The Phoenix Project by Jacquelyn Frank. Held captive, Amara is subjected to bizarre experiments that test the limits of her sanity. But nothing prepares her for being locked away – naked – with a sexy ex-cop…after they’ve been pumped full of drugs that increase their sexual appetites to animalistic intensity.
Crystal Dreams by Kate Douglas – When Lemurian Guard Darius chases a demon spirit to Earth, he faces a lethal battle between good and evil. His ally is Mari, a breathtakingly beautiful human who unknowingly holds the key to victory. But before the war is over, Darius’ desire for his mortal companion threatens to erupt – and could cost Mari her life.
Spark of Temptation by Jess Haines – Blackmailed into taking a treacherous case, P.I. Sara Halloway is thrust into a demon war. Sara seeks guidance from a charismatic mage, but their hunger for one another soon becomes a deadly distraction…and the danger surrounding them only makes their urges more powerful.
My Soul to Take by Clare Willis – New Orleans native Dr. Maggie Dillon thought she left her past behind her – until she’s enraptured by a handsome patient who has been possessed by a malevolent spirit. To find a cure, Maggie revisits her magical roots – and unleashes a primal lust too vital to ignore.
Nocturnal by Jacquelyn Frank, Kate Douglas, Jess Haines, Clare Willis
Paperback : 426 pages
Publisher: Zebra (September 7, 2010)
Nocturnal provides a great opportunity to try out some new authors that might not already be on your ‘to-read’ list. Each story is a stand-alone story in itself, but at least two of them tie into other stories.
The first story, The Phoenix Project, is my personal favorite. There’s just something about the storyline itself, combined with the characters, that really made this one stand out for me. If I had to describe it in one sentence, it would be ‘a werewolf story without werewolves’. Within a very short amount of time, a new and realistic world is created; a world where innocent men and women are reduced to mere lab rats, a world where you wake up every morning knowing this day could be your last. Amara and Nick are characters I grew to care about and I received a whole lot of satisfaction when the results of experimentation turned out to work in their favor. I don’t know if this is the last that we’ll see of them and the rest of the Morphates, but I really hope this isn’t the end of their story.
I thought Crystal Dreams started off a little slow, but it soon found it’s footing and maintained a steady pace. Darius at first seems like a nice enough guy, but doesn’t quite fit the hero mold. At the same time, Mari at first seems feisty but otherwise helpless when facing a paranormal enemy. Watching the two of them grow comfortable with their abilities (and each other) is the driving force behind the enjoyable storyline. This is one of those aforementioned stories that tie into other work, and I’ll continue to follow the Lemuria/Earth battle against demons in Hellfire.
Spark of Temptation was something I’ve anticipated since learning it was an adventure featuring two of the characters from Hunted by the Others. At the end of that book, we kind of get a hint that something happened between private investigator, Sara, and Arnold the mage, but a hint is all we get at that time. Spark of Temptation provides a double treat by being an exciting story and revealing exactly what happened between the two of them, as well as providing more intensity and drama with Royce and the White Hats. The story also provides a hint of it’s own – Sara received an interesting injury towards the end of HBTO and there are signs that there might be more to this than meets the eye. No spoilers here so you’ll have to read the books to get the details ;o) If you haven’t read Hunted by the Others, you can check out my review of it here.
My Soul to Take is a paranormal story with a hint of horror and the two genres work perfectly together here. Maggie is by-the-book doctor who has to come to terms with her past when confronted with Derek, a patient who appears to be possessed. Watching her come to terms with the possibility of Derek’s problem existing beyond the realms of conventional medicine is an interesting journey and the final battle is one that will have you anxiously turning the pages to find out who wins. I also thought the malevolent Edgar was a picture of perfect evil. You’ll despise him and fear him at the same time.
Four great stories make for one great book, and the variety of the subject matter will keep you entertained from cover to cover.