and being so far North the Earth is taking all her power. However, with Shane’s help she gets stronger as the move South.

Shane is afraid of the monster inside of him so he keeps to himself and stays North so he doesn’t become wild like others of his kind. When he notices a stranger on the road freezing he doesn’t hesitate on helping her. He may think he is a monster but he is sweet and gentle. The tension, sexual tension, grows between these two as they travel south.

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