Something Wicked This Way Comes, Vol 2. By Various Authors
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (191 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Forced Seduction
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
Fatman and Robyn
Jake Chamberlin, star quarterback of the New York Bloods, has a not-so-little secret—he’s into chubby chicks. He does all he can to resist temptation, but when Jake bumps into the gorgeous Robyn DiMarco at a bistro in Little Italy, all bets are off.
Scarred and Kilt
Matty has a new neighbor, and she strongly suspects the kilt-wearing hottie is a vampire—he only goes out at night, has weird visitors and the blood bank is making regular deliveries. But he doesn’t seem to hurt anyone, so “live and let live” is Matty’s motto. Until she sees a guy armed with crosses and wooden stakes breaking into the neighbor’s house. Matty charges to the rescue—and ends up in Mr. Hottie’s bed…and on his desk…and…
Set in the same world as Jaguar Hunger.
Private investigators Nate and Daniel don’t expect to find their mate while working a case. But they recognize Olivia as theirs the second they catch the missing woman’s scent—the scent of a female jaguar shifter in heat. Nate and Daniel’s task? Find then claim Livvy in every raw, animalistic way possible…and release her inner beast.
Betrayed by her village chief, Larisa is brought to a mysterious island and left bound in a subterranean labyrinth, where drops of her blood summon the mythical Minotaur. She expects the man-beast to take her life…but it’s her body that’s sacrificed. Darron, a shapeshifting being, ravishes Larisa, and she gives herself freely to the pleasure—a decision that will change both their worlds forever.
Surely the dress Zoe purchased did not transport her to an alien ship, right? No. Hallucinations. Must be. Though…the gorgeous alien who greets her seems real enough. And the sex? Out of this world.
Vaden has waited years for his Decadent Dancer, and though Zoe swears she didn’t know what the dress could do, Vaden has been lonely too long to be easily thwarted. He’ll use every sensual trick he knows to convince Zoe she’s right where she belongs.
As a favor to a friend, author Carla Braun agrees to meet with archaeologist Josef Anderson to discuss his recent desert find. To her dismay, the man’s infuriating…as well as tall, blond, gorgeous—and into BDSM. If she can look beyond Dr. Anderson’s cool exterior, Carla just might discover some scorching Sahara Heat…
SCARRED AND KILT
By Laurann Dohner – is a clever little story with a heroine who is both brave and wary, not to mention inquisitive and a tiny bit aggressive. Matty’s had some hard knocks in her life and what I liked about her character is that she epitomizes the phrase, “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. The author presented me with a woman who no longer bows to bullies yet somehow has kept a part of her innocence and trust intact. I believe that is what allows the heroine to do what she does and with whom. The man that has fascinated her for months, Blaron, is a pretty decent guy, for a vampire. He’s the typical take charge, male-blown-away-by-a-sexy-woman kind of guy who doesn’t expect to find what he finds. His surprise was entertaining, their coming together was hot and frantic and their dialogue snappy and well paced. Even though their “I love you” comes a bit too soon, this is a short paranormal romance and he’s a vampire. And since we all know that vampires move really really fast, this fits just fine. Not only that but the author threw in a sentence that made it a tad more realistic – their relationship won’t be all roses and moonlight and it’s that willingness to work it out that made this tale feel rounded and grounded.
By Regina Carlysle – is loaded with explosive hotness and thrilling consummation scenes as Livvy finds her inner animal with two dedicated gorgeous men. This installment is about fulfilling a dream when all hope seems lost. It’s about a flash-fire romance where the paranormal rules are fast, furious and violent and undeniable. The author knows her way around a physical love scene and proves it again and again throughout the chapters. With the help of the mystical aspect of their kind, love is gone about differently but no less effectively. Certainly, if readers like a good romp, Tinderbox is going to deliver. Also, it ends with a nice hook that grabbed my imagination and set me up for wanting more about a certain secondary character and that’s why I enjoy anthologies so much – it opens the door for new authors, new adventures and new experiences. This one succeeded.
By Katalina Leon – is a mild mannered story with great descriptions, an unusual and imaginative take on the legend of the Minotaur and a hero unlike any other. Although there were some aspects of the story that sound more modern than the Middle Bronze Age, it’s a fantasy that is meant to entertain without taxing the brain. It’s a story about a woman, who, for the time period, was outspoken and strong. Since men think they’re the cat’s meow, even when they are more like dirty piglets, Larisa’s brains are not appreciated. Figures that it takes a man from a myth to appreciate her fine attributes, and Darron does a great job at “appreciating”. I enjoyed his early antics where he’s more puppy than bull and I liked the growth of his character. The ending was along the lines of a grand fairy tale flavored with spice and although it was a bit unbelievable it was nonetheless fun, cute and delivers the requisite happily ever after.
By Aubrey Ross – is a fantastical science fiction romance that starts off contemporary and jets off into the unknown by means of wearing a simple sexy dress. Somebody else’s greed ends up sending this poor unsuspecting woman on the adventure of her life. Just in time too, because the story opens up with her at a crossroads in her career and her trepidation and uncertainty of her future was causing her no end of worry. What happens next makes her initial problems pale in comparison. I think being faced with a handsome man of gigantic proportions, speaking an unknown language and wearing odd clothes certainly spun Zoe’s world into the Twilight Zone.
Vaden is the confused but determined hero. The heroine may not know what’s going on but he does and it’s causing him no end of frustration on many levels because he believes Zoe should know. The fact that she doesn’t slowly dawns on him and for the first time, this uber-macho warrior is at a loss. So what does a man do in that situation? What any red blooded, horny and single-minded man does -- seduces her into compliance. I enjoyed that he ended up being seduced as much as Zoe was. The author wrote the passionate scenes filled with fervor and desperation. It was truly a dance but of the emotional kind. For every step forward, there were steps back, and for every twirl there was a dip and twist that brought the couple together, set them apart and drew them in again. Ultimately, what Zoe discovers about herself and what Vaden discovers about his physical relationship with Zoe made this story work. It’s hot, entertaining and an interesting flip to the often used plot of a contemporary woman finding herself in another time and place.
by Diana Hunter – is a story that explores the value of friendship. In short, good friends never give up on matchmaking when they’re sure they are right. And the smart ones never let you see it coming. That’s the fun aspect of this story. Because the heroine didn’t have performance pressures like those other blind dates that her friend, Angie, had arranged in the past, she was free to be herself. Carla has attitude and she’s not afraid to use it. However, Josef is a man who has a secret. He’s the dominant one and the heroine’s attitude has only thrown down a gauntlet he’s only too happy to take on. Watching this relationship unfold was better than a tennis match. Ultimately, the BDSM element is explored with enough emotional and sexual detail, fans of that romance lifestyle will get a treat. I enjoyed the dialogue and the sharing of themselves to the point that I am confident that Carla and Josef really are perfect for the other; mostly because there is enough relationship growth to make it believable. It was a good read.
FATMAN and ROBYN
by Jaid Black – The opening salvo to this short story is intensely humorous and is so off the wall, it’s an immediate attention grabber. From there it’s a wonderfully warm and delightful romance that's like a whipped cream topping on a very rich and decadent hot fudge sundae. Ms. Black’s contribution to this anthology is the one most filled with heart, home and happiness. It’s a gentle sigh of satisfaction after the sexual roller coaster of the previous tales. Don’t get me wrong, when Jake and Robyn finally wear each other out, it is after a lot of well written active bed scenes that met all my expectations. I enjoyed the family aspect of Robyn’s life and how Jake fit in. I liked how the author built up the sensual suspense and how the relationship grew. I even liked the little quirks of the language flipping – so real and likeable. The dialogue was cool and the characters had personality; pretty much everything in this story worked. It was the best happily ever after of the lot. Ms. Black has a winner with this one.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Vol 2 is a credit to the authors who contributed to its existence. There's something for everyone to enjoy. Even if a reader isn’t into BDSM or Sci-Fi, there's a romantic commonality that binds them together. I found the choices of plot, venue, dialogue and character made all the difference. And since they all have happily ever afters or happily for now with a strong element of anticipated future happiness, every story met my expectations. They’re true pleasers on many levels and is a book that should not be missed.