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Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection
Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon, Shannon Stacey, Angela James
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Eliza Gayle
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Predatory - Alexandra Ivy, Nina Bangs, Dianne Duvall, Hannah Jayne

Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.

I'm finding that I really enjoy paranormal romance. So when I saw that some of my favorite authors had an anthology together, I knew I had to read it! There are 4 novellas in Predatory and here is how they break down:

Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy
I liked another book that I read by this author and I was excited to see what else she had. This novella looks like the very beginning of a new series for her. I loved it and I can't wait to pick up the next one!

Angela Locke is a very bookish PhD student who really, really would rather stay in and do research rather than go out with her friends...er friend. She's socially awkward but I loved her! She has this serious crush on this visiting professor and they chit chat but she absolutely has the hots for him. Well, not everything is as it seems, of course! The visiting professor, Nikolo, is a Sentinel. A Sentinel is a guardian of the "freaks". Now, "freaks" are anybody who is born with special powers, like telepathy, mind reading, etc. Think X-Men. And like X-Men, most (if not all) live in this castle behind huge walls, yadda yadda yadda. So one of the evil "freaks" is after Angela and Nikolo is using Angela as bait. You KNOW that even though Anegla is a bit of a shrinking violet, she's still going to be mighty pissed! The sparks fly between them and its a lot of fun to watch it go down. There are plenty of laughs, excellent sexy time and plenty of action! Gah! I was on the edge of my seat! One minor issue: if you aren't really into the book and paying close attention, it may seem like Nikolo goes from being indifferent to Angela to being in love with her in a very short amount of time. 

This was a great novella and an excellent intro to Alexandra Ivy's writing.

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs
This one was a little weird. I've not read Nina Bangs before and although this novella felt strange, I think I kind of liked it!

Cassie has a very strange fear of corpses. I mean, don't we all? But she has, like, a debilitating fear stemming from a horrible incident when she was a child. She's subbing in for a friend who works at a mortuary... wouldn't ya know it?! LOL! But I really liked Cassie. She's got this phobia but she works through it and then later, she's kind of a badass! And if not a badass, then she at least has a hand in keeping herself AND others safe. Anyways, various things happen... various BAD things... and Cassie finds herself in serious trouble when a vampire comes to her rescue. It felt like there was this whole mob-esque connection so Cassie and her vampire rescuer, Ethan, are on the run. Why a vampire would have to run from the mob is a really long story and I don't want to give anything away so let's just say that it involves plenty of magic. Ethan is a pretty great hero and you know this because he rescues a bad tempered cat from his dead neighbor's apartment.

Just a couple of issues with this one: this is a very unusual vampire tale. The vampires have, like, cat eyes when they vamp out. They have something called The Second One, which is part of them and is responsible for any killing that happens. Drinking of blood isn't really discussed but sounds like they have to do it. I really felt like I was dropped into the middle of a series already in progress but if that's the case, I couldn't find any information on it. Maybe you won't be confused but I was. Still, I enjoyed this novella and I hope that there are more to come.

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Full disclosure: I love Dianne Duvall. A lot. Her Immortal Guardians series is amazing. I'm just sayin'...

I really believe that you could read this novella without having read the rest of the series. If you even SORT OF like this offering from Dianne Duvall, I implore you to try the rest of the series. You'll love it.

Richart is a centuries old French immortal. Kind of like a vampire that's almost impossible to kill. They don't really drink blood but an infusion of blood can help them heal super fast. Anyway, he's so sweet and handsome (duh) AND he can teleport! Awesome! He has telepathy with his brother and sister who are also Immortals. One night, he saves a woman from regular vampires (the bad guys in this series) and he can't get her out of his head. So he decides to keep an eye on her (code: stalks her! LOL!). Of course, she doesn't mind since he's a great guy. 

There is a special treat for anyone who has already read the series. In the last book of the series, Phantom Shadows, we saw that Richart was always on the phone and there were some off-handed comments about his human woman. In this novella, you see the other side of it and get the whole story. There isn't anything I didn't like about this novella. I loved it, loved it, loved it!

High Stakes by Hannah Jayne
This was a DNF for me. Within the first few pages, the main characters uses the phrase "totes adorbs" which I'm pretty sure is air-headed-California-bimbo speak for totally adorable. It pissed me off when I read it and it took me right out of the story. That has got to be the dumbest phrase ever invented. But I stuck with it since I've never read this author before. But I never connected with the heroine and the rest of the characters were just as vapid. I quit before the second chapter. Sorry.

Overall, I'd recommend this book. For the novellas, there's one great one, two good ones and one awful one. That made me give this anthology 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it and I will for sure be checking out some of those authors again!