Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Midnight Fantasies by assorted authors

TITLE: Midnight Fantasies
AUTHOR: Mikala Ash, Amanda Carrell, Yolanda Sfetsos, & Maggie Wylder
PUBLISHER: Whispers Publishing
LENGTH: Anthology (roughly 40k)
GENRE: Paranormal erotic romance
COST: $4.95

An anthology of four paranormal erotic romances, each one about a world unknown to this one.

The first anthology I’ve read in months, and unfortunately, the kindest thing I can say about it is that it’s unmemorable. Its stories are simplistic and rushed, and it really doesn’t make me want to read another one any time soon.

The first story in the anthology is Mikala Ash’s “Deep Encounter.” It’s the story of ex-lovers, reunited on a deep sea expedition to examine a new life form. While the romance is unbelievable (because I'm expected to believe all those problems that plague a break-up the first time many years earlier can be resolved with just a few hours of intimacy), this provides the most interesting set-up and milieu. I believed both characters as scientific professionals as well as the ocean backdrop. Even with a romance that made me roll my eyes, it managed to be my favorite one of the bunch.

The second, “The Way to Olympia” by Amanda Carrell, had strikes against it almost from the start. Two archaeologists are on the verge of a great discovery, each in love with the other, but the reason nothing has happened? The heroine’s brother, on his deathbed, made the hero promise never to make a physical advance toward his sister, because he wasn’t good enough. How am I supposed to believe in the hero being worthy if all I’m told from the start is that he isn’t? The story is too short to overcome that, and the whole thing falls flat.

Third in the anthology is “Selkie Skin” by Yolanda Sfetsos. The title gives it away. An Australian woman finds a naked man on the beach, takes him home to tend his wounds, has sex with him, and discovers he’s more than what he seems. The characters are flat, and the set-up lipservice with more telling than showing. My least favorite of the bunch.

Rounding it out is “Transcended” by Maggie Wylder. A woman has been dreaming of the same man for years, making love to him in her dreams, only to have him come to life on her archaeological dig. This might not have been so bad if the hero wasn’t a jerk, and the man who considers him his rival a caricature of evil. This one had the best written sex scenes of the bunch, but loathing two of the three principles doesn’t make it palatable.


6/10 – Simplistic and uninspiring


5/10 – Rushed and mostly unrealistic


4/10 – It’s hard to care about caricatures and flat characters

Entertainment value

4/10 – Unmemorable is probably the kindest thing I could say

World building

6/10 – Some stories do better than others



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