Author: Libby Bishop
Length: Anthology, 265 pages
Genres: MF Romance, paranormal
TBR Reviewer: Jean
Rating: 3 Stars – A Good Read
Heat: 3 - blush worthy
This is a collection of three short stories, each focusing on a different member of the Revenant Investigations team and their individual backgrounds. Arabella Pierce, Lena Tompson and Kate Briar are friends and colleagues who have unusual psychic gifts and make a living as paranormal investigators. All three lead dedicated but loveless lives due to their unnatural talents, but each story begins them on a journey to find happiness and their true destinies.
As thrilling as finding true love and a happily ever after can be, the road to get there is a hard one for these three unique women, battling vengeful ghosts and risking physical danger along the way. Luckily, their respective heart's desires are battling along with them, making their eventual joining all the more satisfying and poignant.
The characters are colorful, smart and brave--no shrinking damsels in distress here. The main difficulty with this book is that with such a plethora of characters and ancestors floating about, it becomes hard to remember who is who, and determine who is "alive" and who is "dead", the ghosts materializing and speaking relevant dialogue throughout. There is also much unnecessary detail about the characters movements, actions and behaviors which which hampers the forward motion of the often overcomplicated plot and reveals a somewhat amateur writing style.
However, the adventure and danger our heroines face is vividly depicted, making the reader really feel the dank earth beneath their feet, the howling winds and sea spray on thier faces. Well done! With a bit more "salt" under the belt, readers can look forward to more fascinating seaside ghost stories from this author.
CLAIMED BY THE BRUIN is part of the Romance On the Go line by Evernight Publishing. Intended as stories to be read in as few as thirty minutes, they are perfect for lunch breaks, commutes or just about any time you have a few minutes to wait. This book is a Bear Shifter novella - my favorite kind of Shifters. Here, a previously exiled family in the Green Mountain Shifter clan has returned to stir up trouble. Lee and his son are trying to force the Alpha and his Enforcer to hand over the Enforcer's daughter Mara for marriage and mating, something they have no intention of doing. Instead, she is being forced to marry the Alpha-to-be, Ramsey, son of the Clan Alpha and Mara's childhood friend. Obviously the troublemakers were turned down in no uncertain terms and Mara and Ramsey were immediately married then left for the privacy of Ramsey's cabin. Ram was very thoughtful and considerate of Mara and her needs considering they had only a few days for their relationship to become one of full-blown intimacy, both in word and deed and bear magic is a powerful thing. *grin*
All in all, I thought this was a well done novella. When you only have 33 pages you are working within, you can only tell so much of a story with so much detail. Ms. Bishop chose to focus almost exclusively on Mara and Ramsey (or Ram as Mara likes to call him) and the progression of their relationship physically and emotionally. Ram was so cautious and attentive, worrying that Mara not feel any more pressured and forced than necessary. This gave Ram some real depth as a character instead of as 'the guy who was just being used for his position in the Clan and for his body', you know? I figured Mara would be slow to warm to the whole idea of marriage and intimacy but authors always like to surprise us and Ms. Bishop did a fantastic job in that arena as well. No worries though because they were all happy surprises.
Now, if you are unfamiliar with basic bear shifter lore, this may not be the best choice of books for you to start with as there will be leaps in logic that you might not understand. Bear sex is hot and this is exceptionally so. It is also very explicit, leaving it not the best choice for kids or the workplace. But anyone needing a little escape will find their engines revved and ready to rumble after holding on tight to CLAIMED BY THE BRUIN.