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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dream Lover by Kristina Wright, ed.

Dream Lover by Kristina Wright, ed.
Publisher: Cleis Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical (recent), Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (242 pgs)
Other: BDSM (light), M/F, M/F/M, menage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cholla

Supernaturally sensual and captivating, Dream Lover is a feast of fanciful delights. Kristina Wright, editor of the popular Fairy Tale Lust presents a potent potion of fun and sexy tales filled with male fairies and clairvoyant scientists, as well as darkly erotic tales of ghosts, shapeshifters and possession. Dream Lover asks the reader to explore the realm of the otherworldly and answer the question... who is your dream lover?

What’s your darkest desire? Your most secret fantasy lover? A vampire? A ghost? Or something more? Whatever it is that lurks deep within your heart, you’re sure to find it within the pages of Dark Lover, an anthology of fun and exciting, as well as seriously sexy stories of the paranormal kind.

Love Resurrection by Justine Elyot leads off the series with a charming yet steamy ghost story. Freya is bound and determined to get long-dead poet Lucien Mountfichet’s name known to the world at large. What she doesn’t realize is just how that’s about to happen. This is one of the more creative ghost stories I’ve read, with an unexpected sort of happy ending.

Dreaming by the Sea by Delilah Devlin is a refreshing twist on the mermaid theme. Fraught with emotional tension and erotic love scenes, Ms. Devlin manages to develop two unique characters in just a few pages, ensuring that you’ll devour this short story in one sitting.

Devil’s Food by Shanna Germain is a lighthearted and yet sexy romp in a bakery that goes by the name of Devil’s Food. When pastry chef Lire meets Fey hunk Thadeus, more than just sparks fly. Due to the fun nature of this story, all the sugar, and the hot love between the two, Devil’s Food was one of my favorite stories in this collection. Sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Rainmaker by A. D. R. Forte was a fascinating story that reminds me of a spiced up version of an old wives’ tale or myth from the past. Faith is full of repressed magic, and if she’s to bring relief to the parched, dry land around her, she’s going to have to step outside her comfort zone to release it. David is there to help her do just that, like it or not.

Shattered Belle by Craig J. Sorensen had me a bit confused at the beginning, however, it all comes together with quite a bang at the end. Belle is bound and determined to ensure the sanctity of her precious church while the stranger is set on only completing his task. By the end, you’ll find yourself nodding and saying, “Ahh, yes, I thought so!” and squealing with glee. A wonderfully woven story that will have you sighing with pleasure and constantly second-guessing yourself.

Living off Lovers by Kristina Lloyd is one of the more intense stories in this anthology. Desperate to reunite two long-lost lovers, Rachel and Merrick must come together in a very intimate way. Driven in a way neither understands, they find one another and simply explode with passion. Sexy, sultry, and amazing, all wrapped into one short story.

Where the Heart Is by Saskia Walker is chock-full of paranormal elements to both tease and entice the reader. Rhiannon is nothing close to what she appears and Edgar is so much more. About halfway through this one, I thought I’d missed the boat on what was happening. However, just before the end it all comes together beautifully, giving you more than just a little satisfaction.

Freeing the Demon by Sacchi Green is my kind of story! I love nothing better than when a battered or otherwise abused woman gets her revenge on the man who has done her wrong. Jayne gets her revenge and so much more. When she discovers a trapped demon in the gargoyle outside her building, her fate is changed forever and for the better. This was a very refreshing twist on revenge, and I enjoyed it tremendously.

Old-Fashioned Glamour by Nikki Magennis is a wonderfully magical take on the idea of ‘who says you can’t go home?’ Returning home after too many years away, Amy tries to move amongst the villagers in a nearly invisible haze of magic, until Scott sees right through her glamour. The faith that love endures powers this little short, bringing back together a love that was always meant to be.

Moongirl Meets the Wolfman by Alana Noel Voth is a very different sort of story. Told in the style of an adult fairy tale, you’re introduced to The Woman on the night she meets Hayden and taken on an exciting ride through their time together. This wasn’t one of my favorite stories as it was a bit odd and often somewhat disjointed. However, it is an excellent example of two forces working against one another – one half of the couple is fighting the wolf within while the other embraces it – to eventually find a way to work together in the end.

Vanilla by Victoria Janssen is a cute little story combining a scientist who likes to bake with a telepath. And this combination makes for a very sweet, very sexy result. I always enjoy when cooking and/or baking is added into a story and this was no exception. The lacing of the scent of vanilla throughout the whole story just adds flavor to an already tasty encounter.

For Humans, Love’s All About Weight by Lana Fox is that kind of story that makes you feel good, that renews your hope for the world. Hattie was betrayed by her lover and her neighbors. However, when a mysterious bird with human eyes is brought into her home, she follows her heart and ignores the instructions left to her… bringing her the joy she’s always deserved. A lovely short story that will have you smiling before the end.

Succubus Comes Home by Lucy Felthouse is one of those stories that makes you laugh at it’s little twist of fate. What happens when a succubus and incubus come together as one? Well, only time will tell, but I can assure you, it’s going to be explosive for sure! An added bonus for me was that the theme of this story was finding love with your best friend, the one you overlooked but always knew was there. This is extra special to my heart because that’s where I found my truest love.

Folly by Kate Pearce is a unique sort of story. It’s not often you find a man trapped in stone, anchored to an abandoned and ultimately condemned building. Rose was discarded by her boyfriend without a second thought, left alone, with nowhere to go. Until she stumbles upon Camalus… literally. I love when stories take a bit of the old world and mix it into a fresh, contemporary setting and Ms. Pearce does just that. You get just a taste of the old Celtic myths mixed into a world that is familiar and yet still new.

Lust as Old as Us by Madeline Moore starts out seemingly as your typical vampire meets young girl story. However, it takes an unexpected turn and leaves you thinking, “What? Why did that just happen?” I really loved this story for that very reason – it leaves you wondering just where the author is going to go next since she’s already done the unthinkable. The ending wasn’t quite what I expected, either, and really made it complete for me.

The Eye of the Pearl by Ericka Hiatt is a good old-fashioned fantasy with an erotic twist. An elf warrior has made a deal with a demon and sees no way out. That is, until Lele, the human he’s abducted from the mortal realm discovers a way. A scortching hot little story that reminds you that love will find a way to conquer all… even when the obstacle is a demon.

Thief of Dreams by Kristina Wright is the final story in this anthology and is a fitting end to a collection called Dream Lover. Victor is a fallen angel, surviving solely on the dreams of his beloved, Michelle. His mistake leads to not just his own redemption, but also to the revitalization of Michelle, who had been lost and lonely before he came and stole her dreams. A great story about love against all odds and the saving power of love. Also a wonderful end to a great group of stories.

From mermaids to succubi to vampires, the Dream Lover anthology has it all. Stuffed full of authors both new and familiar to me, I found something to satisfy every mood I might have, as well as every mystical creature I’ve ever thought about imagining. I loved how the stories all had a similar thread running through them, but were all different enough to stand out on their own. Each will grab your attention and draw you into its own world for a moment or two before returning you home again. If you’re a lover of the exotic, erotic, and extraordinary, then this is by far the anthology for you.

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